FRM NDP MP Peter Stoffer denies sexual misconduct allegations

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Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture
FRM NDP MP Peter Stoffer denies sexual misconduct allegations

The NDP appears never to have investigated Parliament’s 'most collegial' MP over complaints about behaviour toward women

The Post has, in fact, spoken to three women who independently said Stoffer acted inappropriately with them.

Stoffer, speaking to the Post Thursday, categorically denied any past sexually inappropriate behaviour.

“None of the allegations you indicated had happened, that I recall,” Stoffer said. “I can assure you I’ve never assaulted anybody, sexually or anyway in any shape or form in my life.”

http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/former-ndp-mp-peter-stoffer-denies...

Jagmeet Singh, leader of the NDP, said the allegations “deeply disturbed” him.

“I believe the women who’ve come forward and I want to acknowledge their courage and strength. It’s clear our anti-harassment policies and protections for workers were insufficient and failed to appropriately deal with this behaviour.”

Debater

The allegations against Stoffer seem credible.

The authors of the article spoke to 3 different women who all say that Stoffer behaved inappropriately with them.

Plus former NDP MP Dawn Black says that “There was always rumours of Peter being overly friendly,”.

So it appears a strong investigation is definitely called for.

brookmere

Dobson-Hughes alleged that when those comments escalated into physical advances, she went to her boss at the time, former MP Dawn Black.

Black told the newspaper she took the complaint to then-NDP Leader Jack Layton, but was "disappointed" that Layton delegated the task to then-NDP caucus chair Judy Wasylycia-Leis instead of taking it up with Stoffer himself.

So Saint Jack himself is implicated in this.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ndp-leader-singh-deeply-disturbed-by-allegations-against-ex-mp-stoffer/article37917042/

josh

Again, with the "I believe"?  Without waiting to hear from the other side and an investigation?  Of course, if you "believe," there's no need for an investigation.  And speaking of which, any news on the Erin Weir matter?

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

Peter Stoffer held a news conference in Halifax today where he said he was “deeply apologetic and regretful” following claims dating back to 2006 when Stoffer was the MP for the suburban riding of Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook.

Stoffer specifically denied sexually assaulting or physically abusing anyone, but he admitted that his behaviour as a “very gregarious, fun-going person” may have led to behaviour that was perceived as inappropriate.

“By some of the comments that I’ve heard recently, from some people in the past, they’re saying that some of my demeanour, some of my comments were inappropriate,” he said, describing himself as a “touchy person.”

“For that I humbly apologize without reservation. If there is any man or any woman that at any time felt uncomfortable … because of my demeanour in any way shape or form, for that I apologize and I humbly regret that I put them in that type of situation.”

Stoffer told reporters gathered outside the Canadian Immigration Museum at Pier 21 that he is “a touchy person” and that “if anyone feels those actions were untoward, then I deeply apologize.”

Stoffer also apologized to the federal and provincial wings of the NDP, saying he regretted “besmirching their good reputation.” He said he would not attend the party’s upcoming convention in Ottawa.

“The discussion we’re having now across the country is extremely important … All men and women deserve to work in a place where they feel comfortable and not harassed in any way shape or form,” he said.

“I did not, in any way, intend to insult or demean or belittle any person in this regard. Obviously, by some of the remarks that were made from the past that that’s exactly what happened. For that I apologize and humbly ask for their forgiveness.”

Video of his news conference at link

http://canoe.com/news/national/former-ndp-mp-peter-stoffer-apologizes-if...

Basement Dweller

Is Junior still holding people closely and gazing in their eyes? If Stoffer is in trouble for this kind of stuff, Junior should be too.

Pondering

josh wrote:

Again, with the "I believe"?  Without waiting to hear from the other side and an investigation?  Of course, if you "believe," there's no need for an investigation.  And speaking of which, any news on the Erin Weir matter?

It's two sides like climate change believers and deniers are two sides. What we have is multiple people admitting to either experiencing directly or witnessing inappropriate behavior. Note, not illegal behavior. As we can see from Stoffer's apology he realizes now his behavior was inappropriate. 

