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RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:44 pm    Post subject: Kent Hehr faces compaints of being disrespectful Reply with quote

( like seriously he might be in a wheelchair but this mp is seriously out of line if he treats people like this )


Hehr apologizes, pledges to do better after new complaint from Calgary mom

Calgary mother was raising concerns about denied maternity benefits in call with federal minister

By Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press Posted: Dec 07, 2017 10:20 AM ET| Last Updated: Dec 07, 2017 5:34 PM ET

Federal cabinet minister Kent Hehr is facing a new complaint about being disrespectful to a constituent.


Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr admitted to sometimes being "brash" and "inappropriate" after a fresh complaint of disrespect surfaced Thursday — this one from a Calgary woman engaged in a class-action lawsuit against the federal government.

Jennifer McCrea, who has been fighting on behalf of a group of mothers who say they were denied benefits while on maternity leave, contacted Hehr's office in October 2016 after being encouraged to speak to local Liberal MPs about her case.

Hehr, who was shuffled into the Sport and Disabilities portfolios by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this past summer, was veterans affairs minister at the time.

"(He was) very condescending," McCrea said of the October 2016 interaction, noting she was able to secure less than two minutes of his time.

She asked him pointedly why Ottawa continues to fight sick women — a "loaded question" to which he allegedly replied, "Well, Ms. McCrea, that is the old question, like asking ... 'When did you stop beating your wife?"'

"I didn't respond (with) anything because my jaw was on the floor," McCrea recalled.

"I had never really actually heard of the term that it is a 'loaded question' ... I was just literally (wondering), 'Who talks like that, let alone ... a minister or a member of Parliament?"


■'Everyone ... has a sob story': Thalidomide survivors say they were belittled by disabilities minister
■Questions remain regarding Kent Hehr's thalidomide survivor comments, politics watchers say


McCrea said she decided to come forward about Hehr's comments after hearing a group of thalidomide survivors describe earlier this week how they felt belittled by Hehr's bedside manner during a meeting earlier this year.

Hehr needs to be more sensitive in his interactions, McCrea said — a sentiment with which the minister appeared to agree when asked about the issue Thursday during question period.

"When speaking to people I tend to be very straightforward; however, I understand my comments can be brash and sometimes even inappropriate," Hehr said as he read a written statement.

"I regret my comments and I sincerely apologize. As I've said before, I'm committed to taking steps to better myself."

Thalidomide comments

Hehr also apologized earlier this week after the thalidomide controversy erupted, although he described some of his comments as having been "misconstrued."

"As someone with a disability myself, it was certainly not my intention to offend anyone," he said at the time.

Conservative MP Rachael Harder, her party's status of women critic, suggested Hehr needs to consider how better to interact with his constituents.

"There is clearly a disturbing pattern here of victim blaming," said Harder, who also questioned the minister directly in the House.

"I think certainly he needs to reflect on his actions ... I would expect his behaviour to change."

a 'consistent' pattern

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh appeared genuinely taken aback by the remark.

"He can't be talking about violence against women like that," he said. "We need our leaders to be denouncing violence against women and in no way making light of it."

Stephen Moreau, a lawyer who is representing McCrea's group of mothers, said disclosing the comments in 2016 would have distracted from efforts to get the Liberal government to take action on the question of maternity benefits.

But since nothing has yet happened on that file, the two issues may be related, he suggested.

"We're seeing a comment that is consistent with the pattern that we are seeing of this government in terms of fighting the litigation tooth and nail," Moreau said.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/politic.....42?cmp=rss
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thalidomide survivors say 'degraded, insulted' by disabilities minister Kent Hehr



Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, December 5, 2017 11:31AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 4:30PM EST


OTTAWA -- Members of a group of thalidomide survivors dropped a bombshell Tuesday as they accused Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr of belittling them with insulting and degrading remarks during a face-to-face meeting earlier this year.

The comments from Hehr came during an Oct. 19 meeting, which the group had hoped would encourage the federal government to make good on its commitment to further compensate those impacted by the now-banned pregnancy drug, said Fiona Sampson, herself a survivor who was at the meeting.

The minister said, "'You don't have it as bad today as adults as you did when you were kids,"' Sampson quoted the minister as saying, along with, "'everyone in Canada has a sob story. Lots of people have it bad in Canada-- disabled people, poor people, not just you."'




