Regina MP Erin Weir expelled from NDP caucus
A few days after speaking publically about harassment allegations against him, Regina-Lewvan MP Erin Weir has been removed from the NDP caucus, after what NDP leader Jagmeet Singh calls an unsuccessful attempt at mediation.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh expelled Saskatchewan MP Erin Weir from the caucus over sexual harassment claims and what he says is Weir’s refusal to take responsibility for his actions.
According to Weir, the move is retaliation for his own claim that the harassment complaint levelled against him in January was not only unfounded, but a politically motivated attempt to punish him.
"I think it's a really bad precedent for a former senior staff person in the federal leader’s office to use a harassment complaint in retaliation for a different in views on public policy," Weir said.
Singh said in a statement today 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."
Singh said he considered various corrective resolutions including conciliation. But "recent developments demonstrate Mr. Weir is unwilling to take responsibility for his actions and therefore any rehabilitative approach is now untenable."
Weir was originally suspended from his duties as a New Democrat MP earlier this year pending a third-party investigation, but remained in caucus.
In his own statement, Weir said the investigation's process was flawed and its findings exaggerated.
"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.
He said Singh had earlier decided to reinstate him, based on his willingness to participate in conciliation with any complainants. But after he went public earlier this week with his complaint about the original allegations being politically motivated, the hammer came down.
"Singh then notified Weir just before midnight on May 2 that he is being expelled from caucus, not because of the report's findings but because Weir commented publicly and Singh deemed that unacceptable."
Singh said he believes his response was appropriate and fair and it gave Weir an opportunity to accept the findings and take responsibility for his actions.
Weir is working on the issues reported, saying he is welcome to more harassment training and is cautiously optimistic that he will be reinstated.
With files from The Canadian Press