11.24.2014 07:51 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: hear both sides, or end it

In Latin, it’s called “audi alteram partem.”

That is, “hear the other side.” It’s a principle of what is referred to as natural justice. Put simply, natural justice offers citizens specific procedural rights – the right to be heard, and the right to a hearing free from bias.

Natural justice is an important concept, because it still forms the basis of much of our common law. Hear from both sides, and make it fair when you do: if you ever get in big trouble, that’s what you are entitled to expect.

Liberal MPs Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews are in big trouble. Weeks ago, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau suspended Pacetti and Andrews from the Grit caucus.

When he did so, Trudeau said this: “I am aware of how difficult it is for people to come forward. I believe strongly that those of us in positions of authority have a duty to act upon allegations of this nature…It’s 2014 – we have a duty to protect and encourage individuals in these situations to come forward. The action must be fair but decisive. It must be sensitive to all affected parties but, recognizing how difficult it is to do so, it must give the benefit of the doubt to those who come forward.”

When he rendered that decision, I and others considered it Justin Trudeau’s finest moment. He looked and sounded like a Prime Minister. He took decisive action that could only be harmful to his own cause. He did not identify the complainants in any way, and he acted swiftly.

In the Fall of 2014, when disturbing accounts of sexual harassment have seemingly become as commonplace as leaves on the ground, Trudeau’s actions were welcome. Unlike the CBC in the Jian Ghomeshi case, he did not dither for many months, hoping that the allegations would fade away. Unlike that crowd in Florida over the weekend, he did not give a standing ovation to Bill Cosby.

The revelation that the complainants in the case were New Democratic Party MPs came from the NDP itself. Representatives of the party quietly revealed to the media that members of their own caucus had made the allegations against Pacetti and Andrews. Thereafter, the NDP’s apparatchiks – who would have complained if Trudeau had waited – actually complained that Trudeau had acted too quickly. One of their MPs, a lawyer, even decreed that a crime had taken place. (But he didn’t, as far as we know, go to the police.)

Since then, nothing.

There has been a closed-door meeting on the Hill, apparently, at which participants determined they lacked the means to resolve the matter. There have been editorials and columns written, and plenty of angry recriminations back and forth. There has been the ongoing shunning of Pacetti and Andrews.

The two men may deserve their punishment, they may not. And therein lies the problem: we just don’t know.

Thomas Mulcair is rumoured to be a lawyer. He certainly enjoys styling himself as one in the House of Commons, ablaze with prosecutorial fury, as he peppers government benches with questions, all righteousness.

He’d be expected to know, therefore, that – in our system – individuals are to be afforded a fair hearing, free of bias, at which both sides are heard and tested. But the complainants in the Pacetti and Andrews case do not want to be heard anymore. Mulcair has said the NDP MPs have “a very strong desire to keep this confidential.”

Fair enough, and understandable, too. But it is also fair, and it is also understandable, that Justin Trudeau – and, almost certainly, Messrs. Pacetti and Andrews – possess “a very strong desire” to have the matter fairly and finally resolved, one way or another.

It is time for that to happen. The NDP may not care about natural justice – but they should.

It’s what we, the electorate – their bosses – expect.


  1. Otieno says:

    This may be the best piece of Kinsella spin I’ve ever read. And I’ve been following your blog – sorry WEBPAGE! – for years. I mean this sincerely; not even trolling. Your ability to contort a Liberal crisis into something that is blameworthy of the NDP is a masterstroke. Don’t run in Toronto-Danforth. Your efforts will be needed in Trudeau’s PMO.

    • Left Flank says:

      It’s remarkable. Pacetti is now being accused of rape over on Huffpo right now, but this is being spun as a situation where the NDP needs to be blamed for… something. Remarkable.

    • jeff316 says:

      Agreed. This is a masterstroke in PR. Sleazy as all heck, but well done.

  2. davie says:

    I imagine what happened, and what is happening, a bit differently than you imagine it.
    Two people figured they were being harassed in some way. My experience has been that most people in this position want the harassment to stop. I think they likely did want it stopped, but did not want to go criminal law on the accused. They told their whip about it, they told their party leader. They wanted to deal with it just so that it stopped, with no publicity, and their whip and leader went along with that. Their whip approached the whip of the Lib party. That whip went along with the addressing it , but without publicity.
    Then one person talked to the Lib leader about it. The idea was to stop the harassment by letting the accused know that someone else now knows about it.
    Most of the time that’s is all it takes to stop the harassment.
    The Lib whip, acting responsibly, wrote a note to the Speaker for help.

