BC Maritime Employers Association Partners with BC Lions For Be More Than A Bystander

The campaign to eliminate bullying, harassment and gender-based violence in British Columbia is being made stronger today as the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) becomes a Presenting Partner of Be More Than a Bystander, the ground-breaking program for high school students across British Columbia created by the BC Lions and the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC).

 “As we strive to promote the importance of building healthy relationships and being more than a bystander to youth across the province, partnering with BCMEA aligns perfectly given their commitment to this same message amongst BC’s waterfront workforce,” said Lions Director of Community Partnerships Jamie Taras.

The BCMEA will become a Presenting Partner of the Be More Than a Bystander program alongside the Province of BC and Teck Resources, ensuring it continues to be available to thousands of students in BC high schools. The program is also supported by BC Federation of Labour.

This partnership is the next natural step for the BCMEA, which is teaching the program to BC’s waterfront workforce in one of the most comprehensive workplace violence and harassment prevention training programs ever undertaken in the federal sector. By the end of the year, over 9,000 waterfront workers will be guided by the Be More Than a Bystander message.

 “Bullying and harassment does not belong in the workplace or anywhere else in the society,” said BCMEA president Mike Leonard.

“We all have the power to create positive change when we stand up and speak out. From the classroom to the waterfront, bullying and harassment should never be tolerated and it’s up to all of us to break the silence.”

Last year, with the generous support of the Government of Canada and in partnership with the BC Lions, EVA BC and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, BCMEA launched the Be More Than a Bystander training program to help teach waterfront workers how to prevent violence and harassment while at work. By continuing to support this program in its entirety, BCMEA remains committed to creating safe and inclusive spaces, free from harassment, bullying and violence.

Created in 2011 through a partnership between the BC Lions and EVA BC, the Be More Than a Bystander program provides high school students with the confidence and skills to break the silence on gender-based violence. Building on the strong foundation of the youth program, Be More Than a Bystander has grown to be embraced by some of the province’s largest employers and unions to create inclusive workspace cultures by inspiring action and true leadership at all levels.

“The Be More Than a Bystander program is all about building the tools and the confidence to stand up against harassment and violence, and creating positive peer pressure to build safer communities,” said Ninu Kang, executive director of the Ending Violence Association of BC.

 “We have had the great privilege of working with the BC Maritime Employers Association to train thousands of people within their member workplaces, and we are thrilled they’re expanding their commitment and partnership to our youth program.”

The Lions organization has visited hundreds of schools across the province to deliver strong and powerful messages on the importance of our Be More Than a Bystander program.

About BC Maritime Employers Association

The BCMEA represents 49 maritime employers, from terminal operators to ocean carriers and ship agents, and is responsible for the training, safety, recruitment, dispatch and administration of wages and benefits of 9,400 workers on the waterfront. As a vital trade link for Canada’s supply chain to the world, BCMEA members are responsible for handling $500 million worth of cargo per day, $180 billion annually and 16% of Canada’s total traded goods.

About Ending Violence Association of BC

 The Ending Violence Association of BC works to coordinate and support the work of victim-serving and other anti-violence programs in British Columbia. We work collaboratively to improve prevention and response systems that support communities, organizations and individuals impacted by gender-based violence, harassment and hate in pursuit of our vision of a society free from gender-based violence.