By Chad Ingram
Published April 21 2016
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott says comments made by one of her Progressive Conservative caucus colleagues at a fundraising event in his riding were “totally inappropriate.”
Media reports surfaced earlier this month that during a “men's night” fundraiser for a fair in his riding Carleton-Mississippi Mills MPP Jack MacLaren took the stage calling up his federal counterpart Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon. Once she joined him on stage MacLaren then proceeded to tell a “joke” involving McCrimmon her husband and oral sex. According to a report in a local newspaper the “joke” was met with silence from the crowd of 350.
“He should not have made those comments” Scott told the paper. “It was totally inappropriate what he did.”
Scott is the PC party's critic on women's issues and has spent the past 18 months working on legislation to combat sexual harassment sexual abuse and human trafficking.
Some have called for MacLaren's ouster from the PC party. Does Scott think he should have been booted from caucus?
“No” she said. “He did apologize . . . and has been sent for sensitivity training. He'll be taking a break from Queen's Park.”
On April 18 a press release from the PCs stated that MacLaren had been relieved of his duties as party critic on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
“Further MPP MacLaren will be taking time away from Queen's Park in order to focus on his constituency work and partake in sensitivity training” party leader Patrick Brown said in the release. “I have been clear that there is no room for anything less than respect and tolerance in the Ontario PC party and caucus in our legislature and society. Reassignment of MPP MacLaren's roles will remain in effect until such time as I determine that appropriate corrective action has been taken.”
Shortly after the controversy over the “joke” the Ottawa Citizen published a story on fake testimonials posted on MacLaren's website. The testimonials used phoney names and random stock photos of people taken from the Internet.
MacLaren subsequently apologized for the testimonials which have been taken down.