NEWS

MPs' sexual harassment code of conduct outlined in House report

06/08/2015 04:44 EDT | Updated 06/08/2016 05:59 EDT
A House of Commons committee gave a glimpse at what the sexual harassment code of conduct for MPs could look like in a report tabled Monday.

The report outlines the recommended responsibilities and the process for handling sexual harassment complaints between members of Parliament.

Read the committee report on a code of conduct for MPs

Complaints would be dealt with by three key figures: the party whips, the Commons' chief human resources officer and, if necessary, an external investigator, depending on which party the complainant represents and whether the two parties are part of the same caucus.

The report also recommends allowing for discipline against those who have been found of making frivolous complaints.

Pledge to condemn harassment

The report follows complaints of alleged sexual harassment from two unnamed MPs last November. The Liberals suspended ethics critic Scott Andrews and Quebec MP Massimo Pacetti from their caucus after two New Democrat MPs went to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau with complaints.

The Liberals called in an outside expert to review the complaints, after the House of Commons found it did not have a code of conduct or formal process in place to deal with complaints between MPs. After reading her findings, Trudeau made the decision to permanently expel Andrews and Pacetti from the caucus.

Monday's report says the code of conduct should become an integral part of new parliamentary training and that all members should take a pledge which condemns sexual harassment in the workplace.

The NDP were quick to respond following the report's tabling. 

"This code is an important first step forward in making sure that Parliament is a sexual harassment-free workplace for everyone," said NDP MP Jean Crowder in a written statement.

"Canada will be the first Parliament to have such a code in place."

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