North

Carcross/Tagish chief permanently ousted after harassment allegations

Andy Carvill was suspended in late January after he was accused of sexually harassing a female staff member. Carvill survived a January vote to oust him as chief, but he was effectively sidelined following the appointment of a new deputy chief. Saturday's vote means Carvill is officially terminated.

Andy Carvill was suspended as chief in January in wake of allegations of sexual harassment

Andy Carvill survived late January's vote to permanently oust him as chief, but he was effectively sidelined last month following the appointment of a new deputy chief. (Meagan Deuling/CBC)

The Carcross/Tagish First Nation in southern Yukon voted Saturday to remove its suspended chief from office, CBC News has learned.

Andy Carvill was suspended in late January after he was accused of sexually harassing a female staff member.

Carvill survived a January vote to oust him as chief, but he was effectively sidelined following the appointment of a new deputy chief. Saturday's vote means Carvill is officially terminated.

The duties of chief will continue to be performed by Maria Benoit, who was appointed deputy chief Feb. 7.

The harassment allegation was detailed in documents obtained by CBC in January. They state that the chief made inappropriate comments to a staff member, and that Carvill admitted to the harassment and apologized.

Unjust dismissal ruling

Saturday's vote by the First Nation's General Council comes on the heels of an adjudicator's Canadian Labour Code ruling that orders the First Nation to pay almost $20,000 to its former human resources manager for unjust dismissal.

The ruling, which says Sharlaina Bain resigned from her position in a letter dated January 8, 2018, is related to the original harassment complaint.

In his Feb. 24, 2019, ruling, federal adjudicator Richard W. Grounds concluded that Bain was "constructively dismissed" due to the actions of her supervisor and the First Nation's executive director.

In his written decision, Grounds writes that Bain received a complaint from a female staff member alleging sexual harassment by Carvill. 

Grounds says Bain took the complaint to her supervisor, chief financial officer Sonny José.

Bain took the complaint to José, Grounds says, "due to concerns that the female employee had with keeping the complaint confidential including from the chief and [executive director] Ms. [Michelle] Parsons."

Grounds says José then took the complaint to Parsons and the chief which, Grounds says, "directly resulted in a loss of trust between the female employee and Ms. Bain."

He says those actions made it "effectively impossible" for Bain to perform her job, and that she was "constructively dismissed."

Bain was awarded $18,474.07, which Grounds ordered be paid by April 1, 2019.

With files Mike Rudyk

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