Bell Media denies discrimination allegations from Patricia Jaggernauth
Former CP24 weather specialist and news personality Patricia Jaggernauth resigned from her position last fall after an 11-year career with Bell Media, alleging that she experienced racism and sexism in the company's workplace.
Now, Bell Media is fiercely denying Jagguernauth's allegations that were made in a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in October 2022.
In a response form sent to the commission, Bell states that it "vigorously denies any and all discrimination allegations" made by the former CP24 personality, saying it has always acted in accordance with the Canadian Human Rights Act.
According to CBC, Bell is asking the commission to dismiss Jaggernauth's claim, arguing that she should have gone through her union's complaint and grievance processes.
The company says that if the commission happens to reject its argument, it reserves the right to respond in detail to each of the 29 allegations Jaggernauth made through her complaint.
CP24 anchor Patricia Jaggernauth alleges racism and sexism against Bell Media https://t.co/Mfo7VltxxB #BellMedia #PatriciaJaggernauth— blogTO (@blogTO) October 7, 2022
Jaggernauth told CBC that she believed going through her union's grievance process would take more time, which would lessen the chances of her voice being heard.
According to Jaggernauth's lawyer, Kathryn Marshall, the process can take years for some, and the journalist wanted action immediately.
The 40-year-old Emmy-award winner's complaint alleged a systemic pattern of racism, sexism, and discrimination, as well as accusations that she was treated as a "token of commodity."
In a sit-down interview with CBC News, Jaggernauth alleged that she was constantly passed over for positions she was "more than qualified for."
"If I'm there for eleven and a half years, I'm more than enough. But how come I was never enough to fully, truly invest in?" she asked in her interview.
Jaggernauth alleged that during her career with Bell, she never got a contract from the media outlet and was only guaranteed two days of work per week. She also said she was often called for fill-in shifts when other anchors were away.
Patricia Jaggernauth says Bell Media never offered her stable gig throughout 11-year position https://t.co/KPjJ13XlfZ #PatriciaJaggernauth #BellMedia— blogTO (@blogTO) October 11, 2022
"I received hardly any raises and no promotions or opportunities over my 11 years. Except CP24 would give me opportunities, filling in for white colleagues, weather, and hosting," Jaggernauth said in a two-part Instagram reel.
"There remains a severe gender and race wage gap at CP24," she continued. "Where are the Black individuals on this show? When a Black person would be present on this show, it was just like I, filling in. No permanent Black representation on CP24."
In a statement to blogTO, Jaggernauth said, "I am disappointed that Bell is refusing to take accountability."
Marshall echoed this sentiment, stating, "Bell's response, in asking the human rights commission to not hear the complaint is outrageous. What is Bell hiding from? Bell needs to stop passing the buck and be accountable. The union was part of the problem, and was aware of the egregious things that were happening to my client."
Marshall told CBC that if Jaggernauth's complaint is set aside, they plan to appeal.
"This will not deter me," Jaggernauth told blogTO. "I won't stop fighting."
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