Update: See Youth Coalition’s statement on Prateek Awasthi’s former membership there, and multiple sexual harassment allegations against him that were found to be substantiated. We told the EWB Board about those allegations in April 2019 after we were tipped off about them. They did nothing, even though Awasthi had by then been reported multiple times internally at EWB. 

We just announced we were closing down the project, but we wanted to share some recent media coverage related to harassment cover-ups at Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB).

First, we’ve heard EWB’s founder and former CEO George Roter is currently suspended from the Ontario Liberal Party after our recent podcast and this story in QP Briefing.

Another ex-EWB executive, Prateek Awasthi (who left his Director position at EWB earlier this year) has just had to resign from his Executive Director position at the Green Party of Canada.

CBC news has reported on what happened, including Awasthi’s admission that he helped EWB conceal sexual abuse: 

Awasthi told the party he was part of EWB management’s “efforts to disparage and ignore claims of sexual harassment and assault,” according to an internal investigation report written by outgoing leader Elizabeth May and leaked to CBC News.

It has also been revealed that Awasthi was reported multiple times for harassment internally at EWB in 2019, all while he was publicly disparaging Chelsey Rhodes on behalf of EWB and claiming the issues Total System Failure project was raising were false.

Boris Martin (along with Roter and Mark Abbott) was involved in covering up Chelsey Rhodes’ allegations against Mike Kang in 2013, and it is now revealed that he has been covering up the multiple recent allegations against Awasthi.  Martin remains CEO of EWB despite frequent calls for his removal and people pointing out he has himself been implicated in harassment and retaliation (see here, here, and here)  All four staff who reported Awasthi have left EWB and several spoke to CBC news.

The Board of Directors of EWB, which contains 7 new Directors, continues to refuse to deal with these allegations properly or investigate the executive team (Boris Martin, Shivani Patel) and Board members who participated in the cover-up (Rebecca Kresta, Manissa Patel, and Kaitlyn Gillelan).

This situation now includes top officials in the Green Party of Canada trying to help conceal Awasthi’s past behaviour (when we said “total system failure,” we meant it!).  Awasthi’s resignation was announced on Sunday.

Green Party leadership contestant Meryam Haddad spoke out in support, and denounced the Greens for minimizing and concealing the issue.

PressProgress has more, reporting that Green MPs Paul Manly, Elizabeth May, and Jenica Atwin defended Awasthi’s role in covering up abuse at EWB and presiding over a “misogynistic work culture.” A Federal Councillor who was disturbed by how this was handled and has since left the party, said, “These are three Members of Parliament taking a very disturbing stand on an issue of sexual harassment, abuse or assault… It shocked me.”

Elizabeth May said in an email, “I think we can agree that EWB is a textbook case of what not to do.”

Unfortunately it seems that people cannot help but use this textbook as their rape cultural bible.

More soon, as this unfolds.