A former member of the team’s coaching staff, Rachel Doerrie, who worked as an analytic specialist and assistant video coach, parted ways with the organization in September.
Doerrie told Global News there was no reason given for her dismissal publicly but said the Canucks were putting a lot of pressure on her not to go public.
She has now filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal alleging that she was fired because of her mental illness and physical disability — a heart condition — and claims she disclosed her struggles with anxiety attacks and depression to the Canucks while interviewing for the job.
“I want people who have mental illnesses and physical disabilities to not be looked down upon,” Doerrie said.
In the complaint, Doerrie said Canucks assistant general manager, Émilie Castonguay, promoted her but before the organization announced it, a reporter and friend of hers wrote a news article about her promotion.
Then Doerrie said she shared that article on her personal social media and was then called into a meeting with Castonguay. Doerrie alleged Castonguay told her “you’re not important enough to be cared about” and “I don’t know if you have what it takes to do the job mentally.”
In a statement, Castonguay denies the allegations.
“I take a lot of pride in my work with the Vancouver Canucks, being a good leader, a person of high moral character, and always respecting and putting my co-workers first,” she said.
“These allegations by Ms. Doerrie are absolutely not true and her allegations of what I said to her are false and inaccurate. At no time was Ms. Doerrie treated differently due to gender, a mental disability or a physical condition.”
Canucks Sports & Entertainment also released a statement Monday saying they strongly disagree with the allegations.
“Our organization provided Ms. Doerrie with all the necessary resources, support and opportunities to succeed in her role. We acted in good faith and abided by our contractual obligations, both during and after Ms. Doerrie’s employment with the organization.”
Doerrie is asking the Tribunal to order the Vancouver Canucks to compensate her for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect, along with compensation for lost wages and other expenses.