In the hours that the drama around Patrick Brown was playing out, another accusation was levelled over Twitter, this time around Liberal cabinet minister Kent Hehr, which seems mostly to involve lewd suggestions he made to female staffers in private during his time as an MLA in Alberta. When news of that reached Davos, Justin Trudeau said he would follow-up and have an answer before they left the country. And just before the plane took off, we had our answer – Hehr had tendered his resignation from cabinet, and during his “leave of absence,” Kirsty Duncan would take over his responsibilities while an investigation was carried out. Hehr remains in caucus, no doubt pending the results of that investigation. Maclean’s spoke with Hehr’s accuser here.
Statement from Kent Hehr: he’ll stay on as Liberal MP for Calgary Centre. “I encourage all women have felt uncomfortable or who have experienced harassment of any kind to continue to come forward. It is never okay." pic.twitter.com/s9A9iC8kfj
— Jason Markusoff (@markusoff) January 25, 2018
Politically, it’s fraught for Trudeau given that both of his Calgary MPs – both of them veterans of the Alberta Liberal Party – have been taken down by allegations of sexual misconduct. And in a related story, the investigation promised into Kang’s actions has not contacted one of his accusers, however many months later, and that goes for both federal and provincial investigations.
Speaking of Brown, here’s a detailed look at how Wednesday night played out, and some further conversations with his accusers. One of Brown’s (former) deputy leaders called the incident a “hiccup,” and later had to apologize for it.
Meanwhile, Supriya Dwivedi talks about politics’ #metoo moment, and the fact that the Bro Code is breaking down, while Aaron Wherry talks about how #metoo has arrived on Parliament Hill. Chris Selley looks at the path ahead for the Ontario PC party in Brown’s demise, and it’s a messy path given the rules in the party’s constitution, with just four months to go before the election.
- Trudeau is confident that they are making progress on NAFTA talks, but union leaders briefed on the proposed compromises aren’t.
- François-Philippe Champagne has called a meeting of the Supply Management stakeholders, ostensibly to assuage them of their TPP-angst.
- Canadian bureaucrats are quietly admitting that Canada will likely lose the trade dispute over Bombardier, because it’s facing an American tribunal.
- Jane Philpott unveiled a six-point plan to help solve the Indigenous child welfare problem at the “emergency meeting” with provinces and stakeholders.
- The new citizenship guide will contain warnings about gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation.
- The country’s top military judge has been charged with fraud and having an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
- The Lobbying Commissioner has decided not to pursue an investigation into Barry Sherman’s possible lobbying activities, now that he’s dead.
- StatsCan estimated that Canadians spent $5.7 billion on pot last year.
- Andrew Scheer is now saying that he was growing concerned with Senator Beyak and it was clear that she wasn’t buying into his respectful vision. (Sure, Jan).
- Ruh-roh. Here’s a look at the tweet that Charlie Angus made, and then deleted, where he implicitly criticized his new leader.
- Nathan Cullen apologized for criticizing the government over the Summer Jobs Programme brouhaha.
- The Canadian Press’ Baloney Meter™ tests the line that Trudeau is the first prime minister to have broken federal ethics laws.
Odds and ends: