Erin Weir accused of "harassment"

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Unionist

wage zombie wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Well said. And all this "if he doesn't like it, he should sue" is very offensive. It's not how allies and supporters of the same cause deal with each other.

Neither is harrassment, and I believe the allegations.

Erin Weir also believes the allegations (including the exaggerated one by the staffer who was trying to shut him down and then sparked the final crisis by going public). He said he realized from reading them what he was doing wrong (although he stopped whenever told), and was going to change. And as for the staffer, he provided the context, once she had gone public. So I believe the allegations also. But I don't for a moment believe the findings of "sexual harassment". I know the definition, and I cited it here back in February, when Singh said that an initial review didn't indicate that there was any harassment of a sexual nature.

What is your point? He wasn't expelled from caucus because of the harassment allegations.

Caissa

If Weir has commited sexual harassment, the Party should take action. Weir is entitled to a fair process to arrive at such a determination. Weir did not receive a fair process.

Pondering

If Weir's scruples don't allow him to take the money from donations he can sue for a penny or donate the money back to a candidate he believes in.

To the commenter who said Weir doesn't have access to the solution he wants, being reinstated, that is so. He behaved in a way that made that impossible. When he said the harassment charge was politically motivated he sealed his fate.

Unionist, I don't mind spelling and grammar tips because they benefit me even when they are intended maliciously.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Weir is entitled to a fair process to arrive at such a determination. Weir did not receive a fair process.

I'm not weighing on "fair" vs. "unfair".  But in what specific ways do you feel that this is different from anyone else being terminated without cause?

Terminated without cause pretty much implies "there will be no 'process'... but here's your severance, as per the law".

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

Unionist, I don't mind spelling and grammar tips because they benefit me even when they are intended maliciously.

I didn't mean it maliciously. Several other babblers also misspell "publicly". I'm sorry you took it maliciously. Attributing motives never leads to productive discussion.

cco

robbie_dee wrote:

I guess I thought - if for no reason other than that the stakes are typically so much lower - that we didn't play this way in the NDP. I was pretty naive. This whole incident has left a very bad taste in my mouth towards the federal party.

In the NDP everyone at least puts on a pretty good show of believing they have the moral high ground, which makes it even more vicious. At least no Liberal or Conservative can pretend with a straight face it's about anything more than power. And as far as the low stakes, Sayre's law was coined for that.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

You can charge anyone with a violation of your civil rights. It does not have to be just the government. Our civil rights are inviolable. That does not just mean the government. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
You can charge anyone with a violation of your civil rights. It does not have to be just the government.

In the interest of accuracy:  we cannot "charge" someone with such a violation.  But we can make a claim to a HRT, who will assess that claim and may or may not initiate an investigation.

If your main point was that it need not be our own government who is the defendant, that's true.

robbie_dee

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
In the interest of accuracy:  we cannot "charge" someone with such a violation.  But we can make a claim to a HRT, who will assess that claim and may or may not initiate an investigation.

If your main point was that it need not be our own government who is the defendant, that's true.

Human Rights tribunals do not generally enforce the Charter, though. Their main role is to enforce human rights codes that do cover private actors, typically over issues of discrimination in housing, employment and the like.

There was an article that went around a couple of weeks ago that suggested the NDP may have discriminated against Weir on the basis of disability.

https://www.straight.com/news/1070761/it-conceivable-jagmeet-singh-has-legal-duty-accommodate-erin-weir-ndp-caucus

To be clear though, while I may have some personal thoughts on this I have no information that Weir has a disability nor do think that an HRT, even if it took jurisdiction of a case like this, would actually have the authority to order him reinstated to caucus. At best this could offer another path to damages.

robbie_dee

Pondering wrote:

To the commenter who said Weir doesn't have access to the solution he wants, being reinstated, that is so. He behaved in a way that made that impossible. When he said the harassment charge was politically motivated he sealed his fate.

 

Pondering, would it matter to you if the complaint really was politically motivated? Or is that a just a matter we should not speak of regardless of whether it is true?

josh

wage zombie wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Well said. And all this "if he doesn't like it, he should sue" is very offensive. It's not how allies and supporters of the same cause deal with each other.

Neither is harrassment, and I believe the allegations.

Which were?

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Unionist, I don't mind spelling and grammar tips because they benefit me even when they are intended maliciously.

I didn't mean it maliciously. Several other babblers also misspell "publicly". I'm sorry you took it maliciously. Attributing motives never leads to productive discussion.

You said:

And I find Pondering's hyper-partisan efforts to justify the unjustifiable quite concerning - which included her invention of a story that Erin Weir had harassed Christine Moore. As well as her persistent refusal to spell "publicly" correctly.

I was honestly mistaken about Weir/Moore and in hindsight it should have been obvious to me because Moore is an MP not a staffer. My error in no way made Weir seem more or less guilty or more or less credible. Nor do I "persistently refuse" to spell "publicly" correctly.

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
You can charge anyone with a violation of your civil rights. It does not have to be just the government.

In the interest of accuracy:  we cannot "charge" someone with such a violation.  But we can make a claim to a HRT, who will assess that claim and may or may not initiate an investigation.

If your main point was that it need not be our own government who is the defendant, that's true.

