POLITICS
05/21/2019 12:19 EDT | Updated 05/21/2019 15:10 EDT

MP Erin Weir, Ousted From NDP Over Harassment Allegations, Won't Run Again

The Regina MP has been sitting as an Independent.

Sean Kilpatrick/CP
Erin Weir makes his way to the Centre Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sept. 19, 2018.

REGINA — A Saskatchewan MP who has been sitting as an Independent following his ouster from the NDP caucus says he will be not be running in October’s federal election.

Erin Weir, the member for Regina-Lewvan, issued a statement Tuesday saying he’s not running because federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh continues to block his candidacy.

“Some other party leaders and other MPs did approach me about the possibility of running for other parties,” he said, but added he sees himself as a lifelong New Democrat.

Running for another party or as an Independent would not help maintain progressive representation in Ottawa, he said.

Weir was suspended from the NDP caucus in February 2018 after fellow New Democrat Christine Moore sent an email to her colleagues saying she had heard numerous complaints about Weir allegedly harassing staffers.

An investigation upheld several complaints of harassment, which Singh described at the time as a failure to read non-verbal cues in social settings.

Weir — an Independent MP since he was booted from the caucus in May 2018 — has called the investigation “deeply flawed.”

The Regina politician said while he accepts he may have inadvertently stood too close to some people, or spoken to them longer than they liked, he does not believe those things constitute harassment in the minds of Canadians.

Watch: Jagmeet Singh defends removal of Erin Weir from caucus

 

“Certainly, I regret anything that made anyone uncomfortable,” he said, adding that he’s welcomed the chance to learn about how to be more careful in social situations.

The whole experience has been challenging, said Weir, who noted he’s encouraged by the support he’s received locally and from former NDP politicians.

Weir said following the federal election he will continue to be interested in public policy.

“Whether that engagement leads me to run at some point in the future remains to be seen.”