CSIS to probe B.C. office after allegations of rape, harassment and toxic workplace

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Canada’s spy agency says it has launched a workplace assessment of its British Columbia office over “serious allegations” raised by whistleblowers who say they were sexually assaulted and harassed by a senior officer.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the officer who was “implicated” in the allegations — made public in an investigation by The Canadian Press this week — was removed from the workplace.

One officer says she was raped nine times in 2019 and 2020 by a senior colleague while in surveillance vehicles, and a second officer says she was later sexually assaulted by the same man despite bosses being warned not to pair him with young women.

The reporting by The Canadian Press has not been independently verified by CBC News.

A statement from CSIS Director David Vigneault says accusations of a “toxic workplace” cannot be taken lightly, and a Workplace Climate Assessment will take place in the B.C. office to resolve “potential barriers to a safe, healthy and respectful workplace.”

The statement says that when the agency first heard about the allegations, it launched a third-party investigation “without delay.”

It says that for too long, a culture existed at the agency that allowed “inappropriate behaviours” to “fester.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that the allegations are “devastating,” “unacceptable” and of “deep, deep concern.”

His government is following up “very directly” on the matter, he told media at an unrelated announcement in Ajax, Ont.

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