NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has decided not to allow Regina-Lewvan MP Erin Weir back into party caucus.
Weir was kicked out in May over allegations of harassment and sexual harassment. At the time, Weir told 980 CJME the report did not uphold any specific complaints of sexual harassment. He explained the report provided a “generalized finding” that he stood too close to people and failed to pick up on social cues.
Weir has the support of 67 former NDP MPs and MLAs who sent a letter to Singh calling for his reinstatement. In the letter, they call the investigation process a “fishing expedition.”
Former Saskatchewan MLA Pat Atkinson said Weir is not a sexual harasser and is shocked by Singh’s decision not to reinstate Weir. She believes Weir has been incorrectly labelled by the NDP leader.
“This is a very different definition of sexual harassment. He didn’t touch anybody. He didn’t stare at anybody. He didn’t make sexual remarks to anybody,” said Atkinson.
Atkinson said it’s true Weir lost his temper in a verbal argument over policy and was found to have harassed a woman.
Weir was told he would be reinstated based on his willingness to participate in training and conciliation with any complainant. In his letter to Singh requesting reinstatement, he outlined how he did his best to do that, having apologized and completed training.
“I do not see that any further immediate coaching is needed; he gets it,” the trainer said in her report.
The group of 67 who sent the letter to Singh believe Weir has changed and should be allowed back into caucus.
“He doesn’t stand close to people anymore. He acknowledges he’s a big guy with a big voice and he needs to be cognizant of that. He wasn’t before but he is now,” said Atkinson.
With Weir not allowed back in caucus, he will not be able to run for the NDP in the 2019 election.