The NDP Leader has written to the Speaker of the House of Assembly to request that the House Management Commission convene a special meeting on the inadequacy of the Code of Conduct, as well as undertake developing a comprehensive anti-harassment policy that is tailored specifically for elected officials, caucuses, and political staff.
Leader Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says that while the Commissioner for Legislative Standards is investigating the harassment complaints as a necessary interim process, the House Management Commission is the appropriate entity to undertake the development of this much-needed policy.
“We respect the fact that there is legislation relating to the process for dealing with complaints against MHAs under the Code of Conduct,” Rogers said. “The current situation, however, regarding complaints of harassment and bullying within and originating from the Government Caucus, has revealed major weaknesses in the process outlined in our legislation.”
Rogers says the NDP Caucus is requesting a special meeting of the House Management Commission to discuss the inadequacy of the Code of Conduct and the process related to it concerning sexual and other harassment and intimidation complaints.
“As the Speaker pointed out in the Legislature on May 2, the Code of Conduct falls under the purview of the House Management Commission who are accountable to the whole House of Assembly – not to the governing party in the House,” said Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East – Quidi Vidi).
“For this reason we believe that it is urgent for this body to meet and deal with the issues relating to complaints of harassment and intimidation,” Michael said.