Union calls for suspension of Canadore College officials

Senior officials accused of refusing to share independent report on allegations of workplace harassment

Union calls for suspension of Canadore College officials

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has called on Ontario’s provincial government to place officials of North Bay-based Canadore College on leave for their continued refusal to “share the report of the independent, third-party investigator who looked into allegations of harassment and bullying by senior managers.”

The union has urged Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano and Labour, Training, and Skills Development Minister Monte McNaughton to put Candore College chair Bob Nicholls, president and chief executive officer George Burton, and vice-president Shawn Chorney on leave, and replace them with an interim administrator.

“OPSEU met with over 60 members last night and heard shocking accounts of workplace harassment and psychological abuse,” said Warren Thomas, president of OPSEU. “Their stories are heart-wrenching, and I salute their tremendous courage and determination to achieve justice.”

Thomas also said that, because of the refusal, OPSEU members have agreed to release their statements to the union for a report to be presented to the two ministers.

“I've asked the college to share the report with OPSEU so affected parties can work towards fixing the terrible working conditions at Canadore,” said Thomas. “I will continue to call for this fundamental act of justice. But if Canadore won't do the right thing and push its senior leadership aside, then the government must step in.”

Thomas asked the government to make a statement indicating that there will be no reprisals for workers who speak up against the college.

“OPSEU's first priority is to protect its members by ensuring they work in a secure and healthy workplace,” he said. “We're also committed to an environment where students can feel safe. When Canadore's management makes light of multiple allegations of a toxic workplace, it's clear to me their priorities lie entirely elsewhere.”

"We're going to keep fighting until we see the report so we can bring some closure for our members and work with Canadore to prevent this from ever happening again."