Premier Kathleen Wynne made the following statement today:
“I first want to say that the young women who have shared their experiences are very brave. It was very courageous for them to step forward. In my heart, I hope that they are finding the supports that they need now. They did a very difficult thing, and they’ve been carrying this for years. There’s an impact to them. I hope they are safe. I hope they are surrounded by loved ones today.
When I heard these allegations, I was shocked. And when I came to work this morning, I wanted to talk to people around the province who are reading this news and wondering what is going on.
I know there are many like me — people who are outraged and saddened that in 2018 we are still struggling to come to terms with the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in our society. There are people in their living rooms, at their workplaces, reading the newspaper or listening to the radio. There are young people seeing the news on their iPhones and their devices.
There are obviously lots of questions that are going to come forward in the days ahead. Right now, I am thinking about this in my role as a mother, as a daughter, as a leader. It is really important that we understand how deeply troubling these behaviours are to human beings — to people.
There are parents all over the province who sit on the edge of their kids’ beds at night, and they talk about and try to sort through what’s going on in the schoolyard or what happened on a date — and how to handle those situations. Those are the real questions. That’s why I wanted to make a statement this morning about the role we all must play in figuring this out as a society.
We have to sort this out together. We have to take responsibility. We have to be vigilant.
But we can’t just assume that people coming forward will change everything. That alone is not going to create the change that we need to see. We all have to be vigilant, and we have to shine a light in all parts of our lives to create those safe places that we know are possible.
At Queen’s Park, we’ve worked very hard to put training in place, and make sure that there are procedures and that everybody knows what those procedures are. But I think what we need to understand today is that even as we’ve made big changes in this province and put in place new laws and rules, it’s still not enough. There’s still more that we have to do. When we brought out the policy on sexual assault and violence, it was called ‘It’s Never Okay.’ And on the last page of that action plan it said ‘To be continued,’ because we knew in our hearts that there was going to be more to do.
Today I stand with all of the people, all over the province, who are trying to create those safe places. I recognize that I am in this with so many people. We all have a responsibility, and will continue to work together to create that safety for you — whoever you are, and wherever you are in Ontario.”
Wynne won’t call snap election after Brown resigns amid allegations
TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she will not seek a snap election before the scheduled June vote following the Opposition leader’s decision to step down amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Wynne says it’s too early to know what impact Patrick Brown’s resignation as Progressive Conservative leader will have on the province’s political landscape.
The premier would not comment specifically on the allegations levelled against Brown but broadly denounced sexual assault and harassment.
When asked if she would consider changing the date of the provincial election, she said: “No. This is not about politics.”
Brown announced he was stepping down in a statement issued early Thursday morning, following a hastily called news conference in which he “categorically” denied what he called “troubling allegations” about his conduct and his character.
The Progressive Conservative caucus, meanwhile, is meeting today to elect an interim leader to replace him.
In an email to the party’s legislators sent last night, Tory party president Rick Dykstra says he has requested, and legislators have agreed, to select an interim leader.
Dykstra says that interim leader will serve until a new leader is picked in a leadership election, according to the party’s constitution.
It’s not clear from Dykstra’s message when that leadership election will take place.
Party deputy leaders Sylvia Jones and Steve Clark are expected to hold a news conference at noon.
The Canadian Press