'I'm not a sexual harasser': Graydon breaks silence after being kicked out of caucus
Published Thursday, November 8, 2018 12:47PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, November 8, 2018 6:39PM CST
Cliff Graydon says he’s guilty of telling inconsiderate jokes, not sexual harassment.
“I want to stress as strongly as I can I'm not a sexual harasser as some in the media has portrayed,” said Graydon.
The Emerson MLA broke his silence for the first time since being kicked out of the PC caucus for making an inappropriate comment to a female legislative staff member and possibly other incidents.
“I admit I'm guilty of having a bad sense of humour and sincerely apologize to those who have been offended by my inconsiderate jokes,” said Graydon.
Graydon says he grew up in a different era and now realizes people today are much more sensitive to inappropriate behavior.
“My jokes that I now regret were simply intended to be humourous and I can assure those offended that they were not intended to be demeaning or harmful,” said Graydon.
The embattled MLA also wanted to set the record straight about the incident in question.
“I've never asked anyone to sit on my lap, that's a media term, the comment was you can sit on my knee or I can get you a chair,” said Graydon.
In a February interview Premier Brian Pallister said he'd dealt with two separate misconduct complaints since taking office. At the time he wouldn't identify anyone involved. The premier now confirms Graydon was one of the individuals in question. The MLA was sent to sensitivity training.
Pallister commented briefly Thursday on Graydon's news conference.
"He's handled the situation with grace we've handled the situation appropriately to a government that's leading the way across Canada that's making the workplace safer for all,” said Pallister.
Graydon says he is not happy about being booted from caucus but he will sit as an independent until 2020 and not join or form another party.
"I think I made it clear I would have rather finished out my term in the PC caucus," said Graydon.