Thalidomide Survivors Task Group
Members of the Thalidomide Survivors Task Group hold a news conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Tuesday, December 5, 2017. From left to right are Fiona Sampson, Mary Ryder, Lee Ann Dalling and Alexandra Niblock.(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand)



Kent Hehr
Kent Hehr, the federal minister for persons with disabilities is said to have apologized this fall after a letter was sent to the Prime Minister's Office.

And when Hehr was told about the impact their condition was expected to have on their life spans, Sampson alleges he responded: "'So, you probably have about 10 years left now. That's good news for the Canadian government."'

In a statement Tuesday, Hehr flatly denied ever making the latter remark, and described the first two comments as having been "misconstrued." He also apologized to the group last month after a letter of complaint was sent to the Prime Minister's Office.

"As someone with a disability myself, it was certainly not my intention to offend anyone," the statement said. "While some of my comments were misconstrued, as soon as I learned that my comments were felt to be offensive, I immediately called the organization directly and apologized."

Sampson also accused Hehr of touching a survivor in an "unwelcome" way during the meeting. "It was ... physical contact that violated her personal space," Sampson said.

Tuesday's news conference was the first he's heard of any such allegation, Hehr insisted. "If there was any physical contact, it was completely accidental and I apologize."

The survivors were on Parliament Hill on Tuesday to press their demand that the federal government take further action to help -- in particular by honouring a promise to provide lump-sum compensation of $250,000 and increased annual pensions. But their allegations against the minister stole the spotlight.

"It felt like a physical blow to my body," Sampson said of the comments.

"We were shocked and stunned because really, he is the minister responsible for persons with disabilities. He's supposed to be our champion ... Not only did he not step up as a champion, but he degraded us, he insulted us."

In his statement, Hehr said his heart goes out to survivors, that he listened to their stories, and that the government is taking concerns very seriously. Sampson said she's not convinced, and that his apology will only ring hollow until the government delivers on its promise.

"Until we get the full support promise fulfilled, the apology is meaningless."

Patients have received lump sum payments of $125,000 each, she said, adding patients are struggling to make ends meet due to the extent of their disabilities.

Sampson also said her group has had more positive meetings with other Liberal cabinet ministers, including Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

"I don't think any of us wanted this to happen," she said. "We feel like we've been absolutely backed into a corner and forced to shame the government like this."

NDP health critic Don Davies said the comments hint at a deeper problem within Liberal ranks.

"I think they speak to a deeper problem that goes to a lack of sensitivity that I think is more disturbing," Davies said.

Thalidomide was billed as a safe, effective sedative and morning sickness remedy after it first became available in Canada in 1959. It was banned in 1962 after it was found to be causing widespread birth defects and infant deaths.

Lee Ann Dalling, also a thalidomide survivor, said she feels betrayed by those Liberal MPs who supported a unanimous motion in the House of Commons in 2014 calling for "full support' to Canadian victims.

"I thought, 'Finally, our federal government is trying to make amends for the 50-plus years of pain, ridicule, rejection and suffering," she said. "A life that was versus a life that could have been and should have been."

Survivors believed they were being shown compassion, respect, dignity and accountability that had been sorely lacking from Ottawa, Dalling said.

"We all endure humiliation on a daily basis due to our physical appearance. There's not a day that goes by that I do not receive a hurtful comment related to thalidomide. The federal government reneging on its promise of full support compounds these daily indignities."

In a statement released Tuesday, Health Canada said it was aware of the concerns brought forward by the thalidomide survivors group.

"Health Canada is aware of Ms. Sampson's views regarding support for thalidomide survivors and will consider her views along with other input on the effectiveness of the program," the department said.

"The government of Canada is fully committed to providing support to confirmed Canadian thalidomide survivors so that they may age with dignity."

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics.....-1.3707856
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It this day, when joke pictures or a patting a bottom can get someone run out of the Senate, you feel the hole that exists in the criminal code.

After all, if we are going to impose special pronouns on ourselves so that those who don't know if they're punched or bored feel their dignity is sufficiently respected, then why would we do anything less for thalidomide victims.

OK, not pronouns, but where is the Human Rights Commissions when you need them?

Why isn't this guy being carried off to a re-education camp, where he will be reprogrammed? Why isn't he under arrest for a speech violation?

