Karen McPherson, the representative for Calgary-MacKay-Nose Hill, says the provincial government needs to improve how it investigates complaints against MLAs.
In November, McPherson expressed her concerns in a letter to Robert Wanner, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, regarding what she believed to be a lack of transparency in the investigations into two NDP MLAs after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged. The nature of the complaints and the names of the MLAs who were at the centre of the allegations were not disclosed and NDP officials claimed the party addressed the issues internally.
“There’s no clarity as to whether or not the allegations have been dealt with appropriately,” said McPherson, an Alberta Party MLA. “We’ve had assurances but no information to be able to back that up.”
Wanner confirmed that his office had not received any specific complaints about any member of the government but McPherson says the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly’s response failed to address any of her questions.
McPherson says a third-party should handle all future complaints. “It needs to be neutral, it needs to be third party, and there needs to be assurances that , if it sufficiently egregious, then that information will be shared with the public about what the allegations (were) and investigation concluded.”
A new ‘Respectful Workplace Policy’ is being drafted to better handle complaints from members of the legislature.