SUDBURY -- North Bay’s Canadore College says it does not intend to release a report from an independent investigator, who was looking into the school’s workplace culture, publicly.

The third-party investigator was hired almost a year ago, after a former college employee made a human rights complaint. 

Last February, a Toronto-based lawyer said in a letter to the college that more than a dozen people came forward with allegations of sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and abuse of power.   

The report, submitted to the college on Feb. 14, has since been reviewed by the executive committee of the Board of Governors and the board. 

Despite demands from the union representing the college's employees for a copy of the report, the college says "in an investigation like this, it is normative that the report not be released publicly." It is not clear whether the college will release the report to the union or not.

OPSEU President Warren "Smokey" Thomas tells CTV News he was concerned the matter would be swept under the rug.    

In a statement on the matter Canadore College said:

"The investigator cautioned the college about releasing the report due to its nature. This is for a number of reasons: 

  • The purpose of the exercise was to gain an understanding of employees’ perceptions of any issues that were impacting on the work environment.  It was not a fact-finding exercise.  The investigator did not investigate those issues or in any way seek to validate the information that was shared;
  • It is essential to continue to respect the privacy of those who participated, as most of the individuals who came forward chose to remain anonymous;
  • It is also important to respect the due process rights of both the complainants and other parties; and
  • To not deter or inhibit any potential remedial steps." 

Although the college will not be commenting on the specifics of the report, it says some information can be provided:

  • Approximate 60 people participated in the process; 45 of those participants were current employees. We have approximately 700 active employees at the college. 
  • There was absolutely no suggestion from any of the persons who came forward that there was a sexual predator threatening persons at the college, or that there was any individual on campus who posed a threat to the safety of any of our employees.  There was no merit to these claims.
  • There was an intimate relationship between two employees, which was raised as a concern by some of the persons who came forward. However, this relationship was entirely consensual in nature, and these individuals are now married and have been for many years. Accordiningly, to the extent that a few individuals raised concerns about the propriety of this relationship, those allegations deal with historical events.
  • None of the participants indicated to the investigator that they wished to move forward with a formal complaint that could be investigated and acted upon.”

"Now that the process has been completed and the report has been received by the board, it is Canadore’s goal to continue to move forward and ensure that our college community is a place where employees feel free to raise their concerns openly," said Canadore College in a statement.

CTV News has reached out to Thomas for reaction to the new statement from the college.