Former Hill Staffer, Capstick, Reveals Sexual Harassment by Male MPs

A “surprising and emotional” revelation by former NDP press secretary, Ian Capstick, on Wednesday revealed that he was allegedly sexually harassed by male MPs years ago as a young staffer on Parliament Hill. The revelations were made by now MediaStyle president, Capstick, during a panel discussion about two Liberal MPs who had been suspended from caucus earlier in the day over allegations of personal misconduct.

In his remarks, Capstick alleged that “I have been both sexually touched and harassed on Parliament Hill during my time as a political staffer by male members of Parliament,” adding that “at the time did I think it was awful? Yes. Did I laugh it off with friends of mine in a kind of machismo way and maybe even suggest to others that, ‘Gee I hope you’re not next.’ I most certainly did. Why did I do that at the time? Because I felt powerless.”

Thereafter, Capstick was inquired if he considers what happened to him as sexual harassment. Capstick explained that “most certainly, sexually harassed on a regular basis by a single member of Parliament – and in another member of Parliament’s incidents, sexually touched in a way I had to tell that individual it was inappropriate.” Capstick served as press secretary for the NDP caucus from 2004 to 2008 and as parliamentary assistant to former Canadian Heritage minister, Sheila Copps, along with stints of work in the offices of former Liberal cabinet ministers Brian Tobin and Art Eggleton.

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