Thank you very much for the question.
We have often heard from the media, or even the rumour mill, that those accused of harassment did not know that they were harassing anyone. They did not realize that they were creating an uncomfortable climate for the people around them.
Our concern is to find a definition that can be used for prevention. For instance, if information about harassment is provided in an effective and concise way, no one will be able to say that they did not know that their behaviour wasn't appropriate or constituted harassment as such. Once you have settled on a definition, there will no longer be any plausible deniability.
Our collective agreement includes a clear and concise definition. In fact, some of our members come to us and tell us that they experienced such a thing, but did not realize that it was harassment. On the basis of our definition we can say to these people that that was indeed harassment, or on the contrary, that it was not. Afterwards, we deal with the situation duly and properly.
A properly worded definition means that we can validate the person's experience and determine whether she or he experienced harassment or not. We think it would be very important that that definition be set out right now—and not only via regulations—and that it be properly included in a bill adopted by Parliament. In that way, you will obtain both the consent of parliamentarians and the consent of the public with regard to the definition of harassment.
Our definition, for instance, was established thanks to the co-operation between management and the union.