As to Weir I imagine it will be a month or two before there is resolution. It will probably be announced when an investigator is chosen as it was when the Liberals chose one to investigate their MPs. Like then Weir may choose for the details to remain confidential which usually suits all parties better than a public airing. 

When there is only one accuser and no evidence I suspend judgement while waiting for the other foot to drop which so far it always has. Once there are multiple accusers or other witnesses and it's obvious the people closest to the people believe the accusers I believe them too. 

Stoffer isn't being accused of rape or quid pro quo type harassment. There is no evidence the women have a grudge against him or stand to benefit by coming forward. 

Stoffer's apology seems to accept responsibility. I think in hindsight he realizes his behavior was inappropriate.

Debater

Basement Dweller wrote:

Is Junior still holding people closely and gazing in their eyes? If Stoffer is in trouble for this kind of stuff, Junior should be too.

The allegations against Stoffer are a little more serious than that.

Basement Dweller

Debater wrote:

Basement Dweller wrote:

Is Junior still holding people closely and gazing in their eyes? If Stoffer is in trouble for this kind of stuff, Junior should be too.

The allegations against Stoffer are a little more serious than that.

I don't see their actions as much different. The main difference, in my opinion, is context. Stoffer was usually, if not always, drinking at a social function. Trudeau was probably not drinking, but did so in front of TV cameras, sometimes on the world stage.

Both raise similar questions, in my mind, about what is acceptable behaviour for high status men.

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

CTV News Channel reports that Peter Stoffer will not be going to the upcoming NDP policy convention, as he doesn't want to be a distraction. 

Debater

Basement Dweller wrote:

Debater wrote:

Basement Dweller wrote:

Is Junior still holding people closely and gazing in their eyes? If Stoffer is in trouble for this kind of stuff, Junior should be too.

The allegations against Stoffer are a little more serious than that.

I don't see their actions as much different. The main difference, in my opinion, is context. Stoffer was usually, if not always, drinking at a social function. Trudeau was probably not drinking, but did so in front of TV cameras, sometimes on the world stage.

Both raise similar questions, in my mind, about what is acceptable behaviour for high status men.

Have you read the allegations?

Former NDP staffer Lauren Dobson-Hughes says Stoffer forcibly kissed her.  And asked her graphic sexual questions.

That's different from Trudeau being friendly with voters on the campaign trail.

Although I do think that from now on, Trudeau and all other politicians should probably consider reducing physical contact with voters, even if they request a hug for a selfie.

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

josh wrote:

Again, with the "I believe"?  Without waiting to hear from the other side and an investigation?  Of course, if you "believe," there's no need for an investigation.  And speaking of which, any news on the Erin Weir matter?

Jagmeet himself said that due process only belongs in a court of law, not in society.

Pondering

Mighty Middle wrote:

josh wrote:

Again, with the "I believe"?  Without waiting to hear from the other side and an investigation?  Of course, if you "believe," there's no need for an investigation.  And speaking of which, any news on the Erin Weir matter?

Jagmeet himself said that due process only belongs in a court of law, not in society.

That isn't what he said. He said there is no presumption of innocence required. We can choose based on percieved credibility and details. We can decide to believe the women stepping forward based on their credibility. 

Debater

Another woman has come forward with allegations of inappropriate behaviour against Peter Stoffer, adding to the mounting number of complaints about the former NDP MP.

The woman, who didn’t want her name used, said Stoffer propositioned her in the early 2000s when she was a young staffer for the party.

The woman told The Chronicle Herald that Stoffer suggested the two should “go have sex in the Speaker’s chair.”

She said she brushed it off as a joke and didn’t mention it to anyone, but as a woman in her early 20s speaking with a much older MP, she said it made her uncomfortable.

“You can claim it’s a joke but if I were to have said yes, what would have happened?” she said.

More than 15 years later, the comment has stuck with her. She said she decided to share her story in hopes of giving some legitimacy to the other women who have come forward with complaints.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1544450-another-allegation-against-stoffer-surfaces

brookmere

Pondering wrote:
(Singh) said there is no presumption of innocence required.
Presumption of innocence applies only to criminal law. So what he said is technically correct, but he's not contributing anything regarding situations which are resolved outside that context.

