Dianne Young says she felt things were going well right up until the day she was told she would no longer be the executive director of Lennon Recovery House and was no longer allowed on the property.
Young said she was just finalizing delivery details for new tiny homes that would let Lennon House provide housing to people who'd been through its addictions program when board members and a newly hired HR person met with her and told her she was being removed from her job
She said she was blindsided.
"I just did not expect this and it was just not right, any way you look at it," said Young, who fundraised for and founded Lennon House in memory of her son. "It was all so very fast — and brutal, really."
Young said she was handed a letter detailing eight different complaints about her management of the Rustico facility.
"In, like, 10 minutes, I was terminated, I was disciplined and then I was offered another position," she said.
Young believes labour laws were not followed, saying her behaviour wasn't written up in any way or addressed with her before the meeting at which her job was terminated.
She gave CBC News a copy of the termination letter she was handed. Among other things, it says she had not complied with Lennon House policies and procedures — many of which she had written — and had demonstrated unprofessional conduct.
CBC News spoke with acting board president Ronnie Nicholson, who confirmed Young was fired from the job but would not go into any details about why, citing legal reasons. He declined to give an interview, but did say Lennon House would continue with its mission of helping vulnerable clients.
Nicholson also confirmed the board offered Young a different job she could do from a remote location, as Lennon House's housing co-ordinator and fundraiser. Young agreed that happened, but said there was no followup with any details about the alternate job.
Interim executive director Shannon Plouffe, who has worked at the home for four years, told CBC News that Young is to be commended for her advocacy work and what she accomplished in setting up the home.
"She is obviously the reason Lennon House is here," said Plouffe. "She certainly was the face of Lennon House."
She added: "We all believe in her vision of a peer-supported organization, community-run, where we can just offer supportive after-care to people."
Plouffe said she wasn't involved in the termination process but confirmed interviews have been underway to find a new executive director.