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Two Liberal MPs suspended over allegations of personal misconduct

Liberal whip Judy Foote writes to Speaker about two Liberal MPs alleged to have engaged in ‘personal misconduct’


 

Two Liberal MPs—Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti—have been suspended from the Liberal caucus pending the investigation of allegations of personal misconduct. Liberal whip Judy Foote wrote to the Speaker today to report “two unrelated allegations of personal misconduct made by two members of Parliament against two members of the Liberal caucus.”

“Pending resolution of this matter, the two members who are the subject of the allegations have been instructed that, effectively immediately, they will not sit as members of the Liberal caucus,” Foote writes.

Foote says she has spoken with both MPs and that they both deny the allegations made against them.

Foote’s letter is available in its entirety here.

Update 1:01pm. The text of a news release from the Speaker’s office.

The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons and Chair of the Board of Internal Economy, was advised of two allegations of personal misconduct this morning by letter from Ms. Judy Foote, Liberal Whip.

Speaker Scheer is seized with the issue and takes the matter very seriously. He has directed the House Administration to make available all internal resources to the individuals involved. The House Administration stands ready to provide assistance as required.

The Speaker has also directed that the matter be taken up at the Board of Internal Economy at the earliest available opportunity.

Update 1:12pm. A partial transcript of NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s statement to reporters after the NDP caucus meeting today.

We are deeply saddened by these serious allegations. Members of Parliament, from all parties, have to take these matters seriously …

Here on Parliament Hill and in every workplace, women have a right to be in a secure work environment. 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 is something that we should do together to show that is something on which we all agree…

For obvious reasons, to respect the privacy of all concerned, I won’t be making any other statements right now.

Update 1:21pm. A transcript of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s statement to reporters after the meeting of the Liberal caucus this afternoon.

Earlier today I informed the Speaker of the House of Commons that I have suspended Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews from the Liberal party caucus pending the outcome of an investigation.

These two Members of Parliament have been accused of serious personal misconduct by Members of Parliament from another party. In one of the cases, that information was conveyed to me personally and directly by one of the affected MPs from another party on October 28th. Immediately I directed our whip, Judy Foote, to make her counterpart in the other party aware of the allegations that had been conveyed to me. She did so promptly.

On October 30th she met with the two affected MPs of the other party and their whip. During the course of that meeting, both MPs confirmed the personal misconduct allegations against Mr. Pacetti and Mr. Andrews. Mr. Pacetti and Mr. Andrews deny the allegations.

Given the seriousness of the allegations, i have suspended the MPs from our caucus and have asked the Speaker of the House of Commons to investigate further and to resolve the matter.

I am aware of how difficult it is for people to come forward. I believe strongly that those of us in positions of authority have a duty to act upon allegations of this nature. It’s 2014. We have a duty to protect and encourage individuals in these situations to come forward. The action must be fair, but decisive. It must be sensitive to all affected parties, but recognizing how difficult it is to do so, it must give the benefit of the doubt to those who come forward.

In closing, let me say that like workplaces across this country, Parliament needs clear guidelines and procedures for dealing with allegations of serious personal misconduct of this nature. It would be to the benefit of all who earn the privilege of sitting in this House of Commons and all Canadians who look to us for leadership.

Update 4:06pm. A statement from Scott Andrews.

Today, Judy Foote MP sent a letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons requesting an independent third-party to investigate an allegation of harassment.

While I understand there is an established process to deal with harassment between Members of Parliament and staff, there is no process to deal with allegations between MPs themselves, and therefore I encourage the Speaker or Board of Internal Economy to establish an appropriate process without delay. I believe that our

Parliament needs to be a workplace free of harassment, for both staff and MPs

I intend to fully cooperate with answering any and all questions from an independent third-party investigator. However, it would not be appropriate for me to answer questions prior to a non-partisan process being established and being provided with the specifics of the allegation. I am confident such a process will find that no harassment has occurred.

As a Member of Parliament, I will continue to work for my constituents throughout this process, both in Avalon and in Parliament.

Update 4:59pm. A statement from Massimo Pacetti.

At 9:30 this morning I was informed by Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, that I have been suspended from caucus, based on allegations against me of “personal misconduct.”

I have not been provided with the specific details of the allegations that led to this suspension. House Speaker Andrew Scheer has been asked to conduct an independent investigation, with which I intend to cooperate fully, and which I am confident will exonerate me.

Until such time, I will sit in the House of Commons as an independent Member, and continue to represent the citizens of my riding of Saint-Léonard / Saint-Michel, which I have represented with integrity and dedication since May 2002.


