For months, the Côte-des-Neiges—NDG borough mayor’s chief of workers insisted town of Montreal didn’t take her complaints of psychological harassment significantly, and now the province’s office well being and security board is investigating her claims.
Annalisa Harris, the chief of workers for borough mayor Sue Montgomery, claims the best way town dealt with her harassment criticism left her “feeling humiliated, damage, denigrated and diminished.”
The investigation by the office well being and security board (CNESST) is the newest improvement in a months-long dispute involving Harris, Montgomery, the borough’s director and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.
A report late final 12 months by town’s comptroller common concluded that it was Harris who psychologically harassed two borough workers, together with longtime borough director Stéphane Plante (who isn’t associated to town’s mayor.)
In January, Projet Montréal booted Montgomery out of the get together for refusing to observe the report’s advice to fireplace her chief of workers.
The borough mayor stated in March she was by no means proven the proof in opposition to Harris and wouldn’t fireplace somebody with out due course of.
In her criticism to the CNESST in opposition to town of Montreal, Harris claims she reached out to Mayor Plante’s workplace and town’s human assets division final fall, solely to see the main focus of the comptroller’s ensuing investigation shift to her behaviour.
“I went and I complained that I used to be being harassed, that I used to be being bullied, that I used to be being intimidated and town’s reply was to ask me if I smiled,” she stated. “Do I smile on the borough director? Do I smile on the head of public works? Do I smile on the director of city planning?”
Mayor Plante ‘violated my confidentiality,’ Harris says
Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery continued to defend her chief of workers and refused to fireplace her. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)
The comptroller common’s report blames Harris for contributing to a poisonous office surroundings however she maintains it was the borough director who threatened her, insulted her and instructed different workers to disregard her.
Following her criticism to town, Harris says Mayor Plante’s public statements made issues much more tough for her at work.
“Valérie Plante violated my confidentiality and broken my fame,” she stated. “She was the primary to substantiate publicly, after leaks, that I used to be on the centre of the report.”
Harris additionally alleges that though she referred the comptroller to 13 witnesses who might again up her harassment claims, town didn’t attain out to any of them.
“I’ve had hassle sleeping, I’ve had hassle specializing in work, I have been identified with despair,” she stated.
To this point, town of Montreal has not returned our request for remark.
The borough director, Stéphane Plante, declined to remark.
Within the final 12 months, this dispute has led to heightened tensions throughout the borough — together with throughout council conferences — and courtroom proceedings between town and borough mayor Montgomery associated to her dealing with of the harassment claims in opposition to Harris.
Metropolis stands by findings
As quickly as issues have been raised within the CDN-NDG borough, town’s comptroller common and human assets division have been instantly ordered to make clear the scenario, stated metropolis spokesperson Youssef Amane in an announcement.
A piece-climate investigation led to 2 further psychological-harassment surveys and it was decided that Harris psychologically harassed two workers, Amane stated.
The comptroller common then put measures in place to forestall additional harassment and it was requested that Harris not keep in touch with borough officers, he stated. Investigators additionally concluded Montgomery was willfully blind, he stated.
“The mayor of Montreal needs to reiterate her zero-tolerance coverage with regard to all types of harassment, and that is legitimate for all the metropolis of Montreal,” Amane stated.
Amane stated Montgomery and Harris put their private pursuits first somewhat than desirous about the well-being of the CDGN-NDG residents who “proceed to pay the worth of a totally dysfunctional borough.”