Selinger won't face discipline for refusing to step down over Struthers controversy: Manitoba NDP leader
Former Premier Greg Selinger says he has his own target dates in mind for a departure from politics, and won’t resign right now. (File image)
Published Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:58PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 13, 2018 6:00PM CST
Greg Selinger says he’s sorry, was sick to his stomach to learn of recent allegations and he’s not leaving politics anytime soon.
The former Premier spoke for the first since the Stan Struthers scandal erupted.
"We failed people," said Selinger.
Several women have come forward saying former NDP minister Stan Struthers harassed them with tickling and unwanted touching.
Selinger says he is sorry this happened under his watch.
"It made me sick to the stomach and I really felt it was necessary to offer them an apology to let them know that I take responsibility for it happening while I was there,” said Selinger.
Prior to Selinger's news conference, he met with current NDP leader Wab Kinew. Kinew says he asked Selinger to resign as the NDP MLA for St. Boniface, to help the party move forward and focus on an internal investigation into what happened.
"I thought if he's going to accept responsibility for this situation then it would be an appropriate time to step down, so I shared that with him and I asked him to resign," said Kinew.
Selinger is refusing, saying he's not going anywhere, at least not yet.
"I've said to him I'm open to a discussion about a transition respectful of the mandate the people of St. Boniface gave me to serve them, there's no decision made before you have to talk to the people,” said Selinger.
Despite Selinger's refusal, Kinew won't kick him out of caucus or strip him of any party duties.
"I'm not out to discipline folks or to rush to judgement or to behave rash in any sort of way," said Kinew.
Selinger says he never witnessed any inappropriate behaviour from Struthers. But Selinger says in 2015, his chief of staff brought forward sexual misconduct complaints from two women about Struthers. Selinger says his message at the time was clear — that behavior would stop and not be tolerated.
"I backed him on taking very firm action immediately to protect people and make sure they're safe and that's the way it should be," said Selinger.
Selinger says the women wanted no further action taken and that their privacy be protected.