The province is introducing new training for frontline staff at bars and restaurants to identify and intervene in cases of sexual violence and harassment.
Ontario will spend $1.7 million over three years on the program which will be designed and delivered by organizations in the hospitality sector and experts in violence prevention.
“We know Ontarians want to respond to sexual violence and harassment when they see it,” says Women’s Issues Minister Tracy MacCharles.
“These training projects will empower frontline workers to step in and give them the tools to do so safely and effectively.”
According to the province, 64% of Ontarians strongly agree that they have an obligation to intervene if they witness sexual violence while 58% strongly agree they should intervene in cases of sexual harassment, but not knowing how to respond, concerns about personal safety, and fear of jeopardizing employment often prevent people from taking action.
MacCharles says the majority of the 450,000 servers and waiters in the province are young women.
As well, new regulations take effect Thursday requiring employers to have a policy in place that clearly identifies who would investigate if an alleged harasser is the owner or supervisor.