, 02.05.2018 11:32 AM

“I find you so pretty” – senior PMO director to young woman looking for a job

This is wild.  Wild.

Look at the message Myriam Denis, an experienced and bilingual communicator with a Liberal pedigree, got from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Deputy Director of Operations:

“I find you very pretty,” he says.  One of the most senior unelected officials in the federal government, sending messages like that, not even bothering to hide his identity.

That’s not all: Ms. Denis – who I have never met – was being hit on by a guy who worked for Bardash Chagger, presently the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.  That guy, an advisor to Chagger, allegedly put his hand on Ms. Denis’ thigh when they met to discuss a job opening.  She says he told her she had “a nice bikini body.”

After all this outrageous behaviour by two senior men in the Trudeau government – two men who, coincidentally, had both worked for Melanie Joly – Myriam Denis did not get the job.  She did, however, complain to Chagger’s Chief of Staff, a woman (thankfully).  The chief of Staff took her complaint seriously, it seems.

But get this: right after Ms. Denis wrote briefly on Facebook briefly about getting hit on by a senior Trudeau operative, she heard from another Trudeau guy.  He told her that he “handles [human relations] in the Prime Minister’s office.”  That’s a quote.

Except he didn’t.  The Claude-Eric Gagné investigation was being handled by an outside, arms-length law firm.  Not someone who worked within PMO.  (Oh, and the guy’s title was “Director of Administration and Special Projects.”  Not HR.)  So: one of Gagné’s fellow directors at PMO seemed to be falsely claiming to be “handling” sexual harassment cases like Ms. Denis’.

Was he truly contacting her to help? Or was it just to cover it all up?

She is the victim, here, and should have the final word, and you should read every word:

This is wrong on so many levels. Even if he was truly the HR person in the PMO, it would be extremely inappropriate for him to be contacting potential victims when there was an ongoing examination by a third-party investigator.

Until the moment I received the Facebook message from Brett Thalmann, I was willing to believe that Vidah and Gagné were just two cases of “bad apples” within a big organization. I am not so sure anymore. This third strange experience makes me think that it might be more than a few isolated incidents of reprehensible behaviours.

I feel a lot of sadness and empathy for the women who are currently working [in Justin Trudeau’s PMO].

12 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Hmmm……

    Certainly gives the impression this, until today secret “two person bureau” in the PMO exists for the sole purpose of making harassment complaints disappear before they get to the third party investigator.

    And the fact the PMO is refusing all comment certainly points to that being the case.

  2. Grant says:

    Why is this not huge news? My TV has been plastered with the Harper/Dykstra story, deservedly so mind you, but some kid taking a selfie with a Pop Star is getting more press than this in the Canadian mainstream media. To hell with anyone who participates, helps cover up or ignores this. This is abhorrent behavior coming from our CURRENT government.

    • Bruce M says:

      Agreed:
      The Toronto Star only talks about Trudeau’s meeting with a Yazidi child for 5 minutes and how the child feels he deserved more face-time. There was one article three days ago, but since then, crickets.
      They are busy covering Steve Paikin allegations, though.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “Why is this not huge news?”

      My guess is because nobody knows who he is. I had never heard of him, myself; couldn’t even tell you who Stephen Harper’s DDO was…

  3. Ron Benn says:

    The lack of professionalism displayed by this e-mail string, and the subsequent non-follow up, does not give me much confidence in the brain trust behind the PM. What other boogeymen are hiding in the weeds?

  4. the salamander horde says:

    .. the real risk.. (forget the bad political exposure or ‘optics’) is that a young woman like this has a father who will suddenly ‘appear’ with blunt questions. The even worse case is the same young woman has a mother who would ‘appear’ even more abruptly.. and rip the face off of the offender. So often, this crap gets reduced to alleged or unproven in court or.. well you get the gist.

    And forget the mealy mouthisms of el Scheero.. where I come from we drive a tractor over those creeps who assault our children.. if its ‘just an insult’ laid upon our adult children we’re more lenient and just ‘nudge’ them.. after mom has trashed their ass.. mom trumps the nudge any way you look at it.. one may be fatal, the other just hurts, maybe forever.

    For the young women or young men on this planet, my advice is be around exemplars.. avoid the losers.

    Exemplars are the real deal, in each every way.. losers are.. well, just that.. losers. Don’t be polite just hit the exit toute suite el prompto bye bye.. have 911 up on your ‘smart’ phone. The first persons to arrive will be firefighters.. who in my vast experience have zero tolerance for losers

  5. Gyor says:

    Gasp, he called her pretty! The pervert!

    This is how silly #Metoo, telling someone they are pretty. That’s not even hitting on them, it’s an observation.

    • Warren says:

      And the guy who put the hand on her thigh? That okay, too?

    • Ron Benn says:

      In the context of meeting someone in a bar, calling someone “pretty” MIGHT be considered flirting, as in “What’s a pretty girl like you doing listening to an old pervert like me.”

      In the context of applying for a job, it is unacceptable. PERIOD, FULL STOP!

  6. the salamander horde says:

    .. by th by mr Kinsella..
    I am taking some hits.. even blocking or muting a few sad folk.. seems something I ‘said’ or even cutting you & Lisa some slack hit a nerve or two would seem. I don’t always agree with you n yours.. but I always stand up for those who hold to basic decency, democracy, defend the young, the aged .. You know, the kind of ‘right stuff’ of that weird trip of defining ‘Canadian’ – of course neither you or Lisa or myself will become astronauts.. but if we score high on the even more important parental scale.. well .. boom there it is ! Same if we swing mightily against racism.. same if.. well you get the gist..

  7. Robyn Lawson says:

    Why should he feel he has the familiarity to comment on her appearance at all? That’s how ingrained this sense of entitlement by men is – not even a thought as to how to appropriately open a conversation with a woman colleague of any degree. This is work, not some Saturday night cocktail party where he was set up for a date.

  8. the salamander horde says:

    .. I think the young woman was far too polite as this man’s train wreck neediness unfolded.. There does come a time when zero response is in order. The guy of course was way way out there.. just adrift in his strange personal texty lala land.

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