NEWS

Daiene Vernile says she was sexually harassed during media years

11/05/2014 01:43 EST | Updated 01/05/2015 05:59 EST
Kitchener Centre Liberal ​MPP Daiene Vernile publicly revealed on Wednesday morning during question period at Queen's Park that she had been sexually harassed in the workplace during her former career as a broadcast journalist. 

The revelation came as Vernile was addressing recent comments made by Premier Kathleen Wynne that she is "open" to studying the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, in light of the allegations surrounding ex-CBC host Jian Ghomeshi.

"Just last week I had a meeting with some stakeholders at the Waterloo Region Sexual Assault Centre and most of the conversation was about events at the CBC," Vernile said during question period Wednesday. "I tell you as a former broadcaster I get it, having witnessed and experienced sexual harassment in the workplace." 

Vernile left her job as host of the long-running CTV provincial affairs program Provincewide, before being elected as the Liberal MPP for Kitchener Centre in June. Before that she worked as a journalist in Texas, and in Ontario as a legislature reporter at Queen's Park. 

"My experiences date back thirty years ago when many workplaces were male-dominated bastions," Vernille said in an email to CBC News. "Workplace culture has come a long way in that time...thanks to healthy workplace practices, more women in the workplace and women in management."

Vernile said she is concerned for those who feel afraid and degraded because of sexual harassment at work. In her email, she encouraged victims to come forward and report their experiences to the police.

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