Ontario PC Jack MacLaren ordered to take sensitivity training

MPP told to stay away from the legislature for an indefinite period of time

TORONTO — People won’t be seeing controversial Progressive Conservative MPP Jack MacLaren around the Ontario legislature for a while —  he’s been ordered to take sensitivity training after telling a sexist joke about a Liberal MP.

PC Leader Patrick Brown moved again Monday to try to quell the controversy surrounding the “joke” MacLaren told about Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon when the two shared a stage at a fundraising event last month, and after fake testimonials were posted on MacLaren’s website.

This time Brown told MacLaren, who represents the Ottawa-area riding of Carleton-Mississippi Mills, to stay away from the legislature for an indefinite period of time because of “recent inappropriate conduct.”

“MacLaren will be taking time away from Queen’s Park in order to focus on his constituency work and partake in sensitivity training,” Brown said in a statement.

“I have been clear that there is no room for anything less than respect and tolerance in the Ontario PC Party and caucus, in our legislature, and society.”

Last week MacLaren was demoted as the PC caucus representative for eastern Ontario, but both times Brown stopped short of kicking the trouble-prone MPP out of the PC caucus.

MacLaren eventually issued a statement apologizing for his remarks about McCrimmon, weeks after the event when the media got hold of the story.

Last week MacLaren was forced to apologize again for posting constituent testimonials on his official website with fake names and pictures apparently grabbed at random from the Internet.

The website was eventually taken down, but MacLaren refused to offer any explanations for the phoney postings other than a terse apology before he bolted away from reporters.

Brown was not available to comment Monday on his latest actions to deal with MacLaren because he was scheduled to run in the Boston Marathon, but his statement left open the time for the MPP’s return to the legislature.

“Reassignment of MPP MacLaren’s roles will remain in effect until such time as I determine that appropriate corrective action has been taken,” he said.