This is a guy who needs to be dragged before a 'proceeding' and get his financial penalty so that politicians learn their lesson.
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( is more allegations against this minister , its clear he's not a very sympathetic guy and doesn't seem to care much about the people he claims to want to help )


Veteran’s wife calls Veterans Affairs minister insensitive

ANDREA GUNN Ottawa Bureau
Published December 11, 2017 - 7:41pm
Last Updated December 12, 2017 - 6:37am



Another allegation of insensitive comments from federal minister Kent Hehr has surfaced, this time from the wife of a disabled veteran.

Hehr, who is the former veterans affairs minister and the current minister of sport and persons with disabilities, has been under fire in recent weeks for statements he allegedly made to a group of thalidomide survivors in October.

On Monday, Kim Davis spoke to The Chronicle Herald about similarly inconsiderate comments she says he made to her in the summer of 2016 when he was in Dartmouth.

Davis said she was at an event for the opening of the Nova Scotia Operational Stress Injury Clinic, which is funded by Veterans Affairs Canada, when she approached Hehr.

Davis, an outspoken activist for veterans, said she challenged Hehr about what the government was doing to look after the families of veterans who have to become full-time caregivers.

In Davis’ case, her husband, a Bosnian veteran, was suicidal and has such severe PTSD that she had to quit her job as a college instructor to care for him.

“I had to give up a career that I enjoyed that had a pension and benefits. Now when I reach age 65 I won’t even qualify for CPP as I haven’t been working,” she said.

Davis said when she explained her situation to Hehr, he responded by telling her Veterans Affairs Canada does not have an obligation to her, as it was her choice to marry her husband.

“I don’t become speechless very quickly but I was dumbfounded that he actually said that,” she said.

Davis said she then went on to tell Hehr that she didn’t think it was fair that, as per the Children of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance Act, if her husband committed suicide her children would have their education paid for but because she had to quit her job to care for him, they might not have the opportunity.

Hehr responded again by saying being with her husband was her choice, Davis alleges.

Davis’ description of the exchange was corroborated by Dawn Marie Collins, another spouse of a veteran, who was standing next to Davis at the time. Collins said she remembers the conversation and that she also felt belittled by Hehr at the event.

In an emailed statement, Hehr completely denied making those comments to Davis.

“At the office opening in June 2016, I noticed some members in the audience wanted to speak with me. I agreed to have a private meeting with them on the spot. I listened to their concerns, and we had a cordial meeting,” Hehr said.

Hehr said improving the lives of veterans and their families is a priority for the federal government, touting an increase to the caregiver recognition benefit to $1,000 month tax-free beginning in April 2018.

“As I have said, I am taking steps to better myself as a representative of the people of Calgary and of Canada. I will continue to advocate for all Canadians, including our most vulnerable.”

In response to The Chronicle Herald’s request, a staffer from Hehr’s office also sent a number of screenshots of Davis broadly venting and criticizing Hehr and VAC on a public Facebook group for Canadian veterans, as well as a screenshot of a comment on a post on Hehr’s official page.

The staffer said the screenshots weren’t to discredit Davis, but to show that she has been vocal about her concerns.

Following her encounter with Hehr, Davis said she was not at all surprised to hear that he had also made questionable comments to survivors of thalidomide, a drug once widely prescribed to pregnant women for morning sickness until it was found to cause serious birth defects.

At a press conference in Ottawa last week, members of the Thalidomide Survivor Task Group accused Hehr of trivializing their struggles by telling them everyone has “a sob story” at a meeting back in October.

Hehr has apologized for the comments, which he said were misconstrued.

Davis said she just wants to make people aware that Hehr’s apparent lack of sensitivity is not a one-time thing.

“He doesn’t seem to care, he doesn’t seem to have any filters,” she said.

“It’s like he is given free range to say whatever he wants and doesn’t seem to have any backlash or recourse because of it.”


http://thechronicleherald.ca/n.....nsensitive
RCO





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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kent Hehr acknowledges he can be 'brash and insensitive' but believes he still belongs in cabinet

MP for Calgary Centre says he maintains an 'excellent working relationship' with the prime minister

By Robson Fletcher, CBC News Posted: Dec 15, 2017 3:33 PM MT| Last Updated: Dec 15, 2017 3:33 PM MT


Kent Hehr acknowledges he can be "brash and insensitive" at times but doesn't believe that should disqualify him from his job as the federal minister of sport and persons with disabilities.

