Rookie MLA not expelled from PC caucus after sexual harassment complaints

Kildonan MLA Nic Curry has been absent from the legislature for the past week, but has not been expelled from the PC caucus after allegedly being the subject of two complaints of sexual harassment.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/04/2019 (1264 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Kildonan MLA Nic Curry has been absent from the legislature for the past week, but has not been expelled from the PC caucus after allegedly being the subject of two complaints of sexual harassment.

After a caucus meeting Wednesday, PC caucus chair Wayne Ewasko confirmed Curry is still a Tory MLA.

“As of today, Mr. Curry is still a member of the PC caucus,” Ewasko said.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS An empty seat amongst the provincial PC MLA's during question period where Kildonan MLA Nic Curry usually sits in the Manitoba Legislative chamber Thursday afternoon.

“I’m not making any comments to Mr. Curry’s situation or anybody else’s situation… it would be inappropriate of me to make any of those comments.”

Curry has not returned requests for comment since the Free Press reported last week he was allegedly the subject of two separate complaints by female staff, who noted he used sexual language in their presence.

Ewasko could not say where Curry has been for the past week, but noted he had spoken to him. He wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of their discussion.

The caucus chair said he “cannot speak one way or another” about whether the PCs are investigating Curry’s alleged behaviour nor whether they are considering expelling him from caucus, as they did with another former Tory MLA, Cliff Graydon, last year.

Ewasko said speaking about the situation would violate the Respectful Workplace Policy installed by the Legislative Assembly.

Before the allegations were made public, Curry, a first-term MLA, surprised many earlier this month when he announced he wouldn’t be running for re-election.

Last fall, Emerson MLA Cliff Graydon also announced he wouldn’t be running for re-election after he was removed from the Tory caucus due to what Ewasko referred to at the time as “a pattern of inappropriate behaviour.”

Graydon admitted he made inappropriate comments to female staff, including suggesting a young woman sit on his knee at a party luncheon, for which he apologized.

Last week, Premier Brian Pallister emphasized his party would take allegations of misconduct and harassment seriously, not treating alleged offenders differently based on a “two-tier culture” for elected and non-elected officials.

“Our caucus has been told by me on more than one occasion that there will be no double standards within our caucus. I can only say that I’m disappointed whenever I hear reports of harassment. I’ve heard far too many of them,” the premier said last Wednesday.

jessica.botelho@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @_jessbu

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