Investigation into Kent Hehr ends, MP will stay in Liberal caucus
The investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Liberal MP and ex-cabinet minister Kent Hehr has concluded, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is letting him stay in caucus.
According to a statement Hehr released on Twitter on Wednesday, the Calgary Centre, Alta. MP has issued apologies to the complainants, and cited his disability as a contributing factor to the alleged incidents.
Hehr is a quadriplegic that is paralyzed from the waist down. He uses a wheelchair and has limited muscular control in his arms; the result of being shot with a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting in 1991.
The investigation was launched after women came forward with allegations about his behaviour, both during his time in Ottawa and when he was a member of the Alberta legislature.
In his statement he spoke about two complainants, one from a decade ago, and another from "an event." Because the report on his conduct has not been made public, it is unclear the specifics of the allegations that were studied considered. In the case of the complaint from 10 years ago, he said he did not recall meeting the woman. Regarding the other complainant, Hehr said any contact was "unintentional."
In January, a public servant in Alberta tweeted that she was told "to avoid being in an elevator with Kent Hehr" on her first day working at the Alberta legislature. She alleged that Hehr made “verbally sexually suggestive comments” to a number of women, and once told her: "You're yummy."
Another woman told CTV News about an incident at the Liberal caucus Christmas party in December 2015. When she bent down to shake Hehr’s hand she alleged he pulled her toward him and said he was enjoying the view.
"While my disability explains much, it does not dismiss the feelings of those with whom I interact," Hehr said in the statement. "I have also learned that some of my conversational style must change."
Despite being allowed to remain in caucus, Hehr -- who resigned from cabinet in January pending the outcome of the investigation -- will not be re-entering the federal cabinet.
In the statement, Hehr said he was "grateful" for Trudeau for the process, and pledged to continue working to serve his constituents.
I have been advised that the report into my conduct has concluded. I will continue to work hard to serve the people of Calgary Centre as a member of the Liberal Caucus. Statement: pic.twitter.com/Q1V9Ho2uj0— Kent Hehr (@kenthehr) June 6, 2018