On Monday, May 6, 2019, Athletics Canada Commissioner Frank Fowlie reprimanded the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club Board of Directors for its communication of the September 2018 suspension of Mr. Andy McInnis. The Board takes his critique seriously and agrees that the membership in the Club is owed an apology. We should not have issued a misleading statement in September 2018 that Mr. McInnis had been granted a requested leave with pay when what in fact happened was that the Board immediately suspended Mr. McInnis upon receipt of the September 2018 harassment allegations against him. Instead, we should have clearly notified the Club that it was the Board that had placed McInnis on leave pending the outcome of an independent investigation into the allegations against him. The misleading 11 September 2018 post on the Club website about Mr. McInnis’ suspension has been removed.
The information that the Board has now received through the Athletics Canada and the Ottawa Lions-commissioned independent investigation as well as separate impact statements to the Board, the Athletics Canada Commissioner, and through social media highlight that we erred in the handling of the announcement and caused distress to the Complainants as well as to the rest of the Club’s membership.
We recognize that our approach to communicating the details of Mr. McInnis’ suspension may have led to an erosion of trust in the Board of Directors among our members. It was never the Board’s intention to be deceitful to its members, but we understand this may have been the outcome. For this, we categorically and unreservedly apologize.
We are committed to working towards rebuilding the trust that has been lost.
Ottawa Lions Board of Directors