 

Two Liberal MPs suspended over allegations of personal misconduct

  1. I’m sure they’ll find more in the other two parties.

    This is the kind of thing that’s usually covered up. Not anymore apparently.

    • Your reaction to allegations of sexual harassment against two members of your precious leader’s caucus is to libel others and belittle the victims with your “these kind of thing (are) usually covered up” comment? Why am I not surprised. Please crawl back under your rock and just for once spare us the inane response.

      • Since I said nothing like that, I’ll have to conclude you’re smoking again.

        • Your malady is a curious one – write something and almost simultaneously deny you did:

          Two Libs accused of lechery, but, according to EmilyOne (pay attention – this is an exact quote) “I’m sure they’ll find more in the other two parties”. Sexual harassment is a serious, often criminal offense, yet EmilyOne does not hesitate to declare more perps are to be found among the Tories and NDers than the Libs, though only Libs stand accused. This strikes me as slanderous, though EmilyOne’s proclamation “I said nothing like (what I actually said)” is noted.

          Then this:

          “This is the kind of thing that’s usually covered up. Not anymore apparently”, the reference to “kind of thing” being “sexual harassment”, i.e. “in the good old days of my callow youth, nobody got all consternated about a pinch here or wink there, but “not anymore, apparently”, in these more enlightened times”.

          Perhaps when you craft your inevitable sententious response, you can preface it by informing readers the words you’ll be employing do not actually have the meanings we all naively assume they have, no doubt because we are all smoking again.

    • This is the kind of thing that’s usually covered up.

      Covered up indeed. Scott Sims, Liberal MP from NL, said he knew about these allegations a year-and-a-half ago, but was asked “by a good friend” not to say anything about them, so he didn’t.

      More people are coming forward. Here’s a former NDP & Liberal staffer with similar complaints. Hasn’t named names yet.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/former-parliament-hill-staffer-alleges-2-mps-sexually-harassed-him-1.2825380

  2. Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party runaway from allegations of improper conduct by their own MP’s.

    This is a Liberal Party issue. How come the Liberal Party does not have a process to handle harassment complaints.

    Justin Trudeau (to paraphrase): I have no duty to get to the bottom of this potential problem in my own party. Please somebody, fix the Liberal Party for me.

    • He just announced it to the country….that is your idea of a coverup??

      The HOC has a legal procedure for this….that’s what he’s following.

      • He is washing his hands of the responsibility to clean up a mess in the party he is leader of.

        Justin is punting. #notaleader.

        It is a really difficult problem. It would take his time away from campaigning. But they are his MP’s. Justin is telling the Conservatives (a.k.a. Stephen Harper) to take care of his problem by shuffling it off to the Commons committee.

        Justin was given two hot potatoes. He tosses them to Steve.

        How can the so-called progressive Liberal Party of Canada not have a process to deal with allegations of misconduct? Why isn’t Justin creating one, instead of dumping the problem on others?

        • There is a required legal procedure he’s following.

          He didn’t have to say anything at all….but he did.

          You’re just upset you’re sliding in the polls

          You two sisters, areya?

          • Why is there no independent 3rd party to investigate the processes within the Liberal Party for dealing with harassment? To see if they are adequate.

            Trudeau is punting and doing the absolute minimum he has to do. Trudeau wants us to assume these are two isolated cases. Should not one presume the opposite, and the Liberal Party hire an outside party that victims can report to? To determine the extent of the problem within the Liberal Party.

  3. “Misconduct” does not have a political bias, it’s an equal opportunity action. Trudeau did the right thing but I have questions. Who “leaked” this information? It didn’t come from the Liberal Party, the news was out there before Trudeau made his public statement and all articles made a point of stating it didn’t come from the LPC.

    Why didn’t these two NDP MP’s take their allegations to the leader of their own party first? That is standard practice in the private sector, go to your immediate supervisor (unless s/he is the one who is committing the “misconduct” at which point you go over their head to the next one in the chain of command).

    Personal misconduct doesn’t have a political bias but harmful mischief can. None of this passes the smell test.

    • They did take their allegations to their own leader first. Mulcair has been all over the news today accusing the Liberals of violating the trust of the victims by announcing the suspensions without talking to them first. Not sure what else could have been done, but clearly Mulcair knew about this before it was made public.

  4. Once again, Harper benefits from unbelievably good timing of bad events. Del Maestro would be worth a week’s headlines normally. But now a juicier story has surfaced. And Mulcair & Trudeau are butting heads over how it is being handled. He’s got enough horseshoes up his arse to start his own foundry.

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