CBC president Hubert T. Lacroix. (ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY)
OTTAWA — CBC president Hubert Lacroix didn’t let facts get in the way of a good rant Tuesday at a House of Commons committee looking into sexual harassment at the state broadcaster.
Lacroix attacked two Sun News Network personalities — Byline host Brian Lilley and The Source host Ezra Levant — for “deliberately misleading” Canadians for reporting on sexual harassment at the publicly-funded CBC and host David Suzuki’s demands when he’s on speaking tours.
“You might wonder why you have been seeing stories ... suggesting that CBC/Radio-Canada is a hotbed of sexual harassment,” he told MPs.
Lacroix said Levant made up outrageous claims Suzuki was “procuring girls to be his escorts” during an engagement at Montreal’s John Abbott College.
Levant’s reporting was based on an access to information request to the school, which showed a stream of e-mail traffic spelling out some of the demands made by the millionaire to speak, including female escorts.
The network tried to contact Suzuki, his publicist and the school. All declined to respond.
Lacroix accused Lilley of attacking the broadcaster after he was given 1,454 documents under access to information that were mostly blacked out.
Lilley requested information on incidents of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour in Ottawa and Toronto dating back to January 2010.
At committee, Lacroix admitted there was one case of sexual harassment in one of the cities, but didn’t explain why the CBC redacted it.
He said the incident was one of three across the country, on top of five cases of harassment of a non-sexual nature, since 2010.