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Harassment allegations ‘founded in part’ following third-party investigation into N.B. Speaker Chris Collins

Allegations of harassment against N.B. Speaker have been founded in part, says legislative administration committee
Mon, Jul 23: The Allegations of harassment filed against New Brunswick's Speaker of the House, Chris Collins, have been founded – in part. Morganne Campbell has more in this report.

The bombshell came in the form of a prepared statement read aloud to members of the media Monday by the vice-chair of the Legislative Administration Committee (LAC).

“It concludes the complaint of harassment against Speaker Collins was founded in part and that there was a violation of the province of New Brunswick workforce harassment policy,” read Bernard LeBlanc, the vice-chair of the Legislative Administration Committee.

The allegations levelled by a former employee against the Speaker, Chris Collins, were made public by Premier Brian Gallant in April, which resulted in Collins announcing he won’t run in September’s provincial election.

Collins made it clear in a statement to the media through his lawyer that he intended on clearing his name.

READ MORE: Lawyer says Speaker of New Brunswick legislature will fight allegation of harassment

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The investigation was conducted by an Ontario-based lawyer and the vice-chair told members of the media that the committee will not release the report from the investigation.

“We will have no further comment on this matter at this time and we will not be taking questions,” said LeBlanc.

Premier Gallant issued a statement that says the province works to ensure they have safe and respectful workplaces. In part, it reads, “We expect the appropriate remedy to be determined by the appropriate authority within the legislative branch.”

“When the complaint was made, our caucus decided to suspend the MLA for Moncton Centre from caucus,” the statement continued, “which is consistent with a policy of sending someone home with pay pending an investigation, as is best practice.”

READ MORE: N.B. Speaker Chris Collins breaks silence following harassment allegation

The PC’s would not comment on the report nor would the Green Party Leader David Coon.

As for what’s next for Collins, that remains unclear at this point in time. His lawyer could not be reached for comment.