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Seventeen per cent of more than 3,000 Manitoba government workers surveyed have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, and ten per cent still are (as recently as three months ago), according to a report released by the province.

Two reports on workplace harassment were released yesterday: one, from the government, sharing the results of consultations with its employees in May; and one done by external firm MLT Aikins making recommendations to improve policy and procedure related to workplace harassment.

Rochelle Squires, the minister responsible for the status of women, said yesterday the consultation report confirms sexual harassment affects every part of the Manitoba government, and disproportionately affects women.

"We know that the Manitoba civil service is not alone in this phenomenon. We're seeing around the globe, with the #MeToo campaign, we're hearing instances of women in all ranks and echelons of society that are being harassed and experiencing harassment in the workplace. So we know that we're definitely not alone, but what we can say to the women who are working for us is that we are taking action," said Squires.

Premier Brian Pallister said yesterday the number of people who said they'd experienced sexual harassment while working in Manitoba's civil service is an indication the issue needs to be paid attention to, and hasn't been for a long time. Pallister says the government will be implementing all 25 recommendations from the MLT Aikins report, and work has already begun.

"It is absolutely our goal to make sure that we create a culture where people are unafraid to address issues where they are afraid," said the Premier.

Some of the recommendations include: making use of in-person training as frequently as possible, provide clearer guidelines for how a third party responds to harassment, clarify policies, and maintain the 'No Wrong Door' initiative.

Both reports were made available online and for the public.

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