December 4, 2023

Kimberly Rizzi and Dale Bendfeld declare they have been wrongfully dismissed and are suing the society, two board members and the RMWB.

Article content material

Two former senior staff with the host society for the 2023 Arctic Winter Video games (AWG) declare they have been wrongfully dismissed and are suing the society, two board members and the municipality.

Commercial 2

Article content material

The lawsuits have been filed in 2022 by former AWG common supervisor Kimberly Rizzi and her former chief of employees, Dale Bendfeld, within the Court docket of King’s Bench. The disputes are ongoing and not one of the allegations have been confirmed in courtroom.

Article content material

The disputes started following allegations of office harassment. The AWG alleges Rizzi was fired in January 2021 after an worker made an nameless grievance about harassment.

Rizzi denies she harassed staff and claims she was given the choice to ask for a proper investigation by means of the municipality’s HR division. She says AWG withdrew this selection and fired her.

Earlier than becoming a member of the AWG committee, Rizzi labored on a number of massive sporting occasions in Fort McMurray. She was an worker with Suncor and on a secondment settlement. She claims Suncor fired her when the AWG advised Suncor she had been fired with trigger.

Commercial 3

Article content material

Bendfeld claims he was additionally fired in January 2021 following one other nameless grievance. He claims he was not given particulars in regards to the alleged grievance. He additionally says he was not given a chance to reply. Bendfeld additionally says his conduct didn’t justify his firing.

Rizzi is searching for $226,658 and Bendfeld is suing for $381,250. Statements from the AWG argue firing Rizzi and Bendfeld was justified, and the group denies any wrongdoing.

The AWG alleges Rizzi was accused of “threatening and intimidating behaviour” in direction of employees. Rizzi was advised to not speak in regards to the office investigation as soon as a evaluation started.

Nevertheless, an announcement from AWG’s management claims Bendfeld talked about particulars of the investigation at a gathering. The group had not advised Bendfeld in regards to the investigation or the complaints concerning Rizzi.

Commercial 4

Article content material

Bendfeld’s conduct was allegedly “retaliatory, harassing, threatening and/or intimidating” in direction of employees for making a grievance, based on an announcement.

In each lawsuits, the RMWB denies any wrongdoing. Municipal legal professionals argue the municipality had no formal say into how the AWG host society ran its operations, and that Bendfeld and Rizzi weren’t municipal staff after they have been fired.

Fort McMurray Wooden Buffalo hosted the AWG in January 2023. The week-long occasion was devoted to celebrating the athletics and cultures of the circumpolar north. It was the most important occasion but hosted within the area. The municipality hopes to convey extra massive athletics occasions to the area following the video games.

Groups and delegations traveled from Alaska, Greenland, and the Sámi territories of Norway, Sweden and Finland. Canada despatched athletes from northern Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon and the Nunavik area of northern Quebec.

Get the information in your inbox each Friday morning by signing up for our e-newsletter.

[email protected]

Article content material


Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a vigorous however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Feedback might take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the location. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. We’ve got enabled e-mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an e-mail in the event you obtain a reply to your remark, there’s an replace to a remark thread you observe or if a person you observe feedback. Go to our Group Tips for extra data and particulars on find out how to regulate your e-mail settings.

Commercial 1