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Former firefighter reaches human rights settlement with Halifax

Liane Tessier says she experienced gender discrimination while working at a station in Herring Cove.


Liane Tessier is shown in a handout photo. - VIA LIANE TESSIER
  • Liane Tessier is shown in a handout photo.

A former Halifax firefighter is expected to receive an apology for the gender discrimination she faced while working at a station in Herring Cove almost 20 years ago. 

Liane Tessier was granted a hearing from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission last year, after fighting for nearly a decade to have her case heard. Tessier told CBC during her career she experienced “bullying” and “devaluing” from her male colleagues, who ostracized her and even tampered with her belongings.

In interviews with CBC and the Canadian Press, Tessier says the Halifax Regional Municipality will issue a public apology on Monday as part of a settlement. Municipal spokesperson Brendan Elliot would not confirm whether or not the apology is taking place, as the commission hasn’t “concluded its work.”

Speaking off-the-record, a high-level official with HRM confirmed the apology would be taking place next week, but didn't know any details of the settlement.

Tessier is far from the only person in recent years to complain about discrimination while working for Halifax Fire, per a 2016 CBC investigation.

In 2009, the Halifax Association of Black Fire Fighters filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission in regards to racial discrimination. The group received an official apology in 2013 from newly hired chief Doug Trussler.

The apology to Tessier will be given by the city's new fire chief Ken Stuebing, who started in October. According to CP, the settlement will include financial compensation and a commitment to policy changes towards a safer workplace.

with files from Jacob Boon

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