Singh di­min­ishes ha­rass­ment fight

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - OPINION -

In her Sept. 10 com­men­tary, An­gella MacEwen re­peated the same ar­gu­ments that the fed­eral NDP is us­ing to jus­tify their mis­treat­ment of MP Erin Weir.

She falsely ac­cuses Erin of “call­ing the charges ‘trumped up’ and iden­ti­fy­ing one of the women who had come for­ward.” In fact, he never iden­ti­fied any of the com­plainants and none of their names have ever been re­ported any­where.

Erin did state, “I ob­ject to the use of back­room pro­ce­dural tactics — and now a trumped-up ha­rass­ment com­plaint — to shut down demo­cratic de­bate in the New Demo­cratic Party.”

Erin was clearly re­fer­ring to one sin­gle com­plaint about a po­lit­i­cal ar­gu­ment, not to all the “charges” or “ac­cu­sa­tions” (plu­ral). He was not re­fer­ring to the three com­plaints about stand­ing too close and talk­ing too long that were lumped to­gether and mis­la­belled as “sex­ual ha­rass­ment.”

He ad­dressed those com­plaints only af­ter their ex­is­tence was an­nounced by Jagmeet Singh, days af­ter the above quote. As re­ported by the me­dia, his re­sponse to those com­plaints was to pub­licly apol­o­gize, of­fer to en­ter into con­cil­i­a­tion with any­one who wanted to, and com­plete sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing — ex­actly the ap­proach MacEwen ad­vo­cates.

She writes, “Good lead­ers make tough choices.” In this case, Jagmeet Singh made a se­ries of poor de­ci­sions. If any­thing has di­min­ished sup­port for the fight against ha­rass­ment, it is the hamhanded way that Singh has dealt with this is­sue — not Erin’s le­git­i­mate at­tempts to de­fend him­self against one of the com­plaints.

David Weir, father of Erin Weir, Regina

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