Friday, May 24, 2019 

Erin Weir Debacle Will Haunt Jagmeet Singh

The Erin Weir debacle continues to haunt the federal New Democrats. It underscores party leader Jagmeet Singh’s seeming policy confusion and calls into question his political judgment.

It just won’t go away.

Weir is the Regina MP who was expelled from the NDP caucus last year and barred from running again for the party. His sin? He had dared to defend himself against charges of sexual harassment.

This week, the 37-year-old, lifelong New Democrat conceded that he won’t run under his party’s banner in the fall election. Nor will he run as an independent. He will sit this one out.

The Weir saga began with a 2018 email from NDP MP Christine Moore to fellow caucus members claiming that he had harassed not her but other, unnamed women. Singh almost immediately suspended Weir from caucus, while his office began a search for women willing to complain. Eventually, four were found. Three said Weir stood too close to them when talking and didn’t know when to shut up. The fourth said he had twice yelled at her over the issue of carbon tariffs — once during a policy debate and again later in an elevator.

At another time, these complaints might have been kept in perspective. But in the #MeToo frenzy of 2018, they were viewed as unforgivable political crimes. Weir was ordered to apologize to the “survivors” and take sensitivity training. He readily agreed, but with one exception. He didn’t see why he should apologize to someone for having heated words over a policy issue — even if that someone were female.

When his accuser was quoted anonymously on CBC, Weir responded to media requests for his side of the story. That, it seemed, was truly unpardonable. Singh expelled him from caucus and barred him from running for the NDP in the fall federal election.

In particular, Singh faulted him “for diminishing the finding of harassment by claiming that this was in fact a policy disagreement.” “It’s a bit Orwellian,” Weir told me in telephone interview this week. “If you try to defend yourself, it only proves that you’re guilty.”

In January, the Regina-Lewvan NDP constituency association asked Singh to reconsider and let Weir contest the nomination. Singh refused. Earlier, 68 prominent Saskatchewan New Democrats, including 13 former MPs, made a similar pitch. Singh dismissed that plea as coming from “people in a position of privilege.”

It was a comment that didn’t go over well in Saskatchewan.

The NDP will rue its treatment of Weir. It has been not only unfair but unproductive. A former economist for the Steelworkers Union, Weir has a keen understanding of the political economy of his home province.

On the issue of energy pipelines, for instance, he understands both the need to combat global warming and the dollars-and-cents reality of his constituents.

He favours construction of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta’s tarsands to the Pacific Coast. In part that’s because the pipes for such a project are manufactured in Regina. In part, it’s because “to the extent that we continue to use oil,” pipelines are the safest way to move petroleum.

He says he is baffled that “the current leadership” of his party has taken no position on carbon pricing, given that this issue promises to be central to the October election.

He’s equally baffled that Singh opposes all oil pipelines but appears to favour building new natural gas pipelines in British Columbia. (In fact, the NDP leader has suggested, at different times, that he both supports and opposes a plan to pipe B.C. natural gas to the Pacific Coast for liquefaction and export to Asia.)

Many New Democrats will disagree with Weir on the pipeline question. But he’s right that the party needs to clarify its muddled position.

He’s also right that vigorous debate between those who happen to be men and those who happen to be women shouldn’t automatically be treated as sexual harassment. Such an approach does no sex any favours.

Thomas Walkom is a Toronto-based columnist covering politics. Follow him on Twitter: @tomwalkom

The  Star

Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Senator Dave Tkachuk (former Principal Secretary to Saskatchewan Premier Grant Devine) Calls For Liberals To Be 'Killed'



There is something VERY wrong with Right Wing thinking in Canada .. it is becoming more extreme, more violent and more intolerant of democracy. Here is Saskatchewan Conservative Senator Tkachuk demanding that protesting truckers "roll over" members / supporters of the Liberal Party of Canada!! The convoy of trucks were parked near Parliament Hill and the Senator's play on words strongly alludes to killing Liberals by rolling over them with their trucks. This is totally unacceptable in our Canadian society / democracy!!!

