The executive commissioner and CEO of Scouts Canada has left the organization, CBC News has learned.
In her letter of resignation, Janet Yale says her departure involves "philosophical differences" over the future direction of Scouts Canada that developed over months, and is not connected with a CBC News investigation that revealed Scouts Canada had signed out-of-court confidentiality agreements with more than a dozen child sex-abuse victims in recent years, shielding the incidents from media attention.
In an email sent to CBC News, Steve Kent, the organization's chief commissioner and chair of its board of governors, confirmed the board had accepted Yale's resignation on the weekend, and wished to "convey our thanks and appreciation for the contribution Janet has made over the past year, a year that has seen Scouting in Canada undergo a major restructuring and transition."
"I want to make it clear as Janet does in her letter [of resignation] that her decision to tender her resignation was in no way related to the recent media attention, and the staff continue to enjoy both my own and the board’s full support on this matter."
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CBC’s investigative unit searched civil court records across the country and found a total of 24 lawsuits filed against Scouts Canada since 1995. Of those, 13 included confidentiality agreements, some of which prevent victims from disclosing details of any financial settlement or even the fact that one exists.
CBC also revealed Scouts Canada kept a "confidential list" of pedophiles within its ranks over the course of several decades. One form, dating from 1983 and used to request that an individual be added to the list, deemed several traits "unacceptable," including sexual perversion, immorality, other gross misconduct, or any conduct that could prejudice or bring disrepute to the organization.
Yale has stated that the youth organization doesn't keep records about suspected abuse or misbehavior by volunteer leaders, but does keep files "of a confidential nature" about those suspended or terminated. In a letter to CBC she also said any reports of suspected abuse results in the immediate suspension of the individual in question before all information is handed over to the relevant police and child protection services.