A disenchanted village | The Journal of Quebec

Several allegations of a toxic work climate in municipalities that have made the headlines in recent years demonstrate the ineffectiveness of remedies for victims in Quebec.

• Read also: “JE” devotes an investigation to the “disenchanted village” of Saint-Élie-de-Caxton

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The case of Saint-Élie-de-Caxton, in Mauricie, which the program dealt with J.E this week, offers another blatant example that is difficult to establish, in Quebec, who has the mandate to investigate this type of serious allegation.

“We have no more tools, there is nothing more to do. We bathe in this black water there, we call for help and no one comes to help us, ”testified storyteller Fred Pellerin. The legends imagined by the latter have generated a tremendous tourist success within the municipality, before turning into a real nightmare since the arrival of Mayor Robert Gauthier in 2017.

Criticized from all sides, the mayor’s behavior would be the cause of the resignation of most of the staff of Saint-Élie-de-Caxton. The people concerned all cited a toxic working climate to explain their departure.

Blurry and ineffective

However, the remedies available to employees who feel aggrieved in this way appear vague and ineffective. We have seen this in other cases where allegations of psychological harassment have surfaced, including in Lévis and L’Ancienne-Lorette, in the Quebec City region.

There is certainly a process before the CNESST, but it turns out to be complex, in particular because it appears too long and costly for the victim, who must do without his salary.

More power

As for the Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ), it does not seem to have the habit of investigating in such cases, as observed by the director of the Quebecor investigation office.

Minister Andrée Laforest has indicated her intention to give more power in this area to the CMQ. This should prove to be more effective than her dubious intervention in the conflict in Saint-Élie-de-Caxton, where she was satisfied with the version … of the elected officials.

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