Senior PMO official on leave after allegations by women of ‘inappropriate behaviour’

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A senior official at the Prime Minister’s Office is being investigated for inappropriate behaviour.

Claude-Eric Gagné, the deputy director of operations at the PMO, was placed on leave in November following accusations of inappropriate behaviour from women, Quebec’s TVA News reported.


READ MORE:
Liberal MP accuses Conservative James Bezan of ‘humiliating’ sexual comments

The nature of the inappropriate behaviour wasn’t known, but the PMO confirmed the investigation in a statement to Global News.

“We were made aware of allegations involving a member of the prime minister’s office. Any allegation brought forward to this office is taken extremely seriously,” Kate Purchase, the prime minister’s director of communications, said in an email.

“In this case, an investigation was immediately triggered with the assistance of an independent investigator and the individual in question went on leave, pending the outcome.

“Given the investigation is ongoing, it would not be appropriate to comment further in order to protect the integrity of the process and ensure fairness for the parties.”


Gagné was one of the most influential Quebecers in the Liberal Party, according to TVA. He’s been active in politics for over 20 years, including working with the Liberal Party of Quebec.

The accusations of inappropriate behaviour have followed a slew of other accusations of sexually inappropriate behaviour against high-profile men.

People facing accusations include ex-movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey and politicians in the U.S. and  the U.K.

READ MORE: How Canada’s Parliament deals with sexual harassment claims  

In Canada, MP Sherry Romanado said she was subjected to “inappropriate, humiliating and unwanted comments” made by Conservative MP James Bezan last spring.

Last week she stood up in the House of Commons to make a point of order on the matter, saying the comments “caused [her] great stress and negatively affected my work environment.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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