Erin Weir expelled from NDP caucus after investigation into harassment complaints
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has removed MP Erin Weir from caucus.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference, Singh confirmed Thursday that a third-party investigation into allegations made against Weir in recent months supported one claim of harassment and three claims of sexual harassment.
“Mr. Weir had failed to read non-verbal cues in social situations and that his behaviour had had a negative impact on the people who made the complaints,” said Singh.
“The report states that when he realized that his advances were unwanted, he stopped.”
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While Singh said he had intended to consider “various corrective resolutions,” that changed in recent days following comments Weir made to CBC News in which he said the complaints were “trumped up” as punishment for pursuing a carbon-pricing debate at the party’s 2016 national convention.
“Yesterday, he challenged the findings of the investigation and attacked a person who came forward with the complaint,” said Singh.
“He also revealed details that could identify the complainant. So for that reason, I cannot be confident in his ability to be rehabilitated.”
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Weir, who represents the Saskatchewan riding of Regina-Lewvan, was suspended from his caucus duties in February but remained a member of the party.
He was first elected in 2015.
An email to NDP caucus members detailing one allegation of harassment sparked his suspension of duties and the third-party investigation launched by the party.
Weir released a statement at the time saying he had not been informed what was in the allegation made against him.
“As politicians, we are placed in a position of public trust. We are, and should be, held to the highest possible standards and it is absolutely right that our party has a process to investigate any allegations of harassment,” he had said.
“However, I do not know what is being alleged. I am confident that I have not harassed anyone and welcome a prompt investigation to clear my name. I look forward to continuing to represent the people of Regina–Lewvan as a member of the NDP caucus.”
The results of the investigation were reportedly handed to Singh last month.
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On May 1, Weir spoke with CBC News in a report detailing the findings of the investigation and the new complaints levelled against him since he was initially suspended.
He countered the findings and suggested the complaints against him were political payback for trying to raise discussion about carbon pricing within the party.
“It’s certainly the case that if you solicit complaints from hundreds of staff people, you will get some complaints. Particularly in a political context where there are disagreements, there are rivalries, there are axes to grind,” Weir said.
Singh said the recent comments by Weir led him to believe any rehabilitative approach was “untenable.”
“Without being able to obtain such assurances, I cannot in good conscience allow Mr. Weir to remain a member of the NDP caucus.”
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