Regina-Lewvan MP Erin Weir won’t be running in upcoming federal election
Published Tuesday, May 21, 2019 9:25AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:43PM CST
Regina-Lewvan MP Erin Weir says he won’t be running in this year’s federal election.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh removed Weir from caucus after allegations of harassment and sexual harassment. Weir’s request to return to caucus was denied by Singh in September. Singh also said Weir would not be allowed to run as an NDP candidate in the 2019 election.
According to Weir, the move by Singh was retaliation for his own claim that the harassment complaints levelled against him was not only unfounded, but a politically motivated attempt to punish him.
Singh said in a statement that the time that a third-party investigation "found one claim of harassment and three claims of sexual harassment were sustained by the evidence.
"Weir failed to read non-verbal cues in social situations and his behaviour resulted in significant negative impacts on the complainants," the statement said.
"The report found that when Mr. Weir was told his advances were unwanted, he stopped."
"So, people said that I made them uncomfortable by sitting or standing too close to them at social events, or by talking to them more than they wanted to speak with me,” Weir said.
In the fall of 2018, Weir requested an outside authority such as the House of Commons human resources office or a human rights tribunal to review the investigation process launched by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in the spring. Weir said he was no afforded due process.
"Some other party leaders and other MPs did approach me about the possibility of running for other parties," he said, but added he sees himself as a lifelong New Democrat.
Running for another party or as an Independent would not help maintain progressive representation in Ottawa, he said.
Weir -- an Independent MP since he was booted from the caucus in May 2018 -- has called the investigation "deeply flawed."
The Regina politician said while he accepts he may have inadvertently stood too close to some people, or spoken to them longer than they liked, he does not believe those things constitute harassment in the minds of Canadians.
Weir was elected to his seat in 2015. He has been sitting as a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation.
“My candidacy under another banner this year would not help to maintain progressive representation for Regina in Ottawa,” Weir said in a letter on his website. “Because the federal leader continues to veto my candidacy for the NDP, I will not run in the upcoming federal election.”
The federal election is slated for Oct. 21.
With files from the Canadian Press.