The national Assembly will mandate an external firm to review its handling of harassment cases

Pressed to shed light on allegations of sexual touching for the ex-president, Jacques Chagnon, the national Assembly will mandate an external firm to review its handling of harassment cases.

This decision was taken on Monday during an extraordinary meeting of the Bureau of the national Assembly (BAN), the equivalent of the board of directors of the institution.

The mandate which will be entrusted does not, however, no explicit reference to the allegations targeting Mr Chagnon.

The ex-president of the national Assembly, Jacques Chagnon

A spokesman for the national Assembly said that it could still be contacted, just as the ex-politician belgian, who accuses him of having had an inappropriate behavior towards her.

“The firm will be able to gather all the evidence that it deems useful for the achievement of its mandate,” said Julie Champagne.

Employees and members

The consultants, who have not yet been selected, will be required to make recommendations to improve the policy against the harassment of the national Assembly, adopted in 2015, as well as its mechanisms.

To achieve this, they will be able to receive the “testimonies” of all employees, administrative and political, of the members or all of the other “feeling challenged by situations inappropriate that may take place or have taken place in the context of the work,” said BAN in a decision dated may 25.

These interviews will be “on a voluntary basis and confidentially,” says the document that sets out the mandate entrusted.

According to Ms. Champagne, however, the mandate does not provide for review of complaints in the past.

The decision made by the NAO indicates that the contract will be given without tender. Its value could exceed 200 000$.

“Steps are underway to choose the firm which will be mandated for the implementation of this project. The value of the mandate is not yet known,” said Ms. Champagne.

The consultants selected will have until 11 December to submit their report. Their recommendations will be forwarded to the committee Zero harassment chaired by the third vice-president of the national Assembly, Maryse Gaudreault.

Allegations

In an interview granted to a media belgian and recently published, the ex-president of the walloon Parliament, Émily Hoyos, said that Mr. Chagnon had put the hand to the post in 2011, when she was received at the national Assembly.

Mr. Chagnon, who has been president of the institution until 2018, has denied the allegations.

The national Assembly had initially indicated that no investigation was possible on the allegations of Ms. Hoyos, because she had not filed any complaint and that the policy of anti-harassment provisions do not cover the parliamentary foreign.

It has been almost two weeks, the liberals have requested the BAN to shed light on the allegations against Mr. Chagnon, himself an ex-elected liberal. The Parti québécois had also asked the institution to enter the folder.

Share Button