Numerous Canadians have come forward publicly in recent weeks to say they were insulted, offended or otherwise treated rudely during meetings with Hehr.
■Kent Hehr forced to defend himself against allegations of rudeness, again

The Liberal MP for Calgary Centre — who became a quadriplegic at age 21 after being struck by a bullet as a bystander in a drive-by shooting — said Friday his disability hasn't impacted his empathy one way or another when he's speaking with others who are struggling with disabilities of their own.

Rather, he attributed the series of offensive interactions to his personal communication style and the volume of people he meets across Canada.

"I do pride myself on taking many, many meetings," Hehr told CBC News in Calgary.

"I do pride myself on being direct and trying to be solution-oriented. But I know this can come across as brash and insensitive. And that's where I need to work on myself to understand that I need to lean in and understand that people need an empathetic ear."

Hehr said he's learned from the mistakes in the previous meetings and continues to work on his demeanour.

The reason he got into politics, he added, "was to assist people to build their lives," and he wants to continue doing that as a member of the federal cabinet.

And he still he believes his job is safe, in spite of the recent controversy.

"I believe that the prime minister and I have an excellent working relationship," Hehr said.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....15?cmp=rss
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( kent Hehr has resigned from cabinet pending in investigation into his behaviour towards women )


Kent Hehr to stay on as Calgary MP, after he resigns from cabinet amid sexual harassment allegations

Hehr said he welcomes investigation into allegations

By Sarah Rieger, CBC News Posted: Jan 25, 2018 5:55 PM MT| Last Updated: Jan 25, 2018 8:04 PM MT

Calgary Centre MP Kent Hehr has resigned from cabinet, pending an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.


Kent Hehr says he'll be staying on as MP for Calgary Centre after he resigned from cabinet pending an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.

"Throughout my career I have always tried to conduct myself with respect towards others, and I understand the most important thing is how each individual feels," said Hehr in a statement on Thursday.


"I have been informed that an investigation into these allegations has begun and I welcome and respect this process.


"While this is ongoing, I have resigned from cabinet pending the outcome of the investigation. I do not want to be a distraction to all the good work ‎being done by our government. I will be staying on as member of Parliament for Calgary Centre to continue working hard on behalf of my constituents," he continued.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement from Davos, Switzerland earlier in the day saying he had accepted Hehr's resignation.

The prime minister was asked about allegations that had been posted to social media that suggested women felt unsafe being alone with Hehr at the Alberta legislature, where he was a member from 2008 to 2015.

Kristin Raworth suggested on Twitter that the MP made sexually suggestive comments to her in an elevator, telling her, "you're yummy."

She has since posted a statement to her Facebook page, saying that it's time for the political landscape to change.

"First off, I assure you that this isn't just my experience. It's the experience of many people who experience sexual harassment in political work. Mr. Hehr resigned today, but this can't be the end of the conversation. Because this isn't about him. Or me. We need to continue to support survivors and we need to continue to make politics a place for women," Raworth wrote.

2nd Calgary Liberal MP to resign after allegations

Hehr is one of just two Liberal MPs in Calgary.

The second, Darshan Kang, resigned from caucus last fall amid allegations of sexual harassment toward a woman at his constituency office in Calgary.

He denies those allegations.
■Calgary MP Darshan Kang quits Liberal caucus, denying allegations of sexual harassment

Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt said the latest development isn't likely to help the federal Liberal Party's cause in Calgary.

"I really think this is going to end, well it has ended Darshan Kang's career. We'll wait to see about Kent Hehr but I think it's really ended the Liberals here," he said.

Premier Rachel Notley also commented on the situation. She didn't name Hehr directly, but instead talked generally about the duty governments have to victims of sexual harassment and violence.


"Owing to the bravery and resolve of women speaking out, we are finally facing a reality that unfolds daily in the lives of countless women. Generations of people have worked to get us to this point and no longer will they be sidelined and dismissed," Notley wrote.


"Governments at all levels have a duty to lead: with better resources and supports to protect victims, laws that create healthier workplaces, and safe avenues for people to speak out. Enough already. We can change. Let's change together."


