1. Rationale or background to policy:
Thunder Bay Nordic Trails (TBNT) does not tolerate any form of harassment and undertakes to protect everyone (e.g all staff, volunteers, clients, day users, spectators and members), regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family status or record of offence, from harassment by others with whom they may have contact at any facility or function operated by TBNT.
This policy is also directed towards the protection of persons from harassment which may occur during the course of TBNT business and events, or, outside of such events where there may be repercussions in the work or skiing environment which adversely affects relationships.
Definition of Harassment
Harassment takes many forms but can generally be defined as behaviour including comments and/or conduct which is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, malicious, degrading or otherwise offensive to an individual or groups of individuals or which creates an uncomfortable environment. While this applies to everyone involved with TBNT and any form of harassment, the Ontario Human Rights Code specifically prohibits harassment on the following grounds: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed (religion), sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital/family status or record of offence.
Harassment may include:
- written or verbal abuse or threats; sexually oriented comments;
- racial or ethnic slurs;
- unwelcomed remarks, jokes, innuendoes, or taunting about a person’s body, attire, age, marital status, ethnic or racial origin, religion, etc;
- displaying of sexually explicit, racist or other offensive or derogatory material;
- sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious graffiti;
- practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment, endanger a person’s safety, or negatively affect performances;
- unwelcome sexual remarks, invitations or requests whether indirect or explicit, or intimidation;
- leering (suggestive staring), or other obscene or offensive gestures;
- physical conduct such as touching, kissing, patting, pinching etc.;
- vandalism; physical assault.
As part of their right to freedom from harassment, everyone involved with TBNT is protected from reprisal or the threat of reprisal.
Reprisal may include situations in which someone is:
- denied or threatened with denial of office or executive position, training, or other related opportunities or benefits.
- disciplined or threatened with disciplinary action;
2. Policy Statement:
Thunder Bay Nordic Trails (TBNT) is committed to providing a sport and work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to participate and work in an environment which promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices.
TBNT is committed to creating and maintaining a supportive recreational sport environment free of all forms of harassment.
Everyone involved with TBNT is responsible for preventing and discouraging harassment by;
- understanding and upholding the principles of this policy;
- not engaging in behaviour contrary to this policy and ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and equitably;
- communicating the Board objective to create and maintain a harassment free sport;
- not allowing or condoning behaviour contrary to this policy;
- taking all complaints of harassment seriously by investigating complaints in a thorough and sensitive manner and taking prompt action to resolve the situation in accordance with procedures outlined in the following sections.
Anyone involved with TBNT who experiences harassment is encouraged to make it known to the harasser that the behaviour is offensive and/or to report the incident(s) in accordance with the following complaint procedures. Anyone who witnesses harassment at TBNT or who becomes aware that a someone is being harassed is encouraged to report the incident in accordance with the complaint procedure which follows.
Anyone who experiences harassment is encourage to make it known to the harasser that the behaviour is offensive and contrary to the TBNT policy. If confronting the harasser is not possible or if after confronting the harasser the harassment continues, report the incident to the General Manager or chairperson of the board of directors of TBNT.
Everyone is encouraged to report incidents of harassment. Anyone who brings the incident(s) to the attention of TBNT will receive the full support of the TBNT. Complaints will be addressed in a sensitive, responsible and timely manner.
Anyone who experiences harassment because of their sex, race, religion, ethnicity, place of origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or family status is specifically protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code and have the right to file their complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Complaint Investigation and Resolution
The above complaints procedure sets out a number of avenues for reporting incidents of harassment. Once a complaint is reported immediate action must be taken as follows: the complaint must be documented and immediately forwarded to the Chair of the Board of Directors who must inform the Board of the complaint as quickly as possible; the TBNT Board must immediately appoint a committee to investigate the incident(s); the complaint must be documented and immediately forwarded to the chair of the committee; the Chairperson of TBNT must ensure that an investigation is initiated.
All complaints of harassment must be investigated by the appointed committee to determine the nature and circumstances of the incident(s) and to determine appropriate resolution.