REGINA – It’s an uphill climb for the Canadian Olympic Committee, as it attempts to recover from last year’s fallout involving sexual harassment allegations against former president Marcel Aubut.
The committee was in Regina this weekend for its bi-annual meeting with a clear agenda: move past the scandal and change the culture within the organization.
“The last six months have been tough.”
“I promise to put respect and well being at the corner of everything we do”, COC President Tricia Smith said.
Just last week, former Olympian Jean-Luc Brassard quit his position as Chef de Mission for the Rio Olympic games, citing concerns within the committee.
Read More: Brassard resigned as Rio chef de mission because of conflict with COC
It was another shake-up to the already vulnerable organization.
Now hoping to regroup, the committee announced Sunday they would be adding five new directors, saying the additions would be an improvement to the board.
The new board members include Olympian Guylaine Bernier, astronaut Julie Payette, COC VP Peter Lawless, corporate lawyer David De Vlieger, and former CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers Chris Clark.
As well, the COC will be implementing all eight recommendations of the Tomlinson report. The report identified shortcomings in the committee’s human resource practices, and governance.
“Much has happened while we work to get our house back in order, and build trust.”
“The board of directors voted to implement new policies and procedures on ethics, discrimination, harassment, and anonymous whistleblowing”, Smith explained.
“I don’t know if I’m overly satisfied.”
“But I think it’s a time where we all really need to keep working and make sure that everything that’s been reported, and recommended is followed through on”, Olympic Gold Medalist Mark Tewksbury explained.
The committee hopes the changes will ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all.
“We have procedures in place, so this doesn’t happen again. or if it does, there’s a way to deal with it”, Smith said.