NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has announced an investigation into an allegation of "harassing behaviour towards women" against NDP MP Erin Weir. Singh said the allegation is "troubling," is taking it seriously, and is appointing an independent investigator to look into the matter. In a statement to CTV News, Weir said he does not know what is being alleged but said MPs should be held to the highest standard.
Doesn't know? How Dostoevskyish. Maybe they'll let him know what he is accused of at some point.
I wonder if he is the "very very powerful man" Warren Kinsella said a couple of days ago was going to be exposed.
He can't be that powerful, he used to post on here. ;)
...they maybe gave him power AFTER he stopped?...they said "Get off Rabble and we'll make you a social democratic emperor-god"?
CBC News has learned that Singh was spurred into action after NDP MP Christine Moore emailed her colleagues with concerns about Weir's behaviour.
Weir had emailed his fellow NDP MPs on Tuesday to say that he would like to run for the position of caucus chair. Moore replied to Weir's note with concerns about whether he should hold such a leadership position.
"You are the last person in the caucus I would like to see to get that position," the Quebec MP responded, to both Weir and the other MPs.
"There is too many women (mostly employee) complaint to me that you were harassing to them and as a women I would not feel comfortable to meet with you alone. Given what's going on right now in the political world, I think you should really not run to avoid us any trouble."
Speaking to reporters, Singh said the allegation was not sexual in nature.
Not sexual in nature? Then what is it.
"I'm asking you for the tenth and last time -- could you please just buy some chocolate covered almonds so my kid's hockey camp can go to hockey camp? I'm not asking any more, I'm telling."
Trouble. She even said it.
Sexual harrassment includes non-sexual harrassment of only women and not men. So if he only treats women like shit then indeed it is sexual in nature. If you harass both genders equally then you are an asshole and likely in management. I find this e-mail to be extremely problamatic as a way to do caucus politics or business. If she had a complaint about a colleague that caused her to feel unsafe in her parliamentary workplace then it should have been made so his behaviour could be stopped it should not be used only as a gotcha to stop a political career move. In my experience most people who are non-gender biased control freaks and demeanors don't only disrespect people behind closed doors while misogynist pigs often know to hide their worst harrasing behaviours from all but the object of their interest. So if this is not a sexual harrassment complaint then what is it?
There a bunch of people I work with that make judgements and then actions based on sex age race. Then they can treat people like shit because of that. Doesn't have to be sexual harassment.
I don’t see why this couldn’t have been nipped in the bud internally. He just sent the email on Tuesday. And someone, probably Moore, leaks it in less than 48 hours?
Of course you mock the woman. Women don't say these things without just cause. This is a woman who has reached a fairly high level to be part of such an email. Multiple women had come to her to the point where she would not want to be alone with him. Women don't say these things without cause. Women. Plural.
Yes, women can be afraid of being physically attacked at work. Men can be physically intimidating without laying a hand on us. I don't know if that is the case or not. I do know that men in the party consider the accusation plausible or he wouldn't be removed. Singh said the concern is serious enough for him to take action. Do you think he is over-reacting? There will be an investigation. There is a good chance we will never know what he did. He will probably end up resigning to get confidentiality if he can.
Uncalled for personal attack but I expect nothing less from you than to use a subject like this to further one of your personal vendettas. Thanks for proving to me that this board is no place to discuss anything if you are on it posting at the same time because you just can't stop yourself from attacking men you dislike.
Suggesting the reason women are complaining is because a man might call their kids ugly is mocking women.
Your attack on me was uncalled for.
I worked for a guy, luckily only for a 3-4 month stint, who was in fact supposed to be my colleague given that I was hired to replace his buddy who left for a gig in media. For whatever reason, he took it upon himself to treat me as if I was supposed to be his personal assistant. That was not the position I was hired for so I tried to politely navigate doing my business development/government relations job without stepping on his toes even though we had to work together on many projects since he was head of communications and marketing. But I really hit the wall when one day he asked to speak to me in the hallway outside our open warehouse space offices to fucking scold me like some old time school teacher for not showing him enough respect. I was angered and humiliated.
He had gotten away with treating the organization as his fifedom because the Board of Directors was acting as the Interim CEO of the organization. He was a pro at sucking up to the chair and board members. Once they hired this amazing woman as the CEO, he was fired.
Thank you for that. I had assumed that "sexual harassment" specifically meant harassment involving actions of or evoking sexual acts or demands that a person engage in sexual acts with the harasser. It hadn't occurred to me that it would also refer to a man engaging in any sort of harassment so long as the harassment was confined to a single gender(women, in this case-although it think your definition would encompass harassment that singled out people of non-binary gender). Your post educated me.
No this is wrong. If someone(male/man) treats a woman any different than a man then he is a sexist and it is sexism. Now I myself must consider myself to be a sexist because there are times when I am speaking with someone, I may or may not be selective in some certain words I use depending on the gender of the person I’m speaking with. For example I may use more swear words when talking with another man, but I may refrain from using a similar language and be more polite when talking with a woman. No actually that doesn’t sound right? How can I be a sexist for just using more polite language with women?