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

The Post’s revelation caused many NDP insiders to question why their party was not able to end concerns about Stoffer.

“One of the reasons I left politics is because of the NDP’s inability to just deal with misogyny and sexual harassment within the party. Everybody knew about the Stoffer thing,” said Laura Colella, a former national vice president of the NDP and former deputy director of communications in the office of former NDP leader Jack Layton.

She said concerns over Stoffer’s behaviour were well known and he subjected her, on several occasions, to comments and invasive questions of a sexual nature, she said.

The problem is bigger than one man, she said.

“Talking about it didn’t help. Talking to senior people didn’t help. They didn’t do anything about it. They didn’t listen to a group of MPs. The women and senior staff sat together on a regular basis on how they would get the men to listen to them. And that didn’t help,” Colella said.

“As long as they keep saying ‘Yeah, but he is really useful for the party so let’s not make too many waves,’ it will allow these type of things to go on. You’re so busy getting to the goal, which was at the time to get the NDP elected.”

Steve Moran, the NDP’s former deputy chief of staff, read the allegations against Stoffer made by Lauren Dobson-Hughes to the Post and said he was “sickened, but not surprised.” He was her supervisor at the time of one of the occasions she said Stoffer grabbed and kissed her. He is now the Quebec representative to the NDP’s federal executive.

“I accept my responsibility in not providing a harassment free environment. I clearly failed in my duty in this regard,” he wrote on Facebook. “I’m of course willing to participate fully and openly in any investigation.

The only solution at this point is a persistent, visible and thorough commitment from all levels of the party to addressing past wrongs and to doing better in the future.”

Jerry Toews, a former organizer and legislative assistant for the NDP, said there was wide complicity in such events.

“I, too, was witness to unacceptable behaviour by this MP and others while on the Hill, including during my time as local union president,” Toews wrote. “A culture of deification of MPs and senior officials within the Party was strongly embedded in us while I was there — and I’m sure it still exists.”

http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/peter-stoffer-apologizes-after-bei...

Pondering

Mighty Middle wrote:
 “I, too, was witness to unacceptable behaviour by this MP and others while on the Hill, including during my time as local union president,” Toews wrote. “A culture of deification of MPs and senior officials within the Party was strongly embedded in us while I was there — and I’m sure it still exists.”

">http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/peter-stoffer-apologizes-after-bei...

deification and protection of (insert MALE) MPs and senior officials.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Mighty Middle wrote:
 “I, too, was witness to unacceptable behaviour by this MP and others while on the Hill, including during my time as local union president,” Toews wrote. “A culture of deification of MPs and senior officials within the Party was strongly embedded in us while I was there — and I’m sure it still exists.”

">http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/peter-stoffer-apologizes-after-bei...

deification and protection of (insert MALE) MPs and senior officials.

While during the last NDP leadership race people here viciously attacked Niki Ashton and said that she was unqualified and had bad political judgement because of the time she...what did Ashton do that was so terrible that she deserved such vitriol thrown her way?

Debater

Another former NDP staffer comes forward:

 

Another woman is publicly accusing Peter Stoffer of sexual harassment while he served as a member of parliament.

Ingrid Deon, 36, was a newly hired Nova Scotia NDP caucus staffer when, she said, Stoffer propositioned her after a fisheries-related community meeting at the Meteghan fire hall on March 8, 2007.

Deon said she was approached by the then Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook MP after the meeting, which extended well into the evening, and was invited to stay at his hotel in Digby.

The pair, along with then NDP Queens-Shelburne MLA Sterling Belliveau, were to attend another meeting together in the community the next day.

“I can’t remember if he said, stay in the room with me, or stay with me, but the offer was made with a wink and a grin,” recalled Deon on Sunday. “It was not innocent at all. He knew what he was doing.”

Deon, who was living in Yarmouth at the time, said she rejected Stoffer’s invitation.

She said he persisted, making three more offers before Deon left on her own and drove home.

Deon said Stoffer was concerned about the amount of driving she had ahead of her with another meeting scheduled in Digby the next morning. But Deon pointed out that the distance to her home in Yarmouth was shorter than the drive to Digby.

