NDP MP Christine Moore cleared of sexual misconduct claims, will remain in caucus
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said independent investigation found Moore did not abuse position as MP
Quebec MP Christine Moore will remain in the NDP caucus and resume her parliamentary duties after an independent investigation found that she did not engage in sexual harassment or abuse her authority as an MP, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said today.
Reacting to an independent report, Singh said the investigator found that Moore was not guilty of any of the alleged behaviour stemming from accusations by a former soldier.
"The findings of the investigator make it clear that the evidence did not support any of the allegations and that Ms. Moore has been completely cleared of all of these allegations," he said.
Singh said Moore, who was suspended from her caucus duties pending the inquiry, will resume as critic for rural affairs, economic development for Quebec, and as a "powerful" advocate for women in politics.
He acknowledged the toll the allegations have taken on Moore and her family, and offered his "profound, heartfelt" appreciation for her co-operation and patience with the investigation.
The independent inquiry was launched after Moore was accused of inappropriate behaviour by ex-soldier Glen Kirkland. Moore met him when he testified at a parliamentary committee that Moore was sitting on.
Singh said the inquiry investigator heard from several witnesses, but Kirkland declined an invitation to participate.
At a news conference from her Abitibi-Témiscamingue riding in western Quebec, Moore said the allegations have been tough on her and family and she is relieved the process is over so she can focus on working for her constituents.
"Even though we need to take the time that's needed to do the investigation properly, I feel that the process was really long, so I'm really happy that now it's done," she said. "But I never had a doubt about myself because I knew the truth from the beginning."
Moore said she had no contact other than one brief email exchange since 2013, and has no idea what motivated Kirkland to make the claims.
"For me to understand what was happening, it's practically impossible," she said.
Details of report secret
The report itself will not be released.
"As has been standard practice amongst all parties, the report will not be made public due to confidentiality," said NDP spokesperson Nasha Brownridge.
Contacted by CBC News today, Kirkland said he was "sickened" by the news. He said he was originally contacted by the independent investigator on the same day he was served a libel notice by Moore, and on legal advice, opted not to participate in the investigation.
A letter dated May 15, 2018, from Moore's lawyer James Duggan demanded that Kirkland "immediately cease making false allegations" and make a public apology retracting his allegations.
"Our summary investigation reveals that your allegations are a tissue of lies apparently intended to harm our client while aggrandizing yourself," the letter reads.
Legal proceedings against Kirkland and some media outlets, including the CBC, are proceeding, Moore said today. She said the case reinforces the importance for journalists to check information and verify the facts before publication.
Kirkland stands by his version of events, and still believes that it is not appropriate for an MP to sleep with a committee witness. He believes it would be a dramatically different conversation if it were a male MP and a female soldier.
Moore denied Kirkland's account, insisting they were in a romantic relationship and that they had discussed long-term plans.
Moore's version of events was that Kirkland followed her back to her office and kissed her, and she responded to the kiss. She said he asked her if she wanted to take her clothes off and she said no, that she didn't think there was time because she had to return to the House of Commons for votes and was also afraid of staff members catching them.
She said Kirkland sent her a text inviting her to his hotel, and she joined him after voting. She described what followed as a consensual sexual encounter.
Moore said that led to a four-month relationship, which she ended due to the long distance involved and because Kirkland was going through a difficult divorce at the time.
Kirkland, now a realtor in Manitoba, called the suggestion they were in a relationship "completely false" and alleged Moore showed up to his home in Brandon, Man., uninvited on one occasion.
Moore could not explain or understand why he would fabricate the story, but suggested it was linked to her role in the investigation into her then-colleague Erin Weir, as well as Liberal MPs Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews in 2014.
All three men were removed from their respective caucuses.
With files from the CBC's Katie Simpson