Federal government departments and agencies spent over $4 million in 2019 on private investigators to probe internal harassment complaints.
“$4.38 million worth of contracts were given to private investigators to review harassment claims at the Canada Revenue Agency, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Correctional Service of Canada, Department of Agriculture, Department of National Defence, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, National Research Council, Parks Canada, and the Public Prosecution Service.”
In contrast, $3.1 million were spent on PIs over a three-year period from 2016 to 2018.
The spending comes on the heels of the passage of anti-harassment legislation in 2018, requiring all federally regulated employers — including government agencies, MPs and Senators — to create anti-harassment policies and refer complaints to adjudicators.
Bill C-65 defines harassment as:
“Any action, conduct or comment, including of a sexual nature, that can reasonably be expected to cause offense, humiliation or other physical or psychological injury or illness to an employee, including any prescribed action, conduct or comment.”
In a Globe and Mail article, former Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes described a tense phone call she had with the Prime Minister on Feb 12, 2019, when the first-term MP said she told Trudeau that she would not run again in the October election.
Trudeau did not handle the rejection well:
“He was yelling. He was yelling that I didn’t appreciate him, that he’d given me so much.”
No details on how much of that $4 million was spent snooping on the PMO.