“I was pretty shocked. I was 25 years old and he was way older and in a position of authority. He kind of laughed about it.

“I was completely blindsided. I felt like my skin was crawling.”

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1544705-another-accusation-against-stoffer

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

And yet more women are coming forward with allegations against Peter Stoffer

http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/more-allegations-about-ex-mp-peter...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

This means that the NDP has to respond to the actions of a former MP-it isn't an argument for voting against the NDP next time, given that none of the other parties(other than the Greens, and that's only because they've never had more than two MPs and never ELECTED more than one) have any claim to moral superiority on this matter.  

​We can assume there will be numerous Liberal shoes dropping soon on this.

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

This means that the NDP has to respond to the actions of a former MP-it isn't an argument for voting against the NDP next time, given that none of the other parties(other than the Greens, and that's only because they've never had more than two MPs and never ELECTED more than one) have any claim to moral superiority on this matter.  

​We can assume there will be numerous Liberal shoes dropping soon on this.

Sexual harassment is a non-partisan issue and has nothing to do with elections. Quite frankly I don't think any of the parties will use this during an election campaign.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:

This means that the NDP has to respond to the actions of a former MP-it isn't an argument for voting against the NDP next time, given that none of the other parties(other than the Greens, and that's only because they've never had more than two MPs and never ELECTED more than one) have any claim to moral superiority on this matter.  

​We can assume there will be numerous Liberal shoes dropping soon on this.

Why would you assume that? Trudeau dumped two MPs for sexual misconduct before he even became PM. That was against the wishes of the NDP who wanted him to do nothing. That was a warning to Liberal MPs and a signal to women that they are free to complain in full confidence that their privacy will be respected. 

I'm a Singh supporter now but on this issue it is the NDP that has been failing to deal with this issue. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I assume that because the Liberals have always been the party of personal entitlement, and while I give Justin credit for dealing with the cases he now knows of, we can't assume that's the last of it with them.  And this type of conduct is likely to be recurrent in a party that has usually been in or near power.  

 

Basement Dweller

I think we need to reflect on the kinds of personalities who are often attracted to politics. All the parties have people who've done really bad things during their careers.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:

I assume that because the Liberals have always been the party of personal entitlement, and while I give Justin credit for dealing with the cases he now knows of, we can't assume that's the last of it with them.  And this type of conduct is likely to be recurrent in a party that has usually been in or near power.  

He put the men of the Liberal party on notice and that was before the election. Women have known since then that they could step forward. Men have known since then that the party will expel them. I wouldn't assume that it's the last but I wouldn't assume that there will be more either, or that it is continuing within Liberal ranks due do "entitlement" culture. I'm sure Trudeau took steps to make sure the men in his party understand he is zero tolerance. 

Men are the entitled sex regardless of the party they belong to. Unless leaders in the party step up men will step over the line. It seems Stoffer's behavior was common knowledge and women were expected to tolerate it because of his position in the party. 

From now on when misconduct becomes common knowledge organizations will be expected to step up. If I were leading a political party today I would ask investigators to check the grapevine. 

 

Unionist

I'm less interested in Peter Stoffer - a reactionary deadbeat of the past, who supported Harper restoring the "Royal Canadian" to the air force, who supported the "unborn victims of crime" private members' bill, who never took a progressive stand in his life - than in the good folks of the party, then and now, who ignored and continue to ignore the charges against him. How do they get away with this kind of shit?

NDP not yet investigating complaints against Stoffer

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

I'm less interested in Peter Stoffer - a reactionary deadbeat of the past, who supported Harper restoring the "Royal Canadian" to the air force, who supported the "unborn victims of crime" private members' bill, who never took a progressive stand in his life - than in the good folks of the party, then and now, who ignored and continue to ignore the charges against him. How do they get away with this kind of shit?

NDP not yet investigating complaints against Stoffer

 

Good question.

Pondering

To be fair:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ndp-investigation-stoffer-peter-1.4532106

New Democrats say their party is focused on strengthening its anti-harassment policies in lieu of an investigation, and the issue will be a major focus inside caucus and at the party's biennial policy convention in Ottawa later this week.

