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Dr. Julian is once again in turmoil

Dr. Julian is once again in turmoil

Drs Gilles Julian does not hide his bitterness towards those working in the institution that bears his name. On Tuesday, May 28, the famous pediatrician summoned his troops to the Hochelaga headquarters to ask them to stand firm in these turbulent times. “I'm having a bad time like the rest of you with what's going on in the organization,” he told them immediately.


What happens at Dr. Foundation?s Julian? One crisis, and another. Disturbing similarities to those that rocked the same organization in 2018, against the backdrop of allegations of a toxic working climate resulting from Dr.s Jill Julian and his wife, lawyer Helen Siwe Trudel.

In March 2019, I collected testimonials from about a dozen former managers and employees, all of whom had been deeply affected by their time at the organization. However, the Quebec government, the organization's main funder, confirmed its confidence in the pediatrician. “The crisis is behind us, behind Drs “Julian,” confirmed Minister Mathieu Lacombe, then responsible for the file in Quebec. The work climate was “good,” and the management model “changed.”


Read the column “Crisis at the DoD Foundation.”s Julian »

For a change, the governance changed. many times.

At least four general directors succeeded each other at the head of the Dr. Foundations Julian since the 2018 crisis, and most recently Pascal Lépine, was dismissed on May 22, a few weeks after he called for an external investigation into…the work climate in the institution, according to a source familiar with the matter.

As in 2018, several managers, doctors and staff have resigned or been on sick leave in recent months. As of 2018, the Board of Directors of the Dr. Foundation approveds Julian has shrunk in size by half, going from ten to five members.

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And at Ruel Docilaja, a pediatric social center for vulnerable children in the neighbourhood, the team was decimated: the general director, two pediatricians and two clinical coordinators closed the door. Members of the Board of Directors of Ruelle d'Hochelaga – supervised by Fondation Ds Julian – Bloc resigned.

Michel Magnan, a professor of government at Concordia University, points out that “four general managers in five years indicates a problem in governance.” He says this phenomenon is often observed in companies when the founder remains in office. “It hinders the development of talent within the organization and can jeopardize its survival.”

In 2018, Drs Julian had attributed the wave of departure to a coup attempt by the Deputy Director-General, and accused her of planning everything to assume the presidency of the institution. The pediatrician felt “betrayed” by this woman he once saw taking over. “It's like she wanted to go really fast,” he told me at the time.

Six years later, Drs Julian is clearly under the impression that he has the same problem. He did not respond to my request for an interview, but at a staff meeting on May 28, of which I obtained a recording, he suggested that power always goes to the chief directors-general he appoints. “There's a shift that happens after a few months. Is it a power trip, is it vanity? I don't know…”

Drs Julian tells the staff gathered in front of him that after six months at the helm of the organization, one of the last “three or four” general managers told him: “Sit down, you have learned well, and I am capable of giving the same speeches.” Like you, go back to doing social pediatrics. » The pediatrician didn't like it: “You say, oops, something's not working…”

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In a press release issued on Monday, just two weeks after this meeting, Drs But Julian declared that he was tired of management. He explains that he will transfer his responsibilities as clinical director to his daughter, Maud Julienne, by the end of the summer.

I will now be able to focus on my role with the children, continuing to act as a spokesperson, but freeing myself from running the organisation, which will remain in safe hands.

Excerpt from a press release issued by Drs Jill Julian

In fact, it's been almost a year since Ds Julian handed over his position as clinical director to his daughter. The move was decided after an external report dated July 28, 2023, found that the working climate had “deteriorated” within the organization.

This difficult work climate has led many people to leave the organization over the years. You have to re-read the testimonies I collected, a few months after the 2018 crisis, to understand the extent to which the lives of many executives and employees were disrupted by this corrupt climate. These people, who were dedicated to the cause of vulnerable children, felt deeply devalued and despised. They were constantly walking on eggshells for fear of outbursts.

An employee on sick leave contacted me last week after reading my report on the 2018 crisis. “When I read the article, I said to myself: This is not possible. We are experiencing the same thing!

– Nothing has changed?

“Well, there are two people who didn't leave…”

These two people are Drs Gilles Julian and Helen Siwe Trudel, who continue to lead the organization as “co-founders.”

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If this employee had the impression that she was reading her story while reading mine, it seemed to me, over the past few days, that I was hearing the same testimonies… delivered by different people, just a few years apart. People are shaken by their experience. I granted them anonymity because they were afraid of the impact that open certification could have on their careers.

“We came out of there wounded and bruised,” says a former manager, who now consults a psychiatrist in hopes of rebuilding his life. It drives you crazy. We try to understand what is happening to us, these reactions towards us, in front of others. It is degrading and humiliating. The work climate is meaningless! »

Antoine Quinte Falardeau, a social worker, says he had a “very traumatic experience” at Garage à Musique, one of the three social pediatric centers affiliated with the Fondation D.s Julien, with Ruelle d'Hochelaga and the Atlas Center in Côte-des-Neiges. “It took me several months to get over it,” he says.

Drs However, Julian seems to consider the young social worker a friend…before he hated him.

Photo by Alain Roberge, Press

Antoine Quinte Falardeau, social worker

He started not to love me anymore. He went as far as not saying hello to me, no longer making eye contact, ignoring me, and I was suddenly a ghost.

Antoine Quinte Falardeau, social worker

A year later, Antoine Quinte-Falardeau was suddenly fired, for no good reason, he said. “I learned I no longer had access, and there was no email address. I was scheduled to meet a suicidal young man the next morning…” He was prevented from saying goodbye in person.

“You're the flavor of the month, until you're not.” And when you're not, you're not truly more. “It's all or nothing,” says one employee who has seen many of his colleagues leave Ruelle d'Hochelaga over the years. Many had to be scooped out with a teaspoon.

“It went from a dream to a kind of nightmare,” says one psychic who briefly worked at Garage à Musique. “Drs Julian spoke to us with great hope. He said that the future of the clinic rests on our shoulders. » It did not last. “I didn't really understand what happened. At first it was very warm. As the weeks went by, it got colder.”

Drs Julian showed him the door a few months later. “It was very difficult because I didn't have the opportunity to improve anything, and I didn't know what he was accusing me of. It was just a matter of feeling.” She left the music garage in tears.

In recent weeks, two external surveys on the business climate have been conducted, first at the Garage à Musique, then at the Fondation Ds Julian. Their results were not disclosed to employees.

“Do the people who read the report know that it is still disgusting in that way? Antoine Quinte Falardeau wonders. It makes no sense that ds Julian still has a good image even though he is doing a lot of damage to young professionals. »