Robbie_dee got it right in a follow-up post. I don't want to go on and on, but the Charter and human rights codes are totally different things, embodying different rights and prohibitions. But most importantly, the Charter only says that governments (and governmental institutions) have to respect freedom of expression, of association, etc. You can't go to any court or tribunal and say, "my employer denied my freedom of speech" - unless the employer is a governmental body etc. You can, of course, depending on the jurisdiction (which province, or federal), charge your employer under human rights legislation for discriminating against you on the basis of whatever the list is in that jurisdiction (disability, family status, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, etc.).

When any parliamentary body (provincial, federal, territory) passes legislation, that legislation has to be consistent with the Charter (though for some portions, the "notwithstanding" clause could be invoked).

Is that clear? The Charter doesn't govern the actions of individuals or non-governmental institutions.

Pondering

robbie_dee wrote:

Pondering wrote:

To the commenter who said Weir doesn't have access to the solution he wants, being reinstated, that is so. He behaved in a way that made that impossible. When he said the harassment charge was politically motivated he sealed his fate.

Pondering, would it matter to you if the complaint really was politically motivated? Or is that a just a matter we should not speak of regardless of whether it is true?

It would absolutely matter but I see no evidence of it and I think it is farfetched. Women are typically reluctant to accuse men of misconduct of any sort. Women know they will be put on trial. For a staffer to make such an accusation towards an MP for political reasons is not credible to me. It is very credible to me that when he was prevented from speaking by a staffer his attitude was angry and belligerent. I think that anti-harassment training would have been a good outcome that I would have been satisfied with.

As people I think I would like both Mulcair and Angus but I cannot be accused of being their political supporters. Even so there was no reason to drag them into this. They have nothing to do with the harassment claim or any other. The staffer was working for Mulcair but surely he isn't suggesting that Mulcair put her up to it.  How can he work productively in caucus with Angus after accusing him of keeping him out of question period as "punishment?

Rev Pesky

From Pondering:

The staffer was working for Mulcair but surely he isn't suggesting that Mulcair put her up to it. 

But surely you're not suggesting the staffer went to Saskatchewan on her own hook to prevent Weir from speaking? Or are you?

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

From Pondering:

The staffer was working for Mulcair but surely he isn't suggesting that Mulcair put her up to it. 

But surely you're not suggesting the staffer went to Saskatchewan on her own hook to prevent Weir from speaking? Or are you?

Not at all. I am sure she was instructed to stop speakers not in the line up. That is of course for political reasons at a political convention.

I don't believe the accusation of harassment was politically motivated. I don't believe the staffer said she felt intimidated at the instruction of Mulcair or Angus nor that the staffer herself had any reason to want to harm Weir politically.

In my opinion Weir probably reacted angrily when he was prevented from speaking by a staffer.

robbie_dee

Pondering (in response to me) wrote:

It would absolutely matter but I see no evidence of it and I think it is farfetched. Women are typically reluctant to accuse men of misconduct of any sort. Women know they will be put on trial. For a staffer to make such an accusation towards an MP for political reasons is not credible to me.

Pondering (in response to Rev Pesky) wrote:

I don't believe the accusation of harassment was politically motivated. I don't believe the staffer said she felt intimidated at the instruction of Mulcair or Angus nor that the staffer herself had any reason to want to harm Weir politically.

In my opinion Weir probably reacted angrily when he was prevented from speaking by a staffer.

Pondering, to be clear, I don't think that the Former Mulcair Senior Staffer (FMSS) had a genuine policy disagreement with Weir over his carbon tariff plan and figured rather than trying to win the argument through persuasion she would take him out with a bogus harassment complaint. I also don't think Mulcair had anything to do with the harassment complaint. It just so happened that FMSS was working for Mulcair and implementing his instructions at the time the initial incident at issue occurred.

What's more relevant to my view is the current political situation in the NDP. Anyone who has been watching even moderately closely would see there are significant divides. I believe there is a cabal within the caucus and the Party, centered around Charlie Angus, which would like to undo the results of the last leadership convention. I think this is the most immediate and pressing threat that Singh needs to deal with if he wants to keep his job. I do not think that Erin Weir was part of the anti-Singh cabal, but I have reason to believe that FMSS may be. I'm sure that the interaction between Weir and FMSS at SK NDP convention was not a pleasant one, but I also believe that FMSS brought it up now, retrospectively characterized it in the worst possible light to the investigator, and then leaked it to the media following the conclusion of the investigation and negotiation of an agreed-upon resolution, in order to further her or her co-conspirators current political end of undermining Singh by discrediting his handling of this whole matter.

I really don't think this is a farfetched hypothesis. Given the way the process was set up, FMSS was practically invited to do what she did here, since rather than being "put on trial" as you rightly note sometimes happens unfairly to sexual harassment complainants - in this case she was given the cloak of anonymity to say what she liked with no apparent accountability for her own conduct. Notwithstanding your valid critique of the way some harassment complaint processes have been conducted in the past, particularly in the case of sexual harassment, the approach that was taken here dramatically overcorrected in the other direction and opened itself up to other problems. The interaction that occurred between Weir and FMSS would appear to have little to do with sex other than that one of the participants was a man and the other was a woman. It was apparently simply an interpersonal conflict, and if anything, the power imbalance betweeen the two disputants would have appeared to skew towards FMSS rather than Weir since (1) FMSS worked for the Leader while Weir was a lowly backbencher, (2) FMSS apparently prevailed in the original interaction (Weir apparently did not get to speak), and (3) Weir got disciplined for his role in the interaction already by Angus. Under these circumstances, even if we accept that Weir acted in an "angry and belligerent" manner towards FMSS at the time, it looks to me like FMSS was not acting in good faith by bringing forward a complaint now, a year and a half after the incident, but rather was abusing a poorly designed process for her ulterior purpose.

