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National Arts Centre looks into anti-harassment policy

Local man raises concern over omission of gender identity and expression

At the bequest of a local Ottawa resident, the human resources department at the National Arts Centre (NAC) will look at their anti-harassment policy at a retreat early this summer.

Peter Zanette was a volunteer for the Prairie Scene – a series of events highlighting artists from the Prairies. At the orientation session on May 7, volunteers were given the NAC’s internal anti-harassment policy to review and use as a guideline.

“The policy was well written in terms of what an anti-harassment policy is, except that it didn’t include trans people,” says Zanette.

Zanette contacted Debbie Collins, director of human resources at the NAC, suggesting that gender identity and gender expression be added to the policy.

“He [Zanette] provided some feedback indicating that our language, although very open, could be more open still and suggested some language that we should consider, which I am interested in and looking at,” says Collins.

Collins indicated to Zanette that the policy would be reviewed at a retreat this summer.

“My team meets annually to review all of our policies to make sure they are up to date. I indicated that we would review his comments, and indeed we will,” she says.

Zanette does not know if he will be notified of any changes made but has vowed to contact Collins in July to follow up on the issue.