The new Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act received Royal Assent on May 19, 2016, imposing new obligations on post-secondary institutions in the Province. The Act comes into force on May 19, 2017.
The Act requires post-secondary institutions, as defined in the Act, to establish and implement a sexual violence and misconduct policy that:
- addresses sexual misconduct, including prevention;
- sets out procedures for making and responding to complaints and reports of sexual misconduct involving students; and
- addresses any other matter prescribed by regulation (although no regulations have been issued to date).
“Sexual misconduct” is broadly defined in the Act to include sexual assault; sexual exploitation; sexual harassment; stalking; indecent exposure; voyeurism; the distribution of a sexually explicit photograph or video of a person without their consent; and attempts or threats of sexual misconduct.
The Act requires post-secondary institutions to consult with students before developing the policy and then, once implemented, to review the policy at least once every three years or as directed by the Minister. Further, each year the president of the institution is required to report to their governing body on the implementation of the policy.
The policy is intended to be publicly accessible and is required to be published on the institution’s website.
Institutions that do not already have a policy that satisfies all of the above requirements must develop a new policy that complies with the Act on or before May 19, 2017.
If you need any assistance or advice on developing or implementing a policy, we would be happy to help.
Please contact Kacey Krenn with any queries.