Manitoba Liberals call for suspension of politicians accused of harassment

Click to play video: '‘We’ve got a problem’: Manitoba Liberal leader calls for rules and penalties for bad behaviour'
‘We’ve got a problem’: Manitoba Liberal leader calls for rules and penalties for bad behaviour
WATCH: Dougald Lamont said Thursday, following a new allegation of groping by MLA Cliff Graydon, that there needs to be someone with 'bark and bite' to deal with politicians who cross the line – Nov 15, 2018

Manitoba’s Liberal Leader says politicians accused of sexual harassment or other inappropriate comments should face possible suspension from the legislature.

Dougald Lamont’s comments came after a woman said she was groped and propositioned by Cliff Graydon, a legislature member who was kicked out of the governing Progressive Conservative caucus last month and now sits as an Independent.

READ MORE: Emerson MLA removed from PC caucus over ‘inappropriate behaviour’

There is virtually no way for an elected official to be removed or punished for bad behaviour, Lamont said Thursday. He said Manitoba’s conflict-of-interest commissioner should be given new power to investigate ethical matters and suspend MLAs without pay.

“They wouldn’t be able to vote, they wouldn’t be able to go to committees and they wouldn’t be paid.”

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Graydon was booted from the Tory caucus after media reports that he had asked two female staff members to sit on his lap and invited one staffer to lick food off his face.

WATCH: MLA Cliff Graydon denies being a sexual harasser

Click to play video: 'MLA Cliff Graydon denies being a sexual harasser'
MLA Cliff Graydon denies being a sexual harasser

Graydon admitted earlier this month that he made inappropriate comments, but said he was only guilty of having an outdated sense of humour and had never knowingly touched anyone inappropriately.

This week, a woman who is a long-time party member and volunteer told The Canadian Press that Graydon groped and propositioned her at a Tory social event in Winnipeg in September 2017.

READ MORE: Manitoba PC party member adds to harassment claims against Cliff Graydon

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Graydon has not responded to multiple requests for comment. He previously said he intends to stay on as an Independent, but will not run for re-election in October 2020.

None of the allegations has been tested in court and the woman has not filed a complaint with police.

A political analyst said Lamont’s idea would likely face hurdles.

In the meantime, the Prairie Director for the Canadian Taxpayer Federation said the Graydon case raises serious concerns and Manitoba should implement recall legislation similar to that of other provinces.

“There’s a lot of concern building in the community. There needs to be an outlet for that concern, there needs to be a way to address that concern,” Todd MacKay said.

-With files from Sharon Pfeifer

WATCH: With a growing number of sexual harassment complaints against MLA Cliff Graydon, some say legislation needs to change

Click to play video: 'Advocates call for action after latest Graydon accusation'
Advocates call for action after latest Graydon accusation

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