Ex-Ontario premier David Peterson subject of sexual harassment lawsuit

A female manager with the Pan and Parapan Am Games alleges she was sexually harassed by the former Ontario premier and TO2015 chairman.

TORONTO – A female manager with the Pan and Parapan American Games alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday that she was sexually harassed by former Ontario premier and TO2015 chairman David Peterson.

The Globe and Mail reports Ximena Morris, 34, further alleges that when she complained to human resources and senior officials, she was first told to “let it roll off your back” and was then demoted.

An alleged history of flirtatious greetings that escalated into unwanted hugs, sexually tinged remarks and public humiliation at the hands of Peterson is outlined in a statement of claim Morris filed with the Ontario Superior Court.

In addition to Peterson, the newspaper said she also names the Pan and Parapan Am Games organizing committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee (a partner of the Games) and three members of the executive team at TO2015.

None of the allegations has been proven in court and the defendants have not yet filed their defence outlining their version of events.

In an emailed statement to the Globe and Mail, Peterson denied the allegations, calling them “wild and untrue,” and said he looks forward to “confronting them in court.”

Neala Barton, TO2015’s vice-president of communications, said the organization had not yet been formally served with the lawsuit but had seen a draft of the statement of claim, which she says “grossly misrepresents how management at TO2015 handled Ms. Morris’s allegations.”

Peterson, who was premier from 1985 to 1990, was instrumental in helping Toronto win the bid to host the 2015 Pan and Parapan Am Games. He has served as chair of the board since September, 2013.

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