In 2008, a company owned by UCP house leader Jason Nixon fired an employee after she complained she was being sexually harassed. That firing resulted in a British Columbia human rights tribunal decision that awarded the woman $32,000.
Sounds awful. It was awful. But Jason Nixon isn’t the monster he is being made out to be by the NDP.
The woman said she was being harassed by a client that had hired Jason Nixon's job site safety company. She complained to Nixon of grabbing and sexual overtures from the client.
But no one – not even on the left -- is saying Nixon even participated in any of it.
Nixon reportedly actively tried to find a different worksite for the young woman. When the young woman declined to switch job sites, Nixon sought legal advice, complied with the legal advice that he received, terminated the employee and offered to the employee a severance package.
Nixon, according to the woman at the centre of this, said he told her repeatedly it was not his decision to let her go.
Nixon, who was only 25 at the time, says he regrets how he handled this, admits that he failed this young woman, and he says he would have handled it differently and I believe him
But there is political hay to make. Premier Notley is calling on UCP leader Jason Kenney to fire Nixon as house leader, because, according to Notley, is Nixon was her house leader, he would be.
But that’s not true - because even after a formal reprimand for sexual impropriety in the workplace during his time with the BC NDP, John Heaney was still hired on by Notley as her chief of staff.
In 1995, John Heaney was an assistant deputy minister of government services in the NDP Harcourt government. Heaney was formally reprimanded for being the originator of a sexually-charged chain letter that was sent around using the government's computer system. Heaney’s female colleagues complained feeling pressured to pass the lurid correspondence on by their male superior.
Given the Alberta NDP’s close ties to the BC branch, the incident would have come out in a cursory employee vetting search and it is very likely Notley had first hand of the incident as a government staffer in the BC NDP government from 1994-2002.
Rachel Notley didn't care about lewd, weird, inappropriate behaviour when hiring Heaney, because John Heaney is her fellow traveller in the Socialist movement. John Heaney has the right politics.
Heany was sexually inappropriate in his government workplace, making his female subordinates uncomfortable through a power imbalance. Nixon hired the wrong lawyer and made an error in judgement in letting his employee go.
Notley hired Heaney and wants Nixon fired.
And the media will never hold Notley to account for using sexual harassment as a political weapon when she had a creep in her own closet.