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McPhedran forging ahead with support for Senate staffers harassed on the job

OTTAWA — A Manitoba senator says she is forging ahead with a plan to offer support to anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct while working in the upper chamber, even if she is not allowed to use her office budget to pay the lawyer she hired to help shoulder the burden.

Independent Sen. Marilou McPhedran says she has already heard from several people about their experiences after she set up a confidential email address where anyone who has been an employee, intern, or volunteer at the Senate since 2006 can speak directly to her, or be referred to a lawyer.

The idea is to give them a safe and confidential way to figure out their next steps, if any, and decide whether they want to pass along information that could stop misconduct from happening to anyone else in a way that might not even end up naming the person accused of inappropriate behaviour.

The Senate, which says its policies do not cover the cost of paying legal fees for third parties, has asked McPhedran for clarification.

She says she is reassuring survivors of sexual assault and harassment thinking about reaching out to her that she will stand by her promise.

The email address is: confidential?mariloumcphedran.com.

© 2018 The Canadian Press




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