June 13, 2012 – Media Statement from Commissioner Wally Oppal

(Attributable to MWCI Commissioner Wally Oppal, Q.C)

The independent investigation in response to anonymous allegations published in the National Post is complete. The report concludes that there was no breach of the Human Rights Code by Commission managers or senior staff.

Mr. Boddie agreed to take a leave of absence during this investigation. He did this so there could be no possible perception of any management interference in the independent investigation as, in his role as executive director, he interacted daily with almost all staff and counsel. I want to express my appreciation to Mr. Boddie for putting the important work of the Commission ahead of his own needs. I know that this has been a difficult time for him and his family. I am also aware that Mr. Boddie’s leave of absence may have been misinterpreted in some circles. I want to make it clear that his leave of absence does not reflect negatively on his personal or professional integrity.

I have asked Mr. Boddie to return to an active role at the Commission and he has accepted.

These anonymous allegations were devastating to everyone at the Commission. It is to the credit of Commission staff and counsel that these allegations did not distract them from the important work being done here. Our focus is and has always been to produce an effective Report and Recommendations that will save the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge and to thank the people that work at this Commission. It is a demanding environment and our work is focused on an unimaginable tragedy – the worst mass murder to ever occur in Canadian history. The people that come to work here every day are focused on horrific events and this type of work is emotionally challenging, even for seasoned professionals.

Commission staff and counsel work long hours, on weekends and holidays, and they regularly sacrifice personal and family time in order to do their jobs. They are passionate about creating positive change through the work being done at this Commission. Like every office, we have our share of workplace challenges: budget issues, personality conflicts, deadlines and urgent demands both in the office and in the courtroom. It is not an easy place to work. And yet, each day, I am witness to their unwavering dedication and commitment to social change. I am honoured to work with professionals of their calibre.

With the independent investigation concluded, we can now put this issue behind us and focus on producing a valuable report with practical recommendations that can be implemented, measured and that will help to save lives in the future.