Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Former firefighter receives apology for gender discrimination

By The Canadian Press   

Headlines News

Dec. 18, 2017, Halifax - A former firefighter who waged a 12-year battle against "systemic'' gender discrimination has received a public apology from the chief of the Halifax fire service and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

The apology is part of a settlement reached with Liane Tessier after years of complaints about abusive and disrespectful behaviour from her male counterparts.

In making the apology to Tessier and to other female firefighters, Halifax Fire Chief Ken Steubing admitted that systemic gender discrimination has occurred in a service that has been historically male-dominated.

Steubing says firefighting is difficult enough without having to deal with a disrespectful workplace, and it's the fire service's job to ensure female firefighters feel "welcomed, valued and respected.''

Human rights commission lawyer Kymberly Franklin also apologized for the time it took for Tessier's case to be dealt with, she first came to the commission in 2007.

The 53-year-old first complained in 2005 about gender discrimination at the Herring Cove fire station, alleging that she was ostracized and subjected to "malicious gossip'' after she spoke out.

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