CBC president and CEO Hubert Lacroix issued an emotional statement Friday in response to the situation surrounding former "Q" host Jian Ghomeshi.
In it he said that the public broadcaster works hard to create a safe work environment and that incidents are investigated and responded to "appropriately." Lacroix said Ghomeshi's case "raises concerns that our systems have not been enough, and that upsets us deeply."
Here is Lacroix's full statement:
Note to Canadians
"I'm not sure where to begin. Like you, the unfolding allegations of the past week have left me in shock, sadness, and some anger.
"As you have no doubt heard, since CBC fired radio host Jian Ghomeshi on Sunday, his lawyers have commenced legal proceedings against us. That limits what we have been able to say about the circumstances of his firing, but we will defend our action. In the meantime, there are a few things that are important for me to address.
"I have always been proud of the way we at CBC/Radio-Canada represent Canadian values; the way our airwaves are a platform for the promotion of equal rights, multiculturalism, and respect. We have worked hard to cement those values in the way we operate as an organization, and the way we treat each other. As I told a parliamentary committee last year, we have a robust system of training and policy in place to try to create a safe work environment, and to investigate and respond appropriately if incidents occur. This case raises concerns that our systems have not been enough, and that upsets us deeply.
"I empathize with those who have felt powerless to speak out, or who have tried to speak out and felt ignored. As the father of two young daughters, I share your frustration.
"As you may have heard, we continue to look into allegations of improprieties in the workplace. We will also bring in an outside company with the specific expertise to conduct an independent investigation. We expect that the investigation will allow us to identify improvements that may be necessary to existing systems and assure a healthy work environment. The Executive Vice-President of CBC, Heather Conway, shares my commitment and determination on this. Once the investigation has concluded, we will share the recommendations regarding any improvements to our policies and procedures with our Board, our employees and with Canadians.
"We are very concerned by the additional allegations that have emerged in the media since October 26, and about the impact of these events on our employees and on all Canadians. We are committed to ensuring a workplace that is free from all forms of violence and harassment.
"CBC/Radio-Canada's values are those of Canadians. We will live up to those values."
Ghomeshi was fired last Sunday after the former host showed videos to his employer that depicted beatings and bondage, The Toronto Star reported Friday.
Ghomeshi later issued a statement on Facebook saying that he was dismissed over bedroom activities that were consensual, and that he would sue the broadcaster.
The Toronto Star later published allegations by anonymous women who accused him of sexual assault and harassment.
His lawyers filed a $55-million lawsuit against CBC on Monday.
The Star reported allegations from more women on Wednesday, including Lucy DeCoutere, a former actress on the television show "Trailer Park Boys."
Another woman, author and lawyer Reva Seth, wrote about being allegedly abused by Ghomeshi on The Huffington Post Canada Thursday.
Ghomeshi said on Facebook that he would "meet these allegations directly."
The Toronto police are investigating after two women, including DeCoutere, came forward with allegations against him.
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