NDP MPs will receive sensitivity training from an outside presenter in the coming weeks, Andrews said, while a briefing has been scheduled with the House of Commons' director of human resources to create and sustain a safe workplace.

The party is also offering a 45-minute online course to all its MPs, along with small group sessions.

Meanwhile, delegates at the policy convention starting Friday will be presented with an updated anti-harassment policy that has been in the works for several months and will include guidance for raising and handling complaints.

"We realized that our policy wasn't sufficient in many contexts. It was a policy that was mostly made with conventions and these types of gatherings in mind," said a senior party official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

"But it was incomplete when it comes to office relationships, campaign offices and stuff like that. It will define more clearly what is acceptable and what isn't, especially what isn't. Because the ultimate goal is to still prevent it from happening at all."

The party also plans to hold training sessions for delegates who want to attend, the official said, and will increase the number of "anti-harassment co-ordinators" and make them more visible during the convention.

I'm not sure what the point of an investigation would be at this point. I think it's clear that in the past these incidences were poorly managed and allowed men to continue behaving in a predatory manner. What's important now is that it stops. 

I don't know if the steps the NDP is taking will be enough but it does seem they are acting in good faith to try to stop it. 

Aristotleded24

Some people are naturally more touchy-feely than others, so that aspect of Stoffer's behaviour I might be inclined to overlook. But propositioning young staffers and joking about having sex in the Speaker's chair? I think George Carlin said it best when he said "WHY?!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the fuck kind of a social life does this guy have?"

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Some people are naturally more touchy-feely than others, so that aspect of Stoffer's behaviour I might be inclined to overlook. But propositioning young staffers and joking about having sex in the Speaker's chair? I think George Carlin said it best when he said "WHY?!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the fuck kind of a social life does this guy have?"

There are lots of men who have full lives and still want to have sex with random young attractive women. They see nothing wrong with propositioning as many women as possible to up their chances. This is not uncommon behavior. 

I've been waiting to hear "what's the big deal, he didn't break any laws".  

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Pondering wrote:

I've been waiting to hear "what's the big deal, he didn't break any laws".  

I would hope that most babblers realize that being a decent human being who deserves respect from other humans involves a lot more than not committing any criminal offences. 

Sean in Ottawa

In reading this thread I was struck by the comment that if you believe someone that means there is no need for an investigation. I am surprised nobody has challenged that.

Belief deserves investigation and confirmation. Those asking to be believed are usually asking for such an investigation.

I also have heard many people question how believing contradicts the resumption of innocence. It doesn't. Most people do not have to resolve conflicts between presumption of innocence and believing victims. those who are are supposed to be presented with all the facts that are available, training to understand them, hear both sides and are charged with making a determination. Most of us can believe without having to address a resolution. An investigation and process is a key step.

Investigations are not infallible. Most of us do not ever have to find a resolution. Other than for those who are responsible to make a determination belief is perfectly fine and no contradiction to justice.

Maybe people have to stop thinking they can personally know all without the facts or that life is nice and clean. Believing victims may recognize that the world is not entirely knowable by every person at every time.

Sean in Ottawa

I have seen some horrible things done by those who think they are superior or that their end is such a good one that they, or others on their side, should not be held accountible. Being on the left does not make organizations and individuals immune. It does make them more responsible once they have attached principles and expectations of support for a higher standard.

Being a part of a left movement should mean a willingness to investigate and to look in the mirror.

There is no shame for the organization in investigating and finding unacceptable behaviour -- and dealing with it. It is those obstructing the achievement of the highest standards of behaviour and investigation who should be ashamed. An organization should be ashamed of any part of enabling bad behaviour.

This should not be a partisan thing. I am sure that there are many people of all parties who are not accountible becuase they retired before now and got away with it. Some of their enablers may still be there. The systems are mostly there. Those who seek to make things better should be commended for it, regardless of their party.

That some abusive people once wore the NDP colours is no surprise. Nor would it surprise that some abusers are still in the NDP. Only balancing power between genders can reduce this.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

In reading this thread I was struck by the comment that if you believe someone that means there is no need for an investigation. I am surprised nobody has challenged that.