Christine Moore has released to the media the email she sent Erin Weir
As an individual I think we need to be able to be honest at each other and not doing plans or others thing on the back of people. So you will maybe find me really rude but this have to be done.
As a caucus chair you are representing our voice to the leadership, you are there for us when we feel no one else is there for you and you are the last person in the caucus I would like to see to get that position.
There is too many women (mostly employee) complaint to me that you were harassing to them and as a women I would not feel comfortable to meet with you alone.
Given what’s going on right now in the political world, I think you should really not run to avoid us any trouble.
You were the only NDP colleague I have to complaint against in my political career, I know since that you probably understood and try to change but for now I don’t tink you should run in any leadership position.
I know it harsh but I can’t lie
I forgot to add that Ken Burch is right. Sexual harassment is clearly separate from sexism
heres a link to clarify
Good point, and I agree with you.
I expect the statement about it not being sexual was meant to clarify that it was not an overt sexual assault, even if perhaps they misused the term. Doesn't lessen the seriousness of the allegation, but I know for me it made it a bit clearer.
Sorry to get technical, but I disagree. Sexual harassment has to have a "sexual" element. It's not just sex discrimination, or gender discrimination, or gender harassment, or whatever.
For example, the Canada Labour Code deals specifically with sexual harassment, over and above all the prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act:
Don't know how it's defined (if at all) in the various provincial codes, whether labour or human rights. Does anyone have any information on that?
And again, my question is why did she not allow this matter to be dealt with internally before rushing to the media less than 48 hours after Weir sent his email.
Regarding the question of whether it's sexual or psychological harassment in nature, Singh was not definitive in his answer. "No, we're not clear right now, from what I've read nothing suggests it's sexual in nature, it's just harassment from what I've..." http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1151396931610/
A fundamental element of a justice system is the right to be presented with the complaints against you. I hope this will happen soon. If it is found tghat Weir acted in an inappropriate manner, I hope Singh takes appropriate action.
He just told me he is guilty by trying to blame Christine Moore completely unecessarily. He hasn't been accused of sexual misconduct. He would have been better off saying he didn't know what the allegations were but maybe he was too blunt at times or perhaps he was misunderstood: he didn't feel he was treating women any differently from men. Trying to cast suspicion on the women is low and makes it worse. Is he suggesting that Moore is lying for political gain and that no women came to her or is he suggesting the women who went to her were lying to Moore for political gain?
The reporter picked up on that and asked him if Moore was seeking the position of caucus chair because what political gain could there be in this for her or for the women who had spoken to Moore? If you are going to suggest that's a motive there must be some gain to the women or to Moore.
Then he casts doubt on the process:
He doesn't have much faith in the NDP if he thinks the process may not be "proper" or "prompt". He should be expressing confidence in the process if there is nothing to find.
None of this proves his guilt of course. It sure doesn't make him look good either. There is no political gain for Moore or the "alleged" women who spoke to her so what possible motive could they have for lying? It's pretty strong words to say she wouldn't want to be alone in a room with him. In my experience women don't say that for nothing especially professionally where you want to appear strong and equal to any man and in situations where you have no proof, when it is "he said she said". The Ghomeshi trial was classic. The women were on trial. That's the way it has always been.
Weir thinks the women are motivated by political gain, he should be prepared to describe how they stand to benefit.
How do you know she's not out for political gain? Since we, and apparently Weir, don't know the allegations, anything's possible. And first you say, "this tells me he's guilty," and then you say none of this proves guilt. And guilty of what?
And, again, why did she go public with this less than 48 hours after Weir sent his email? Me thinks there's more to this than meets the eye.
You seemed to have missed the part where I agreed with Kropotkin's interpretation.
Describe how she gains politically from this. It's like saying she did it for the money. What money? Where is the political gain for her? As far as I know the email was released after Singh made his public announcement. Maybe she felt it was better to be transparent about what she had said once it hit the news. I still don't see any political gain for her in this.
So far it seems like 100% of the time when a man is named publicly it is only a matter of time before the other shoe drops. More women come forward or the man fades quietly into the background often with some sort of confidenciality agreement. Still the first reaction for some men is to defend the man being accused, to react as though it is a criminal trial. If two people tell me conflicting stories I try to reconcile the accounts often finding truth somewhere in between the two. If not then I turn to plausibility. Sometimes plausibility is equal. When there are multiple accusers plausibility goes to them unless I can see a reason why it should not, for example personal gain on their part.
If multiple men were accusing Weir of stealing things when he was in their offices I don't think the men would be accused of lying for political gain. Or maybe they were just mistaken and lost those items, or they were confused.
Multiple accusers? Apparently, there haven't been any at this point. And accused of what?
As for political gain, how can that be ruled out at this point? Maybe she's supporting someone else for caucus head. And based on the timeline, no, the story came out before Singh gave a response.
