Inaction by the Canadian Olympic Committee requires an explanation

If you had the privilege of watching the TV series Lie to Me, particularly Season 1, Episodes 1 to 6, then you may recognize some of the visual signs in Marcel Aubut’s media address (Friday, October 9, 2015).

The former head of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), was forced – finally, from his perch atop that organization due to a myriad of allegations of sexual misconducts, such as fondling, kissing and innuendo. I say finally because the Olympic Committee apparently knew, as of 2011, of his peccadilloes as he was warned then to cease and desist. This is where I take issue.

Why, knowing of Aubut’s improper conduct, did the Committee not just boot him out the door then? Instead, he was left in place for an additional 4 years to spread his inappropriate, to say the least, behaviour and wreak havoc on more women until October 2015.

Frankly, a victim of these unwanted and unwarranted “attacks” should sue the COC for any and all harm done to them including, if applicable, therapy costs. It is unconscionable, just as it was for the Catholic Church, to hide such behaviour behind private admonishments and allow the predators to continue hunting. Strong words maybe, but it is more than time for companies and organizations to take a definitive hard-line stance against such behaviours, against women or men, which are just plain out wrong!

The COC, in the letter sent to Aubut (after the incident in Moncton in 2011) instructed Aubut to stop touching, kissing and making sexual allusions to his female colleagues (Gazette October 10 2015, Graeme Hamilton of The National Post). What were the powers that decided a letter was sufficient thinking? Aubut should have been at least forced then and there into therapy, if not terminated. But no, and now Aubut’s comments to the media attribute his outrageous behaviour to having failed to see society changing. Really?!

I suppose I should give Aubut a modicum of positive acknowledgment for at least admitting to his “mistakes”, unlike Cosby, who still refuses to do so despite the staggering number of women who have finally come forward with their accounts of horrible sexual abuse including rape. One could give the benefit of the doubt to an accused if there was only one complainant, but when there are 40, that equates to some pretty believable accusations.

Perhaps, in some way, these 2 men will allow other women who have been victims of other men to come forward and out them. That may be the silver lining in the incidents inflicted on women by Marcel Aubut. But it is a high price to pay to achieve only the Silver against the former Canadian Olympic Committee President.

When the Canadian Olympic Committee itself is called on the carpet to explain why they left this man in charge knowing of his “disorder”, only then will the victims win the Gold!

Me Hammerschmid is a practicing Family Law Attorney since 1982 and Senior Partner at Hammerschmid & Associates, 1 Westmount Square, Suite 1290; and a founding and current member (past Secretary for 28 years) of the Family Law Association of Quebec. She can be reached at 514-846-1013 or hammerschmid@vif.ca. Inquiries treated confidentially.

A frequent guest inn CBC TV/Radio, CTV and CJAD on Family Law; Me Hammerschmid is a monthly guest with Dr. Laurie Betito on CJAD’s Passion, on the last Thursday of each month. She and her dog Mac are members of Therapeutic Paws giving joy to the less fortunate. © 2016 Linda Hammerschmid, Westmount.

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