The CEO of the Canadian Museum of History, who happens to be the subject of a workplace harassment investigation, has resigned two months to his official date of retirement.
Mark O’Neill was the theme of a complaint last summer that triggered the investigation. According to various sources, the complaint was connected to O’Neill’s management style and temperament.
The investigation was concluded in late January and forwarded to Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault.
A public update has not been provided by the federal government in respect of the situation at the museum or its reply to the investigation.
O’Neill’s resignation has been confirmed by the museum. While confirming the resignation, a spokesman for the museum, Bill Walker, said: “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 soon.”
O’Neill became the President and CEO of the Museum of History in 2011. His second five-year term was expected end in June 2021.
However, the museum and O’Neill have refused to provide additional information on the issues surrounding his departure.
O’Neill said in a statement that the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum are part of Canada’s “great cultural institutions.”
He said: “It was an honour to lead them, in service to our country. Over 33 years in the public service, I was privileged to work with some extraordinary people. Canadians should be grateful for their talent, commitment and effort.”
O’Neill proceeded on sick leave not long after the complaint was filed last summer.
The allegations that were leveled was investigated by lawyer Michelle Flaherty, who finished herreport into the matter in January. The Board of Trustees of the Museum forwarded the report to the government along with a single recommendation.
The report as well as the recommendation of the board were never made public.
Guilbeault’s office disclosed last month that legal considerations blocked it from giving further explanations to the public.
Guilbeault’s Press Secretary, Camille Gagné-Raynauld said: “The applicable law in such matters dictates adherence to a defined process and protects all parties involved by requiring its confidentiality.
“Our government intends to comply with all of its obligations, both in terms of complaint handling and the confidentiality of the process.”