CEO of Canadian Museum of History resigns following investigation into allegations of workplace harassment
The CEO of the Canadian Museum of History, who was at the center of an investigation into workplace harassment, resigned just two months before his official retirement date.
Mark O’Neill was the subject of a complaint last summer that sparked the investigation. Sources told Radio-Canada that the complaint was linked to O’Neill’s management style and temperament.
The investigation was completed at the end of January and submitted to Minister of Heritage Steven Guilbeault.
The federal government has not provided the public with an update on the situation at the museum or its response to the investigation.
O’Neill’s departure was confirmed by the museum in a statement Wednesday.
“The board of trustees of the Canadian Museum of History has received the resignation of museum director Mark O’Neill, effective April 6. A permanent director of the Canadian Museum of History is expected to be appointed shortly,” said Bill Walker, a spokesperson for the museum.
O’Neill was appointed President and CEO of the Museum of History in 2011. His second five-year term was scheduled to end in June of this year.
The results of the investigation were never made public
Neither the museum nor O’Neill have provided additional information on the circumstances of his departure.
In a statement, O’Neill said the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum are among “Canada’s great cultural institutions”.
“It was an honor to lead them, in the service of our country. In 33 years in the public service, I have had the privilege of working with extraordinary people. Canadians should be grateful for their talent, commitment and effort, ”said O’Neill.
O’Neill took sick leave shortly after the complaint was filed last summer.
The allegations were investigated by lawyer Michelle Flaherty, who completed her report on the case in January. The museum’s board provided the report to the government with one recommendation.
The board’s report and recommendation were never made public.
A spokesperson for Guilbeault’s office said last month that legal considerations prevented him from providing further explanation to the public.
“The law applicable in such matters dictates adherence to a defined process and protects all parties involved by requiring its confidentiality,” said Guilbeault’s press secretary, Camille Gagné-Raynauld. “Our government intends to respect all of its obligations, both in terms of complaints handling and the confidentiality of the process.”
The federal government recently dealt with allegations of harassment and toxic workplaces at Rideau Hall, which led to the resignation of current former Governor General Julie Payette, as well as in the Canadian Armed Forces.