“I want to be clear to my constituents: all allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault must be taken seriously.
“As a Member of the Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment in sessions across the province with colleagues from all sides of the House, I heard first hand from women across Ontario about how their lives had been devastated by sexual violence and harassment. This experience heightened my appreciation of the importance of saying clearly and firmly that it is never OK.
“We need to support and believe the women who come forward, and ensure they have the supports they need, in the same way that an accused individual has every right to due process.
“This is a societal issue we are facing, not a political or partisan one. It is a human and a societal issue that needs to be addressed with compassion and sensitivity. It touches us all.
“I was recently asked about one individual facing allegations and responded to that specific media question. I regret that my response -- which was intended to express empathy and concern -- has been misinterpreted. Further, that specific instance does not preclude the fact that I take all allegations seriously.
“As for other allegations, I cannot comment on any individuals involved in an active court case.”
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