Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has announced the resignation of its chair, Annette Verschuren, due to allegations of conflict-of-interest breaches and mismanagement within the federal funding agency. Verschuren stated in a letter to Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne that she would step down on December 1st.
The resignation comes after the federal ethics commissioner began an investigation into her role in providing $38 million in relief funding for SDTC’s companies during the pandemic, including one she leads as chief executive. The investigation into SDTC was ordered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and revealed evidence of inappropriate funding and breaches of conflict-of-interest rules. These findings were a result of allegations made by a whistleblower group comprised of current and former employees of the organization.
Prior to her resignation, Verschuren had been serving as chair of SDTC’s board of directors since 2019. Her departure is likely to have a significant impact on the future direction and leadership of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, particularly given the recent investigation into the organization’s practices.