    But the Lib leader went public, grandstanded, said he dropped two guys from caucus and played coy with why. He played the innocent do gooder, – gee whiz, I’ m just so darned honest and open and do the right thing.
    By doing so, he undercut his own whip ( I saw the look on her face); he cornered the two complainants with his ‘Lay it all out in the open, folks’ pretty well daring them to go public; and he left his 2 MPs twisting in the wind, at the mercy of a no wpublic mess that he, the Lib leader created for his own self aggrandizement.

    The claim that had the Lib leader gone along with what the whips were doing that the NDP ‘would have criticized him publically’ just doesn’t make sense to me. It looks like a made up rationale for his publicity seeking behavior.
    Now, the Lib leader just stands by, knight in shiny cloak, grinning, – gosh, all I did was what’s right.

    Yeah, he victimized the complainants, and a few other people to boot.

    • Attack says:

      This narrative of yours isn’t at all how it happened. The NDP leadership was only told about one of the incidents before Trudeau was told about both by one of the NDP MPs. And the Whips only began talking to each other after Trudeau was told, and told his Whip to contact the NDP one.

      • davie says:

        So he told his whip to handle it, then he undercut her by taking the photo op?

        • Attack! says:

          She was assigned to gather enough information to enable him to make an interim decision. She did. And then he made it, and announced it. Enough of your attempts at rewriting history and the chain of command.

    • Scotian says:


      I wonder if you deliberately or accidentally started this comment of yours talking about what you imagined, because that was a lovely work of fiction that was not connected to the factual reality as it is known. Calling it an example of irony would be an understatement. I refer to this excerpt in particular:

      “They told their whip about it, they told their party leader. They wanted to deal with it just so that it stopped, with no publicity, and their whip and leader went along with that. Their whip approached the whip of the Lib party. That whip went along with the addressing it , but without publicity.
      Then one person talked to the Lib leader about it. The idea was to stop the harassment by letting the accused know that someone else now knows about it.
      Most of the time that’s is all it takes to stop the harassment.”

      In that short bit you have imagined multiple facts out of thin air and gotten others absolutely wrong. You are assuming (imagining) an ongoing harassment which apparently had not been ongoing. You are presuming (imagining) the motives and intents of the two NDP MPs in question despite ZERO evidence from either to support this. Then you created out of whole cloth this idea that there was contact with the Libs about this with the whips prior to the NDP MP speaking to Trudeau, when it is clear that until the one NDP MP went to Trudeau directly this was not known to the leadership of the Liberals, that only once that NDP MP made her complaint to Trudeau and outed her fellow NDP MP (and why pray tell do we never hear any condemnation for her retraumatizing her fellow victim MP who clearly DID want it kept confidential while hearing all about how horrible Trudeau was despite his not naming gender, party, or specific accusations, which took the NDP to do to the media while trying to pretend it was coming from the Libs until the media refused to be a party to that fraud) to Trudeau that he initiated the process with his Whip to the NDP Whip.

      In other words regardless of saying to the Lib Whip that now she wanted it kept confidential that NDP MP who went to Trudeau and made her complaints registered in what most rational people would be a formal complaint since he is the leader of a party (who I might add has the obligation to protect his party as part of his job requirements, something Mulcair as another party leader should and does clearly know and understand despite his denunciation of Trudeau for clearly partisan reasons) that she alleges serious misconduct of from his MPs starting this process and leaving Trudeau in a true catch-22 politically and ethically, and Trudeau did the best he could with what he was given and with no process/precedent to follow.

      Now, at this point since the 2 NDP MPs have decided they want to do nothing more, and while I have sympathy for one of them the other one who went to Trudeau I think is a piece of work. Not only has she created this mess by going to Trudeau which to most people would make it appear like a complaint expecting action but she buttressed her own complaint with the allegation of her fellow MP who clearly had not wanted this to go any farther from what we have been told. That NDP MP I personally think by both these actions has lost her moral right to claim to anonymity on this front, yet she and her party and her party leader all want to ignore this, as you clearly did.