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.4504448
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kent Hehr resigns from Trudeau’s cabinet


The minister for sports and people with disabilities has quit cabinet pending an investigation into accusations he made sexually inappropriate comments to women.


Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr's resignation was accepted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday.


By Bruce Campion-SmithOttawa Bureau

Thu., Jan. 25, 2018




OTTAWA—Kent Hehr, the minister for Sports and Persons with Disabilities, has resigned from cabinet pending an investigation into accusations he made sexually inappropriate comments to women during his time in the Alberta legislature.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision Thursday afternoon, saying that “harassment of any kind is unacceptable.”

“As a government we take any allegations of misconduct extremely seriously, and we believe that it is important to support women who come forward with allegations and that is exactly what our government will do,” Trudeau said in a statement.

Trudeau said he accepted Hehr’s resignation, adding that Toronto MP Kirsty Duncan will take on the portfolio in addition to her own duties as science minister.

The move came after Kristin Raworth, an Alberta civil servant, posted concerns on Twitter Wednesday about the conduct of Hehr, who was an Alberta politician before being elected to the House of Commons.


“My first day working at the Alberta legislature I was told to avoid being in an elevator with Kent Hehr. He would make comments. He would make you feel unsafe,” Raworth said on Twitter.

“There is literally no woman who worked in the annex who didn’t experience this. He made verbally sexually suggestive comments to all of us, who in an elevator with me and only me said ‘you’re yummy,’ ” she said.

“My story and most of our stories thankful don’t end with assault but they end up in fear,” said Raworth, who could not be reached Thursday.



Calling it her “political #metoo” movement, Raworth posted her comments after Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown held a late-night news conference Wednesday to deny allegations of sexual misconduct that were to later force his resignation.

Hehr said he welcomes and respects the investigation now underway into his conduct and said he resigned from cabinet because he did not want to be a “distraction.”

“The conversation our society is having is a very important one. I encourage all women who have felt uncomfortable or who have experienced harassment of any kind to continue to come forward. It is never OK,” Hehr said in a statement.

“Throughout my career I have always tried to conduct myself with respect towards others, and I understand the most important thing is how each individual feels.”

“Harassment is never acceptable, and everyone deserves to have their voice heard.”

It appears that Hehr will remain in the Liberal caucus for now, but losing his cabinet post will hit him financially — cabinet ministers get another $80,000 on top of their MP salaries, plus a car allowance.

Trudeau said his government has “rigorous processes” in place to address such allegations. But there was no hint of how long an investigation might take nor any promises that Hehr could resume his place in cabinet if cleared of the allegations.

The allegations left the government scrambling. Hehr had been scheduled to make a funding announcement in Toronto on Thursday morning, but the event was abruptly cancelled.

And it put Trudeau on the hot seat on an issue that is shaking up society, from politics to the entertainment world and business circles.

The prime minister had used his Tuesday speech at the World Economic Forum to tell business elites that sexual harassment is a “systemic” problem. “As leaders, we need to act to show that truly, time is up,” he said.

Speaking to reporters Thursday before his departure from Davos, Switzerland, he spoke about the allegations that brought down Brown at Queen’s Park, saying, “the world has to change.”

And then he was forced to confront alleged misbehaviour by one of his own ministers.

“As people know full well, we and I personally have zero tolerance for things like harassment or sexual assault,” Trudeau said.

“That is why we have taken actions over the past years and why I always repeat that it’s important to believe and support those women who come forward to make such allegations,” the prime minister said.

Just before Christmas, news broke that Claude-Éric Gagné, a senior member of his staff, was being investigated over multiple allegations of “inappropriate behaviour.”

Calgary MP Darshan Kang left the Liberal caucus last September after allegations of harassment and inappropriate behaviour.

Hunter Tootoo quit as fisheries minister and left the Liberal caucus in 2016, saying at the time he was seeking treatment for an alcohol addiction. He later revealed that he had been involved in what he called a “consensual but inappropriate” relationship.

Before his party took government, Trudeau booted Liberal MPs Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti from his caucus for alleged personal misconduct, later revealed to be complaints from two female New Democrat MPs that were sexual in nature.

Hehr was already on thin ice after facing criticism that he was uncaring and insensitive in his roles as veterans affairs minister and more recently in his new cabinet portfolio.

