Back in the fall of 2017 in the wake of the #MeToo movement and numerous harassment-related reports within the culture and communications sectors, a number of associations representing artists and producers, as well as various cultural organizations, joined together to take stock of the situation and to adopt a set of shared tools aimed at fostering a safe environment in which everyone can create and work. Their recommendations led to the signing of the Déclaration pour un environnement de travail exempt de harcèlement dans le milieu culturel québécois
(list of signatories
On October 30, 2017, Québec’s Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister Responsible for the Protection and the Promotion of the French Language, Marie Montpetit, met with representatives of eight associations of artists, artisans and producers. Ms. Montpetit offered the Ministry’s assistance in developing solutions aimed at facilitating reporting and prevention. The legal aid clinic Juripop was commissioned to set up a “one-stop shop” to assist and guide artists and cultural workers subjected to sexual aggression or harassment in any form.
On March 23, 2018, the Québec government announced a $900,000 investment aimed at countering harassment and sexual aggression in the artistic and cultural sectors (press release).
On April 25, Heritage Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts also announced important measures aimed at promoting healthy, respectful and harassment-free workplaces (press release).
The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec’s position on reporting psychological/sexual misconduct or harassment
The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec would like the general public, in addition to its employees and clients, to be aware that it is committed to providing a healthy and harassment-free environment and workplace.
Similarly, the Conseil would like to remind its partners and funding recipients (organizations and artists) that they too are required to comply with all applicable laws in this regard. Any cases of non-compliance will be dealt with swiftly by the Conseil, in accordance with the obligations and powers vested in it and in accordance with this statement.
To that end, the Conseil has adopted an internal guideline for situations involving reporting and allegations. It will also be adding two undertakings in this regard to the letters of agreement signed by organizations. Furthermore, it will be applying the mission support and oversight policy (Politique d’encadrement du soutien à la mission) in the event of any problematic governance situations.