Calgary

City investigates allegations of bullying, harassment at Calgary Drop-In Centre

The City of Calgary says it's investigating allegations of bullying and harassment by staff at the Calgary Drop-in Centre after a CBC report earlier this week revealed a former employee had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after suffering sexual harassment and psychological abuse at the hands of co-workers.

City says it plans to review governance and human resource practices at shelter

The city and the province are investigating governance and human resource practices at the Calgary Drop-In Centre following complaints of bullying and harassment by former employees. (Bryan Labby/CBC)

The City of Calgary says it's investigating allegations of bullying and harassment by staff at the Calgary Drop-in Centre after a CBC report earlier this week revealed a former employee had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after suffering sexual harassment and psychological abuse at the hands of co-workers.

The city and the provincial government provide annual funding to the homeless shelter, which is the largest of its kind in Canada, and has an annual operating budget of approximately $23 million. 

The city contributes on average $500,000 per year. The province handed over $13.3 million to the shelter last year.  

The city's general manager of community services said certain requirements must be met by organizations that receive municipal funding, which includes certain governance approaches and human resource practices.

"At this point in time with regard to the allegations that have come out, we have an expectation of investigating if they've been following those practices as required with regards to our granting process, so that's underway as we speak," said Kurt Hanson.

The provincial government released a similar statement to CBC News on Tuesday regarding the funding it provides to the shelter.

"Staff with the community and social services ministry have contacted the [Drop-In] centre and will be looking over their code of conduct and harassment policies to ensure they comply with conditions set out in their grant funding agreement," said ministry spokesperson Samantha Power.

As for the city's probe, Hanson said the investigation will be conducted jointly by the city and the Drop-in Centre. He said the city has a variety of options once it gets the results of the investigation, including either continuing to fund the shelter or terminating its support.

"Either funding or not funding is always an option, but I think there might be other things that present themselves to take corrective action and I would not be in a good position to respond at this point in time with regard to what those may be," said Hanson.

Bryan Labby is an enterprise reporter with CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach him at bryan.labby@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.

About the Author

Bryan Labby

Enterprise reporter

Bryan Labby is an enterprise reporter with CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach him at bryan.labby@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.