Former staffers in the office of Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett told the CBC that their work environment was “very toxic” and that their verbal complaints resulted in no action, according to a report published Wednesday.
The CBC reported that while the Prime Minister's Office would not comment on the record, a “senior government source” said that the PMO has no records of receiving complaints about Bennett's office.
According to the CBC report:
"The office was very toxic," said one former ministerial staffer. "That … affected the ability of the office to really move things. It could be toxic and good people don't stay for toxic."
Former staffers said Indigenous employees in Bennett's office were marginalized — that their views were regularly dismissed and they were often cut out of important decisions on their files.
Former staffers said "at least 11 Indigenous people have entered and left Bennett's office since she was handed the Indigenous Affairs portfolio."
Bennett, the Liberal MP for Toronto—St. Paul's, was appointed as the minister of Indigenous Affairs under Justin Trudeau in November 2015. Later, when the office was split, Bennett became the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations.