Halifax's top bureaucrat addresses racism, discrimination in workforce

Halifax says its taking new measures amid mounting claims of both historical and ongoing racial harassment and discrimination within the municipal workforce.

Jacques Dube, chief administrative officer of the Halifax Regional Municipality, says the city will be engaging an external consultant within 75 days to review the city's approach on racial harassment and discrimination.

He says Halifax will also be implementing a confidential employee hotline by mid-July for employees who are experiencing harassment but are not comfortable going to their supervisor or human resources.

His comments come in the wake of a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission board of inquiry decision that found a city bus mechanic was subjected to a poisonous work environment riddled with unchecked racial discrimination and harassment.

The former Halifax transit worker is seeking more than $1.4 million in general damages, lost earnings and pension.

Dube says although that case concerns incidents that took place many years ago, it serves as an important reminder that all employees deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.