Apology to former Lions Ombudsperson and Treasurer Maureen Moore

Dear Members,

For over three years Ms. Maureen Moore served as Treasurer to the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club, working tirelessly and selflessly behind the scenes to ensure that the Club remained financially solvent and implemented accounting and financial management strategies that would protect the long-term viability of the organization. Ms. Moore also took on the complicated task of serving as Club Ombudsperson and Harassment officer, guiding the Club through the 2016 investigation of harassment complaints against Andy McInnis in compliance with Ontario labour law requirements as well as guiding the first four months of the 2018 investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Mr. McInnis, again ensuring the Club remained in full compliance with Ontario labour law. She was a critical member of the Board who served with integrity in a volunteer capacity out of a deep sense of commitment to the benefits the Club brings to the local community through the positive work of its dedicated coaches training over a thousand athletes.

The thanks Ms. Moore received for this selfless work was a sustained pattern of aggression and harassment from then Club President and Board Chair Ken Porter. While there was some evidence of this at Board meetings, and individual Board members did personally reprimand Mr. Porter for his conduct verbally and in writing, the Board was not sufficiently aware of just how severe the situation was in the context of the Disciplinary Committee proceedings investigating Mr. McInnis or in other interactions between the two. Ms. Moore did not deserve the treatment she received from Mr. Porter and the Board herewith offers an unreserved apology for not taking more forceful and formal action to hold Mr. Porter to account.

In her January 2019 complaint to Athletics Canada Ms. Moore makes reference to a toxic environment on the Board propagated by the behaviour and attitudes of Club President and Board Chair Ken Porter. While it will unfortunately come as cold comfort, the Board wishes to point out that Ms. Moore was correct in her assessment. The level of rancor and the heat of discussions in Board meetings dropped enormously once Mr. Porter was removed from the Board by the 25 March 2019 Athletics Canada interim suspensions. This has been paralleled by an increased move towards greater transparency, a direction that is being helpfully and constructively driven by the most recent additions to the Board. In retrospect we believe that Ms. Moore was sending signals that we had serious problems with the Board leadership that threatened to cripple the Club, and we apologize for not picking up on these signals and initiating the appropriate remedial action.

Sincerely,

Ottawa Lions Board of Directors