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Two Liberal MPs kicked out from caucus over misconduct allegations

Complainants are two female MPs, sources say


 

OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau shook up the old boys’ club on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, suspending two Liberal MPs amid allegations that they behaved inappropriately with two of their female New Democrat counterparts.

The Liberal leader booted Newfoundland MP Scott Andrews and Montreal MP Massimo Pacetti from his caucus and called for an independent investigation into accusations of what Trudeau termed “serious personal misconduct.” He also suspended their candidacies for the next election, pending the outcome of the investigation.

The days when such incidents were dealt with quietly in parliamentary backrooms are long over, Trudeau told a news conference.

“Look, folks, it’s 2014. It’s time that this workplace, like other workplaces across the country, had a process whereby these issues can be aired and dealt with,” he said.

“It is extremely important that we make it very clear that as an institution we will protect and encourage people who come forward with serious allegations of this type.”

Both Andrews and Pacetti have denied the allegations. Nothing has been proven against them.

Nevertheless, Trudeau said he had a duty to take “fair but decisive” action after one of the NDP MPs “personally and directly” complained to him on Oct. 28. While he needs to be fair to all concerned, the “benefit of the doubt” must go to the complainants, given how difficult it is for them to come forward, he said.

Trudeau’s swift action was also no doubt influenced by the scandal that has engulfed the CBC for the past two weeks over former radio star Jian Ghomeshi’s alleged conduct with women. The public broadcaster has been criticized for not acting sooner to address Ghomeshi’s alleged behaviour.

Neither the Liberals nor the NDP would reveal the names of the two complainants or even confirm publicly that they are New Democrats. However, NDP insiders said the two were shaken by Trudeau’s decision to make the matter public and fear their names will inevitably leak out.

Insiders say Trudeau first learned of the allegations on Oct. 28 while attending the Hamilton funeral of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the soldier who was killed at the National War Memorial a week earlier by a gunman who later stormed Parliament Hill.

Trudeau said he immediately directed his party’s whip, Judy Foote, to discuss the matter with her NDP counterpart, Nycole Turmel. Foote and Turmel met on Oct. 30 with the two complainants, who “confirmed the personal misconduct allegations.”

On Wednesday, Foote apprised the Speaker of the House of Commons, Andrew Scheer, of the situation and suggested that a “neutral third party trusted by all concerned” be brought in to investigate.

She asked that the multi-party board of internal economy, which the Speaker chairs, urgently establish a process to investigate the allegations and similar complaints in future. While there is a procedure for Commons employees to lodge complaints, she said there’s no similar process to deal with complaints between members of Parliament.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said he’s “deeply saddened” by the allegations.

“Everyone who works in these places has a right to be in a secure work environment, free of harassment. We want to make sure that all parties work on these issues and I think that it’s something that we should do together to show that it is something on which we all agree.”

Andrews, MP for the riding of Avalon in Newfoundland and Labrador, was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2011. Until his suspension, he was the Liberal critic for access to information, privacy and ethics.

Pacetti, 52, is a veteran MP who was first elected to the Commons in a byelection in May 2002 in the Montreal riding of Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel. He was re-elected in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Both Andrews and Pacetti issued statements denying any wrongdoing and expressing confidence they’ll be cleared by an investigation.

“I believe that our Parliament needs to be a workplace free of harassment, for both staff and MPs,” Andrews said.


 
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Two Liberal MPs kicked out from caucus over misconduct allegations

  1. whatever happened….i bet it involved booze at a politico shin-dig.

    The complaintants are most likely from the young crop of good looking (albeit: airheaded) NDP MP’s who rode the orange wave last election.

    I suspect that the former waitress who was on vacation during the election is one of them.

    • Wow. Racist AND sexist. You just epitomize the stereotypical conservative.

      • Actually, Gayle….

        A label of “sexist” would be more appropriate to those who think it is ok to grope or take liberties with a woman without her permission. It would be someone who is disrespectful of women in general….and not just those who appear empty-headed on various blog sites’ comments sections.

