POLITICS

Peter Goldring says he wears video camera to avoid 'besmirchment'

11/26/2014 06:22 EST | Updated 01/26/2015 05:59 EST
Edmonton East MP Peter Goldring has advised his fellow members of Parliament to wear cameras at all times for "risk protection" and to "prevent besmirchment."

The Conservative MP offers the advice in a statement released to the media late Wednesday afternoon. It seems to have been prompted by the allegations of harassment made recently by two female NDP MPs against two male Liberal MPs, who have since been suspended from their caucus.

"It will not be good enough to simply say that your intentions were honourable and you were just inviting a colleague to your apartment at two in the morning to play a game of Scrabble at the end of a day of playing sports and drinking," Goldring's statement from a parliamentary email address said.

"MPs must learn, as I have from encounters with authority figures in the past, that all do not tell the truth. I now wear ‘protection’ in the form of body-worn video recording equipment. I suggest that others do so too," the statement said.

NDP MP Megan Leslie called Goldring's comments "preposterous" during an interview on CBC News Network's Power & Politics Wednesday evening. She also said his statement trivializes a very serious issue.

One of the NDP MPs claiming harassment said she had non-consensual sex with MP Massimo Pacetti, who along with MP Scott Andrews has been kicked out of the Liberal caucus by party Leader Justin Trudeau. Pacetti has said he is "innocent of any misconduct" and a parliamentary subcommittee is being assembled to investigate how to handle future allegations of harassment amongst MPs.

Goldring had run-in with police in 2011

The "encounter" Goldring alludes to in his statement could very well be what happened outside an Edmonton sports bar in December 2011, when police said the politician locked the doors to his vehicle and refused to come out to give a breath sample after being pulled over.

He testified he had one or two glasses of wine at a fundraiser and then a beer at a bar.

In 2013, he was found not guilty of all charges and was allowed back into the Conservative caucus after being suspended when the allegations arose.

Goldring has said he is not running again in next year's federal election.

Goldring's full statement

Peter Goldring, Member of Parliament for Edmonton East, today stated that MPs that consort with others should avail themselves of readily available risk protection for their health and integrity, to prevent besmirchment when encounters run awry.

“It will not be good enough to simply say that your intentions were honourable and you were just inviting a colleague to your apartment at two in the morning to play a game of Scrabble at the end of a day of playing sports and drinking. MPs must learn, as I have from encounters with authority figures in the past, that all do not tell the truth. I now wear ‘protection’ in the form of body-worn video recording equipment. I suggest that others do so too, particularly because some accusers hide behind a shield of supposed credibility which many times is not, and sometimes even hide behind a cloak of anonymity, which conceals their shameful indiscretion and complicity.” 

Mr. Goldring made the statement in the wake of the unproven harassment allegations against two Liberal MPs by two NDP MPs, one of whom has spoken to the media while insisting her name not be published. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau suspended the accused from caucus without due process.