Sudbury

Human rights complaint filed in connection with Canadore College staff member in North Bay

Canadore College says it has hired a third party investigator to look into allegations of discrimination and harrassment on campus.

Lawyer outlines claim in a letter to the Board of Governors dated February 19

Canadore College says it has hired a third party investigator to look into allegations of discrimination and harrassment on campus.

The allegations are made by a specific complainant who has initiated a Ontario Human Rights file.

This person's lawyer, Gillian Hnatiw, of the firm Adair Goldblatt Bieber, wrote to the Board of Governors in a letter dated February 19th because she says she was troubled by the allegations of her client, and similar claims made by other former Canadore employees who remain anonymous.

Hnatiw says they all claim incidents of sexual misconduct, including sexual acts on campus, sexual harrassment including lewd remarks and gestures as well as bullying and psychological harrassment.

She says they were subject to discrimination, reprisals and character denigration.

The claims stretch back over ten years, says Hnatiw.

Hnatiw says the complaints are mainly about, but not limited to one staff member, who she suggested should be put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

Canadore president responds

In a letter sent out to the Canadore community and shared with the media, President George Burton says this is the first the College has heard of these allegations.

"At no point were these complaints ever brought to the attention of the College through the College's complaint mechanisms. We have repeatedly asked the lawyer for the complainant to provide us details that will help us determine any further action, but as of yet details have not been provided," says Burton.

"In order to determine if the information requires further action we have decided to retain a third party investigator. This investigator, who has extensive experience in handling workplace accusations, will begin on March 5, and is expected to report back to the College in due course."

Hnatiw says it's not true that the complainant has refused to provide details.

She says she is willing to work with a third party investigator, but she wants assurances that complainants will not face retribution for coming forward.