Amid further startling allegations about Jian Ghomeshi abusing women, former deputy prime minister Sheila Copps is under fire for questioning why the former CBC host no longer has a job.
Copps served as a Liberal MP from 1984 until 2004 and held a number of top cabinet posts. She was the first woman to serve as deputy prime minister and the first MP to give birth while in office.
Trigger warning: This article contains information and links about violence which may be triggering to survivors.
Copps began tweeting about Ghomeshi on Monday after he accused the CBC of firing him without good cause in a lengthy Facebook post. Her first tweets also take place after the Toronto Star detailed allegations from three women of violent abuse and an accusation from a former CBC employee of sexual harassment. It's unclear if Copps had read the Star story when she sent her tweets.
@jianghomeshi The state (and the CBC) have no place in the bedrooms of the nation. Good luck and stand tall!— Hon. Sheila Copps (@Sheila_Copps) October 27, 2014
@adaslivinski If a crime occurred,lay charges. Otherwise, private consensual acts are not grounds for dismissal. What about due process?— Hon. Sheila Copps (@Sheila_Copps) October 28, 2014
@melvillesh I understand that. And I also believe that any person deserves the right to due process.— Hon. Sheila Copps (@Sheila_Copps) October 28, 2014
@melvillesh Trial by media is hardly due process.— Hon. Sheila Copps (@Sheila_Copps) October 28, 2014
Copps was immediately criticized for her comments, as was Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who posted similar tweets on Monday, but who has since taken them back. Criticism generally focused on how the allegations about Ghomeshi do not relate to "consensual acts" and that it remains difficult and rare for women to go to the police about abuse.
Despite the blowback, Copps again took to Twitter Wednesday night after CBC's "As It Happens" ran an interview with another woman accusing Ghomeshi of violence. Later that evening, The Star would publish another, more detailed, story that included an allegation of assault from "Trailer Park Boys" actress Lucy DeCoutere. All of Copps' tweets take place after the Star story was published online and shared widely on Twitter.
@MiztressTia for sure. But if someone is fired based on their alleged bedroom behaviour, shouldn't there be some sort of due process?— Hon. Sheila Copps (@Sheila_Copps) October 30, 2014
@barcar34 alleged is the operative word. Do you really believe someone should be fired based on unproven allegations? What about due process— Hon. Sheila Copps (@Sheila_Copps) October 30, 2014
@bryan_leblanc are we now running trial by newspaper?— Hon. Sheila Copps (@Sheila_Copps) October 30, 2014
@reikokoyama79 on the contrary. Noone should be fired based on allegations. Crimes should be brought to justice, not to The Current— Hon. Sheila Copps (@Sheila_Copps) October 30, 2014
Copps' tweets regarding "bedroom behaviour" drew some of the fiercest attacks, but it was Rehtaeh Parsons' father Glen Canning's responses that generated the most response from other users.
@Sheila_Copps The state has a place in bedrooms if what is happening in them is a sex crime. Rehtaeh Parsons was raped in a bedroom.— Glen Canning (@GlenfordCanning) October 27, 2014
Stay tuned for further updates.
Related on HuffPost: