Hol­loway not happy with ha­rass­ment rul­ing

Terra Nova MHA says he plans to de­bate the find­ings in the House of As­sem­bly

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial - BY JONATHAN PAR­SONS

Terra Nova MHA Colin Hol­loway says the en­tire process of ad­dress­ing his com­plaints against fel­low MHAs has been flawed — and he plans to de­bate the find­ings in the House of As­sem­bly.

Af­ter re­ports last week cleared fel­low Lib­eral MHAs Ed­die Joyce and Dale Kirby of al­leged ha­rass­ment and bul­ly­ing, fol­low­ing com­plaints filed by Hol­loway to the com­mis­sioner of leg­isla­tive stan­dards, the Terra Nova MHA told The Packet there were sev­eral ma­jor omis­sions and as­sump­tions in the re­port that didn’t re­flect the sit­u­a­tion ac­cu­rately.

“I have great con­cerns with the process,” said Hol­loway. “One of the things I said to the com­mis­sioner (Bruce Chaulk) when I did my in­ter­view on July 9, was that I didn’t think his of­fice had the ex­pe­ri­ence to con­duct an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into work­place ha­rass­ment, in­tim­i­da­tion and bul­ly­ing.”

Hol­loway adds there were calls in the House of As­sem­bly for an out­side party to con­duct the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but that didn’t hap­pen.

“There should be a dif­fer­ent ap­proach taken to in­ves­ti­gat­ing ha­rass­ment, in­tim­i­da­tion and bul­ly­ing in the House of As­sem­bly.”

Hol­loway pro­vided sev­eral ex­am­ples of what he calls mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions of his sit­u­a­tion in the re­port.

First, he de­nies hav­ing used sim­i­lar lan­guage to that used by Joyce (“f--k off”), as the re­port claims. Joyce ad­mit­ted to say­ing that, Hol­loway says, in­sist­ing he him­self would never use such lan­guage.

“That is not who I am! And it is cer­tainly not who I was when I was en­gag­ing Mr. Joyce,” he said. “I would not use those words. I am pro­fes­sion­ally trained with nearly 27 years as a pub­lic ser­vant (and) bu­reau­crat. You have to be ex­cep­tion­ally pro­fes­sional when you’re deal­ing with the pub­lic.”

Sec­ond, he dis­agrees with the sec­tion of the re­port per­tain­ing to the elec­tion of the House Speaker. Hol­loway en­dorsed MHA Pam Par­sons and says he re­ceived mes­sages and calls from Joyce and Kirby lob­by­ing for MHA Perry Trimper.

While the re­port states Joyce didn’t say any­thing defam­a­tory about Par­sons, Hol­loway main­tains this is “un­true.”

Hol­loway says he sup­ported Par­sons in the free vote for Speaker, but he didn’t lobby for her in an at­tempt to per­suade others.

He also notes the re­port says Kirby was in Florida at the time and couldn’t have ad­vo­cated for Trimper.

“In what world can an MHA … (not) talk to some­body and ad­vo­cate for some­body else be­cause they’re in Florida in to­day’s tech­nol­ogy? I mean, it de­fies logic!”

Hol­loway says the re­port de­scribes Kirby’s ac­tions in lob­by­ing for Trimper for Speaker as stem­ming from “loy­alty.”

“(The Com­mis­sioner) made a false as­sump­tion that it’s OK to send a Black­Berry mes­sage out to in­tim­i­date an­other MHA be­cause you’re be­ing loyal.”

When asked if he plans to ap­peal the re­port’s find­ings, Hol­loway says in hind­sight, he should’ve had le­gal coun­sel go­ing into this process.

“I re­main to this day (adamant) that ev­ery­thing that I have said is true. … And I will con­tinue to be truth­ful as this thing un­folds,” he says.

He in­tends to de­bate the va­lid­ity of the find­ings in the House of As­sem­bly when it re­con­venes in Novem­ber.

He is also ex­plor­ing le­gal op­tions.

As for his fu­ture within the Lib­eral cau­cus, Hol­loway says he plans to run again as a Lib­eral MHA in the pro­vin­cial elec­tion in 2019, but he would like to see ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions han­dled dif­fer­ently.

When asked how the sit­u­a­tion has af­fected his abil­ity to do his job, Hol­loway says he’s been work­ing hard and has re­ceived sup­port from the com­mu­nity.

“I came for­ward at a great cost be­cause I wanted to see change,” he said. “No­body — not politi­cians, not pub­lic ser­vants, not any­body in the pri­vate sec­tor — should ever be sub­jected to work­place ha­rass­ment, bul­ly­ing and in­tim­i­da­tion.”

TELE­GRAM FILE PHOTO

Terra Nova MHA Colin Hol­loway.

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