You and I don't have to agree on this. I've been around long enough to know I can't always convince everyone I meet on the internet of the rightness of my views. And in any case it's not like I have smoking gun proof, although I do think I have based my conclusions on some informed and reasonable suspicion. Since you have expressed before that you are a Singh supporter, though, I hope you at least consider what I am suggesting here. I think that, given Weir and his supporters were not really enemies before, the way Singh's team has handled this situation has made Singh some new enemies unnecessarily. I also hope Singh thinks very carefully before throwing his lot in all together with Christine Moore. She's trouble.

Rev Pesky

Pondering wrote:

...she was instructed to stop speakers not in the line up.

Who made that instruction?

And by the way, where is Singh these days? 

robbie_dee

Bumping this here with Saturday's exchange between unionist and wage zombie on the other thread (Saturday 5/19 12:32 pm, post #181):

wage zombie wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Yeah, I admire him and his restraint. And I'm coming to a rather speculative conclusion, because I haven't seen all the witness accounts. Here it is: Erin Weir did nothing wrong. Moore issued her wild attack; Singh fished for complainants, and they reeled some in; they did a Star Chamber process in direct violation of the NDP's own harassment policy (as I have proven repeatedly - no one has contradicted me on that); and they couldn't come up with a single allegation against Weir that would shock a resident of Canada in the 21st century.

Erin Weir is the victim here, and an innocent victim at that.

Unionist wrote:

I know. I'm trying to stick to the facts.

Bullshit.  You don't know the facts, since they haven't been released publicly.  You're really just guessing.

I don't mean to stalk you WZ. Indeed I hope you were out enjoying the long weekend rather than engaging in flame wars on the internet. But I still think there is an incongruity between your response above and your response to unionist five days ago (post #549) here:

wage zombie wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Well said. And all this "if he doesn't like it, he should sue" is very offensive. It's not how allies and supporters of the same cause deal with each other.

Neither is harrassment, and I believe the allegations.

"I believe the allegations" - without more elaboration, is frankly just an empty slogan. IMO,  what has been made public about the "allegations" supports unionist's and my position as well or better than it supports the other side. It would seem the investigator's own findings concluded there wasn't much "there" there, or else Singh would never have attempted to negotiate Weir's reinstatement in the first place. Singh's own public statement made clear that he was not turfing Weir over the "allegations", at least not anything that was sexual in nature. Rather,  Weir lost his place in caucus because of his public response to FMSS's public comments to the CBC, which as I have argued upthread, I strongly believe must be considered as a separate issue.

If you're prepared to explain "the allegations" from your perspective, I would still be interested to hear it. If you're not, I won't bring this up again although I would suggest your silence speaks for itself.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Rev Pesky wrote, 

"And by the way, where is Singh these days?"

I found him!

R.E.Wood

Misfit wrote:


Rev Pesky wrote, 

"And by the way, where is Singh these days?"

I found him!

Looks like he's trying to soak up some of Horwath's popularity.

wage zombie

I think a lot of babblers are wrong about what happened with Erin Weir.

He was expelled for minimizing the sustained allegations of sexual assault harrassment.  People here might want to make it about the single incident involving FMSS, but that was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I think the public record supports this.

https://ipolitics.ca/2018/05/03/he-expelled-himself-ndp-mps-react-to-weirs-caucus-expulsion/

Quote:

“There was no will from (Weir’s) part to change anything or to accept the conclusions and recommendations of this independent report,” NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice said.

“At the end he expelled himself. Because there was no trust.”

Lisa Duncan, a fellow NDP MP, agreed that Weir forced Singh’s hand.

“The leader has made his decision and gave every opportunity to Mr. Weir to accommodate and he was forced to make that decision”

NDP MP Charlie Angus seemed to share the feeling.

“What was really surprising was Mr. Weir’s response, where he accused these women of trumping up charges to make him look bad. That’s just not acceptable behaviour,” he said.

Weir is misrepresenting the allegations of sexual harassment.  This also is in the public record.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/05/03/mp-erin-weir-kicked-out-of-ndp-caucus.html

Quote:

A party official speaking on background told the Star later Thursday that Weir’s explanation is a “mischaracterization” of the report’s conclusion. “It was more than simple proximity,” the official said, describing the alleged actions as a “pattern” of behaviour “of a sexual nature.”

Some might point out that it's an anonymous quote, but to my knowledge, no one actively involved in the party wants to publicly defend him.  The younger activists who are pulling the party into the present certainly seem to be done with him.  The Singh leadership as well as the "Angus cabal" also seem to be done with him.  I haven't seen any statement from his constituency association yet, but some activists that I know personally who have worked on his campaigns now have very, very negative opinions about him.

So, what?  People think Weir is now persona non grata in the NDP just for being a close talker?

