OTTAWA – A senior Correctional Service of Canada official is being called out by the federal public service watchdog for “gross mismanagement” over his handling of concerns over repeated abusive behaviour by a director.
The findings stem from concerns raised by employees who claimed Brigitte de Blois was aggressive towards employees in two units by repeatedly screaming at and denigrating staff, calling them “disturbed” or a “pathetic loser,” among other insults.
Integrity commissioner Joe Friday’s report says de Blois disputed that her behaviour amounted to wrongdoing, but regretted if her actions hurt staff.
Friday says in the report out today that he widened the scope of his investigation when questions arose about assistant commissioner Larry Motiuk’s handling of the incidents, when at least one employee complained in September 2016 about abusive behaviour after de Blois moved to the evaluation unit.
Friday says Motiuk didn’t tell the unit’s manager about the incidents, which minimized the problem and thwarted an opportunity for the manager to deal with de Blois’s conduct.
Motiuk denied any wrongdoing, telling Friday’s office that he didn’t know about any significant problems with de Blois.
The report says former CSC commissioner Don Head denied any wrongdoing on the part of the agency and backed Motiuk, noting that no formal complaints had been made about de Blois.
The CSC tells Friday that the agency has meted out appropriate disciplinary action to de Blois and Motiuk and has organized workplace wellness sessions for affected staff.