      At this point Trudeau set up the potential for a process to be followed by the NDP MP(s) in question if she/they had chosen to do so by suspending the MPs in his party for said process to be followed, AND protected his party from accusations of wrongdoing and such sliming by the NDP saying they told Trudeau and he did nothing about serious allegations of harassment. Since then we have seen the NDP act in a most disgusting partisan manner on this front, try to blame all the mess on Trudeau despite the actions of their own MP in going to him about her own complaint AND also outing her fellow NDP MP against her will, and see both MPs refuse to have anything to do with a process for resolution, this after outing their own MPs as the complainants/victims while trying to claim it was Libs doing so. It is clear that Mulcair and Dippers want to drag this out as much as they can to damage Trudeau and the Libs (which personally I think is having the opposite effect in the wider public outside the partisan sphere), and now that Trudeau gave the benefit of the doubt to the complainats to come forward the only reasonable choice he has left is to reinstate the MPs in his caucus.

      These Lib MPs have been hanging in the wind while the NDP MPs have chosen to leave them there, and while one of the two NDP MPs has some moral/ethical basis for feeling abused by what happened here and the action taken against the Lib MPs, the one who went to Trudeau certainly does not, nor is she excused in my books for outing her fellow NDP MP, and now having been given the chance to further this process has instead decided to abandon any such from happening. Therefore because of the lack of any process, of any due process, of any substantiation of these allegations against the Lib MPs the only just thing is to reinstate them to Caucus until and unless the NDP MPs chose to advance this issue formally. Trudeau would by doing so be following the logic he laid out the day he suspended these two MPs from his caucus. He tried to do the right thing for all concerned in a balancing of multiple competing interests, and now that it is clear one side is refusing to deal with this honestly, fairly, or ethically he is left with little choice but to restore these two MPs despite the allegations made, since allegations alone are not fair grounds for actual punishment, Trudeau is left with no real choice but to reinstate them and leave any further possible sanction up to the voters in their respective riding next election.

      In any event Davie, your imaginings are as bad as what I have come to expect from senior Harperites in his government and most blind CPC partisans. You advanced so much excrement in your comment that I am responding to that I am shocked you could still breath given its depth. Bottom line for me, Kinsella is on the money at this point given what we know, do not know, and have seen from all parties involved. This has been one of the most shameful and disgusting displays of political gamesmanship I have seen out of the NDP, and I suspect there are going to be many non political type people watching this who feel the same.

      Just for record, I am not saying I disbelieve these NDP MPs, or presume they were trying to trap the Libs or Trudeau (despite the subsequent NDP actions clearly making it look like this was some sort of trap set-up from the NDP), or that I believe that people making claims of harassment deserve no protection/anonymity (although I am much more inclined that way in imbalanced power relationship situations, which in MP on MP is clearly not the case, arguably since the NDP is the second party and the Libs the third ranked party the NDP had the higher power ground here), but once you make an official complaint of any nature you risk losing that protection too, and when you are an MP of one party going to the leader of another, especially a clear political rival, it is rather hard to call that anything but an official complaint regardless of where one makes it.

      I was impressed Trudeau and the Libs balanced the respective interests, and if the NDP had instead chosen to NOT out their MPs and worked quietly behind the scenes to resolve this instead of trying to make political hay on this and/or poison any possible political benefit Trudeau got by his action a real possible good could have come from this instead of the ugly reality we have now. Not to mention how the NDP showed it placed its partisan interests ahead of anything else when they chose to play games with outing their MPs AND trying to pin it on the Libs, and then as icing on the cake claimed Trudeau was the one revictimizing their MPs after outing them to media when the Libs did not such thing. Trudeau tried to balance all interests in a fair manner, and the Mulcair NDP did nothing but play the ugliest of politics. There are three MPs I feel truly sorry for, one MP who I have major questions about and for, a Lib leader whose leadership on this has impressed me despite all the NDP leader Mulcair (who managed to increase my distrust and dislike of him into massive contempt with this one) did to make this as impossible for him as possible.

      We saw that for Trudeau trying to do the right thing by the victims while balancing the rights of his MPs and the responsibility as party leader to protect his party in this was his main concern, and for Mulcair protecting his political partisan interests mattered more than anything remotely resembling due process, fair process, which coming from a lawyer who takes such pride in his profession as Mulcair does illustrates a serious lack of character where it counts. Next to the way the Harper government has been abusing the Veterans these days this issue has managed to offend me the most out of the past several weeks of issues in the federal political realm. This was not a partisan bloodbath until Mulcair and his party made it so, for whatever reason, and turned a difficult situation into one of the ugliest nastiest pieces of partisan garbage ever on the Hill, which after 8 years of Harper government is not small feat indeed.

