New information comes to light in RCMP investigation of Nunavut YWCA

The RCMP in Nunavut says new information has come to light in its investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement among senior staff at YWCA Agvvik Nunavut.

RCMP say it's too early to confirm whether charges will follow from investigation

Nunavut RCMP say they have advanced their investigation into YWCA Agvvik Nunavut amid allegations of financial mismanagement among senior staff at Iqaluit's two women's shelters. (Nick Murray/CBC)

The RCMP in Nunavut has received new information in its investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement by senior staff at the YWCA Agvvik Nunavut.

The new information may be the findings of a recently completed forensic audit into the organization's finances, which Nunavut's Department of Family Services commissioned and recently handed over to the RCMP.

CBC News asked the Department of Family Services for a copy of the audit report, but the request was denied because of the ongoing investigation.

An RCMP spokesperson said the Iqaluit detachment's general investigations section has been looking into the organization for months — the allegations came to light in May — and the investigation is ongoing.

Asked if charges are pending, the spokesperson said: "It is still early to say. There was a lot of material to go through."

The territorial government spent $135,245 for Grant Thornton LLP auditors to do a thorough audit of the YWCA over two-and-a-half months.

The federal government also contributed at least $8,500 toward the audit, according to a letter of agreement signed by both bodies in July.

In a joint statement, YWCA Canada and YWCA Agvvik Nunavut acknowledged it had reviewed the findings of the audit, and has been working to improve how it manages its finances, as well as its policies and practices.

"We continue to co-operate fully with the Government of Nunavut and will respond with a full action plan," the statement said, adding the YWCA Agvvik's board of directors was going through a change in management.

"We apologize for these irregularities and look forward to continue to serve the women, girls and families in our community."

Investigation launched following leaked documents

CBC News first reported on a portion of the allegations in May after obtaining anonymously leaked documents in which YWCA Agvvik's own auditors scrutinized how the organization managed its finances.

Those same documents were also sent to law enforcement, politicians and Nunavut's Department of Family Services, among others.

The trove of documents included a letter from Lester Landau Chartered Accountants, raising concerns over additional payments to staff, and how staff had been reimbursed for expenses which appeared to be "personal in nature."

Following the allegations, the Department of Family Services contracted Grant Thornton to do a forensic audit of the organization.

YWCA Agvvik Nunavut received nearly $2 million in public funding in its 2015-16 fiscal year, most of which came from the Government of Nunavut, according to publicly available information from the Canada Revenue Agency.


Nick Murray is a CBC reporter, based in Iqaluit since 2015. He got his start with CBC in Fredericton after graduating from St. Thomas University's journalism program. He's also worked three Olympic Games as a senior writer with CBC Sports. You can follow Nick on Twitter at @NickMurray91.