What You Should Know about CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi Report

Today at 12:30, CBC English boss Heather Conway will hold a conference call with reporters to present findings from the independent investigation of the CBC workplace, conducted by lawyer Janice Rubin. Here are some details you may not know, but should:

Today at 12:30pm EST, CBC English boss Heather Conway will hold a conference call with reporters to present findings from the independent investigation of the CBC workplace as it related to Jian Ghomeshi. Here are some details you may not know, but should:

1. The report is not being released.  

CBC News said yesterday that what we’re getting today is the release of Rubin’s report, and the rest of the media parroted this language.
That’s not the case. All the CBC promised the public back when the investigation was announced was the eventual release of Rubin’s “recommendations,” if any, on what they should do about harassment going forward. It seems they’ve since realized what a rage-making farce that would be, and have since suggested that we’ll get some version of Rubin’s findings into what went down and how it was handled. But make no mistake: the full independent report, naming names and laying blame, is intended only for a tight circle of CBC senior management. What we’ll see is only what makes it through the filter of CBC’s management and lawyers.
UPDATE: a heavily redacted version of the full report has been released
2. Nobody had to participate in the report. 
Even if the full report were being made public, we can say with certainty that it’s an incomplete account of what happened. For starters, participation in Rubin’s investigation was completely voluntary. What’s more, the Canadian Media Guild warned its members that if they did participate, they could be punished for what they divulge. So anybody who failed to report something they saw Ghomeshi do or who discouraged anyone else from filing a grievance or who helped perpetuate an abusive workplace climate in any way had a powerful incentive to not take part. Take for example former Q Executive Producer and current CBC employee Arif Noorani. We asked Noorani if he chose to participate in Rubin’s investigation. He hasn’t answered.
3. The only known witness to Ghomeshi’s workplace harassment did not participate. 
As far as the public has been told, there’s only one person who says they saw Ghomeshi sexually abuse a CBC employee with their own eyes. That person is former Q producer Roberto Verì, who revealed on CANADALAND that he witnessed Ghomeshi physically assault their colleague, Kathryn Borel. But Verì has no confidence in Rubin’s investigation, does not want to legitimize it, and turned her down flat when she asked him for an interview. He’s participating with the criminal investigation instead.
4. Management did not ask Rubin to investigate them. 
The only CBC employees Rubin was explicitly tasked to speak with were those who worked with Ghomeshi on Q or his old show Play. There’s nothing in her mandate obligating her to find out what role management played in enabling or covering-up Ghomeshi’s behaviour. CANADALAND is aware that Rubin has spoken to some current and former CBC execs, notably former executive Kim Orchard, who was one of the people who oversaw Q. But investigating CBC brass is not explicitly the job Rubin was hired to do. We emailed Kirstine Stewart, the former CBC exec who was instrumental in Ghomeshi’s rise, to ask if she participated in Rubin’s investigation. She has not replied.
5. CBC has timed today’s Ghomeshi press event to coincide with nationwide newsroom layoffs. 
244 CBC employees in local newsrooms are expected to lose their jobs today, but that news could be overshadowed by the Ghomeshi presser.
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