Not, no investigation required, just no investigation required prior to taking action such as Patrick Brown stepping down as leader. 

As I understand it Stoffer is no longer an MP or representative of the NDP. Any investigation would be about the process, why nothing was done at the time. It isn't a mystery. Nothing was done at the time because of the culture. 

What's important now is the change in attitude and process. The NDP seems to be taking steps to update the way in which allegations are handled and as important taking steps to make the lines clear to everyone on appropriate behavior. Apparently the convention will be used to spread that information. 

If Stoffer were still active in the party now or in recent years that would be different. 

Pondering

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Pondering wrote:

I've been waiting to hear "what's the big deal, he didn't break any laws".  

I would hope that most babblers realize that being a decent human being who deserves respect from other humans involves a lot more than not committing any criminal offences. 

I would hope so too but I definitely don't count on it when sexual misconduct is the topic. 

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

"Right now, we have a very legal system that is driven by the courts. I think we need to have a survivor-focused approach and make sure we respect what the survivors wishes are. If the survivor wishes to proceed with a legal case that's the right of the survivor. If there is an alternative form of resolution, it should be survivor driven."

- Jagmeet Singh

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/01/25/jagmeet-singh-presumption-of-inn...

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

I'm not sure what the point of an investigation would be at this point.

As I said above:

Unionist wrote:
I'm less interested in Peter Stoffer - a reactionary deadbeat of the past, who supported Harper restoring the "Royal Canadian" to the air force, who supported the "unborn victims of crime" private members' bill, who never took a progressive stand in his life - than in the good folks of the party, then and now, who ignored and continue to ignore the charges against him. How do they get away with this kind of shit?

The point of the investigation would not be Peter Stoffer. He's nothing, never was. It would be Jack Layton, Tom Mulcair, and all the other luminaries of the party who apparently heard the "open secret" about Stoffer's misconduct, and studiously did and said nothing.

The point of the investigation would be to understand how a supposedly progressive organization stifles victims and protects abusers. Or (let's be so very generous and give them the presumption of "innocence") - how it stifles complainants and turns the other way.

Is that not a vital and urgent subject matter for investigation?

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

Pondering wrote:

I'm not sure what the point of an investigation would be at this point.

As I said above:

Unionist wrote:
I'm less interested in Peter Stoffer - a reactionary deadbeat of the past, who supported Harper restoring the "Royal Canadian" to the air force, who supported the "unborn victims of crime" private members' bill, who never took a progressive stand in his life - than in the good folks of the party, then and now, who ignored and continue to ignore the charges against him. How do they get away with this kind of shit?

The point of the investigation would not be Peter Stoffer. He's nothing, never was. It would be Jack Layton, Tom Mulcair, and all the other luminaries of the party who apparently heard the "open secret" about Stoffer's misconduct, and studiously did and said nothing.

The point of the investigation would be to understand how a supposedly progressive organization stifles victims and protects abusers. Or (let's be so very generous and give them the presumption of "innocence") - how it stifles complainants and turns the other way.

Is that not a vital and urgent subject matter for investigation?

I think so.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:

In reading this thread I was struck by the comment that if you believe someone that means there is no need for an investigation. I am surprised nobody has challenged that.

Belief deserves investigation and confirmation. Those asking to be believed are usually asking for such an investigation.

Nothing wrong with that.  In that context, "believing survivors" is roughly equal to a prima facie case.  We believe that there is sufficient reason to warrant an investigation.

But that's not the same as "we believe that regardless of what the investigation uncovers, the survivor is telling the truth and the defendant is therefore lying".

"I believe survivors" is NOT equal to "I believe survivors deserve an investigation, and then I believe that investigation".

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:

In reading this thread I was struck by the comment that if you believe someone that means there is no need for an investigation. I am surprised nobody has challenged that.

Belief deserves investigation and confirmation. Those asking to be believed are usually asking for such an investigation.

Nothing wrong with that.  In that context, "believing survivors" is roughly equal to a prima facie case.  We believe that there is sufficient reason to warrant an investigation.

But that's not the same as "we believe that regardless of what the investigation uncovers, the survivor is telling the truth and the defendant is therefore lying".

