Researcher says High Commission bullying led to Canada-UK foundation board resignations

February 18, 2015

A Canadian researcher has charged that "bullying" on the part of the Canadian High Commission led to his and others' resignation from the board of the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the United Kingdom. Steve Hewitt, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, said that former fellow board member Rachel Killick was forced to resign following an order from High Commissioner Gordon Campbell; 2 other board members also resigned last week in addition to Hewitt and Killick. The shake-up came after Campbell told the board that the High Commission would appoint 4 new members to the board, including 3 High Commission staffers; the new appointees introduced, and passed, a motion to remove Killick. Hewitt said that the resignations, save one, were in reaction to the High Commission's actions. CBC reports that the recent turmoil reflects ongoing tensions between members of the board "who want a more business-oriented approach and those in academia who are concerned about maintaining the foundation's support for Canadian research studies." The Foundation lost its charitable status in December, but a letter from Campbell obtained by the Canadian Press said that it could be restored if the board "were willing to play ball." CBC