MPs need to consult women, social media companies about online behaviour: Cullen

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OTTAWA — Veteran NDP MP Nathan Cullen says women and social media companies should be brought into a critical discussion about how parliamentarians conduct themselves online.

Cullen says many MPs insist that what they say and do on social media is personal, not part of their professional lives, but he says he doesn’t buy that.

The B.C. MP says training for parliamentarians doesn’t include enough material on what appropriate online behaviour looks like, noting much of the discussion has focused on day-to-day interactions with other parliamentarians and staff.

Cullen’s comments come as the social-media activity of former cabinet minister and longtime MP Tony Clement is under scrutiny in Ottawa. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer kicked Clement out of the party caucus yesterday after revelations that he’d shared sexually explicit images with someone who later tried to extort him for money.

Clement issued a statement today apologizing to anyone who felt he crossed “online boundaries” in a way that made them feel uncomfortable, without his knowing.

He says he engaged in inappropriate exchanges during a time of “personal difficulty and weakness,” his actions crossed lines that he shouldn’t have crossed, and he engaged in acts of infidelity.

The Canadian Press

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