      • davie says:

        Lol…and I thought that I imagined a lot.
        I suffered through the first round of Trudeau-mania, so I recognize the symptoms.

        The ‘imagining’ from you Libs I especially enjoy is :If Trudeau had not gone public, the NDP would have gone public and embarrassed him.’ Aw! Poor Libs…just had to do what he had to do.

        • Scotian says:


          Nice evasion of your fantasies being exposed for what they are, attack the person showing the falsity in your comment as opposed to acknowledging your shall we be generous and call them massive errors of fact instead of what you yourself called them, your imaginings, and what I suspect most disinterested observers would call them, lies. This has NOTHING to do with any “Trudeaumania”, this has everything to do with the actions of two party leaders when each was made aware of some fairly serious allegations by MPs about MPs. One clearly tried to do the responsible thing, the other turned it into a partisan bloodbath outing his own while piously claiming to be protecting them from that evil other leader outing them.

          Thanks for outing yourself as someone that cares nothing for basic facts when they get in the way of their political agenda, because you clearly did so here. Not just one or two minor facts either but massive core primary facts all to spin your own fantasies that conflict entirely with the actual factual record. This I expect from blind CPC partisans, I used to expect Dipper partisans to be a bit better, but you clearly are not. You need to stop letting your hatred of the Libs and Trudeau blind you to basic reality.

          BTW, I am not a blind Lib/Trudeau supporter, I never give ANYONE blind support, I do not do that kind of absolutist thinking, it was indeed one of the reasons why I fought the rise of Harper for so long as well as never joined any party throughout my lifetime (with one recent exception, and that was solely for Provincial political reasons to help nominate a friend in my riding who I believed would make a good MLA, and I have since let that membership lapse since it accomplished the reason for it), I am incapable of looking at reality through such blinders.

          I support the party, leader, and local candidate I believe is the best choice in each election as it approaches, you might try it some time, instead of acting as you have here, and you might also stop imagining you know what others are thinking/doing when you cannot ,because you know nothing about my history or choices anymore than you could have known the thinking of the NDP MPs in question last night when you “imagined” your motives to them. I am one of the true plurality of voters, a centrist swing voter. and it is people like me that usually determine who forms governments, not ideologues like you

          I really loathe those that cannot deal in basic factual realities, you are entitled to your own opinions, and not your own facts, and you certainly wanted your own facts and when called on it simply smeared as a response/defence. By their actions ye shall know them, a wisdom/truth indeed.

    • West Coast jim says:


      You can not possibly be as stupid as your comment. Next time leave the cooking sherry alone prior to getting on the internet.


  3. So what are you demanding the NDP do again? You want to accusers to reveal themselves? You seem to be bending over backwards to try and prove Trudeau was right, when the first two thirds of you column explains why he was wrong.

  4. Steve T says:

    Interesting you should raise the concept of natural justice. One could argue that Trudeau deprived Pacetti and Andrews of natural justice, when he acted based purely on what the NDP MPs said. As far as I know, neither Pacetti nor Andrews admitted to harrassing the MPs.

    As you pointed out, Pacetti and Andrews have been the subject of great scorn and shunning. To date, Trudeau is the only reason for that.

    I’m not saying I know the right approach. Clearly, these sort of allegations are serious, and we don’t want to discourage victims from coming forward. However, natural justice demands that we also give people the benefit of the doubt, until such time as a fair proceeding is held.

  5. Robin says:

    Protection from harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual assault requires authorities to give the accuser the benefit of the doubt; however, it also requires that the accusations are not only true but can be proven with sufficient evidence and/or corroboration. These protections and protocols have been established to provide victims of harassment, sexual harassment, and/or sexual assault with sufficient security to voice their accusations.

    In this instance, the only power relationship is based on gender, since both the accusers and the alleged perpetrators are Members of Parliament; therefore, the power is weighted in favor of the two female MPs involved since it is much easier for a female to allege sexual harassment or sexual assault than it is for a male, especially if the female is half the age of the male. Imagine if the reverse were to be the case in this context: anonymous accuser and two young female MPs the alleged perpetrators, what kind of over-excitement would that have caused?

