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Brian Pallister says he’s aware of two inappropriate conduct complaints

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister speaks at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg on Nov. 21, 2017.

JOHN WOODS/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says two complaints about inappropriate conduct have come across his desk since the Progressive Conservatives took office two years ago.

He said the allegations were from the same person and the situation was dealt with.

"There have been concerns addressed by civil servants and by government political staff about issues," he said following an announcement in Portage la Prairie, Wednesday.

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"They've been raised and I've been made aware of them and that's changed from the way it was in the past. I can tell you with great confidence that they were dealt with and they were dealt with to the satisfaction of the complainant."

Pallister declined to elaborate on who was involved to protect the complainant's privacy. He wouldn't say if any disciplinary action was taken.

Manitoba's New Democrats have been dealing with allegations made last week by several women, who said former NDP cabinet minister Stan Struthers groped and tickled them years ago, but their complaints fell on deaf ears.

"Things have changed. This is no longer an old boy's club," Pallister said. "The old culture of locker room talk in the caucus room is gone in our party and it needs to stay in ancient history. We need to respect one another."

Greg Selinger, who was premier when the concerns were brought forward, said in an apology on Tuesday that the party and the government failed the women and should have done more.

Pallister said he wants to foster a culture where people can come forward without any fear of their jobs being affected.

He said he plans to announce measures next week to ensure that complaints of inappropriate conduct are dealt with.

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One of the changes will see an arm's-length body created to which people can come forward with concerns.

"Never will there be negative consequences for anyone who raises a concern," he said. "That is not acceptable."

NDP Leader Wab Kinew has begun an internal investigation into what happened with the Struthers allegations. He has asked Selinger to resign his legislature seat so that the party can move on.

Struthers was a cabinet minister from 2003 to 2014. He was one of five ministers who resigned from cabinet in November 2014 to protest Selinger's leadership.

Struthers announced in May 2015 he would not run in the 2016 election.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he will wait for the conclusions of an investigation into how the party handled allegations of sexual misconduct against former MP Rick Dykstra before deciding if further action is needed. The Canadian Press
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