Former MLA dubbed 'Minister Tickles' apologizes after 5 women allege years of unwanted touching

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Former MLA dubbed 'Minister Tickles' apologizes after 5 women allege years of unwanted touching

Former Manitoba finance minister Stan Struthers has issued an apology after five women, including a former cabinet colleague, came forward to CBC News with allegations of unwanted touching — behaviour they say went on for years despite complaints to NDP brass.


CBC has learned party officials received at least three complaints about Struthers's tickling and harassment between 2010 and 2015.


One of those complainants was Joëlle Saltel-Allard, Struthers's former press secretary. She said her boss's behaviour was well-known among staff, who nicknamed him "Minister Tickles" behind his back.


"If he would see me coming down the hall, he would come and start tickling me, or in his office, around staff, around his assistant, so it would happen quite frequently and it continued for a long time," she said.

Mr. Magoo

Knismophilia, evidently.


Between this and the "let's-look-the-other-way-and-pretend-this-isn't-a-problem" approach the NDP took towards Kinew's accusations of domestic violence, the NDP has no moral ground to attack the Pallister government on when it comes to standing up for women's rights.


More developments:


The two former staffers who raised allegations against former NDP cabinet minister Stan Struthers are applauding the Progressive Conservatives new policy on handling sexual harassment complaints.

Premier Brian Pallister held a press conference Thursday morning, announcing a sweeping new policy that will apply to all government organizations and Crown corporations. It includes a "no wrong door" approach to reporting harassment, increased public reporting of complaints received and bringing in an external expert to review procedures.

The policy will extend beyond political staff and the civil service to include staff across the province affiliated with government, Pallister said.

"This will be mandated and I believe it will be welcomed, quite frankly. I have had preliminary discussions with Crown agencies and municipal governments. They're looking for guidance and leadership on this issue and they are receiving that today," the premier said.


Joëlle Saltel-Allard and Shannon VanRaes told CBC News the new steps announced by Pallister Thursday gave them comfort after they came forward saying Struthers inappropriately touched them when he was an elected official.

"It's actually the first sign of hope I've received in the last couple of weeks," Saltel-Allard told CBC News, calling the announcement a "good first step." 

VanRaes said speaking publicly about what happened to her 2010 opened up "very painful wounds" but said Thursday's announcement was an encouraging development.

"Knowing that real changes are being made as a result of women coming forward with their experiences goes a long way to providing closure," she said.

So let me get this straight: the PCs, which were criticized last year for cutting funding to women's organizations and that being an issue in the Point Douglas by-election, have come out with a policy that former NDP staffers have praised? This after Pallister also dealt with 2 complaints from within his own party?

Wow! What an embarassment!

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Yup, embarassing doesn't begin to describe it.


laine lowe wrote:
Yup, embarassing doesn't begin to describe it.

Here's a few more words to describe the NDP's approach to this issue:



How does Pallister of all people come out the good guy in all of this?


PC MLA still in Caucus after showing picture of naked woman:


Manitoba's Progressive Conservative caucus is standing by Swan River MLA Rick Wowchuk after an internal investigation found he showed his assistant a picture of naked women.

The provincial PC caucus met Wednesday for the first time after a CBC report revealed Wowchuk breached the legislative assembly's respectful workplace policy five times.

Caucus chair and Lac du Bonnet MLA Wayne Ewasko emerged from the afternoon meeting to announce that Wowchuk, who was re-elected in Swan River during the Sept. 10 provincial election as the PCs were returned to power, will remain a member of the caucus. 

"Mr. Wowchuk is the PC MLA for Swan River and part of the PC team," Ewasko said.

He refused to go into detail about what was discussed at the meeting or even acknowledge that the Swan River MLA's fate was on the agenda. He only acknowledged that Wowchuk has undergone sensitivity training after the results of the investigation were received.

This is ridiculous. The PCs spent the last 2 years making an issue of Kinew being charged with domestic assault, and those charges were never proved in court. Meanwhile, they kept around a guy who was found to have breached workplace protocol? Disgusting!

Also, if you read the full story, it mentions Cliff Graydon. Graydon was a former PC MLA who was found to have harassed women, and wasn't even allowed to run in the last election. Say what you will about Graydon, I think he is right when he calls this a double standard.