A prominent attorney with a Toronto employment law firm will conduct an independent review of workplace allegations involving former Q radio host Jian Ghomeshi, CBC announced on Tuesday.
Toronto police are also investigating allegations that Ghomeshi struck and choked several women without consent. Nine women have come forward to The Star, including Trailer Park Boys actor Lucy DeCoutere.
In a Facebook post Ghomeshi denied any wrongdoing and said he would face the allegations “head-on.”
CBC tweeted that Janice Rubin, an attorney and partner at Rubin Thomlinson LLP, will lead the review.
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) November 4, 2014
An internal memo sent out to employees confirmed the investigation, and invited “current and former CBC/Radio-Canada employees who worked on Q or Play during the period in which Jian Ghomeshi was host,” to contact Rubin.
“Some of you may only wish to discuss your concerns or experiences with Ms. Rubin without any further action being taken. However, if you have a specific complaint that you wish to have investigated, Ms. Rubin will do so in accordance with applicable CBC/Radio-Canada policies. CBC/Radio-Canada will fully co-operate with Ms. Rubin in completing her investigation,” Heather Conway, Executive vice-president of CBC English Services wrote.
Rubin will provide a final report to senior CBC management upon the completion of her investigation. According to the staff memo, it will include:
- A summary of the complaints, concerns and experiences shared (confidentiality will be maintained).
- Findings with respect to each specific complaint she is asked to investigate.
- Her recommendations as to any steps CBC/Radio-Canada should take to resolve the complaints.
- Ms. Rubin will also deliver a separate report setting out her recommendations as to what steps CBC/Radio-Canada can take to prevent similar issues from arising in our organization in the future, including any recommended changes to CBC/Radio-Canada’s policies and procedures related to harassment, discrimination, respect in the workplace and workplace violence and the investigation of these issues.
“If you have any information you wish to share, I strongly encourage you to come forward in order to ensure the investigation is as thorough as it must be. Please be assured, these conversations will be handled sensitively and any individual who comes forward will be treated with care and respect,” Conway wrote.
Meanwhile, the most senior producer Q is taking time off, a spokesman for the broadcaster said Tuesday.
Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs for English services, said executive producer Arif Noorani would be away for an unspecified period.
“He decided to take some time while we get more clarity around this situation,” Thompson said.
Noorani is reported to have been told by a union representative of allegations made by a former producer on the show that Ghomeshi had grabbed her and made a lewd suggestion.
In an email made public by the CBC on Tuesday, Noorani denied the report, saying “at no point was an allegation of sexual harassment brought to my attention.”
With files from The Canadian Press