NDP says two MLAs ac­cused of im­pro­pri­ety

Medicine Hat News - - WEST -

ED­MON­TON Pre­mier Rachel Not­ley’s of­fice says two mem­bers of her NDP cau­cus have been ac­cused of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour since 2015.

Ch­eryl Oates, Not­ley’s spokes­woman, said in a state­ment that “in both cir­cum­stances, the al­leged be­hav­iour took place out­side the work­place.”

“Con­fi­den­tial in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tions were un­der­taken in each case re­sult­ing in rec­om­men­da­tions that were im­ple­mented,” she wrote Thurs­day. “In or­der to re­spect the pri­vacy of the com­plainants, fur­ther de­tails will re­main con­fi­den­tial.”

Oates said in nei­ther case was crim­i­nal con­duct al­leged.

The state­ment came af­ter Not­ley was ques­tioned about al­le­ga­tions made by for­mer NDP back­bencher Robyn Luff.

Luff was kicked out of cau­cus this week af­ter she an­nounced she was boy­cotting the leg­is­la­ture to protest what she called heavy-handed con­trol of back­bench leg­is­la­ture mem­bers by se­nior of­fi­cials in Not­ley’s cau­cus and govern­ment.

Luff said, at one point, back­benchers “were told that if we had any in­for­ma­tion on op­po­si­tion mem­bers who had be­haved in­ap­pro­pri­ately to­wards women that it was best not to go pub­lic with it be­cause our party wasn’t com­pletely with­out fault on the mat­ter.”

Not­ley said no­body that re­ports to her or se­nior cau­cus lead­ers de­liv­ered such a di­rec­tive.

“Are there any al­le­ga­tions or in­ci­dents of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour to­wards women among your MLAs or among the Al­berta NDP?” Not­ley was asked. “Not that I’m aware of,” she replied. “And, more im­por­tantly, we have a pol­icy in our cau­cus around sex­ual ha­rass­ment, both in terms of how to re­spond to con­cerns that are raised, as well as speak­ing of­ten and hav­ing a code of con­duct with re­spect to both our MLAs and our staff around th­ese is­sues.”

Oates later said Not­ley be­lieved the re­porter’s ques­tion re­lated to in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct strictly within and among NDP cau­cus and staff.

The two com­plaints were made by out­side peo­ple and did not oc­cur in the work­place.

Not­ley dis­missed other al­le­ga­tions made by Luff, a first­term leg­is­la­ture mem­ber for Cal­gary East, who said the gag or­der pre­vented back­benchers from rep­re­sent­ing their con­stituents.

Luff’s wishes don’t mesh with the con­cept that politi­cians need to work to­gether to get things done, Not­ley said.

“We un­der­stand that that mem­ber (Luff) is not a fan of the par­lia­men­tary sys­tem and would like to have com­plete in­de­pen­dence in all that she does, but that’s not the way the sys­tem works,” said Not­ley.

“Within the par­lia­men­tary sys­tem, pol­i­tics is a bit of a team sport, and it’s peo­ple com­ing to­gether and work­ing to­gether un­der a col­lec­tive set of prin­ci­ples and plans.”

Luff could not be reached for com­ment.

She has al­ready said she won’t cross the floor to join an­other party, won’t run in the spring elec­tion, and is check­ing with con­stituents to de­ter­mine whether to end her boy­cott of the house.

Rachel Not­ley

Robyn Luff

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