Mobo2000

The investigation started February 1st.  The party official quoted above was from an article published May 3rd.     3 weeks later, we still don't know, definitely, what Weir was alleged to have done.   This is a big problem.  It's not fair to the complaintants or to Weir for this to have gone on this long with no solid information.   Perhaps the allegations were more serious than he is letting on, perhaps the NDP or the investigator over-reacted to minor harrassment, or perhaps he is right that the allegations and investigation are politically motivated.   We have little information to judge and I am not willing to take Weir's or anyone from the NDP's word on it any longer.   The public needs to see the report and the NDP needs to be clear about the process they followed and if it is their model going forward.   

Christine Moore's threat to sue the press may have caused them to go quiet on this and her situation for a bit, but if a bit of time goes by and she still hasn't served anyone papers, they will reopen this issue.  It's too juicy, invites too much speculation, for them not to.

robbie_dee

Wage Zombie, thank you for the response.

I am aware of members of the party who have publicly supported Weir, including former MPs like Lorne Nystrom who has been quoted in an article upthread.  I understand there is at least some sympathy among current caucus members for him, too, but those who are sympathetic would prefer to work behind the scenes rather than speak up and appear to undermine Singh further, which is fair IMO. With respect to Boulerice and Duncan, I think they're wrong and they sound like they are just trying to say something to back up Singh's decision (and you know what I think about Angus's motivations).

Every direct quote I have read from Weir (1) acknowledges the sexual harassment complaints for what they purport to be (notwithstanding that he has not been provided with the identities of the accusers or the details of the incidents in question) and (2) states that he has resolved to try to change his behavior. The only complaint that he has disputed is the complaint raised by FMSS and he has stated with specificity why it is that he disputes it.  I understand that he is taking the training that the Party wanted him to take even though he is no longer in caucus and not required to fulfill his end of the bargain. I don't think the anonymous quote on background from a "party official" provides any clarity to the situation beyond any other vague, subjective information that has been provided. Indeed, like the anonymous statements from FMSS, without even attribution much less any specific factual content, the quote from the "party official" could be considered just another smear.

I agree with taking accusations of sexual harassment seriously and trying to rectify past injustices. I don't agree with permitting such accusations to be weaponized in order to further other political ends. Indeed, the latter direly undermines the former. I think if you look at the whole series of events that has happened here, and Christine Moore's and FMSS's conduct in particular in this regard, to me this looks like a hit on Weir. The difference between how the party is handling the situation with Moore compared to the situation with Weir is further revealing in this regard.

Again, though, I appreciate your engaging with me on this.

wage zombie

robbie_dee wrote:

Every direct quote I have read from Weir (1) acknowledges the sexual harassment complaints for what they purport to be (notwithstanding that he has not been provided with the identities of the accusers or the details of the incidents in question) and (2) states that he has resolved to try to change his behavior. The only complaint that he has disputed is the complaint raised by FMSS and he has stated with specificity why it is that he disputes it.

He's touring around the media telling everyone who will listen that the allegations are not "real" sexual harrassment.  I have watched these videos with my own eyes.  It's gross.  I can link one if needed but they are not hard to find.

robbie_dee

It would be better if the Party would provide some non-identifying details of the alleged conduct (that MUST be possible) so we could decide for ourselves whether it really constitutes anything more than "failing to pick up non-verbal cues" (which sounds to me like a codeword for something very different from intentional sexual harassment, but that's a whole other discussion). If you want to link some videos or other content, though, I'm certainly not going to tell you not to.

josh

wage zombie wrote:

I think a lot of babblers are wrong about what happened with Erin Weir.

He was expelled for minimizing the sustained allegations of sexual assault.  People here might want to make it about the single incident involving FMSS, but that was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I think the public record supports this.

https://ipolitics.ca/2018/05/03/he-expelled-himself-ndp-mps-react-to-weirs-caucus-expulsion/

Quote:

“There was no will from (Weir’s) part to change anything or to accept the conclusions and recommendations of this independent report,” NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice said.

“At the end he expelled himself. Because there was no trust.”

Lisa Duncan, a fellow NDP MP, agreed that Weir forced Singh’s hand.

“The leader has made his decision and gave every opportunity to Mr. Weir to accommodate and he was forced to make that decision”

NDP MP Charlie Angus seemed to share the feeling.

“What was really surprising was Mr. Weir’s response, where he accused these women of trumping up charges to make him look bad. That’s just not acceptable behaviour,” he said.

Weir is misrepresenting the allegations of sexual harassment.  This also is in the public record.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/05/03/mp-erin-weir-kicked-out-of-ndp-caucus.html

Quote:

A party official speaking on background told the Star later Thursday that Weir’s explanation is a “mischaracterization” of the report’s conclusion. “It was more than simple proximity,” the official said, describing the alleged actions as a “pattern” of behaviour “of a sexual nature.”

Some might point out that it's an anonymous quote, but to my knowledge, no one actively involved in the party wants to publicly defend him.  The younger activists who are pulling the party into the present certainly seem to be done with him.  The Singh leadership as well as the "Angus cabal" also seem to be done with him.  I haven't seen any statement from his constituency association yet, but some activists that I know personally who have worked on his campaigns now have very, very negative opinions about him.

So, what?  People think Weir is now persona non grata in the NDP just for being a close talker?

