VANCOUVER – The CEO of British Columbia housing operator the Atira Women’s Resource Society is stepping down after an audit found a conflict of interest over her marriage to the former head of Crown social housing provider BC Housing.
The society says Janice Abbott is resigning with immediate effect.
Elva Kim, who chairs the board of Atira, which is BC Housing’s largest provider, says in a statement that she’s confident Abbott’s resignation will allow Atira to continue its work with “fewer distractions.”
The statement thanks Abbott for helping “thousands of women and children” over 31 years of leadership at Atira, and says the board’s focus is on restoring public confidence in the organization.
A forensic audit by Ernst and Young found mismanagement, risk to public dollars and violations of conflict of interest rules at BC Housing related to former chief executive Shayne Ramsay, who is Abbott’s husband.
The review found Ramsay repeatedly influenced decisions that benefited Atira, and says a lack of oversight resulted in a culture of tolerance for non-compliance with conflict of interest policies.
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