CAO says Region of Peel employees being harassed, racially attacked in Mississauga

Published March 15, 2021 at 3:17 pm

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The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Region of Peel says that employees are facing elevated levels of harassment and even enduring racially-charged insults. 

Janice Baker, the current CAO and former city manager with the City of Mississauga, says that although COVID-19 has been stressful for all resident, it’s no excuse to mistreat the region’s employees. 

“As the COVID emergency has progressed, we know that everyone is tired, frustrated and concerned. We all feel the pressure that COVID brings in some way,” Baker wrote in a statement. 

“At the same time, we have seen increasing incidents of harassment and discrimination, including racial slurs, both in person and over the phone directed to Region of Peel employees who interact directly with the community. Everyone wants our communities to go back to normal, but please, do not take out these frustrations on Peel’s employees who are working to keep our community safe.”

Peel (Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon) is one of the hardest-hit regions in Canada. The region, along with Toronto, has been in lockdown since November 2020 and under increased public health measures since October 2020. 

“The employees subjected to this harassment have been working extraordinary long hours for over a year, despite exhaustion and anxiety. At the very heart of their work is their unrelenting drive to keep the residents of Peel healthy and safe. They too, have lost friends and family members, are juggling children at home and parents who need care, have loved ones out of work, and want this pandemic to end. These are not only public service providers, but also residents of your community. They are your neighbours, your family members and your friends. Many of them have built their entire careers by putting the public’s best interests at heart, and they deserve, like everyone, to carry out their jobs in an environment free from harassment and bullying,” Baker wrote. 

Baker says that those who disagree with the Region’s policies or the way it delivers services can send “constructive feedback” here.

“The people bearing the brunt of this harassment are simply doing their jobs, carrying out the health and safety protocols of the Region’s response to COVID and doing their best to keep you safe,” she wrote. 

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