Liberals’ newly-appointed parliamentary secretary for international development was fired as a consular adviser a year ago, and unsuccessfully filed a human rights complaint against her Mexican hosts. The Embassy of Mexico yesterday declined an interview on the appointment of MP Karina Gould. “We have no comment on Ms. Gould,” an official said.
The MP for Burlington, Ont. last year was fired as a consultant for the Toronto office of ProMexico, a trade commission. Gould had been on the job nine months. In a subsequent human rights complaint, she alleged discrimination because of gender, age and “sexual orientation”. Gould is 28 and married.
The MP did not respond to Blacklock’s request for comment. Gould omitted all reference to the ProMexico post in her official campaign biography. The Prime Minister’s Office would not say if it was aware of Gould’s employment when she was appointed parliamentary secretary assigned to deal with foreign nationals, including Mexican authorities.
“The allegations describe the applicant’s employment up until the termination of her employment, which she says was a forced resignation due to a toxic work environment,” an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal adjudicator wrote in dismissing Gould’s allegations. “She describes a series of incidents which she believes show that she was targeted by her employer, treated unfairly and falsely accused of inadequate performance of her duties. She alleges that the reason for this treatment was her sex and age. Many of the allegations related to the applicant’s involvement in various trade shows and related events, and reports she prepared relating to trade issues.”
Gould was hired as a ProMexico consultant in January 2014 assigned to “generate business opportunities” for exporters, and fired by September. “The application alleges discrimination in employment or in the performance of a contract because of sex, sexual orientation and age,” wrote Tribunal adjudicator Brian Cook.
Gould also complained of “inter-office conflicts about job roles and alleged preferential treatment of other employees as compared to her treatment,” the adjudicator wrote. The Tribunal dismissed her complaint against Mexican diplomats as prohibited by the State Immunity Act.
The Tribunal made its ruling September 2, while Gould was campaigning for Parliament in Burlington. Gould won the riding by 2,400 over incumbent Conservative MP Mike Wallace, and was appointed as parliamentary secretary on December 2.
Gould made no mention of her firing or “toxic work” complaint in campaign literature. Her constituency office yesterday did not respond when asked for details of her Tribunal complaint.
By Tom Korski