A prestigious organization handling Prince Charles’s charitable work in Canada has severed ties with a former Manitoba deputy minister who the Pallister government terminated after complaints of sexual misconduct.
The Prince’s Charities Canada dropped Rick Mantey from its advisory council Friday afternoon after the Free Press asked about the ex-bureaucrat’s involvement with the Toronto-based organization.
"He’s no longer a volunteer with our organization," said Matthew Rowe, vice-president of the registered Canadian charity connected to the heir to the British throne. "We want to be sure due process is followed, but we take these allegations very seriously."
Shortly after the Free Press spoke with Rowe, Mantey’s name was removed from charity’s website listing of members of its advisory council, which included the likes of former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell, former federal NDP leader Audrey McLaughlin and retired general Rick Hillier.
Premier Brian Pallister revealed earlier this week that two unrelated sexual misconduct complaints landed on his desk since he took power in April 2016. While Pallister didn’t reveal details about the complaints, he said the "concerns have been dealt with in an appropriate way to protect the complainant."
The Free Press has since learned that Mantey, a longtime Tory with political ties that go back to the government of Gary Filmon, was sacked from his position as a deputy minister after allegedly sexually harassing a junior staff member. Sources have told the Free Press that within days of the allegation, Mantey was terminated and escorted from his office by security. A cabinet order dated June 21, 2017 shows Mantey’s appointment as deputy minister for sport, culture and heritage was to be revoked immediately.
When the Free Press first reported the termination related to the sexual misconduct complaint it did not name Mantey because the female staff member was worried she might be identified if his name was made public. However, it is clear that Mantey’s involvement with the charity connected to Prince Charles makes it impossible for his name to remain hidden from the public.
Rowe said the royal charity knew very little about why Mantey left Manitoba.
"That’s very concerning news. To the best of my knowledge, that was never brought to us by the province of Manitoba," he said.
"I vaguely remember him saying he was leaving," Rowe said of Mantey’s departure from the Manitoba government. "I thought he was doing consulting. He always has lots of projects on — I have trouble keeping tabs on him. That’s the extent of what we knew about him there.
"We certainly didn’t receive anything from the Manitoba government."
Later Friday, the cabinet clerk’s office broke with its standing practice of not commenting on human resource matters because of the information the Free Press has uncovered.
"Due to the seniority of the position of the civil service, it was felt that an independent investigator be brought in. An investigation was conducted and steps were taken to protect the complainant while the investigation was being conducted," the clerk’s office said in an official statement on behalf of Manitoba’s civil service.
"A number of findings were made, which confirmed the allegations. None of the findings suggested the actions, while inappropriate, rose to the level of being criminal in nature. However, following the independent investigation, the senior civil servant was terminated with cause."
The statement added: "No severance, pay in lieu of notice or any letter of reference was provided to the civil servant as the termination was with cause."
Mantey had been a member of the charity’s advisory council since 2012 when he was clerk of the executive council in Saskatchewan, joining Prince’s Charities Canada shortly after Prince Charles visited Saskatchewan. "Mr. Mantey’s involvement with us predated his employment with the province of Manitoba,’’ Rowe said.
Emphasizing that the advisory council is unpaid, Rowe said Mantey would have provided advice on how the prince might want to perform charitable work on the Prairies. He would have attended one meeting a year in person, and participated annually in one countrywide conference call with the rest of the advisory council.
"He’s not an employee; he’s never had a paid role with the organization," Rowe said.
The Free Press has not been able to contact Mantey to get his comment.
— with files from Dan Lett
Nick Martin is the bearded guy we keep hidden away at the back of the newsroom. He is now in his fourth decade working in daily newspapers.
Updated on Friday, February 16, 2018 at 9:19 PM CST: fixes typo
10:44 PM: tweaks headline
February 17, 2018 at 8:34 AM: Edited