    Once the accusation is made, the heightened level of abhorrence at the accusations themselves creates a heated and toxic atmosphere in which decisions must be made. What if the accusations are untrue or exaggerated and impossible to prove in court; are the accusations, even if true, motivated and embellished by malice; are the protections being used as a Sword instead of a Shield; how do we know?

    Therefore, it is imperative that there is transparency and natural justice. The MPs must come forward, make their accusations public in detail, and submit whatever evidence or oral testimony they have to provide. The accused and the public deserve to know the truth or as close to the truth as possible.

    What is unacceptable, is to inadvertently create a precedent for political attacks that allow the accusers to be anonymous and the details of the accusations remain private, even to the alleged perpetrators, without a proper, unbiased, fair, and balanced adjudication of the evidence and the testimony on all sides. The accusers are MPs. They have made their accusations, therefore, there must be some substance and veracity to them. The proverbial toothpaste is out of the tube.

    They had a few options on how to proceed with these accusations which would have provided for a more fair and balanced process, however, the accusations were presented to the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada by one of the MPs who claims to have been victimized by a Liberal MP and whose party, the NDP, made their gender and party affiliation public, apparently against their wishes. Too bad. The public has a right to know.

    One option would have been to inform the alleged perpetrators that the accusers have filed an official complaint with their Leader and the Whip of their Party and if their conduct does not change; the matter will be taken to the next level and be made public. Anyone who has worked with an elected representative would agree that his would have been sufficient; but, they didn’t and their Leader didn’t advise them; nor did their Leader approach the Board of Internal Economy and the Speaker to discuss establishing an unbiased, non-partisan, and fair tribunal for this purpose; just to name two options.

    It is imperative that the full light of day is shone on this affair in order to prevent the boys in short pants from taking this new weapon for political attacks to an entirely new level that only aspiring Michael Sona’s could devise all alone in their suburban basements.

    Is is a Sword or a Shield. We need to know.

  6. Marc-André Chiasson says:

    In my opinion, Trudeau did the right thing under the circumstances. The NDP MP who went directly to him to complain had to know that it would leave him no choice but to act immediately and forcefuly. I presume she is intelligent enough to have foreseen that. If she did not want to drag things through the mud, she should have gone to her own leader and let him determine how to handle the matter. I agree that a resolution is needed, sooner rather than later. If the two NDP MPs don’t want to “go public”, then Mulcair should insist that they meet in private with a respected impartial legai advocate acceptable to both Trudeau and Mulcair, in order to outline their complaints in affidavit format. Then, the advocate would meet with the Liberal Whip and the two Liberal MPs to outline the charges and to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. Subsequently the Whip and Trudeau would consult and decide whether to maintain the suspensions or reintegrate them into caucus. If the NDP refuses to do this, then to me it proves that they simply want to play politics with peoples’ lives. That being the case, if I were Trudeau, I would provide the names of the complainants to the former Caucus members in order to give them at least the opportunity to defend themselves through possible mediation or in a court of law. I don’t think he can reintegrate them in Caucus until there is a resolution in their favour and, as things stand right now, the only chance they may have of achieving that is by threatening legal action against the two NDP MPs for defamation. If they have the names and the opportunity to defend themselves, and refuse to do so, that then sort of speaks volumes. Not a pretty situation, but one that Thomas Mulcair could resolve if he were sincere about doing so.

    • davie says:

      I’ve had a bit of experience with restorative justice groups.
      Perhaps when they come u with a ‘process,’ something like a restorative justice element could be included as an early step. Often yu don’t want ot go right from zero to too formal a process.

  7. Duane says:

    Wow. If that was Justin’s “finest moment”, we are in for a fun year ahead. Some folks may think he looked Prime Ministerial, but by taking away the rights of his two MPs, and trampling on the wishes of the victims in this case; he acted more like a judge/jury/executioner than he did a Prime Minister, IMHO. It stretches credulity to suggest that the NDP would pounce on JT for not taking action on an issue that they themselves sat on for a period of time. The “victims” of these incidents should have been able to drive the bus on any action related to what happened. JT took that control from them and as mentioned in other spaces, he victimized them all over again. Never mind who named the caucus involved. Once the accused MP names were out in public, it would only be a matter of time before the victims were also outed. I’m shocked it hasn’t happened yet. I have a friend who works in an MPs office on the hill, and he says that everyone on the hill knows the names of the “victim” MPs involved. How long before some low-life journalist, trying to make a name, puts their names out there? None of this would ever be a consideration if JT had not gone public.

