NDP leader vows to ensure ‘safe space’ for everyone
Party takes claims of sex assault and harassment ‘very seriously,’ Sarauer says
The interim leader of the Saskatchewan NDP is asserting that the safety of the party’s members, staff and volunteers is a priority in response to a blog post that emerged Wednesday night.
Nicole Sarauer, who was named interim leader of the Saskatchewan NDP in June, told reporters in Regina on Thursday that the party has an anti-harassment committee and takes all allegations of sexual assault and harassment “very seriously.”
“Our No. 1 goal is doing everything we can to ensure the survivor is supported and that she’s safe and that we do everything we possibly can to ensure that not only she’s safe within the party, but the party is a safe space for everybody,” she said.
Sarauer said the harassment committee process is underway, but that she doesn’t know what stage the process is at, due to the fact it’s independent and separate from party leadership and caucus. She told reporters numerous times during Thursday’s news conference that she believes survivors.
She said the party will also conduct an internal review to determine if any improvements could be made to the process.
“We want to do everything we can to create a safe space for everybody within our party and part of that is about having that larger discussion,” Sarauer said.
“I’m not going to stand out here and tell you we’re going to be finger pointing, but we’re going to be looking at how this situation was dealt with and how we can better deal with that situation in the future.”
Sarauer noted political parties aren’t the only organizations susceptible to issues of sexual harassment, noting the anti-harassment committee does have the power to impose sanctions on a member, including removing a person from the party.
Nicole Sarauer, Saskatchewan NDP interim leader, says she believes survivors of sex assault.