Complaint of Charles LeBlanc to the
New Brunswick Human Rights Commission
Complaint alleging political activity discrimination
respecting employment contrary to Section 3 of the
New Brunswick Human Rights Act
October 13, 2005
On September 27th while walking by the Legislature, I noticed two individuals sitting down on the steps of the New Brunswick Legislature having a cigarette.
One of the workers - named Eugene - asked me if I wanted to work? He told me his boss was upstairs and he would hire me right on the spot at $8.00 an hour!
I decided to go and meet the boss. I asked the Commissionaire Andre Ouellette if I could go upstairs and he gave me a card.
Once there, the contractor told me that he indeed needed some help and I would be paid $10.00 an hour. The work was to replace an old ceiling.
I noticed they were bringing up the stairway some large planks and staging.
I decided to give them a helping hand. The boss told me that I could begin to work immediately. I carried the 15 foot planks up two flights of stairs.
On one occasion, Daniel Bussieres (Sergeant At Arms) came outside and told me I had to pass a security clearance.
He was smiling when he made that statement so I didn't think he was serious and I never gave it another thought.
Thereafter, not one person in authority approached me in a formal manner to do a security clearance.
The issue was dropped.
After a few hours of hard work, my job was done. I found out that my new Boss knew some people from my Village of Memramcook.
He looked like a nice guy so and I was glad that I found a job where I was hired by my own action.
The boss told me that he would pay me on Friday for my work. I was also told the project would not begin on Monday because there was a delay of over one week.
Before I left the Legislature, Daniel Bussieres told me in front of the Boss
that I shouldn't write any of this in my blog.
I have a blog site http://oldmaison.blogspot.com where I write stories on what is happening in New Brunswick politics.
I have had over 35,000 visitors to my popular blog site.
I also write a lot of Letters to the Editor and I have a bi-weekly column in the River Valley News where I write about different issues.
I am known as an ADHD activist because of my six months protest outside the
Legislature in 2003 but I also write extensively about NB government policies particularly as they affect the poor.
I am a political activist and am known by all the MLAs on a first name basis because I spend a lot of time at the Legislature in the Library doing research and using the computers.
Because I am on short term disability welfare, I have a lot of time on my hands.
I could have walked towards the sunset with my head down and turned to alcohol and drugs but I refuse to take the route.
So this is how I choose to spend my days. As a citizen, I am entitled to go the Legislature.
I would rather be working but it is very hard to get a job, so you can imagine how happy I was to know I was going to start working!!
My whole life was going to change!
So I quickly told Dan Bussieres, "Hey? Why would I write about this issue in
my blog? I might be crazy but I'm not stupid!!!! This is personal!"
I left the Legislature feeling good about myself. I was going to work for 6 months and this was a good thing because the cold winter months are just around the corner. It's not far from where I live. The boss and the workers look like nice people. Hey? Life is great!!! I always said that someone is watching over me!
On September 30th, I went at the Legislature and I noticed one of the workers walking by the elevator. I asked the worker Eugene if the boss was ok with my work the other day? He told me that the boss and everyone were very happy. That gave me a good feeling.
I went upstairs to meet my boss. Once there, they were working on the ceiling and I was surprise they never called me but that was ok!
The boss put me aside and paid me my 40 bucks.
He reminded me there was a delay in the project but everything seems a go for me to begin work.
On October 5th, I noticed one of the workers in the hallway of the Legislature and I was surprised they were working. Eugene didn't have the same attitude. He sort of talk to me in a confused manner. He didn't understand what was going on?
I told the Commissionaire Andre Ouellette that I was going upstairs to visit
Once there, the boss look happy and we chatted for a few minutes.
I was ready to ask him when do I start working, but all of a sudden, Andre Ouellette was present beside me and told me that I wasn't allowed in this area.
I was surprised especially since I told Mr. Ouellette that I was going upstairs.
I asked him to give me a minute and I'll be down. Mr. Ouellette raised his voice and demanded that I leave immediately!
He was degrading me in front of my boss and the question was why? I might add that the boss had a surprise look on his face.
I quickly left the area but told Andre that this wasn't right and this issue is not done yet! Not for a long shot! I quickly left the Legislature because I knew if I crossed that thin line and blow my temper they would use that as a reason to evict me from the Legislature. I was very upset!
On October 6th, I walked in the Legislature as I have doing for almost the last two years.
I usually visit the library and read the newspapers.
On many occasions, I would visit Dan Bussieres and we would chat on different issues
of the day.
I always liked Dan Bussieres. I believe that we were good friends during and after the protest. As a matter of fact, he picked me up on two different occasions to attend his church.
On many occasions, we would exchange stories. He never once told me that I wasn't allowed to visit his office.
Once outside, I noticed the boss Contractor arriving with one of his workers.
The worker walked by me and never even blinked an eye. I said - "You just drove from Moncton? "
I could tell by the expression on his face that he didn't want to chat with me.
He walked by me and I quickly added - "Are we starting next week?"
He turned around and said- "T'es pas mal tannant toi!!!"
Translation means - "You can be a pain in the butt."
He added the people in the Legislature didn't like me!!!
I just ignored his statement and he continued - "You protest everything!!!"
I began to stutter because I knew at that moment that I didn't get the job because the staff at the Legislature told the boss something about me.