    • Reg says:

      Justin Trudeau — was it leadership or dictatorship? Time will tell………..

    • jeff316 says:

      “It stretches credulity to suggest that the NDP would pounce on JT for not taking action on an issue that they themselves sat on for a period of time.”

      This is the nuance that partisan posters conveniently leave out.

  8. ian turnbull says:

    Why did Trudeau not ask to speak directly to the two NDP MP’s when he was made aware of their situation? That way he could have directly understood their view on what happened and also their preference on how he should handle it. Maybe he attempted to do this and was told no. However if he did not, I have to agree that his behaviour appears much closer to doing what he believed at the time would have sold the best with the electorate then what could have been best for the two NDP MP’s who felt harassed.

    • Robin says:

      ian turnbull, one of the NDP MPs spoke to Trudeau directly on her own volition (we are told) despite, apparently, wanting the matter to be handled anonymously behind closed doors. Apparently, prior to this the two NDP MPs had informed their Leader and NDP Party Whip of the alleged misconduct of the two Liberal MPs; one must assume that they emphasized with their Leader that they didn’t want to make the accusations public or to reveal their identities.
      Therefore, either Mulcair didn’t handle it to their satisfaction or they conspired to set a trap for Trudeau which he deftly and genuinely dodged due to his experience as a volunteer at a women’s shelter in Vancouver, his is more understanding and sensitive towards women who allege they have been victims of sexual harassment or worse.

      The fact that the Liberal Leader was being approached by an individual NDP MP rather than through the NDP Leader’s office and that she apparently didn’t want her identity or party affiliation revealed could have raised some legitimate concerns about the purpose of her approaching the Liberal Leader with these allegations in the wake of the Jian Ghomeshi meltdown.

      It smells like a trap set by amateurs who now wish they hadn’t made the allegations because they are being pressured to be transparent and accountable.

      Warren is correct: either they reveal themselves and make their allegations public; or drop the matter and return to pre-accusation status. However, there needs to be an unbiased, balanced, and fair approach to handle future allegations of this nature.

      One thing is clear: Mulcair mishandled this affair which isn’t a good sign of his leadership abilities no matter which scenario you believe.

      • Attack! says:

        correction: the NDP leadership only knew about the first of the two incidents, before – the one which happened about 18 months ago, which the second NDP MP asked if Trudeau knew and told him about, last month. (And then after that she told her own story to the two Whips.)


        • Robin says:

          Comments made by Attack!:

          “This narrative of yours isn’t at all how it happened. The NDP leadership was only told about one of the incidents before Trudeau was told about both by one of the NDP MPs. And the Whips only began talking to each other after Trudeau was told, and told his Whip to contact the NDP one.

          She was assigned to gather enough information to enable him to make an interim decision. She did. And then he made it, and announced it. Enough of your attempts at rewriting history and the chain of command.

          re: “One *could* argue that Trudeau deprived Pacetti and Andrews of natural justice, when he acted based purely on what the NDP MPs said”
          – one could, but one would be arguing without all the facts: it should not be assumed (nor believed, simply on the basis of the accuseds’ brief statements), that the two Liberal MPs were not questioned or given an opportunity to respond to their Whip doing the preliminary inquiry.

          correction: the NDP leadership only knew about the first of the two incidents, before – the one which happened about 18 months ago, which the second NDP MP asked if Trudeau knew and told him about, last month. (And then after that she told her own story to the two Whips.)”

          * * *

          So, Attack!, based on your comments: Mulcair did nothing with regards to the first reported incident 18 months ago; then, an NDP MP decides to approach the Leader of the Liberal Party regarding another NDP MPs’ experience 18 months previous rather than her own; and, only after the Leader of the Liberal Party initiates a preliminary inquiry through the Liberal Whip does this NDP MP decide to reveal her own story of alleged sexual misconduct; yet, Mulcair did nothing until both NDP MPs had met with both the NDP and Liberal Whips; then, Mulcair finally reacts. And the main NDP criticism of the Leader of the Liberal Party is that he acted once he was made aware of the allegations and provided with some preliminary findings based on the testimony of the two NDP MPs.