"Mischaracterization of the report."  What does the report say?  Where is the promised release of at least a summary?  Oh, right.  The party has "moved on."

josh

wage zombie wrote:

robbie_dee wrote:

Every direct quote I have read from Weir (1) acknowledges the sexual harassment complaints for what they purport to be (notwithstanding that he has not been provided with the identities of the accusers or the details of the incidents in question) and (2) states that he has resolved to try to change his behavior. The only complaint that he has disputed is the complaint raised by FMSS and he has stated with specificity why it is that he disputes it.

He's touring around the media telling everyone who will listen that the allegations are not "real" sexual harrassment.  I have watched these videos with my own eyes.  It's gross.  I can link one if needed but they are not hard to find.

Gross?  How can you know it's "gross" when you don't even know the allegations.

Rev Pesky

I think it's important to understand two things.

Any investigation that promises anonymity cannot be an investigation, it can only be a recording of complaints. As soon as one would begin to investigate those complaints, anonymity would go out the window. It makes me wonder what sort of an investigator would take on such an investigation.

Anonymity provides a great advantage to the dishonest. Truth tellers will always be limited by the truth, anonymity or no anonymity. But anonymity gives the dishonest a wonderful opportunity for their creative impulses. The normal constraint of having to defend what you say is gone. Nobody can check your story because to do so would identify you.

I think people have to understand the relatively extreme consequence of losing one's job based on anonymous accusations is unfair. And in that sense, Erin Weir was treated unfairly, regardless of what he did.

wage zombie

robbie_dee wrote:

Again, though, I appreciate your engaging with me on this.

Thanks for this.  I don't have time in my life these days for long internet debates and probably wouldn't have responded without post #570.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/05/03/mp-erin-weir-kicked-out-of-ndp-caucus.html

Quote:

The Saskatchewan MP expelled from the NDP caucus Thursday after a three-month harassment investigation says his behaviour was “far from what most Canadians would think of as harassment,” and hopes leader Jagmeet Singh welcomes him back to the party fold.

That doesn't sound to me like "acknowledging the sexual harassment complaints for what they purport to be".

Here's the interview that I found particularly awful: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKdnIdMOhuI

josh wrote:

Gross?  How can you know it's "gross" when you don't even know the allegations.

What I find gross is claiming he's accepting the report and taking responsibility for becoming better while simultaneously saying that it wasn't sexual harrassment.  If his position is that he didn't sexually harrass then he should deny the allegations when asked directly, as he was multiple times in the linked video.  Instead he's trying to tell us that it wasn't the real kind of sexual harrassment, but taking responsibility for, what exactly?

I don't know what the allegations are.  I think about him negatively because of how poorly he's responding to this.  Weir has basically said, "I'm taking all responsibility, but, it wasn't really sexual harrassment."  To me that's gross.  And I think many in the party view it like this, particularly younger people.  For most here it seems, that statement is a strong one by Weir to his innocence and we should take him for his word.

As to the allegations, we can gather from what Weir has said that they include at least: misreading social cues; standing too closely to someone; talking to them when they didn't want to be talking to him; and the conversations were of a sexual nature.  And we know the report explicitly stated that there were "significant negative impacts on the complainants".  Why people think those conditions, taken together, absolve Weir are beyond me.  I could speculate on what those interactions may have looked like, but frankly, I don't think that's fair to Weir.

josh

I don't know what the allegations are.

Thank you.

wage zombie

I don't know what the allegations are but I have talked to party activists that I respect and trust, and I have good reason to believe they have knowledge about some of what's going on.

What are your friends who are actively involved with the party saying, josh?

Mobo2000

I thought it was internal party gossip made public that started this whole thing.   I've heard all sorts of different takes and theories.  But no one I know in the party thinks that this situation, and how it was handled by the NDP leadership, looks good.  Or competant, or on brand at all as the party best able to bring about positive change for women.  

With regards to the "significant negative impacts on the complainants", these could be revealed without identifying the complaintant.   Did they miss work?   Have to pay for therapy?   But to reveal the negative impacts invites us, the public, to then debate their significance.   And of course, whether or not they were reasonable, on par with the reaction an average person would have to the accused actions.

I'm sick of sifting through breadcrumbs on this.    Somebody used the word "gross" earlier.   I feel gross speculating on this stuff.   We shouldn't have to.  If the NDP have actually said they've "moved on" from this, they are doing themselves, Weir, the complaintants and the larger cause of equality in the workplace a disservice.  

 

 

robbie_dee

wage zombie wrote:

Here's the interview that I found particularly awful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKdnIdMOhuI

I had read a lot of the press but I had not seen this interview before. Thank you for sharing it, although I do have to say I took something very different than you did. I would encourage others to watch the video, and I'll also go ahead and directly quote some of Weir's comments:

Quote:

There was one set of complaints about me being a little bit slow to pick up social cues in social settings. I certainly apologize to anyone who I made uncomfortable by sitting or standing too close to them or by speaking to them for longer than they wished to speak to me. I still don’t know who those complainants are [but] I am willing to enter into conciliation with any of them who are interested in doing so.

***

I absolutely take responsibility and I am apologetic with respect to the complaints about being slow to pick up on social cues.

***

I believe that I shouldn’t be trying to make anyone uncomfortable. I didn’t realize I had done anything unwelcome. But when I read the summary of complaints it became clear to me that sometimes I had been slow to pick up on social cues. I am sorry about that and I resolve to be more attentive to those types of nonverbal communications in the future.

