The New Democratic Party (NDP) intends to implement improved event guidelines following an incident of sexual harassment at their policy convention in Montreal this past April. Among the motions discussed and passed by party members at the convention was one geared towards addressing sexual harassment cases involving Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and federal employees.
For an unnamed female staff member at the convention, this motion was just talk. On the Friday evening of the convention, she reported that those in charge became “sloppy drunk,” leaving the responsibility of managing and closing the bar to the staff.
After the managers had gone home, an ex-NDP communications director and the current executive communications director of the University of Ottawa, Drew Anderson, began to flirt with one of the staff member’s friends. When the female worker intervened, Anderson was reported to have transferred his attention to her. She then removed herself from the situation.
The next morning, to her surprise, she was reprimanded by NDP deputy national director Chantal Vallerand for complaining about the managers’ lack of responsibility the previous night. Eventually, an apology letter was sent to the female staff member fron NDP officials.
Because of this incident, the NDP has drafted new protocols for its fundraising events in an effort to prevent future mishaps. They are expected to be finalized in September.