Tootoo left Liberal cabinet, caucus over 'consensual relationship'
Published Wednesday, August 3, 2016 6:03PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 3, 2016 10:55PM EDT
Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo says he resigned from cabinet and the Liberal caucus over a “consensual relationship” with an unidentified person before he sought addiction treatment.
Tootoo, who stepped down as fisheries minister two months ago, posted a message on Twitter and Facebook Wednesday, saying he was “deeply sorry.”
Tootoo did not offer any details about the “consensual relationship,” but said he was asked to keep it private. His admission comes following a Globe and Mail report that alleged he had an inappropriate relationship with a staff member.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Tootoo had acknowledged “an inappropriate relationship in the workplace.”
“In the same conversation, Mr. Tootoo informed the Prime Minister that he took full and sole responsibility for his inappropriate workplace conduct,” the PMO said.
“In order to respect and protect the privacy interests of all individuals involved, we will not be commenting further on this matter.”
It’s unclear why the PMO described the relationship as “inappropriate.”
But shortly after Tootoo’s apology, one of his political rivals, Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern, posted a tweet about whether a relationships between a manager and subordinate could be consensual.
In May, 52-year-old Tootoo announced that he would be leaving cabinet and the Liberal caucus and seeking treatment for an alcohol problem.
After completing treatment, Tootoo held an open house at his office in Iqaluit, where he said that he had let his constituents, friends and family down.
Tootoo attributed his drinking to "deeply personal and private issues," saying he used alcohol as a coping mechanism.
With files from The Canadian Press