Former B.C. Legion president says he was fired for suspending 8 in harassment case
Published Tuesday, September 26, 2017 10:08PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 27, 2017 7:14AM EDT
A former president of the Royal Canadian Legion’s BC/Yukon Command says he was fired after he suspended eight people for allegedly harassing a female staff member on multiple occasions.
Glenn Hodge says he’s now worried he could be kicked out of the Legion altogether.
“I could get expelled from the Legion totally because I’m doing what I believe is right and standing up for the rights of our employees,” he told CTV News.
Sources say the female staff member allegedly faced derogatory remarks about her body and breasts and how she dressed.
The Legion hired an external human resources firm to investigate. Documents obtained by CTV News reveal the investigator found the allegations were “substantiated.”
In an internal memo on August 4, the Legion’s BC/Yukon Command stated the alleged harassment reflected “poorly on our organization as a whole” and put the Legion “at risk for litigation.”
Hodge ordered the eight members removed from their positions and suspended.
But Legion headquarters, known as Dominion Command in Ottawa, overturned Hodge’s decision to suspend one of the members, First Vice President Valerie MacGregor, and promoted her to president of BC/Yukon Command -- replacing Hodge. The reversal was announced by Dominion president David Flannigan.
Veterans’ advocate Sean Bruyea says he isn’t surprised.
“The Legion has long been acting like a bad bureaucracy in refusing to admit that there’s any wrongdoing in its ranks,” he said.
“They have been vehemently and aggressively stomping on people who are really just trying to hold up the Legion to a higher ethical and administrative standard,” Bruyea added.
Dominion Command said Tuesday night that "due to confidentiality reasons, we are not at liberty to discuss any matter that may be under investigation at the provincial level."
Hodge says he was just trying to do the right thing.
“Lead by example, in my opinion,” he said. “And if you don’t lead by example, the whole system breaks down.”
MacGregor resigned as president this weekend after CTV began investigating. She did not respond to a request for comment.
The matter is now under investigation by WorkSafe BC to determine if provincial regulations were breached.
With a report from CTV’s Mercedes Stephenson in Ottawa