          I repeat: regardless of which scenario you believe, Muclair failed to demonstrate leadership; maybe that’s why the second NDP MP decided to speak to the Leader of the Liberal Party because, obviously, Mulcair hadn’t done anything; maybe the first NDP MP wanted it that way and the second NDP MP simply decided to approach the Leader of the Liberal Party about it without the first NDP MPs’ knowledge or consent.

          One question: Who are these people?

          • Attack! says:

            re: who – well, that’s the point — neither want that disclosed.

            And as the NDP Whip & leader explained, that’s why they didn’t act on the first MP’s complaint [beyond giving her some time off for stress leave, according to 1 reporter: Ivison, I think] — it was at her request.

            And, no, that 1st MP didn’t want the 2nd one to tell it to Trudeau and bring on this debacle.

  9. Kevin says:

    Couldn’t agree more. But if the NDP refuse to come forward with more specifics, either in camera or otherwise, what then happens with the 2 Liberal MPs?

  10. JH says:

    I hardly think Justin wants his finest moment to be seen as the time he was mired down in a messy sex scandal, with no seeming resolution in sight. I’m sure he aspires to something better. Hyperbole is ok in small doses, but you know – a little balance works as well.

  11. Bobby says:

    I think you’re going to great lengths to try save this for Justin Trudeau and paint the NDP as the bad guys.
    Not your best stuff.
    However if you’re running for Justin it’s the perfect cover.

  12. Joe says:

    Coles Notes version: Trudeau acted hastily (foolishly) and embarrassed himself, soiled the reputation of two MPs, likely damaged caucus unity and its up to the NDP to fix it.

    • smelter rat says:

      Bullshit. You should get a refund on all the dough you spent on those advanced degrees.

      • doconnor says:

        So what is it the NDP is supposed to do again?

        • Marc-André Chiasson says:

          Doconnor, as I suggested above in my earlier post, Mulcair should insist that his two MPs meet in private with a respected impartial legai advocate in order to outline their complaints in affidavit format. Then, the advocate would meet with the Liberal Whip and the two Liberal MPs to outline the charges and to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. Subsequently the Whip and Trudeau would consult and decide whether to maintain the suspensions or reintegrate them into caucus. But, instead, they seem to prefer to fan the flames of controversy in a lame attempt to lay responsibility for the matter on the shoulders of Trudeau. If it weren’t so tragic, it would almost be laughable.

          • Reg says:

            NON!! Trudeau cannot recant on his decision because it was politically calculated counterattack against the devious Dippers who were trying to destroy Trudeau’s standing with all the Canadian women besotted with his visage, and by besmirching him with allegations of sexual misconduct by his Liberal MPs. The Mulcair NDP must dislodge the woman’s vote away from the Trudeau Liberals particularly in Quebec. Two Quebec MP NDP maidens were sexually harassed by two Liberal male MPs and that’s the lasting impression.

            Trudeau made his decision for the greater good of the Liberal party and catering to the women’s vote which he may have accomplished with his draconian treatment of two male Liberal MPs. Canadian women will conclude that “Justin understands us”. Don’t you see that?

          • doconnor says:

            Why should Mulcair “insist” they enter into a process when they don’t want to?

            Trudeau ignited the flames of controversy and he primarily responsible for it. (Unless you think the accusers are primarily responsible?)

  13. Marc-André Chiasson says:

    I do believe this NDP MP suffers from either extreme naïvety or, at minimum, a severe lack of judgement. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/11/25/ndp-harassment-allegations-massimo-pacetti_n_6216184.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-politics

    • The Stig says:

      Given that an allegation of rape was made, I fail to see how Trudeau could have acted any differently. I hope that this NDP MP gets the help she needs to resume her duties without panic attacks.

  14. Reg says:

    Now the sordid details are slowly coming out for maximum political impact, here:


    “It was sex without explicit consent,” she said.
    The sex hurt, she said.
    “Three days after the incident, I had trouble sitting down without being in pain.”
    She grimaced every time she sat down, feeling pain in her abdomen.
    She never confronted Pacetti after the fact. “It was in a box, and we pretended it didn’t exist,” she said.

    So there you have it – “she said”, and it sounds convincing because we all know that men are monsters when it comes to sex!

    Politically, Trudeau had to drop the axe on Pacetti and Andrews to rescue his strong and growing standing with the women’s vote which he has been courting strategically — he had no other choice.

    • davie says:

      Thanks for posting this.

      I disagree with your comment that Trudeau had no choice. In the article, the interviewee suggests that he did have a choice, and I think he had a choice.

