The Canadian Press
OTTAWA–Former cabinet minister Kent Hehr says he will remain a member of the Liberal caucus following an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct with women–although he’s not returning to the government’s inner circle.
Hehr, who has served as both veterans minister and sport and disabilities minister, resigned from cabinet in January after he was accused of making inappropriate sexual remarks during his time as a provincial politician in Alberta.
He said on Twitter that he remains focused on making both personal and professional improvements, and will continue to strive to do better.
Hehr left cabinet pending the result of the investigation after former employee Kristin Raworth accused him of calling her “yummy” during his time as a member of the Alberta legislature a decade ago.
He also was accused of groping a young female staffer on Parliament Hill.
In his statement, Hehr said he does not recall the encounter with Raworth but nonetheless has apologized.
Raworth sent a tweet of her own with the #MeToo hashtag, calling it an incredible day and urging anyone who is scared to tell their stories or share their truth.
“It’s worth it,” she noted.
Hehr, who represents the riding of Calgary Centre, said the report made clear that the complaint of inappropriate touching was the result of unintentional contact.
Hehr, a quadriplegic, said his disability leaves him with no feeling or independent movement in his hands, and limited muscular control and feeling in his arms.
That, however, doesn’t discount the feelings of those he interacts with, he added.
Prior to the more serious allegations, a number of people came forward last fall to accuse Hehr of being disrespectful and belittling towards them, including thalidomide survivors who said he called their cause a “sob story.”
Hehr acknowledged his conversational style needs to change and that he’s unintentionally made people uncomfortable in the past.