No call to Sandra Jansen from PC leader after harassment allegations

Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Ric McIver said he hasn’t yet talked to Sandra Jansen, two days after she said harassment forced her to leave the party's leadership race.

Calgary MLA left leadership race Tuesday after experiencing harassment at PC convention

Interim PC Leader Ric McIver faced questions from reporters at the Alberta legislature Thursday as party staff looked on. (CBC )

Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Ric McIver said Thursday he hasn't talked to Sandra Jansen in the two days since she said harassment forced her to quit the party's leadership race.

"Sandra didn't mention anything when she was up here Monday, she asked for a couple of days, she's publicly said she's going to take some time," McIver told reporters pushing him for answers at the Alberta legislature.

"I think she needs to be respected. I look forward to when I can [talk to her] and have a conversation with her, but thus far I haven't had that talk."

Jansen told the Edmonton Journal Wednesday that she was disappointed McIver hadn't contacted her, The events of the past week have her reconsidering her future with the party.

On Tuesday, the Calgary-North West MLA withdrew from the leadership race, citing ongoing harassment. She said she was "quite shaken" by events at the PC policy convention in Red Deer on the weekend.

Jansen said she was chased down the hallway by volunteers from another campaign and harassed over her support for women's reproductive rights. She said insults were scrawled on her nomination forms.

Fellow candidate Donna Kennedy-Glans dropped out of the race shortly afterwards, saying she felt there was no longer room for centrist views in the party.

Unlike McIver, PC MLA and leadership candidate Richard Starke said he gave Jansen a call. 

"It's a human thing to do and I've encouraged other colleagues within caucus to do what I've already done," he said.

Starke, the MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster, said he wanted Jansen back in the PC caucus.

"Our party absolutely has room for Sandra Jansen in it, and the views that she has championed on a wide variety of issues."

Starke wouldn't comment on McIver's decision not to call Jansen. "That's Mr. McIver's choice," he said.

PC party president Katherine O'Neill said she takes Jansen's allegations seriously. A third party will be asked to conduct an investigation, O'Neill said.

Both Liberal Leader David Swann and Alberta Party Greg Clark appear open to having Jansen join their respective parties. Swann said he planned to call her in the coming days.