Sexual misconduct: candidates for election under the microscope

News 10 February, 2018
  • Patrick Bellerose

    Saturday, 10 February, 2018 00:00

    Saturday, 10 February, 2018 00:00

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    The wave of denunciations of sexual misconduct complicates the selection of candidates for political parties for the elections of 2018.

    “All political parties are asking the same question : how do you not have people in our entourage that would have done things like that ? “observes the president of the Parti québécois, Gabrielle Lemieux.

    Already, the various political groups to submit their candidates ‘ potential to the questionnaires, in addition to checking their criminal history. The issue of sexual misconduct, will add now to the questionnaire.

    The liberal Party of Quebec, the firm in charge of investigating the past of the candidates will pay particular attention to these issues. “The firm will see employers and ex-employers, says the head organizer of the party, Josée Lévesque. The applicant must also indicate where it has remained. “

    Motion #MoiAussi

    Candidates will therefore need to show white paw in the wake of the movement #MoiAussi. Especially that the political class has been shaken by allegations of a sexual nature relating to the ex-liberal Gerry Sklavounos and Pierre Paradis, although no charges have been brought.

    When the partial in Louis-Hébert in the fall of last year, the provincial party were also heated when the candidates liberal and caquiste had to withdraw after the media have revealed that they were referred by complaints of psychological harassment in the workplace.

    The leader of the CAQ claims to have improved the background check of the candidates since the mishap.

    “We have research that are done on each potential candidate to see if they have been, in the past, cases of sexual harassment,” says François Legault. The party did not want to specify the nature of this process ” confidential “.

    Not immune to scandal

    In 2018, mere suspicions are serious enough to disqualify a candidate. “We’re not going to rely solely on what the justice system is, or what the police was able to reveal about a person, says the pq’s Gabrielle Lemieux. If there are serious allegations, it is sure that it’s going to be a brake. “

    Ditto for Québec solidaire. “It happened that it discourages some people to come back because we knew they had behaviour reprochables, without there having been any prosecution “, said its chairperson, Nika Deslauriers.

    His party will distribute a policy against sexual harassment in order to inform its members on the procedures to follow in cases of sexual misconduct.

    Despite everything, the political parties will not be immune to scandal. “We’re not going to make them take a lie detector,” says Nika Deslauriers.