Senator Tkachuk was the former Principal Secretary to disgraced former Conservative Saskatchewan Premier Grant Devine,

"I know you've rolled all the way here, and I'm going to ask you one more thing: I want you to roll over every Liberal left in the country," Tkachuk told convoy-supporting protestors. Cheers erupted from the crowd." 

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/02/20/david-tkachuk-united-we-roll-ottawa-convoy_a_23674517/

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Liberal Candidate Karen Wang* Leaves Burnaby South Byelection After Racist Comments Against Jagmeet Singh!


There is NEVER room for racist attacks or racial valuations in Canadian politics! It's appropriate that the Liberal Candidate has withdrawn her candidacy in this key byelection!
Press Progress

* =typo corrected.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Jagmeet Singh Is Not Ready For Prime Time Politics In Canada ....



"During an appearance on the political show CTV Question Period, Singh appeared to be unaware of a news story that made a lot of headlines last week. Singh was asked how he would respond, if elected prime minister, to the recent statement by China’s Canadian ambassador Lu Shaye, that Canada and its Western allies’ calls for the release of two Canadians detained in China is rooted in 'white supremacy.'

“Sorry, who accused who of white supremacy?” Singh asked his interviewer. He later told the Toronto Star he didn’t hear the initial question. Host Evan Solomon repeated it in full and asked how Singh would have responded if he were prime minister. “I don’t know if there is any evidence of that suggestion,” Singh said, then quickly pivoted to talking about U.S. President Donald Trump. Global News

Friday, September 14, 2018 

Jagmeet Singh Decides It Is Politically Wise To Spit In The Face Of Saskatchewan New Democrats :(



Everything that has ever happened in the ranks of the New Democratic Party of Canada before his arrival, seems to be of no interest to Jagmeet Singh. What a sad day for the New Democratic Party of Canada.

Every Member of the Federal NDP Caucus who remains silent on his scathing comments to Saskatchewan members is complicit with Mr. Singh's disrespect and reckless negligence in handling the affairs of the Federal Party. (I am talking to you Nathan Cullen, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron ....etc etc etc) :(

-Globe & Mail

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s Problems Worsen Before Todays Caucus Meeting In BC



Many pragmatic, experienced veterans of the New Democratic Party of Canada are preparing for the Party to be nearly obliterated in the upcoming 2019 Election under the leadership of Jagmeet Singh.

The reasons are many, but none more public than Singh's handling of the Erin Weir and Christine Moore harassment allegations in the Federal Caucus.  Singh has also managed to ignite an outright battle with the governing New Democrats in Alberta over pipelines and a nasty battle with Saskatchewan Federal New Democrats over the excommunication of MP Erin Weir.

It is unfortunate that at their Caucus meeting starting today in BC,  the Members of the Federal NDP Caucus will rally around Singh, attack his critics and venture forward over the next year with grim determination while Canada witnesses the electoral sinking of the Federal NDP. 

Perhaps from the remains of the Federal NDP will arise a social democratic option in Canada for the 21st Century that is not burdened with the current idiotic 'rebel without a clue'  leadership that is currently suffocating it.

-Globe & Mail -The Star

Monday, September 10, 2018 

Federal NDP Caucus Meets To Figure Out 'What possibly could have gone wrong here?"


JAGMEET SINGH!!! Just resign so that New Democrats can repair the damage your inexperience and stubbornness created before the next Federal Election!!