"I believe survivors" is NOT equal to "I believe survivors deserve an investigation, and then I believe that investigation".

I do not see this the way you do.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

There's a first for everything. ;)

josh

Mighty Middle wrote:

"Right now, we have a very legal system that is driven by the courts. I think we need to have a survivor-focused approach and make sure we respect what the survivors wishes are. If the survivor wishes to proceed with a legal case that's the right of the survivor. If there is an alternative form of resolution, it should be survivor driven."

- Jagmeet Singh

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/01/25/jagmeet-singh-presumption-of-inn...

 

Oh Christ.  As a lawyer, Singh should know that cases are often not brought because the prosecution does not believe there is sufficent evidence to obtain a conviction.  It is tantamount to an ethical obligation.  Certainly the wishes of the alleged victim is part of it.  But it's not all of it.

Pondering

josh wrote:

Mighty Middle wrote:

"Right now, we have a very legal system that is driven by the courts. I think we need to have a survivor-focused approach and make sure we respect what the survivors wishes are. If the survivor wishes to proceed with a legal case that's the right of the survivor. If there is an alternative form of resolution, it should be survivor driven."

- Jagmeet Singh

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/01/25/jagmeet-singh-presumption-of-inn...

Oh Christ.  As a lawyer, Singh should know that cases are often not brought because the prosecution does not believe there is sufficent evidence to obtain a conviction.  It is tantamount to an ethical obligation.  Certainly the wishes of the alleged victim is part of it.  But it's not all of it.

Oh Christ pretty sure he does know that. He wasn't lecturing law students so no need to dot the Is and cross the Ts but if you insist. Parse the sentence. If the survivor wishes to proceed with a legal case implies the legal case already exists as opposed to if the survivor wishes to start a legal case. 

I think it's pretty much common knowledge that a tiny percentage of women take the legal approach because they rarely have the proof needed to get a conviction. It is also common knowledge that police don't lay charges for anything based on the say so of citizens. For example. If you accuse your neighbour of theft you have to have some sort of evidence indicating that you were robbed and that the likely culprit is your neighbour. You can't simply order police to charge your neighbour. Likewise people are well aware that a woman can't simply order that a man be charged and put on trial  like waving a magic wand just because he has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct.

Cody87

josh wrote:

Mighty Middle wrote:

"Right now, we have a very legal system that is driven by the courts. I think we need to have a survivor-focused approach and make sure we respect what the survivors wishes are. If the survivor wishes to proceed with a legal case that's the right of the survivor. If there is an alternative form of resolution, it should be survivor driven."

- Jagmeet Singh

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/01/25/jagmeet-singh-presumption-of-inn...

 

Oh Christ.  As a lawyer, Singh should know that cases are often not brought because the prosecution does not believe there is sufficent evidence to obtain a conviction.  It is tantamount to an ethical obligation.  Certainly the wishes of the alleged victim is part of it.  But it's not all of it.

I agree with what you say, but I interpreted Singh's statement in a different way. I've heard of cases where women take a case to police (for whatever reason - say to get a restraining order for sake of argument), but either don't want to press charges or decide they don't want to press charges once they realize what's required of them as a witness (eg. recorded police interview, multiple court appointments, facing the accused in court, cross examination by defense, etc). From my understanding, as it currently stands, once a person informs police of an assault of this nature (or any crime for that matter), the alleged victim no longer has any control over the investigation - the case will proceed whether the alleged victim wants it or not. If I'm remembering correctly, the alleged victim can be legally compelled to testify, even if testifying is against their wishes.

So, assuming that what I read and paraphrased above wasn't total bullshit (always possible - IANAL), it's possible that Singh's statement is referencing cases where survivors don't want to proceed with a legal case (in favour of other resolutions).

brookmere

Pondering wrote:
It is also common knowledge that police don't lay charges for anything based on the say so of citizens.
Of course they do. For example, there was no evidence in the Ghomeshi case other than the testimony of the complainants. More generally, this is true for almost all cases of sexual assault where the complainants come forward years after the event.