        For example: Find the Sexist in the following Link. Would it be…..

        A guy who likes to punch women in the head and choke them?

        OR

        would it be a guy who thinks “Ladies Night” is a good opportunity to receive fauning admiration from the feeble – minded in attendance?

        I’ll show you an example of both types:

        http://www.blazingcatfur.ca/category/justin-trudeau-follies/

        • Poor, dumb jameshalifax who thinks he’ll be arrested if he flirts with a woman, now can’t distinguish sexism from violent assault.
          And just to make clear that he isn’t sexist, has he told you about what he calls, “feeble-minded” women and their “fauning admiration”?

          *snort*

          • Actually, Lenny….I don’t flirt with women.

            My wife would not approve.

            As for being a sexist in referrring to the feeble-minded women fauning over trudeau…it would also apply to the men who worship the young fool. The comment was directed to “ladies night”…because the only man in the room was the choosen one himself.

          • Actually dummy, your claim to having a wife has no bearing on your claim that flirting contravenes the Criminal Code of Canada.

            But of course, the “fauning” and “feeble-minded(ness)” is a creation of your not-sexist imagination. No matter how hard you try, assertion will never create reality.

          • Lenny,

            I don’t think anyone who’s ever read your comments belives you live in the real world. I never said flirting would lead to charges…but you keep trying.

            You inability to follow even a simple post…shows one reality. you are more simple than the posts you keep misinterpreting. If you could take a moment and stop fawning over yourself…..you’d realize what a fool you continue to be.

          • Sadly, when you lie on the internet it’s right there for everybody to see. In this case, at the link above:
            “guy makes a pass at you – sexual assault”

            ” Look in the criminal code………………I didn’t write it.

            Look under what constiutes sexual assault”

          • Lenny……

            I shouldn`t have to spell it out in three letter words for you to figure out. If you can`t understand what you are reading, then perhaps you should go back to the pop-up books.

            Your lack of comprehension; as always, is your failing. Not mine.

            but you keep trying.

        • I could be that you don’t understand what you write. But, it’s meaning is certainly unambiguous for anyone who reads English:

          “guy makes a pass at you – sexual assault”

          ” Look in the criminal code………………I didn’t write it.

          Look under what constiutes sexual assault”

          • Lenny,

            In today’s criminal code, what constitutes sexual assault (or could constitute) is often up to the complaintent.

            If a dude makes a crude pass at a female, she could easily make life difficult by asking the cops to charge him.

            What part of that continues to elude you?

          • I’m sure that’s backed up by lots of case law.
            But you only need to cite one person convicted of sexual assault for flirting.

          • that’s the whole point, you duffus.

            We don’t KNOW how many guys who simply thought they were flirting, or being complimentary towards a woman have had to go through this. It is all in the interpretation of the person lodging the complaint.

            you dope.

  2. Excellent time to push through as much bad legislation
    as possible .. while we’re all a-flutter about who did what
    to whom .. while waiting impatiently for something to blow
    up all over the NDP. Good times.

  3. First of all, if Trudeau didn’t come forward with this info, he would have probably been accused of covering up harassment accusations. When Tom came to the presser, he was drooling at the bit to make his point clear, so the dippers have to get off that, ” We weren’t expecting the liberals to announce this publicly “, Trudeau didn’t say what party complained or gave any names, he had to separate himself from this, this could’ve happened before he was leader. I’m curious to know why a member had to go directly to Trudeau to complain. Why didn’t the whip or Tom approach Trudeau themselves? This story seems to have a lot of questions that need to be answered, not by Trudeau, but by the leader of the NDP party themselves. The dippers could have found a more discreet way of handling this. Call me sexist if you like, but if I’m being accused of something and I felt didn’t take place, I would want to know who my accuser or witnesses to the accusation are(whether its a man or a women). I’m not sure this anonymity thing works too well with the public.

    • I actually agree with Carpet Bomber,

      The accused have the right to know their accusers (if they are guilty, they already know), and kicking these two guys out without due process looks like a way to get ahead of the bad press.

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