MLA says he’s stay­ing af­ter re­ports he made in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments

Woman al­leges he asked her to sit on his lap

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS -

A Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive mem­ber of the Man­i­toba leg­is­la­ture says he has no in­ten­tion of step­ping down af­ter re­port­edly mak­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments to a woman who works for the party’s cau­cus.

Cliff Gray­don would not com­ment in de­tail on re­ports he sug­gested the woman sit on his lap dur­ing a re­cent lun­cheon, when the woman was un­able to find an avail­able chair, and it was re­ported to higher-ups in the Tory gov­ern­ment.

He said the is­sue was dealt with to ev­ery­one’s sat­is­fac­tion, and as far as he knows, there is no con­sid­er­a­tion in cau­cus to have him re­sign his seat.

It was re­ported that the is­sue was re­solved within a mat­ter of hours to the woman’s sat­is­fac­tion, but the news­pa­per says the Tory cau­cus will vote on whether to sanc­tion Gray­don — in­clud­ing pos­si­ble ex­pul­sion — when the leg­is­la­ture re­sumes later this month.

Gray­don in­di­cated he con­sid­ers the mat­ter closed and re­jected re­quests to con­firm or deny de­tails of the ac­cu­sa­tion.

“It’s been dealt with sat­is­fac­to­rily and I’m go­ing to leave it at that,” Gray­don told The Cana­dian Press on Satur­day.

“I know what sat­is­fac­to­rily means,” he added later.

When asked whether he has thought about re­sign­ing, he said “I have no rea­son to.”

Gray­don, in his early 70s, has not ruled out run­ning for re-elec­tion in 2020. He has had health chal­lenges in re­cent years but said Satur­day he has yet to make up his mind about run­ning again.

“That’s two years down the road.”

The Tories will not say what was done to ad­dress the woman’s con­cerns, and Gray­don would not say ei­ther.

“It has come to our at­ten­tion that an in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ment was made to an in­di­vid­ual at the Man­i­toba leg­is­la­ture,” cau­cus chair Wayne Ewasko said in a writ­ten state­ment that did not men­tion Gray­don by name.

“The mat­ter was dealt with im­me­di­ately in ac­cor­dance with poli­cies and pro­ce­dures that re­spect the im­pacted in­di­vid­ual’s right to pri­vacy and con­fi­den­tial­ity, while also en­sur­ing that ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures are taken. "

This is not the first con­tro­versy for Gray­don, a gov­ern­ment back­bencher who rep­re­sents the Emer­son area, where asy­lum seek­ers have been walk­ing across the bor­der from the United States.

In a post on Twit­ter in Jan­uary, he called im­mi­grants a “drain on so­ci­ety” and also retweeted other peo­ple’s posts that called Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau a traitor, a scum­bag and a dis­grace. Gray­don apol­o­gized, deleted the tweets and agreed to step back from so­cial me­dia and un­dergo sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing, the de­tails of which were also not re­vealed by the Tories.

Cliff Gray­don is a PC MLA rep­re­sent­ing the Emer­son area.

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