Hunky_Monkey

Pondering wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

This means that the NDP has to respond to the actions of a former MP-it isn't an argument for voting against the NDP next time, given that none of the other parties(other than the Greens, and that's only because they've never had more than two MPs and never ELECTED more than one) have any claim to moral superiority on this matter.  

​We can assume there will be numerous Liberal shoes dropping soon on this.

Why would you assume that? Trudeau dumped two MPs for sexual misconduct before he even became PM. That was against the wishes of the NDP who wanted him to do nothing. That was a warning to Liberal MPs and a signal to women that they are free to complain in full confidence that their privacy will be respected. 

I'm a Singh supporter now but on this issue it is the NDP that has been failing to deal with this issue. 

It was the women who came forward that didn't want it to become a public matter but an issue dealt with behind the scenes.  That is their right.  Trudeau ignored that, called a national press conference, and pretended to be a saviour once again.

Unionist

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

It was the women who came forward that didn't want it to become a public matter but an issue dealt with behind the scenes.  That is their right.  Trudeau ignored that, called a national press conference, and pretended to be a saviour once again.

So Trudeau should have just tossed the two abusers from caucus without explaining why?

Or should he have left them in caucus to "respect the wishes" of the victims?

I can't stand Trudeau either. But what exactly do you suggest he should have done? Smiled and kept his mouth shut, like Layton and Mulcair did about Stoffer (and god knows how many others)?

 

Hunky_Monkey

Layton should have dealt with the issue himself instead of having the Caucus Chair deal with it.  He did not ignore it.  And we're not sure what happened under Mulcair.  I know you have difficulty not assuming things but give it a try.

According to the women from reports I've read at the time, they wanted the men spoken to and possibly sensitivity training.  That was their wish.  Do you not want to respect victims in these incidents of what they want to happen?  

Pondering

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
According to the women from reports I've read at the time, they wanted the men spoken to and possibly sensitivity training.  That was their wish.  Do you not want to respect victims in these incidents of what they want to happen?  
 

No, victims do not get to decide the sentence especially if it includes dictating that abusive men remain MPs in another political party at that. 

The victims put the information on the grapevine. The woman who told Trudeau about it assumed he had already heard so it was common knowledge that two Liberal MPs had abused two young NDP MPs. Any political leader would have been forced to act. When he suspended the two MPs he did not even describe their misconduct as sexual in nature. He did not say it involved female MPs. He never spoke about it again expect to announce the investigation and announce when it closed. 

It is the NDP that outed the women not the Liberals. The NDP then proceeded to talk about it daily for weeks. One of the MPs felt the need to write a detailed description of what happened to her and the other woman. 

I don't fault the NDP for what they didn't do before Trudeau found out, but really Mulcair should have given Trudeau a heads up on the two men. After Trudeau found out he approached the NDP and met with them. A week later he suspended the MPs as was his right and his duty as leader of the party. 

Trudeau is guilty of a lot and I support Singh now but the truth is the truth. The NDP handled the problem old-school, brush it under the carpet, under the guise of respecting the women's wishes. 

As to what the women wanted, it tells me I wouldn't want them as MPs. I want MPs who take sexual misconduct by men seriously not try to conceal the information from the men's wives and try to protect their jobs. 

Unionist

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

Layton should have dealt with the issue himself instead of having the Caucus Chair deal with it.  He did not ignore it.  And we're not sure what happened under Mulcair.  I know you have difficulty not assuming things but give it a try.

I'm not "assuming" when I say: Nothing happened. There could be lots of great reasons why nothing happened. But the fact remains. Nothing happened.

Quote:
According to the women from reports I've read at the time, they wanted the men spoken to and possibly sensitivity training.  That was their wish.  Do you not want to respect victims in these incidents of what they want to happen?  

The victims are entitled to have a say as to their own involvement. They may want to forgive and forget and whatever. But the responsibility of the party (in this case, the Liberals) is to take swift action, investigate, and ensure that the creeps (if found responsible) don't abuse anyone else. A victim doesn't have any right to say, "Ok, let them go and abuse someone else, because I'm ok now".

So let me ask you again: You think Trudeau should have swept it under the rug and let them stay in caucus? Please answer.

 

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