In a meeting with thalidomide survivors, they complained that he “managed to insult and degrade” four members of the delegation.

It was also alleged he touched one of the women near her breast “in a way that was inappropriate and unwelcome.”

“I think that was a shock to us all, too,” said Fiona Sampson, according to a CBC News report on the meeting.

“It was an unwelcomed physical contact that violated her personal space,” Sampson said.

Hehr was first elected to the Alberta legislature in 2008. Hehr — who uses a motorized wheelchair after being paralyzed in a 1991 shooting — made the jump to federal politics in 2015, when he was elected as MP for Calgary Centre


https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/01/25/kent-hehr-resigns-from-cabinet-amid-allegations-of-inappropriate-sexual-remarks.html
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the evidence against Kent hehr seems to be fairly significant , no evidence any women was assaulted however the definition of sexual harassment is more complex and can include unwanted comments /remarks of a sexual nature . which It seems there is significant evidence he had in fact been making when he was an alberta mla .

the question is why was he allowed to sit as a liberal mp in cabinet for so long ? when they clearly had to be aware of his behaviour . perhaps he has a medical condition , he's in a wheelchair and maybe he's suffering from something that hasn't been publically revealed but his behaviour is not acceptable for someone in cabinet )


Canada
January 25, 2018 11:30 am Updated: January 26, 2018 1:35 am


Kent Hehr resigns from Liberal cabinet over sexual harassment allegations

By Amanda Connolly National Online Journalist Global News




Liberal MP Kent Hehr has resigned from the federal cabinet over sexual harassment allegations but will continue to sit in the party caucus.

In a statement issued late Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he takes the allegations made against Hehr by an Alberta public servant seriously and has handed over his duties to Science Minister Kirsty Duncan while an investigation takes place.


“Harassment of any kind is unacceptable and Canadians have a right to live and work in environments free from harassment. As a government we take any allegations of misconduct extremely seriously, and we believe that it is important to support women who come forward with allegations and that is exactly what our government will do,” said Trudeau.

“Today, I accepted the Honourable Kent Hehr’s resignation from cabinet pending the outcome of the investigation. During his leave of absence, his ministerial duties will be performed by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan who will serve as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, in addition to being Minister of Science.”

READ MORE: Patrick Brown steps down as Ontario PC leader amid sexual misconduct allegations

In a statement issued immediately after, Hehr said he will be stating on as a member of parliament for Calgary Centre and said the conversation around harassment taking place now is important.

“Throughout my career I have always tried to conduct myself with respect towards others, and I understand the most important thing is how each individual feels,” he said.


“I have been informed that an investigation into these allegations has begun and I welcome and respect this process. While this is ongoing, I have resigned from Cabinet pending the outcome of the investigation. I do not want to be a distraction to all the good work ‎being done by our government.”

Hehr had abruptly cancelled a press conference scheduled for Thursday morning after a question posed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by Global News prompted him to say that he would be speaking with Hehr shortly regarding allegations that were levelled against him late Wednesday by a provincial political staffer.

Watch below: Liberal MP Kent Hehr says he will continue to represent his constituents after resigning from his cabinet post after being accused of sexual harassment by an Alberta public servant. Gary Bobrovitz reports.


Play Video

Kristin Raworth, an Alberta public servant, posted a thread on Twitter late Wednesday night following a stunning press conference in which former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown preemptively denied allegations of sexual misconduct that would minutes later be revealed in a CTV News report.



Brown resigned several hours later.

In her tweets following the publication of those allegations, Raworth said she wanted to add her own story of sexual harassment to the growing avalanche of voices in the #MeToo movement and described inappropriate comments she alleges Hehr made to women, including herself, in elevators in the Alberta legislature.


After the announcement of Hehr’s resignation from Cabinet, Raworth took to social media once again to offer what she said would be her final public comment on the matter.

She reiterated that many other women had gone through similar experiences and that more work needed to be done to support women in her situation.

“Mr. Hehr resigned today, but this can’t be the end of the conversation. Because this isn’t about him. Or me,” she wrote on Facebook.

“We need to continue to support survivors and we need to continue to make politics a place for women.”

She also said that party politics aren’t part of the situation: “I am not a conservative. I am not a liberal. I am a survivor.”

