Sexual harassment legislation 'long overdue' says Kamloops MP

By Greg Fry
January 30, 2018 - 11:13am

KAMLOOPS — MPs are back to work in Ottawa this week and the focus early on has been on new legislation regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.

"I think it's very appropriate given the very disturbing stories that we've heard not only over the last few months but over the last few years," says Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP Cathy McLeod. "So, it looks like all-party support to get this particular piece of legislation through and then we'll be able to move on to some significant issues."

Not surprisingly, McLeod agrees with Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer's insistence that if allegations of sexual assault were levelled against candidates for his party today, they wouldn't be allowed to run.

"There's going to be no tolerance for sexual harassment in the workplace. I think when you read the stories that are out there it's a huge concern and people need to have a safe workplace to come to. We have young staffers here and again we're hearing some horrific stories, so they are long overdue measures that are being taken."

McLeod says she was shocked when sexual assault allegations were made against her former colleague and former Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown that led to his resignation last week.

"I think, like to many Canadians, it was shocking. You have someone in a very important position in the party as leader. It was good the party took quick measures. It's a new time and a new age and there's no tolerance."

And as a longtime MP for the Kamloops area, CFJC Today asked McLeod if frat boy behaviour is an issue in the nation's capital.

"I'm in Ottawa and I tend to keep my focus on both my work in the riding, my work in Ottawa and I actually live quite a quiet life here," she says. "So, I know there's activities but it's outside the activities I engage in. There's lots of evening functions and certainly alcohol tends to flow freely but really I'm mostly focused at the end of a day at home and usually focused on reading for the next day."

Following the debate on sexual harassment in the House, McLeod says her party intends to focus on ethics violations swirling around Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and this spring's budget.

Longtime city manager Duckworth moving on