A former employee of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is suing the Canadian company for $320,000, claiming he was once “publicly humiliated” when he used to be constructively pushed aside for being “an excessive amount of on the facet of the neighborhood.”
The NWMO is a non-benefit agency funded by means of the nuclear trade. Its objective is to find a willing host group for the country’s growing stockpile of nuclear waste.
Recently, the agency is thinking about the Ontario communities of Ignace and South Bruce for a proposed deep geological repository, a sprawling $23-billion catacomb that would in the future act as the tomb for Canada’s 3.THREE million bundles of spent nuclear gas which might be these days in intervening time garage.
In South Bruce, the company has been accused by way of a citizens’ staff of the use of its financial might to groom the declining farm group into becoming a keen host for a nuclear waste storage website online. The NWMO has instructed CBC Information it simplest wants to leave “a good legacy” in the neighborhood to make South Bruce a greater position, irrespective of its resolution.
Now, in a lawsuit filed in a Toronto court docket in August, Paul Austin alleges he was once constructively pushed aside by the NWMO for being “an excessive amount of on the facet of the group.”
None of the allegations have been tested in court.
Exec says native leaders lacked ‘capacity to know’ mission
Austin, SIXTY TWO, used to be a courting manager for the NWMO in South Bruce from Would Possibly 2012 until he considered himself to be constructively brushed aside in August 2021, in keeping with court docket filings.
Ontario the city divided on becoming nuclear waste web page
A small Ontario the city is deeply divided over whether to turn out to be the garage area for Canada’s nuclear waste. Advocates towards the venture accuse the waste control workforce at the back of the mission of looking to garner strengthen through placing money into their the city. 3:52
His process, says the remark of declare, used to be to be the “primary contact’ with the NWMO in South Bruce, appearing as a “trusted adviser, co-ordinator of tools” and “information” to native the town and band council officers “during the siting procedure.”
Court filings for the plaintiff said senior leaders within the NWMO started to become “overly concerned” on a neighborhood level in the summer of 2020, undermining Austin’s work.
Whilst group leaders in South Bruce complained, one executive told Austin he used to be “an excessive amount of on the facet of the group,” that its management “lacked the capacity to understand” the nuclear waste website online selection procedure and “had been damaging their chances at being selected as host for the undertaking,” in step with the lawsuit.
At one aspect, the remark of claim says, Austin was informed via a senior executive that “if community leaders didn’t change their ways, he would stop defending South Bruce to the NWMO president and different vice-presidents, and ‘let the challenge go to Ignace.'”
Austin may just ‘simply give up if he desired to’
in the fall of 2020, the court docket documents claim, Austin started to lose many of his key obligations, and management began ignoring his recommendation and with the exception of him from phone calls with group leaders in South Bruce.
This shiny yellow signal was once erected via protesters in Teeswater, Ont., a small farming town in the municipality of South Bruce, certainly one of two web sites where the NWMO is thinking about storing Canada’s stockpile of used nuclear gasoline. (Colin Butler/CBC News)
The NWMO additionally created a place for a brand new “web page director” who would “mainly be the face of the NWMO in the group” and may take over a lot of the duties of a relationship manager, consistent with the commentary of claim.
The company additional eroded Austin’s duties within the spring of 2021, the court documents allege, overriding and rejecting a few of his decisions when it got here to neighborhood engagement.
When Austin complained to his boss and human resources in regards to the change in his role and duties in July 2021, courtroom files stated he used to be advised by the NWMO that it felt no changes had passed off and he may “merely give up if he wanted to.”
Austin claims dismissal ‘publicly humiliated’ him
on the similar time, group leaders in South Bruce started asking questions about why Austin had been sidelined from his roles and obligations in the community, courtroom files said.
When Austin reported the group feedback to his bosses, Austin was accused of being “arbitrary, discourteous and inaccurate in his accounting of the details,” the claim says.
In August 2021, Austin steered the NWMO through his legal professional “he regarded as himself constructively brushed aside” effective Aug. 17 that yr.
Austin claims the NWMO’s actions were “harsh, vindictive, reprehensible and malicious,” and the organization’s actions have caused him to be “publicly humiliated” and and suffer “psychological distress.”
Courtroom documents say Austin is looking for wrongful dismissal damages of $270,000, with another $50,000 in punitive and moral damages.
CBC Information spoke with Austin’s lawyer, Phillip White, on Friday.
“As this subject is currently prior to the courts, i’m not able to remark,” White said.
In its courtroom filings, the NWMO denies the allegations, arguing the adjustments to Austin’s function and tasks as dating manager had been part of the evolution of the positioning selection procedure, and he was once informed by means of the company that his paintings was once valued.
The organization argues that as a result of Austin left his post voluntarily, he is not entitled to severance.
“While we essentially disagree with the allegations it could be inappropriate to comment on a question sooner than the courts,” Michelle Dassinger, the NWMO’s director of communications wrote in an e-mail to CBC Information Friday.
“As a company we value equity, honesty, integrity and appreciate and practice those values to everything we do.”