POLITICS

NDP MPs Angry With The Way Trudeau Handled Harassment Allegations

11/08/2014 05:00 EST | Updated 01/08/2015 05:59 EST
Bernard Weil via Getty Images
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 16 - Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau to visited Ontario Liberal Party Candidate Sandra Yeung Racco at Dufferin Clark Community Centre, Thornhill, January 16, 2014. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
What began with a non-partisan attempt to deal with serious allegations of personal misconduct against two Liberal MPs has descended into a nasty political dispute between the Liberals and the NDP.

CBC News has learned that the two NDP MPs who came forward with allegations against two Liberal MP are "angry" at the way Justin Trudeau publicly handled the situation.

"They are angry at Mr. Trudeau," NDP whip Nycole Turmel told CBC Radio's The House. "They are not angry that they spoke about it, but they are angry at Mr. Trudeau that they had to face that, " she said. Turmel added that she has spoken to both complainants and that they are both struggling to come to terms with the fact their stories are in the public domain, even if they haven't been named. 

On Wednesday, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau suspended MPs Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti from his caucus pending an investigation into what he called serious allegations of personal misconduct. Hours later, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said Trudeau did not warn the complainant he was going to go public with the situation — an action that said has "re-victimized" the two NDP MPs.

Impact of Trudeau's approach

NDP Deputy Leader Megan Leslie told The House she believes the Liberal leader's approach will have even further damaging affects. She claimed his actions might discourage other women from speaking out about harassment. "I don't think anyone's going to come forward anytime soon," Leslie told The House.  "I don't think it's safe to. I mean, it's not every workplace where you end up doing national media, because you came forward to say I want a safe workplace," she said. "I think it's going to be cut off, that conversation is cut off, at least in the short term."

But Liberal Party whip Judy Foote maintains her leader had a responsibility to act once the allegations were brought to his attention. "Certainly the MP that approached Mr. Trudeau had to know that, that he would have to act," Foote told The House. "You cannot sit on something like that."  

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