Anti-Harassment / Anti-Discrimination Policy

The Vancouver Post Alliance Society (The VPA) is committed to fostering a safe environment free of discrimination and harassment, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, can contribute fully and have equal opportunities.

The VPA has policy, procedures, education and expectations to create and support a respectful environment for its membership.

General Guidelines

The Human Rights Code, RSBC 1996, c 210: 14 (c) protects individuals from discrimination, harassment and disrespectful behaviour based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or pardoned conviction.

Harassment, discrimination and disrespectful behaviour will not be tolerated, condoned or ignored at the VPA. If a claim or harassment or discrimination is proven, corrective measures will be applied, up to and including termination of the membership or contract, removal from a position, and/or revocation of access to the VPA meetings and events.

VPA members, board members, volunteers and contractors are accountable for their own behaviour and are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and appropriate manner at all times. As the representatives of VPA, we are ambassadors and will behave in accordance with this policy whether in our meetings or events. Examples of respectful behaviour that create a safe space for our members include:

  • Respecting everyone’s identity including gender identity and expression
  • The ability to raise issues and voice your opinion and belief without the fear of retaliation
  • Clear and accessible language is used
  • Accessibility needs, visible and invisible, are respected and accommodated
  • Cultural and religious beliefs are respected and celebrated
  • A place where bias is questioned and examined

The VPA commits to work from a place of anti-oppression and examine the systems in place that may contribute to an imbalance of power between our members. We recognize that an intersectional approach needs to be taken with every single one of our members. We aim to not only be reactive but also proactive and work to tackle the root causes of discrimination and harassment through continued training as well as creating a safe place for open dialogue.

The VPA is committed to a comprehensive strategy to address harassment and discrimination, including:

  • Providing education to make sure everyone knows their rights and responsibilities. This includes education on how oppression, privilege and bias can show up in interactions.
  • Regularly monitoring organization systems for barriers relating to Act grounds and actively working to remove them.
  • Providing effective and fair complaints procedures from the lens of equity, anti-oppression and intersectionality.
  • Promoting appropriate standards of conduct at all times.

This policy applies to all current members of The Vancouver Post Alliance Society, including all membership levels, board members, volunteers, sponsors, guests and associates. This policy also applies to member applicants.

Conduct prohibited by this policy can occur directly from person to person and via electronic communications including e-mail, internet and social media, whether used or engaged in at The VPA meetings and events or off-site with personal equipment/devices. Off duty conduct that has an impact at the events of VPA may be subject to this policy.

Protected Grounds

This policy prohibits discrimination or harassment based on the following grounds, and any combination of these grounds from the Human Rights Code, RSBC 1996, c 210: 14 ©.  The VPA recognizes that we have a duty to accommodate in order for everyone to be treated equally and fairly. Where a protected ground of discrimination is involved — such as a person’s physical disability, age, or marital status — VPA commits to doing what we can to remove barriers or make adjustments to accommodate the member.  For more information on Protected Grounds and their definitions, please refer to our website’s full policy and procedures document on Ant-Discrimination. 

Roles, Responsibilities and Expectations 

The VPA Board is responsible for:

  • conduct themselves in a respectful and appropriate manner.
  • comply with this policy by not engaging in discrimination and harassment.
  • participate in a Diversity and Inclusion workshop annually
  • create a safe environment by taking reasonable steps to ensure it is free from discrimination and harassment.
  • intervene when any unacceptable behaviour is observed whether or not it is reported; and
  • facilitate, support and participate in the investigation process of reported incidents. 

Members are responsible for:

  • Familiarizing themselves with this policy
  • treating others with respect and dignity in the organization;
  • reporting harassment to The Diversity & Inclusion Committee;
  • cooperating with a discrimination and / or harassment  investigation and respecting the confidentiality related to the investigation process;

Members can expect:

  • to be treated with respect and dignity in the organization;
  • that reported harassment and / or discrimination will be dealt with in a timely, confidential and effective manner;
  • to have their rights to a fair process and to confidentiality respected during a harassment and / or discrimination investigation; and
  • to be protected against retaliation for reporting harassment and / or discrimination or cooperating with an investigation.