Sorry K, but Pondering was right to call you on this. Women's harassment complaints are not to be joked about or mocked.
Quote from someone being sort of supportive of Erin Weir. Interesting comment.
So making a list of things that are non-sexual in nature that descends from the worst possible to something that while minor is still harassing behaviour is not allowed. Duly noted.
Edited to add. IMO the reason Pondering complained and the reason you agree is because you don't like me much and you parse my sentences to find meanings that are not intended but can be construed if you work from the premise that the poster has ill intent.
3 (1) For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.
7 It is a discriminatory practice, directly or indirectly,
(a) to refuse to employ or continue to employ any individual, or
(b) in the course of employment, to differentiate adversely in relation to an employee,
on a prohibited ground of discrimination.
Employers have a duty to provide a discrimination free workplace. Harrassment of only women or only gay people is discrimination based on a prohibited ground under the CHRA. Harrassment of a person because of their family is also prohibited such as making fun of a person's mixed race child and that would give rise to a dual complaint. As an MP he is an employer and his staff are covered under a voluntarily signed collective agreement. If he is making a woman who could serve as support staff for our invasion forces nervous then something is really amiss and I want to know why it has been allowed to go on for two years (that is when he got elected). A simple no I think you are an asshole would have sufficed if that is what she means but she claims to be afraid to meet with him by himself because of the way he treats his staff. Why has no one in caucus done anything to protect his staff because certainly if she knows about behaviour that is that inappropriate then it must have been apparent to others.
"So what you're saying is..."
So krop, sorry to get technical again, but what you've cited does not mention "sexual harassment" at all. It's about discrimination and/or harassment based on a prohibited ground - among which is sex. Sex, as in gender. Not as in sexual acts.
Sexual harassment is not about treating women (or men or non-binary people) differently from others. That's discrimination, and it could be harassment. Sexual harassment is what I cited above from the Canada Labour Code. And it happens to be the way everyone in the world uses that phrase in real life. It's not about shouting at women, or paying women less than men, or treating them like dirt. It's about harassing them... sexually.
Sorry to belabour the point, but when trying to parse Christine Moore's email (and I agree, it's not easy), it's important to keep these distinctions in mind.
Mea culpa. It is discrimination based on sex that appears to be complained about. When I read the e-mail I thought it clearly pointed to a man who likes to hit on women. Then I read that it was not sexual in nature but it still seemed that it was gender related which makes it harassment and discrimination based on the sex of the person. I am truly sorry that somehow saying sexual harrassment instead of harassment based on sex has led to so much thread drift. The e-mail could also be construed that he is just a bully to everyone. Therefore his colleagues should be doing something about it behind the scenes on behalf of staff who probably feel at minimum uncomfortable and from this e-mail possibly terrified of the man. Serious accusations no matter what language you use and inappropriate for any employer let alone an NDP MP.
It'll be interesting to see if there are survivors who speak with the independent investigator(s) that the NDP will be bringing in. Granted, we may not hear of that for a while, but once a decision/resolution comes about, some detail (IE, whether anyone came forward) will likely be put out there.
Don't know how it's defined (if at all) in the various provincial codes, whether labour or human rights. Does anyone have any information on that?
See comment 22. I provided a link
You got to be freekin kidding me buddy?!?!?!?!
Singh's own words.
He was speaking of sexual harassment and on the day before the Weir story came out. And Weir is apparently not being accused of sexual harassment. So I don’t know where “survivors” comes into play.
At some point over the last few years, a collective decision was apparently taken in the progressive world to replace "complainants", "accusers", and even "victims" with "survivors" when talking about sexual assault cases. I completely understand the semantic logic (reminding people that many sexual assaults are coupled with murder), but it does result in awkward phrasing at press conferences like Singh's, where "We don't have any survivors in this case" doesn't initially read as "We don't have anyone willing to put her name to a complaint publicly", but rather as "Erin Weir murdered every woman he harrassed".
This is a quote from the article Ken posted that I find the most relevant to this discussion.
The real problem with the word 'survivor' is that it assumes a fact not in evidence. That is, it assumes that everyone who makes an allegation is telling the truth. Otherwise what would they be surviving from?
But that is also why the word was chosen, to emphasize that all allegations will be accepted as true.
Kropotkin, you may not have intended your comment to be mocking but it definitely reads that way. No personal animosity required. Meg isn't crazy about me either. You may not have picked up on it yet but I am a Singh supporter.
Back to the topic at hand, women in particular but also employees in general don't make official complaints about bosses because it isn't good for one's career. No one wants to be pegged a trouble maker. Bad behavior often occurs behind doors and are he said she said or he said he said. Whatever happened is usually minimized in an attempt to find a solution in which the boss doesn't pay or pays minimally. If the boss stays in place then the relationship is awkward with underlying hostility. It's easier to just take it, go home, and grumble there.
Typically an official complaint must be made or nothing is done. That is what has changed. No official complaints required anymore. The onus has been put on executives to investigate when rumours surface regardless of whether or not there is an official complaint.