11/04/2014 11:45 EST | Updated 01/04/2015 05:59 EST

Ghomeshi Scandal: Wynne Wants Review Of Workplace Sexual Harassment Rules

TORONTO - Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday she wants to make sure enforcement of rules governing sexual harassment in the workplace is adequate in the wake of allegations surrounding ex-CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi.

Wynne said sexual harassment issues have existed in all types of workplaces for decades but have come to the forefront now because of the scandal surrounding Ghomeshi, who is facing allegations of abusive behaviour from nine women, including at least one former co-worker.

"What we're talking about is whether the culture of enforcement and the culture of ongoing review and training is actually taking place," Wynne told reporters.

"For all that this is an issue that's fresh in our minds right now, this is not new, not something that just happened because there was a person at a particular media outlet who behaved in this way."

The CBC has hired an independent investigator to look at its handling of the situation in the aftermath of the scandal.

Ghomeshi's former co-worker is reported to have complained about his abusive behaviour to a union representative and the show's executive producer — Arif Noorani — but nothing substantive was done.

Noorani has denied he was made aware of any allegations of sexual harassment made by Ghomeshi's co-worker, the CBC reported Tuesday.

Ghomeshi has said he has engaged in rough sex, but that it was always consensual and said he was fired from CBC because of the risk that his sex life would become public "as a result of a campaign of false allegations."

Existing legislation governing safe workplaces makes it clear unwanted touching and sexualized comments are out of line, but it's everyone's job to ensure the rules are enforced, said Wynne.

"We all have to be vigilant, wherever we work, wherever we live, to make sure that all the rules are being followed," she said.

The Liberals also came under fire Tuesday over reported cases in which a doctor is only allowed to treat either male or female patients after facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

"It's one of those things, I think, that people would rather have a zero approach to when it comes to that kind of activity," said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. "How do you make sure that that physician continues in perpetuity never to treat a patient" he or she is prohibited from seeing?

Health Minister Eric Hoskins said he was troubled by media reports of doctors still allowed to see patients after being found guilty of sexual offences, and was reviewing the Regulated Health Professions Act for the first time in decades.

"I am concerned, both in terms of the issue of transparency, but also in terms of the response of the College in cases of professional misconduct of a criminal nature, and that's why I'm doing the review," he said.

The Progressive Conservatives pushed Wynne to create a legislative committee to study issues surrounding sexual harassment at work, calling the Ghomeshi case "a lightening rod" that has put the issue on the public agenda.

"It's time to get the select committee so we can find out what we need to do better because the law is not being enforced," said the Tories' women's issues critic Laurie Scott.

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