CNC News with CP files
OTTAWA — NDP defence critic Randall Garrison says responsibility for the mishandling of sexual harassment allegations against former Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Vance lies with Trudeau and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, not Katie Telford, who is an unelected staff in the prime minister's office.
The House of Commons is debating a Conservative motion calling on Trudeau to fire Katie Telford after recent testimony and email evidence indicate she knew the allegations against the former top soldier were related to sexual misconduct. Trudeau recently said no one in his office was aware the allegations were a "Me Too complaint."
But Garrison's suggestion that the opposition should focus on the prime minister and defence minister, not staff, was dismissed by Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen.
"To suggest that women in positions of power should not be held to the same account as men in positions of power, as I woman, I find to be very patronizing, like somehow women can't handle that kind of standard," she said in an interview.
"I find it patronizing and sexist."
Garrison says he found it "more than a little ironic that the Conservatives have decided the person who should pay the price to pay for the failure to act is one of the only women who was involved.”
Bergen said Telford is not a victim of sexual harassment and being Trudeau's top aide likely makes her one the country's most powerful women.