Trudeau says no rule book on deal­ing with mis­con­duct

Journal Pioneer - - CANADA -

Justin Trudeau con­cedes that he, like all po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, is strug­gling to fig­ure out how best to deal with al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct against mem­bers of his own cau­cus.

“I don’t have a rule book that’s been handed down to me from Wil­frid Lau­rier as leader of the Lib­eral party on how to han­dle these sit­u­a­tions,’’ the prime min­is­ter said Tues­day.

“This is new for or­ga­ni­za­tions to have to deal with in this way, and we are do­ing the best that we can on a case-by-case ba­sis — start­ing from a place of re­spect, of sup­port (for vic­tims), of be­lief and un­der­stand­ing that we do have to have fair process as we move for­ward.’’

Trudeau of­fered that an­swer in re­sponse to a ques­tion about why Kent Hehr — who re­signed from cab­i­net last week pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­le­ga­tions of in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct to­wards women — re­mains a mem­ber of the gov­ern­ment cau­cus while Dar­shan Kang, an­other Cal­gary MP fac­ing mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions, has been booted from the Lib­eral fold.

That ques­tion has gained ur­gency as ad­di­tional com­plaints against Hehr have sur­faced, in­clud­ing an al­le­ga­tion that he groped a young fe­male staffer.

Lib­eral in­sid­ers say Kang, a for­mer mem­ber of the Al­berta leg­is­la­ture, vol­un­tar­ily quit cau­cus last year while he’s be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for al­leged sex­ual ha­rass­ment in­volv­ing for­mer fe­male staffers in both his pro­vin­cial and fed­eral con­stituency of­fices.

Trudeau didn’t men­tion that, but did say “ev­ery case will be dif­fer­ent.’’ He ac­knowl­edged that the #MeToo move­ment sweep­ing the globe — which has brought down movie moguls, ac­tors, high-pro­file jour­nal­ists, sports fig­ures and politi­cians as women go pub­lic with long-sup­pressed com­plaints about sex­ual mis­con­duct — has “all of us fig­ur­ing out the trans­for­ma­tions that we need to make in our work­places, in our com­mu­ni­ties, in the en­vi­ron­ments that sur­round us to go to a place of ... work en­vi­ron­ments and life en­vi­ron­ments for ev­ery­one that are re­spect­ful and ap­pro­pri­ate.’’


Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau speaks dur­ing an an­nounce­ment re­gard­ing Canada’s com­mit­ment to the In­ter­na­tional Decade for Peo­ple of African De­scent, on Par­lia­ment Hill, in Ot­tawa on Tues­day, Jan­uary 30, 2018.

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