In addition to offering to participate in conciliation with any interested complainant, as set forth above, Weir also said that he was completing sexual harassment prevention training. Unless Weir is misrepresenting the findings of the report (which, apart from the anonymous and totally non-specific comment you referenced above, I have seen no evidence of and won't unless the Party makes at least a redacted report public) it sure sounds to me like he is taking responsibility for his actions for exactly what the report purported them to be, and is trying to make amends through the means that are available for him to do so. It seems like you are trying to force him into a binary choice between either denying everything or just flagellating himself for his (vaguely articulated) sins. I don’t see what that accomplishes.

josh

He still hasn’t been informed who his accusers are?  I guess he should be thankful they didn’t drag him in front of some Stalinesque show trial.

Rev Pesky

 

Josh wrote:

I guess he should be thankful they didn’t drag him in front of some Stalinesque show trial.

wage zombie wrote:

I don't know what the allegations are but I have talked to party activists that I respect and trust, and I have good reason to believe they have knowledge about some of what's going on.

What wage zombie describes is almost exactly what a show trial consists of. Rumours and innuendo. It is the defense of this show trial that I find 'gross'. I can't imagine how a supposedly progressive organization has managed to retreat several hundred years to star chamber proceedings.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I can't imagine how a supposedly progressive organization has managed to retreat several hundred years to star chamber proceedings.

I think they'd be facing just as much criticism or more if they'd promptly outed Weir's accusers and proclaimed that in their opinion, whatever he didn't wasn't bad enough to get excited about.

We live in such times now.  If you believe that Moore made her initial, third-party complaint about Weir to settle a score or grind an axe, or for political gain then it's not surprising that she would choose something like this to complain about.  If she'd said that Weir broke into her car then there'd be forensics and fingerprints and alibis and an actual trial to worry about and it probably wouldn't have resulted in any harm to Weir or his reputation.

But the NDP is probably -- understandably -- reluctant to go on record as basically saying "we don't always believe survivors... only if we feel like they're making sense and not exaggerating and stuff".  How could the NDP have said "Weir didn't do anything"?

josh

“We live in such times” is not an excuse.  

Misfit Misfit's picture

Me thinks that if they had anything serious on Erin Weir that they would've publicized the details. I think Erin is telling the truth.

Unionist

josh wrote:

He still hasn’t been informed who his accusers are?  I guess he should be thankful they didn’t drag him in front of some Stalinesque show trial.

Sad but true.

I hate to repeat myself, but the party officials (starting with Singh) who convened this "investigation" should be held to account for violating the NDP Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Violence, which clearly states, on page 3, that:

Quote:
The investigator shall [...] keep the parties to the complaint informed during the process, including providing the alleged harasser with full particulars of the allegations and a copy of the written complaint

This was not done. The "investigation" is null and void.

Are there any members of the NDP who read their own convention-decided policies?

Rev Pesky

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I think they'd be facing just as much criticism or more if they'd promptly outed Weir's accusers and proclaimed that in their opinion, whatever he didn't wasn't bad enough to get excited about.

I understand what you're saying, but it didn't have to be the party 'outing' the complainants. One of the features of the star chamber was that the accused could not face his or her accusers. The party didn't necessarily have to publicise the names of the complainants, but as noted by Unionist above, Weir himself should have known.

And as far as the 'broke into her car' scenario, it really should have been 'broke into someone else's car'. Moore at no time suggested that Weir had harassed her, or had given her any cause for complaint. Her accusation against Weir was 100% hearsay.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And as far as the 'broke into her car' scenario, it really should have been 'broke into someone else's car'. Moore at no time suggested that Weir had harassed her, or had given her any cause for complaint. Her accusation against Weir was 100% hearsay.

Fair point.

I guess I'm just starting to feel that vague accusations like "harassment" have become a bit weaponized the way vague accusations like "anti-American" were in the 50's.

Rev Pesky

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I guess I'm just starting to feel that vague accusations like "harassment" have become a bit weaponized...

I should say I did get your point, and I'm not arguing with it. You can take my post as a bit of an addition to yours, rather than a rebuttal.

One of the things that has interested me is the reaction of Moore to Weir's request to be considered for the position of caucus chair. Did she already have this 'hearsay' stuff, or did it come to her after his request? If she already had the hearsay, what was stopping her from coming forward with it before his request? 

I wondered - and this is pure speculation - whether Moore had considered asking for the caucus chair position herself. I don't know at all whether that's true, but I do know that something about his request prompted her action. It would be interesting to know what it was.

Debater

Yes, it's always been surprising that Moore chose the moment that Weir wanted to run for caucus chair as the time to send out that mass e-mail about him to everyone.  That's what started the whole investigation.

Why didn't Moore just bring her concerns to the Party Leader or the Whip?

Notalib

Its my understanding that Moore sent an email to her caucus colleagues stating her opinion of Weir's candidacy for chair.

Somehow that email among caucus colleagues became pubic. I have no knowledge how, but it seems a crucial point, as I am sure there are many caucus level emails that would be considered sensitive if brought to the public in the form of a leak.

What is the policy on the handling of internal caucus email? How did her e-mail comments reach the media?

Where is the evidence that Weir had no access, as the policy package dictates, to the information in question by posters like Unionist?

And if such a thing did happen to Weir, was his case handled before the policy was adopted? It seems the package was only completed last month.