I explain to the boss that I was indeed a protester. I protested in a tent for
six months against the use of Ritalin.
He asked - "Ritalin? What's that???"
I told the contractor that it was a pill to drugged children.
He repeated - "They don't like you in there!!!"
Afterwards, he turned his back and walked in the Legislature. I knew at that moment that the jig was up! I could read between the lines.
He was telling me that the staff at the Legislature didn't like me and there was no
way in the world that he was going to hire me because they decide who will do
I was very upset the Commissionaires would go out of their way telling the contracter not to hire me.
I told myself to relax and try to settle down and think of the next step?
What can I do? There must be something? This is not right! I spoke to a few people who I go to for advice and they suggested that I meet with Dan Bussieres.
On October 7th, I set up a meeting with Mr. Bussieres to explain to the Sergeant At Arms what had just happened.
I sent an email to Mr. Bussieres (excerpt below).
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 08:17:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: "charles leblanc"
Contact Details Add Mobile Alert
I was strongly advise by some bureaucrats to send you an email. I am just following orders.
Can I have a meeting in your office today to discuss an very very very important issue!
Just email me the time....
He replied and the meeting began at 3:08 pm that day.
I told Daniel the whole story.
He listened to me for over 10 minutes.
Afterwards, he explained to me the rules the contractor had to follow if they wish to
do some work at the Legislature. One of them was that every worker had to pass a security clearance.
I reminded Mr. Brussieres that he already told me this the other day.
He told me I should have never been allowed upstairs a few days earlier.
I told Mr. Brussieres that I did tell Andre Ouellette that I was going upstairs.
He sort of told me that it was my word against his.
He continued by explaining to me the contractors couldn't have visitors in their work area because they are paid by the hour and they have no time to chat.
I didn't understand what he was telling me but I listened.
Then he told me that the contractor should have never hired me in the first place because I didn't pass security clearance.
I asked the Sergeant At Arms - Why was I allowed to work for four hours in the first place?
At the end of our conversation, I asked - "Are you trying to tell me that I cannot work for the contractor?"
He told me - "Listen! You're allowed to work for the contractor but not here at the Legislature because you are a security risk!!!"
I was shocked!!
I replied- "You're telling me that I'm a security risk therefore I'm not allowed to work in this building???"
I just couldn't believe it especially since Mr. Bussieres has known me for over three years. I quickly left his office.
The question is this?
Why would the Sergeant At Arms label me at a security risk?
Why? I never harmed or threatened anyone.
I immediately walked over the Fredericton Police Headquarters and asked if I could see my file? I wanted to know if I was labeled as a security risk?
The police said that I am not allowed to access my file unless I ask the Police
Chief in writing for a copy of my file and / or if I commit a crime.
I went through a lot of mental hardship because of Mr. Bussiere's orders to the contractor that I shouldn't be hired because I'm a security risk.
I also spent the little money I had because I was certain that I would begin
working that Monday but it never happened.
I am very disappointed and hurt.
It has effected my economic situation because now I don't have a job.
I want to know if the Sergeant At Arms is allowed to label certain individuals as a security risk without any supporting evidence?
I believe the real reason he didn't want me to work there is because I am a political activist and he doesn't like what I say in my blog.
I could have worked for over 6 months but the Sergeant At Arms said no!
I lost six months work because of what he said about my political activism.
These are the facts:
Fact: On September 27th, 2005, I was offered a job working 40 hours a week at $10 an hour repairing the ceiling at the Legislature.
The job was supposed to last six months. I would have made $9,600.00 over the
duration of my employment.
Fact: I am a blogger who writes about New Brunswick politics
I protested in a tent in front of the Legislature for six months and continued till this day via the information Highway protesting against certain policies of the Government of the day.
Fact: The employer (his name and company name) didn't know I was a Blogger or that I was involved in politics.
He just thought I was a good worker.
Fact: As soon as the Sgt. at Arms Dan Bussiere and the other Commissionaires found out the employer was going to hire me, they took him aside and told him not to because "they don't like" me (exact quote from the employer).
Presumably, they told him I was a security risk too, which prejudiced the employer against me.
Therefore, he wouldn't hire me.
Why don't the Sgt. At Arms and the Commissionaires like me? I believe they don't like me because I am a political activist who writes a blog about New Brunswick politics and they don't like what I have to say.
Fact: When I asked Sgt. At Arms what happened, he said I was a security risk.
Fact: I go to the Legislature every day.
Question: If I am a security risk, why do they let me in the legislature? If I was a security risk, one would think that I would be barred from entering the building but I am not nor have I ever been.
Even the Speaker of the House, MLA Bev Harrison, told me as recently as October 11, 2005, that he knew nothing of me being labeled a "Security risk"
One would think the Speaker of the House would know about me being labeled a
security risk if it was true. Perhaps the Speaker of the House doesn't know about me being labeled a security risk because I am not a security risk.
And if I am not, I should be able to work on this job or in an equivalent
position making $10 an hour. I believe I should get the job on the basis of
my own merit, not lose it on the basis of my political activity.
My politics is separate from my work. All I want to do is earn a living and get off
I thought I had my chance to do just that but it looks like it was taken away from me because the commissionaires don't like my politics!
I never even got a chance to prove myself.
I believe this is discrimination in employment based on the protect ground of political activity.