The CBC is asking an Ontario court to dismiss former employee Jian Ghomeshi's $55-million lawsuit, saying the claim is "without merit and an abuse of the court's process."
"We will also be asking the court to conclude that as a member of a union with a collective agreement, Mr. Ghomeshi's only legal avenue is through the arbitration process, not the courts," a statement from the public broadcaster said Tuesday.
After his dismissal Oct. 26, Ghomeshi filed a statement of claim in the Ontario Court of Justice, saying the CBC misused “personal and confidential information provided to it in confidence.”
In announcing that Ghomeshi was being fired, the CBC said "information came to our attention recently that in CBC's judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship with Jian."
Since Ghomeshi was dismissed, a woman who used to work with him at CBC Radio’s Q program has said she was sexually harassed and groped by the host in 2007 during her time with the show.
Two other women — one former and one current employee — have also made allegations about sexually aggressive and abusive behaviour by Ghomeshi.
CBC has hired an independent investigator to look into the allegations of harassment and violence.
Although police are investigating Ghomeshi, he has not been charged with any criminal offence, and has said all acts involving rough sex with women were consensual. He denies all the allegations against him and has said he won't respond in the media.
Ghomeshi has not responded to CBC requests for comment on his accusers' allegations.
In a statement released Wednesday, the Canadian Media Guild, the union which represents Ghomeshi, said nothing specifically about the former CBC radio host, focusing instead on the independent investigation.
"We have requested and received assurances from CBC that members who take part in this process will be protected and won’t have to fear for their personal privacy or for their job," said Marc-Philippe Laurin, the union's president. "We have also sought assurances that the process will be voluntary and confidential.
"We also still have unanswered questions about the extent of the investigation, how a variety of complaints that may arise will be dealt with, and whether the investigation will address efforts to change the culture to encourage early reporting."
While acknowledging the union has a "zero tolerance for bullying and harassment," Laurin said that they are aware "these processes sometimes aren’t enough, and can be improved."
Motion Record (Motion to Stay or Dismiss Returnable on a date to be fixed by the Court)
Motion Record (Motion to Stay or Dismiss Returnable on a date to be fixed by the Court) (PDF 22000KB)
Motion Record (Motion to Stay or Dismiss Returnable on a date to be fixed by the Court) (Text 22000KB)