In response to questions by the media, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne confirmed on Tuesday that she has addressed some allegations of sexual harassment against at least two of her own MPPs. Quite noticeably, both the province’s female party leaders have confessed to have been forced to address sexual harassment issues.
According to Premier Wynne, she has had a “couple of instances” of sexual harassment and she dealt with them in “various ways.” However, she refused to discuss the details about how they were dealt with as she explained that “the conversations have been confidential for various reasons not the least of which is that the people who brought complaints forward were not looking for a public process; they were looking for a confidential process.” She concluded that “so, I am not at liberty to talk about those situations.”
Meanwhile, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath commented that she is hardly surprised by the Premier’s disclosure as some of her MPPs have complained to her about “feeling uncomfortable with inappropriate touching around this place.” According to Horwath, she raised this issue with the other two party leaders as well. A Progressive Conservative MPP has also revealed on condition of anonymity that she was sexually harassed by a man from another caucus when she first came to the legislature a few years ago. However, she said that the “best I could get was the security of knowing my male colleague would make himself present if he saw a situation where I would be in a scenario with that other male member.”
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