Findings from an investigation into workplace complaints made by CAO Tracy Samra will be discussed by city council. FILE PHOTO/News Bulletin

Video shows alleged assault at Nanaimo city meeting

City council to discuss next steps after receiving report on CAO’s workplace complaints

Nanaimo council is expected to go behind closed doors Wednesday to discuss results of an investigation into workplace complaints by chief administrative officer Tracy Samra and next steps.

The move comes after a link to a video of an alleged physical assault of Samra by former city councillor Wendy Pratt was sent to the media on Monday with a news release that shared information about the investigation and an incident where Samra was allegedly assaulted by Pratt.

Pratt resigned earlier this year, triggering a July 8 byelection. It’s unclear who sent the news release, but it came just days after city council received an in-camera report July 26 from consultants hired by the city to investigate Samra’s workplace complaints.

The work by consultant Roslyn Goldner began after Samra was allegedly physically assaulted, according to the news release which quotes Samra as saying she filed a complaint after the Feb. 27 incident “so there would be a mechanism for this to stop and to get Mayor [Bill] McKay to stop targeting me.”

The news release also claims the consultant confirmed the conduct of McKay and councillors Diane Brennan and Wendy Pratt has created a hostile work environment for the CAO which cannot be confirmed as the report remains in-camera.

McKay denied that he’s targeted Samra and said the release’s comments about his and councillors conduct is inaccurate.

He also said, of the video, that he’d suggest there was a much larger meeting that took place and it’s not known what happened before and after the seven seconds. He had not been at the meeting where the video was taken.

“The alleged assault has been reviewed by the RCMP and the crown prosecutor and it’s my understanding the case is closed so releasing it at this time seems odd to me,” he said.

Coun. Gord Fuller said he believes the consultant’s whole report should be released, but that everybody involved, including the initiator and respondent, must agree and he claims the respondents have not agreed.

Fuller said he was a “little bit disappointed” in the results of the investigation.

“I believe the person doing the report came to a different definition of bullying and harassment and wasn’t really looking at our policy per se,” he said, adding if details are released, people can make their own decision.

Samra also said in the release that she made “unprofessional comments” that were overheard outside the boardroom when the consultant’s report was released to council last week.

“I apologize to those who heard my remarks,” she said.

According to Victor Mema, deputy CAO, complaints have been made by city staff to the human resources about Samra’s comments and those complaints are being reviewed and investigated by human resources. He could not say what Samra’s comments were because the matter is currently being looked into.

Fuller and McKay both confirmed council is expected to discuss the report and next steps at an in-camera meeting tomorrow.

“There was stuff that was recommended in the report and then we will make further recommendations if need be,” said Fuller, who’d like to see a public apology, at the minimum, from McKay and others.

Samra did not return requests for an interview and has been on medical leave since last Wednesday. The release says she expects to remain on leave while council considers the report findings and what steps can be taken to address the “toxic work environment.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two new food programs coming online for Cumberland residents

The goal is to provide support for individuals and families in the village facing food insecurity.

Courtenay Hero Wall gives thanks to frontline workers

People wanting to thank frontline workers in the Comox Valley can add… Continue reading

Comox Valley Transition Society available for women who need help throughout pandemic

“We anticipate more women than usual will access our resources, but we do have plans in place.”

Clothing store in Courtenay closes doors after 23 years

Trousers owner Shelley Greenup says the time was right to say goodbye

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

COVID-19: Vancouver Islander celebrates 90th birthday with Model T ride as neighbours line streets

WATCH: Pandemic ruined plans for a party, so Francesca Dawe’s friends got creative

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Most Read