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Investigator's report in Burton's hands. Who will see it?

'This report is being reviewed by the senior leadership and will be presented to the Board in due course'
George Burton Presser
George Burton speaks at a May 2017 event. Photo by Stu Campaigne.

The long-awaited investigator's report has been delivered to Canadore president George Burton,  but concerns are now being raised about who gets to see it.

See: Third party investigator to look into Canadore sex discrimination complaints

“Canadore is in receipt of the report of the independent third-party investigator," Burton said in an email today. "This investigator was retained to ensure that Canadore community members would have the opportunity to make their voices heard in a protected environment and to determine the extent of any cultural issues on campus.

"This report is being reviewed by the senior leadership and will be presented to the Board in due course.”

The key words "senior leadership" are raising concerns among employees.

A request by BayToday for clarification on exactly who comprises senior management was not returned this afternoon.

Early on, Toronto lawyer Gillian Hnatiw said during an investigation the firm uncovered "over a dozen individuals who claim to have experienced similar types of career-limiting or ending discrimination or abuse while employed by Canadore" and were given the names of more than "two dozen" other individuals who endured similar experiences.

See: Canadore College notified of serious allegations of sex discrimination

She cited numerous stories she had documented dating back nearly a decade which include allegations of:

  • Sexual misconduct including engaging in sexual acts on campus
  • Sexual harassment including lewd remarks, comments, and gestures
  • Bullying and psychological harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation, retributions, and reprisals
  • Systematic character denigration
  • Coordinated and deliberate sabotage of others' careers

Hnatiw went on to say, "It is reported this conduct has created a hostile and poisoned environment, involving a 'boys' club' atmosphere.

Sources say the original number ballooned to over 80 by the time interviews were wrapped up.

The subject of most of the allegations was not put on paid leave but continued normal activities around the college. If Burton's statement today is followed, that same person will be given access to that report, and possibly the names and complaints of those working beneath him. Even if no names are provided, situations could be recognized that could identify the complainant.

A phone call to board chair Bob Nicholls for an explanation went unanswered.

Meanwhile OPSEU president Smokey Thomas has demanded the union be given a copy, fearing that it will be buried.

See: Union fears Canadore will 'sweep it under the rug'


Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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