NDP MP Christine Moore says she has been vindicated by a two-month investigation that found no evidence of sexual misconduct or misuse of authority against a Canadian war veteran.
“I’ve known the truth from the start. I knew I did nothing wrong,” Ms. Moore, a Quebec MP, said in an interview on Thursday. “They were false allegations.”
Ms. Moore was suspended from the NDP federal caucus in May after allegations of harassment were made by injured Afghanistan veteran Glen Kirkland. Mr. Kirkland said Ms. Moore invited him to her office after he testified before a parliamentary committee in 2013, gave him alcohol and later followed him to his hotel room.
After the allegations were made public, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh ordered a third-party probe. Investigator Deborah Jelly, a specialist in workplace disputes, spoke to several witnesses, although not to Mr. Kirkland.
“He was offered an opportunity to participate, there was contact made, but he declined the opportunity,” Mr. Singh said at a Montreal news conference where he revealed the outcome of the probe.
Mr. Kirkland acknowledges he was never interviewed by the investigator, but disputes the NDP’s account of how the matter was handled. Speaking to The Globe and Mail, Mr. Kirkland said Ms. Jelly reached out to him the same day that he received a libel notice from Ms. Moore. He said he held off on speaking to the investigator until he had sought legal advice.
“There was some grey area there on whether I could participate or not, so all I asked if I could get that clarified,” Mr. Kirkland said in a phone interview. “I had to call them [the investigator] back and explain what I was informed and then they said that they already got my side from media reports.”
Mr. Kirkland said the situation would have unfolded differently if he were a woman. “If I was a female, this wouldn’t have even been an issue,” he said.
“I was a witness on a … committee and she [Ms. Moore] was on the panel as like a judge and jury and she slept with a witness,” Mr. Kirkland said on Thursday.
Ms. Moore challenges the portrayal of their interaction. She says she invited several people back to her office after the parliamentary hearing. And she said it was Mr. Kirkland who texted her later that night to invite her to his hotel room, where they had a consensual sexual encounter.
“If he didn’t want to see me, he just didn’t have to write to me,” she said. “All the invitations always came from him.”
Ms. Moore says it remains a “mystery” to her why Mr. Kirkland raised the allegations five years after they had last seen each other. She said the only time she had heard from him since 2013 was when he shared his candidate page for the federal Liberal nomination he was seeking in the riding of Brandon-Souris in 2014.
“I don’t understand why he made these allegations. We were in a loving relationship,” Ms. Moore said from her riding of Abitibi-Témiscamingue. “He was even very romantic with me. Now I understand he probably never loved me and it was probably a game for him.”
Allegations of inappropriate behavior made by Ms. Moore have impacted the political careers of several male MPs. They led to the ouster of fellow NDP MP Erin Weir from the party’s caucus this year, as well as the expulsion of MPs Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews from the Liberal caucus in 2013.
And although the tables were turned on her, Ms. Moore says she supports the #MeToo movement. “It’s important to believe victims and denounce inappropriate behavior,” the 34-year-old MP said. “The results of this investigation show that when there’s problematic behavior, investigators have found it, and when there’s nothing, investigators found that out, too.”
Ms. Moore will now resume her caucus duties, although she says the two-month investigation was difficult for her and her family and she is unsure she will run again in the next federal election. Ms. Moore, who was single when she met Mr. Kirkland, is now married and has three children.