“Over the past two years, six complaints have been investigated under the bank’s Prevention of Harassment and Workplace Violence Policy. Of those, three were confirmed to have breached the policy. Due to privacy requirements, we cannot share any information with respect to repercussions,” the central bank told Global News in a statement Tuesday.
Global News asked the Bank of Canada whether any of the incidents involved senior leadership and whether anyone found to have violated the policy is still employed at the bank, as well as whether any of the three complaints found to have broken internal rules resulted in financial settlements.
A Bank of Canada spokesperson declined to comment on these questions, citing the bank’s obligations under the Privacy Act, which they said prevents the institution from speaking about specific cases or individuals.
“All reports and complaints received under our policy, including the names of the individuals involved, the circumstances and the complaint process, are treated as strictly confidential,” the statement read.
The Bank of Canada is a public institution and Crown corporation that leads monetary policy in the country, including setting the benchmark interest rate that determines borrowing rates for mortgages and other credit products. The central bank has recently been raising its policy rate in an effort to tamp down high levels of inflation by slowing spending demand in the economy.
Global News asked the central bank about internal incidents of harassment after Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem spoke at a conference on diversity and inclusion in economics, which the central bank hosted earlier this week.
In prepared remarks to open the conference Monday, Macklem said that economics “is having its own #MeToo reckoning,” and that “rather than ignore it,” he wanted to address it.
“So let me be clear. Harassment of any kind can never be ignored, or excused, or brushed away. It goes against everything we stand for at the Bank of Canada, and everything I stand for as an economist who has spent my career working with women who do amazing research, make impressive policy and dedicate their lives to this field we share. They pursue their career, as we all do, but they do so while facing harassment that I have never had to face,” he said.
Macklem went on to say that the Bank of Canada has encouraged employees to report harassment when they see it and for leaders to bring it forward when they’ve been told about it.
“We can’t be so self-assured as to think that harassment can’t happen here. But I am confident that if it is happening, it won’t be ignored,” he said.
“There’s nothing more important to me as Governor than making sure that our outstanding staff at the Bank of Canada have an exceptional work environment where they can all be the very best they can be.”
This comes after the federal government has been embroiled in what experts have called a sexual misconduct crisis in the Canadian military following exclusive reporting from Global News over the course of 18 months.