If in fact the policy was still being formulated then some of these details could be understood as being established parallel to the process being written and therefor any shortcomings not necessarily an infraction of the now adopted and published policy.

 

robbie_dee

Notalib wrote:

Its my understanding that Moore sent an email to her caucus colleagues stating her opinion of Weir's candidacy for chair.

Somehow that email among caucus colleagues became pubic. I have no knowledge how, but it seems a crucial point, as I am sure there are many caucus level emails that would be considered sensitive if brought to the public in the form of a leak.

What is the policy on the handling of internal caucus email? How did her e-mail comments reach the media?

Even if she didn't expect it to become public, it sure was one hell of an email to send to all of Weir's professional colleagues. And while I don't know it for a fact, I can only assume the email became public because either Moore leaked it or because one of her colleagues did, the latter of which was certainly foreseeable to Moore before she sent it. I think she should have had a pretty good idea of exactly what she was unleashing before she pressed "reply all".

Notalib wrote:

Where is the evidence that Weir had no access, as the policy package dictates, to the information in question by posters like Unionist?

I think Unionist draws this implication from the fact that Weir said repeatedly that he did not know and was never told the names of his accusers. The only one he was able to guess was the one I have abbreviated as FMSS (Former Mulcair Senior Staffer) and that was only because the details of the allegations that were either provided to him or reported by the CBC based on her leak left no doubt as to her identity.

Notalib wrote:

And if such a thing did happen to Weir, was his case handled before the policy was adopted? It seems the package was only completed last month.

If in fact the policy was still being formulated then some of these details could be understood as being established parallel to the process being written and therefor any shortcomings not necessarily an infraction of the now adopted and published policy.

Notalib, you've written before about Weir's "lack of respect for the unanimous will of convention" and "actions to undermine the very processes the party is grappling with installing", which you alleged amounted to insubordinance that "could only result in his expulsion". How exactly would you square this with the fact that the Party itself may not appear to have complied with the terms of the policy it adopted? Even if the policy was not formally in effect yet at the time the investigation started, surely it would be incumbent on the Party to abide by "the will of convention" and bring its own conduct into compliance as soon as possible and to the fullest extent possible, rather than to try to screw Weir over on a technicality.

Notalib

Notalib wrote:

Its my understanding that Moore sent an email to her caucus colleagues stating her opinion of Weir's candidacy for chair.

Somehow that email among caucus colleagues became pubic. I have no knowledge how, but it seems a crucial point, as I am sure there are many caucus level emails that would be considered sensitive if brought to the public in the form of a leak.

What is the policy on the handling of internal caucus email? How did her e-mail comments reach the media?

Even if she didn't expect it to become public, it sure was one hell of an email to send to all of Weir's professional colleagues. And while I don't know it for a fact, I can only assume the email became public because either Moore leaked it or because one of her colleagues did, the latter of which was certainly foreseeable to Moore before she sent it. I think she should have had a pretty good idea of exactly what she was unleashing before she pressed "reply all".

Notalib responds: The difficulty with discussing the issue in this forum is that it is almost entirely based on speculation. And often just spun out of reality like this latest comment of yours. There is no reason Madame Moore should have felt her email would have automatically been public. Show us precedent to support such a conclusion. Further, this is why I asked what the policy is on internal email.  My sense is something went wrong there and I highly doubt it was Moore leaking her own stuff.

Notalib wrote:

Where is the evidence that Weir had no access, as the policy package dictates, to the information in question by posters like Unionist?

I think Unionist draws this implication from the fact that Weir said repeatedly that he did not know and was never told the names of his accusers. The only one he was able to guess was the one I have abbreviated as FMSS (Former Mulcair Senior Staffer) and that was only because the details of the allegations that were either provided to him or reported by the CBC based on her leak left no doubt as to her identity.

Notalib responds: so there is no evidence besides the very early crys from Weir about not knowing about the process and who is involved. It was clear to me at the time there was little to share with him as the process was just getting underway.

Notalib wrote:

And if such a thing did happen to Weir, was his case handled before the policy was adopted? It seems the package was only completed last month.

If in fact the policy was still being formulated then some of these details could be understood as being established parallel to the process being written and therefor any shortcomings not necessarily an infraction of the now adopted and published policy.

Notalib, you've written before about Weir's "lack of respect for the unanimous will of convention" and "actions to undermine the very processes the party is grappling with installing", which you alleged amounted to insubordinance that "could only result in his expulsion". How exactly would you square this with the fact that the Party itself may not appear to have complied with the terms of the policy it adopted? Even if the policy was not formally in effect yet at the time the investigation started, surely it would be incumbent on the Party to abide by "the will of convention" and bring its own conduct into compliance as soon as possible and to the fullest extent possible, rather than to try to screw Weir over on a technicality.

Notalib responds: There is nothing to square but your conspiracy theories built on speculation. It is clear that sexual harrassment claims were justified though a process and that impacted people seriously. It is also clear that anonymity is at the centre of these new policies, which makes for these circumstances you then choose to speculate about, then spin into what has so far been a fairly feeble attempt at supporting Weir. In my view you are hurting him, the new policy, the political opportunity it represented and the party overall.

