12:50 p.m., Oct. 17
BC Conservative Party leader Trevor Bollin has issued the following statement addressing the allegations:
On October 17th the BC Liberal Party shared a Workers Compensation Board (WCB) report from one of my stores, on an occurrence from 2018.
It is unfortunate that with the political fortunes of the BC Liberals collapsing, that they have chosen to turn their focus on an event that was already hard enough for the families involved.
A staff member accused another staff member of sexual harassment, and accused my store of wrongful dismissal with Workers Compensation.
An investigation occurred in which WCB was provided with all policies at the store, and procedures as well as the actions taken to investigate the complaint.
The staff member however, who was the victim, was later let go for her subsequent actions towards the General Manager. She claimed wrongful dismissal, saying she had been terminated due to the complaint. This was not true.
The policies and procedures that are in place at that store, and indeed all stores that I own and operate, are as good, or exceed, WCB regulations. However, I will not allow mistreatment from one staff member to another.
Regrettably, the former staff member was dismissed for yelling at the General Manager, after the internal investigation was finalized, which was being reflected in actions at the workplace and with other employees.
At the end of the day the Workers Compensation Board found the sexual harassment complaint, against another staff member, was dealt with. A monetary fine was implemented, as was a reference letter which I completed inside the timeline set out, for the wrongful dismissal.
Still, I have asked myself if I would do things differently today?
Yes, because I have since realized that her lashing out was a sign for me to find out the root issues, and work with her to overcome them. I will continue to ensure the stores policies and worker safety is paramount.
The policies in place at my stores, and my own nature, stand against harassment, bullying and racism. I pride myself on the atmosphere my businesses provide to my staff, many of whom have been with me for many years.
As I said at the outset, the BC Liberals released a document from 2018, which in light of the current election campaign only sheds a negative light on them in their attempt to smear my campaign
I find this unfortunate, and regrettable."
10 a.m., Oct. 17
The BC Liberals want BC Conservative leader Trevor Bolin to address taking "prohibited discriminatory action" against a female employee who was fired after reporting sexual harassment at one of his businesses.
A July 2018 report from WorkSafe BC states: "The employer did not take the worker’s sexual harassment complaint seriously.”
According to the report, Bolin refused to reassign the offending employee to other shifts after the victim reported the matter in early 2018 to management and the RCMP.
The female worker was fired three weeks later for what Bolin claimed to WorkSafe was for “disrespectful and uncooperative behavior.”
Bolin became leader of the BC Conservatives in 2019, after the incident and ruling, and has been sitting on Fort St. John city council since 2008.
Questions put to BC Conservative Party president Justin Greenwood concerning the party and BC Conservative candidates having previous knowledge of the decision, remain unanswered at this time.
Bolin, who owns businesses in Fort St John and Dawson Creek, said it was a learning lesson for both him and his team.
In a statement released by the BC Liberals on Saturday, the party said, "As the leader, Bolin needs to publicly address why he minimized the sexual harassment and then punished the female employee."
Read the WorkSafe BC report detailing the case:
This is a developing story.
Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at email@example.com.
Email Managing Editor Rob Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org