      • Reg says:

        So why did Trudeau throw Pacetti and Andrews off the boat and under the truck?

        Isn’t a strong political leader supposed to back up his MPs through thick and thin, but Trudeau didn’t…..he sacrificed them to public opinion and outrage. I like Trudeau’s toughness but I wonder if any of the Liberal MPs are losing trust in his judgment and support.

        Does Justin want to use the two MPs to impose his leadership on his Liberal party? Or is Justin sending a message to the Liberal caucus and hopeful candidates that he’s the boss and will destroy anybody’s political career if they get out of line and threaten his leadership image?

        I wonder what Harper would have done but that’s moot because I don’t think any NDP female MPs would go to a Conservative MPs apartment unless it was done to entrap him with the pleasures of the flesh. Now we see Liberals and NDPs fraternizing because they are both left of centre politicians and are natural political and now sexual partners…. but not the Conservatives.

  15. PeggyW says:

    I think about Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons and how brave they were in spite of how young they were. Ultimately, they didn’t get the justice and support they deserved from the powers that be; these NDP mp’s should, as women in government, come forward, and show some leadership. It can still be done as an anonymous process, and leaving it unresolved is only making things worse. If our own legislators can’t deal with this, who can?

  16. P. Machiavelli says:

    Troubling Lessons From the Huffington Post

    “This MP knew Pacetti from a sports league they were both members of. Both francophone Quebec MPs, she spoke more frequently with Pacetti than with the members who spoke only English. After games, team members would often go out for drinks. One night, Pacetti asked her if she’d like to come back to his hotel room for a drink. She agreed…’He was a friend who was on my team, he wasn’t part of my political party but we took part in a social activity’…”

    The Liberal and the NDP are different political parties, repeat different political parties i.e. they are engaged in an ultra-serious contest for power. There should be absolutely no fraternizing between the two outside of professional duties. This is an intelligence and tactical nightmare. It is totally insane for any MP to be drinking i.e. “drinks” plural, more that one standard serving of alcohol. It is totally insane to be drinking with members of other political parties. It is totally insane for a politician to invite any woman outside of his wife back to his hotel room. It is totally insane to go to the hotel of a married politician. The naiveté, debauchery, lack of self-discipline, message discipline, intelligence discipline, judgment is astonishing.

    The only party winning in this debacle is the Conservative Party. The core narrative of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party as the enlightened, sensitive, feminist alternative has been torpedoed and sinks as the flaming SS Jian Ghomeshi. The NDP, as usual, appear as perhaps well-meaning but completely unsuited for the rigours of an often dangerous and evil world. As self fulfilling prophecy, they remain lambs for the slaughter. That the primary actors of the psycho-drama are “francophone” should not be discounted. As the Sovereigntist movement descends deeper into internecine rancour, the doctrine of Quebecois exceptionalism appears more and more implausible as the default OS of Canada. MPs represent 0.0000096 % of the Canadian population – 1 : 104 570. They are supposed to be a special, professional, disciplined, elite cohort that create the laws, deal with the serious matters of war, treasure, diplomacy, etc. Is it to be that Her Majesty’s Official Opposition cannot even handle their liquor, keep it in their pants, and otherwise abstain from general dissolution?

    The first thing for the Liberal Party to do is fire all their whips and appoint ones who demand, cajole, plead, shepherd their MPs away from the preceding scenarios. By God we’ll make serious politicians of you yet! Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

  17. Reg says:

    Uh oh, here’s more juicy details from the CP:


    ”The sources say the incident involving Andrews allegedly started at a social event on Parliament Hill before the woman, Andrews and Pacetti went from there to Pacetti’s office, where they drank some wine. Eventually, Pacetti left, leaving Andrews and the woman alone.

    According to sources, the woman alleges that Andrews followed her home, forced his way through her door, pushed her against a wall, groped her and ground his pelvis against her. She ordered him to leave. He did.

    Afterwards, sources say the woman alleges that Andrews repeatedly verbally harassed her, calling her a “c-kteaser.”

    Andrews has denied any misconduct but sources say he has not yet given a detailed rebuttal to the woman’s complaint.”


    So how do the two unfortunate Liberal MPs respond when their reputations are being ruined in the media and they have no recourse?

    How can Trudeau stop the damage to the Liberal party and himself too? Sex is now a gender weapon and in the hands of politicians it can be fatal.

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