Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown stepped down suddenly two weeks ago following allegations of sexual misconduct. Yesterday he tweeted "the truth will come out" PHOTO:Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Canadian Press

Pushing back against sexual allegations

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The #metoo movement of women speaking out against sexual harassment or worse has continued to grow.

Many prominent men in entertainment and politics have been forced to quit their functions over such allegations in both the U.S. and Canada.

Recently two of several such accused in Canada have begun to push back.

The leader of the Ontario provincial Conservative party, Patrick Brown, had resigned suddenly over such allegations even as a provincial election loomed on the horizon.

Also recently accused was Steve Paikin, a popular current affairs television host on the public broadcaster TVO (TV Ontario). He was accused of making inappropriate sexual conduct.

Both men have denied any wrongdoing.

TV host Steve Paikin has said the allegations of sexual harrassment by Sarah Thomson are 100% false PHOTO: CBC

After about a two-week silence Patrick Brown is starting to speak out.

Shortly after the accusation made against her politician brother, Brown’s sister had tweeted “What happened to my brother was disgusting, And make no mistake, he is the victim”.

In the tweet she echoed the sentiments of some others who have been hinting that as the Ontario provincial election looms closer, this accusation had a political motive to it.

Now Patrick Brown has broken his silence with his own tweet saying false accusations hurt the  #metoo movement.

Former Ontario PC party leader Patrick Brown tweet

As for Steve Paikin, his response yesterday on Facebook was more direct. Portions of the long post are below.

To say I was gobsmacked by the allegations in her email is the understatement of my life. Even though I knew the allegations were 100% false, I did what I suspected was the appropriate thing to do and immediately passed the email on to my superiors at TVO. I knew the charges were bogus but I knew I owed it to my employer to be totally transparent about all of it…..

They also did the right thing by calling in an independent third party to investigate this mess and I welcome that investigation. Bring it on! I have no doubt but that a thorough and fair analysis of the allegations and the parties involved will point to the truth….

I’ve spent 35 years building my reputation. In one fell swoop, these lies have prompted outrageous headlines and connected me to a story to which I have no business being connected.   Today, I begin to reclaim my reputation and fight back against these scurrilous allegations.

I mean no harm to Sarah Thomson. But Sarah, you and I both know the incident you described never happened. It’s complete fiction. To be clear, I did not have sex, suggest, request, imply, or joke about having sex with you….Sadly, in this day and age, too many people are going to believe the lie, especially when it comes to this subject. I am mortified that in many peoples’ eyes, I have lost the presumption of innocence that I’ve previously enjoyed. But I did not do these things. There is simply no truth to these allegations.

You’ve defamed me Sarah. I have no idea why, but you have. And I simply can’t allow that to stand. The quest to reclaim my reputation, which you’ve tried to destroy, begins now. I look forward to vindication”.

Jan 30: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down with Chris Hall, host of CBC Radio’s The House in the Library of Parliament. Trudeau has said,
“Sexual harassment is a systemic problem. It is unacceptable. When women speak up, it is our duty to listen to them and to believe them.” PHOTO: Marc Robichaud-CBC

The pushback by the men comes also in connection with a statement made earlier by Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau who has said that all women who come forward with the #metoo movement must be believed.

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