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-troubled-ndp-faces-its-do-or-die-moment-in-bc-caucus-meetings-this/

 

Weir and Moore Demonstrate Singh / Federal NDP Stunning Hypocrisy

Weir and Moore Demonstrate Singh / NDP Stunning Hypocrisy
September 9th, 2018 

So much for the federal NDP’s pretense of being the party of fairness, equality and even reconciliation.
The differences between leader Jagmeet Singh’s and the federal party’s internal handling of two “inappropriate conduct” cases involving two NDP MPs recently are staggering … and horribly hypocritical.
Saskatchewan MP Erin Weir was elected for the NDP in the 2015 election … but, as reported by Global News “was suspended from the caucus in February after fellow New Democrat Christine Moore sent an email to her caucus colleagues saying she had heard numerous complaints about Weir allegedly harassing staffers.”
NO ONE had directly filed a complaint against Weir, but news reports at the time said he made women in the workplace uncomfortable by standing too close, talked too long to some,  and had, according to Singh  “failed to read non-verbal cues in social situations” that his advances were unwelcome.
Weir was IMMEDIATELY suspended from the NDP caucus while a third-party investigation took place: it supported “one claim of harassment and three claims of sexual harassment”.
“The report states that when he realized that his advances were unwanted, he stopped.” Singh admitted.
 Weir said he never intended to embarrass or harass anyone and underwent counselling,  but Singh would not budge and last week, the MP was EXPELLED from the NDP caucus.
“Singh’s letter to Weir, however, says he still hasn’t taken “responsibility publicly” for “attacking” former caucus colleagues. It also says the president of the NDP’s staff union warned him that Weir’s reinstatement would violate workers’ right to a harassment-free work environment.,” according to The Toronto Star.
Singh and the NDP being VERY TOUGH on sexual harassment or impropriety in the workplace! Bravo! Very principled!
But remember Christine Moore?   She’s the NDP MP who reportedly had first brought Weir’s actions to the attention of Singh.
Well, she also got into hot water with the NDP   … when two months after the Weir situation,  it was revealed a seriously wounded Canadian Afghan War veteran and witness before a Parliamentary committee in 2013,  accused Moore herself of “inappropriate sexual behaviour”.
Retired Corporal Glen Kirkland alleged the NDP MP had invited him back to her office, served him drinks, visited him in his hotel where they had sex, later sent him explicit messages and even showed up unannounced at his home in Manitoba, where he rebuffed her.
 “Moore strongly denied the relationship with Glen Kirkland was anything but fully mutual and consensual” the CBC later reported.
But still ….
An MP getting involved in a sexual relationship with a witness at a Parliamentary committee sure seems WORSE to me … a LOT worse … than standing too close to others at work or “not heeding non-verbal signals”.
But apparently, NOT to Singh and the NDP.
Sure, they again ordered a third-party investigation … but the handling of that one, right from the start, and the outcome was QUITE different from what Weir had faced.
Moore was relieved on her duties, but she was NOT immediately suspended from caucus … as Weir had been … pending the investigation. Why not????
Kirkland later complained he wasn’t even interviewed as part of the investigation; and, in July, the investigation cleared Moore of any harassment and abuse of authority allegations; she was welcomed back to full duties within the NDP caucus.
So it certainly seems that, for the federal NDP, MPs having relationships/sex with witnesses appearing before their Parliamentary committees is quite ok  … or at least forgivable,  but standing close to people while talking and  protesting one’s innocence, even while undergoing behaviour counseling … is not.

Hypocrites!

Again, from my personal point of view … having spent 38 years covering politicians at local, regional, provincial and even the federal level (including 8 years right there on Parliament Hill) … Moore’s admitted actions are FAR more troubling than Weir’s.
And yet, Singh has rejected Weir’s attempts at rehabilitation and reconciliation … and refused to accept him back in the NDP caucus or let him run for the party in the next federal election.
While Moore is embraced once more , the injured Canadian war vet Cpl. Kirkland ‘s complaint remains unresolved.
Looks to me like a federal NDP double standard: Weir (MP for Regina-Lewvan) is a male, from Saskatchewan (14 seats); Moore (MP for Abitibi-Temiscamingue) is a female, from Quebec   (75 seats).
I think it stinks.
. Keeping it Real - Harv Oberfeld



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