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Holloway not happy with harassment ruling

Terra Nova MHA Colin Holloway speaks to reporters Tuesday outside the House of Assembly.
A file photo of Terra Nova MHA Colin Holloway. - Joe Gibbons

Terra Nova MHA says he plans to debate the findings in the House of Assembly

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

Terra Nova MHA Colin Holloway says the entire process of addressing his complaints against fellow MHAs has been flawed — and he plans to debate the findings in the House of Assembly.

After reports this week cleared fellow Liberal MHAs Eddie Joyce and Dale Kirby of alleged harassment and bullying, following complaints filed by Holloway to the commissioner of legislative standards, the Terra Nova MHA told The Packet there were several major omissions and assumptions in the report that didn’t reflect the situation accurately.

“I have great concerns with the process,” said Holloway. “One of the things I said to the commissioner (Bruce Chaulk) when I did my interview on July 9, was that I didn’t think his office had the experience to conduct an investigation into workplace harassment, intimidation and bullying.”

Holloway adds there were calls in the House of Assembly for an outside party to conduct the investigation, but that didn’t happen.

“There should be a different approach taken to investigating harassment, intimidation and bullying in the House of Assembly.”

Holloway provided several examples of what he calls misrepresentations of his situation in the report.

First, he denies having used similar language to that used by Joyce (“f--k off”), as the report claims.  Joyce admitted to saying that, Holloway says, insisting he himself would never use such language.

“That is not who I am! And it is certainly not who I was when I was engaging Mr. Joyce,” he said. “I would not use those words. I am professionally trained with nearly 27 years as a public servant (and) bureaucrat. You have to be exceptionally professional when you’re dealing with the public.”

Second, he disagrees with the section of the report pertaining to the election of the House Speaker. Holloway endorsed MHA Pam Parsons and says he received messages and calls from Joyce and Kirby lobbying for MHA Perry Trimper.

While the report states Joyce didn’t say anything defamatory about Parsons, Holloway maintains this is “untrue.”

Holloway says he supported Parsons in the free vote for Speaker, but he didn’t lobby for her in an attempt to persuade others.

He also notes the report says Kirby was in Florida at the time and couldn’t have advocated for Trimper.

“In what world can an MHA … (not) talk to somebody and advocate for somebody else because they’re in Florida in today’s technology? I mean, it defies logic!”
Holloway says the report describes Kirby’s actions in lobbying for Trimper for Speaker as stemming from “loyalty.”

“(The Commissioner) made a false assumption that it’s OK to send a BlackBerry message out to intimidate another MHA because you’re being loyal.”

When asked if he plans to appeal the report’s findings, Holloway says in hindsight, he should’ve had legal counsel going into this process.

“I remain to this day (adamant) that everything that I have said is true. … And I will continue to be truthful as this thing unfolds,” he says.

He intends to debate the validity of the findings in the House of Assembly when it reconvenes in November.

He is also exploring legal options.

As for his future within the Liberal caucus, Holloway says he plans to run again as a Liberal MHA in the provincial election in 2019, but he would like to see harassment allegations handled differently.

When asked how the situation has affected his ability to do his job, Holloway says he’s been working hard and has received support from the community.

“I came forward at a great cost because I wanted to see change,” he said. “Nobody — not politicians, not public servants, not anybody in the private sector — should ever be subjected to workplace harassment, bullying and intimidation.”

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