The NDP made this a political priorty to appeal to a broad and important voting constituency for their party. Erin Weir has single handidly killed that political effort and cast doubt on his own team by suggesting malicious intent. His boosters here seem pretty tone deaf and without any sense that the culture needs changing, let alone how over the top this all is.

The minutia and spin about how unfair Weir has been treated is shocking to hear and hard to swallow when compared to the treatment many victims have been given.

Take for instance this case where the investigation promised to the nomination candidate never even occurred and she was barred from running - http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/ndp-hopeful-quits-cowichan-nomin...

So, now, tell us more about how "screwed" Weir is getting. Or maybe just recognize that the political opportunity here is now destroyed and women around the country will notice. Buy hey you can always join the new CCF right? You know fight the good fight and all that stuff...

Unionist

Thanks robbie_dee, for the sensible replies. Nothing to add or subtract. 

ETA: Except of course, now that Notalib is doubling down.

Notalib wrote:
There is no reason Madame Moore should have felt her email would have automatically been public.

You apparently think she has a right to mass email the caucus saying: “There is too many women (mostly employee) complaint to me that you are harassing to them and as a woman I would not feel comfortable to meet with you alone." And she never reported these "too many women"'s issues to the appropriate party authority, or to the employees' union? Even if it never went "public", she should have been thrown far away just for that outrageous act.

Notalib wrote:
so there is no evidence besides the very early crys from Weir about not knowing about the process and who is involved. It was clear to me at the time there was little to share with him as the process was just getting underway.

To this day, Weir has not received a copy of the written complaints (and no, the convention policy does not allow for redacted copies missing the signatures). If you believe it's appropriate, policy or no policy, to "investigate" a "harasser" without telling him who the complainants are, then you are a scary person indeed. Even murderers get to know the names of the witnesses - shouldn't we make that anonymous, to avoid intimidation and retribution? Maybe they shouldn't be told the names of their victims?

 

robbie_dee

Thanks Unionist. I don't have much to add to your responses, but I will take this one on:

Notalib wrote:

The NDP made this a political priorty to appeal to a broad and important voting constituency for their party. Erin Weir has single handidly killed that political effort and cast doubt on his own team by suggesting malicious intent. His boosters here seem pretty tone deaf and without any sense that the culture needs changing, let alone how over the top this all is.

You seem to think that "an important voting constituency" (women I guess? and progessive men?) are going to rally around the NDP because of its tough stance on Erin Weir (and kidglove treatment of Christine Moore). I don't know if you're doing polling on the subject but that sure as heck isn't what I'm hearing from the people I talk to, women or men.

I think what most people want to see is fairness. I don't like to use the term "witch hunt" to describe what has been going on both because the actual historical witch hunts were terrible and predominantly antiwoman events that I don't want to make light of, and also because the #MEtoo movement has accomplished some amazing and important things I don't want to discredit. I do feel, though, that we may be entering a moment of "moral panic" where people are losing all sense of perspective of what is serious misconduct, what is bad but remediable, and what is basically a whole lot of nothing. I think I have a pretty good idea of where Erin Weir sits on that spectrum. Maybe he's made some mistakes but he's hardly Harvey Weinstein. As for Christine Moore, I really don't know what happened between her and Kirkland but based on her undisputed behavior, as I've said before, I think she's a fucking toxic person. The people who I am talking to, at least the ones not totally ensconced in the 'NDP bubble', are telling me they think the NDP has gone out of its mind. I don't want to just be crassly political about it because obviously it's most important that the Party do the right thing whether its popular or not. But here I think the Party is not only doing the wrong thing but it is also at risk of losing swathes of support in so doing.

notalib wrote:

The minutia and spin about how unfair Weir has been treated is shocking to hear and hard to swallow when compared to the treatment many victims have been given. Take for instance this case where the investigation promised to the nomination candidate never even occurred and she was barred from running - http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/ndp-hopeful-quits-cowichan-nomin... So, now, tell us more about how "screwed" Weir is getting. Or maybe just recognize that the political opportunity here is now destroyed and women around the country will notice.

I'm sorry to hear about Georgia Collins but I don't really see how that relates. According to the article you linked Ms. Collins withdrew from competing for the nomination, she wasn't "barred." If she's alleging she was harassed by a party volunteer, that volunteer should be investigated. If it is found that he in engaged in such conduct, and that it was at all serious, he should be disciplined. If the B.C. NDP has failed to do this shame on them. I'm not sure how punishing a different guy for totally different conduct will help though? I'm not sure if you follow Ontario politics or not but if we're going to have a general conversation about harassment issues in the NDP at the provincial and federal levels you should look into the allegations against MPPs Monique Taylor and Paul Miller in Hamilton and how the ONDP has handled them. There the Party did not jump the gun and appoint an independent investigator but instead has allowed the normal, collectively bargained grievance procedure play out (which appears to be taking years, btw). They are candidates for reelection in less than two weeks. They might well not be if the ONDP adopted Singh's approach. What do you think is the correct approach?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I do feel, though, that we may be entering a moment of "moral panic" where people are losing all sense of perspective of what is serious misconduct, what is bad but remediable, and what is basically a whole lot of nothing.

I'm not addressing this to you, nor to any specific individual.  But I think that we do, in general, see a difference.

serious misconduct = when someone we don't care for is accused of something.

bad but remediable = when someone we sort of respect or like is accused of something.

basically a whole lot of nothing = when someone we really respect or like is accused of something.

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