“In closing, let me just say I love politics because it has the power to do such good. I fell in love with politics and democracy when I was 18. But loving something doesn’t mean you’re blind to its faults. Politics needs to change,” she wrote.



Over the course of the day, pressure had been mounting on the government to take action in light of the allegations against Hehr.

While Trudeau said in a press conference from Davos, Switzerland, Thursday morning that it was important to believe women who come forward and that he would be speaking to Hehr about the allegations, it was not immediately clear what action might be taken.

Politicians have weighed in from across the country and while none explicitly called for Hehr to resign, all stressed the need to take clear action in order to stem sexual harassment and send the message that the kind of behaviour Hehr is accused of is never alright.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley called on governments to act and implement to prevent sexual harassment, noting that the stories coming out now have been the realities of women across the country for far too long.

“Owing to the bravery and resolve of women speaking out, we are finally facing a reality that unfolds daily in the lives of countless women. Generations of people have worked to get us to this point and no longer will they be sidelined and dismissed,” Notley said in a statement.


“It matters how we treat one another. The changes we make today have to last. Governments at all levels have a duty to lead: with better resources and supports to protect victims, laws that create healthier workplaces, and safe avenues for people to speak out. Enough already. We can change. Let’s change together.”

Meanwhile, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said little when asked about the allegations against Hehr but said it was positive to see the support more broadly that individuals feel that they can come forward to share their stories.

“I don’t know anything about it so I can’t say much about it,” he said. “I think that it is great that we live in a community and a time in history where people are feeling comfortable coming forward, because everyone deserves to be safe in their workplace, in their homes, in the community. And I think that’s something that everyone in public life shares.”


Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told reporters from his caucus retreat in Victoria, B.C., that while he has not had to deal with any allegations on such a level since taking over the party, he said all such reports must be treated seriously.


“Serious allegations were raised there, and I do believe it’s incumbent on each member of Parliament to take these allegations seriously and for political parties to make sure that when these types of accusations come forward, that they are handled in a way that treats them with the gravity that they so rightly deserve,” he said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also weighed in, saying the party had discussed the need to support women and help make it easier for them to come forward during their caucus retreat in Ottawa over the past two days.

“We need to believe survivors. That’s a starting point,” he said. “We also need to acknowledge the courage it takes to come forward.”


In December, Hehr was accused by a group of thalidomide survivors of making “degrading” comments to them during meetings.

He denied making one of the statements the victims accused him of and said two others they had flagged were misinterpreted.



Shortly after that accusation, he came under fire again for comments he was alleged to have made to two activists in Calgary and Nova Scotia who came to him seeking assistance while he was minister for veterans affairs.

He apologized to the woman in Calgary, but denied the accusation from the woman in Halifax.

WATCH: Kent Hehr’s constituents have mixed reactions to resignation, sexual harassment allegations.


On Wednesday, Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie was forced to resign following an investigation into “allegations of inappropriate behaviour.”

Prior to that, Liberal MP Sherry Romanado accused Conservative MP and defence critic James Bezan of making “inappropriate, humiliating and unwanted comments” to her at a public event in the spring of 2017, which prompted him to apologize.

Claude-Éric Gagné, the deputy director of operations in the Prime Minister’s Office, was also put on leave last month following allegations of inappropriate behaviour that prompted a third-party investigation, which remains underway.

Liberal MP Darshan Kang is also on leave — though his is medical — after allegations surfaced in August 2017 that he had sexually harassed a young female staffer and then offered her money to stay quiet.

Kang has denied those allegations and was not immediately kicked out of the Liberal caucus despite calls from critics who say Trudeau should give him the boot, as he did to two MPs in 2014.

He ultimately resigned from caucus at the end of August.

Montreal MP Massimo Pacetti and Newfoundland MP Scott Andrews were removed from caucus by Trudeau swiftly following allegations made by two female NDP colleagues, and some have used those examples to question why Trudeau has not kicked out King or Hehr from caucus over their respective allegations.

Hehr holds one of the three Liberal seats in Alberta.

Hehr’s win in 2015 was a major breakthrough for the party in downtown Calgary.


https://globalnews.ca/news/3986503/kent-hehr-sexual-harassment-allegations/
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Kent Hehr faces compaints of being disrespectful

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