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Former staffer says she was sexually assaulted by Ontario legislator Lawyer

first_imgTORONTO – A former political staffer is alleging she was sexually assaulted by a Liberal member of Ontario’s legislature when she was working for him more than a decade ago, the woman’s lawyer said Friday.John Nunziata, who represents the woman, said he is not willing to release the name of the accused, but identified him as a Liberal politician who once held a cabinet portfolio.Premier Kathleen Wynne said no sexual misconduct allegations have ever been raised against cabinet members who served under her or her predecessor Dalton McGuinty.Nunziata said his client, who once worked for the Liberal politician as an executive assistant, alleges the sexual misconduct took place around 2006 and 2007.“She’s not doing this for the money or for fame,” Nunziata said of his unnamed client in a telephone interview.“She has been hurt by this whole process. Not just the premier’s office at the time, but how it was handled at Queen’s Park.”Nunziata, a former Member of Parliament, said the woman shared some details of the allegations in a letter sent to Wynne’s constituency office three weeks ago.The letter, dated Jan. 26, references the man’s alleged “repulsive and adulterous groping, propositioning, and innuendo and chronic inebriation,” according to Nunziata.The complainant wrote that she reported her concerns about the man’s conduct to human resources, who ultimately directed her to the Liberal Caucus Service Bureau for reassignment.She ultimately went to work for a different legislative member, but said she was told that no further action would be taken.“I realize that these egregious breaches of trust and abuses of power were not on your watch,” Nunziata said the woman wrote in her letter to Wynne. “What I would like to underscore is that the degradation and humiliation caused by the member and the others in the premiers’ office were long lasting. The collateral damage is permanent.”Wynne expressed similar sentiments on Friday speaking at the International Auto Show in Toronto, praising the courage of women who come forward after years of bearing the pain of such experiences.She said she herself was not made aware of the allegations when they were mailed to her constituency office, but said the government’s process for addressing such allegations immediately took effect.Wynne said staff reviews the information, engages outside council, and if necessary then hires a third-party investigator to look at the claims, adding that the privacy and wishes of the complainant are always top of mind.“It’s very important to me that whenever there is an allegation, whenever there is a complaint, that that process be engaged and that action is taken,” Wynne said. “My understanding is in this case that that’s exactly what happened.”Wynne said the latest allegation had not reached the stage in the process at which she would have needed to personally be notified.Nunziata said his client is not satisfied with the mechanisms that are currently in place, saying she felt “uncomfortable” after hearing from Wynne’s lawyer and arguing that he did not constitute a true third party. The lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Nunziata said establishing a transparent process would unleash a flood of other allegations.“It’s one thing in the #MeToo movement to come forward and praise women and men who come forward, but there has to be a process. People just don’t want to walk down to the local police station,” he said. “If a process is set up, this is just the beginning, there will be many more allegations involving other people within the legislature and within the bureaucracy.”Accusations of sexual misconduct have already caused upheaval in Ontario politics. Allegations levelled against former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown prompted his abrupt resignation and touched off a leadership contest due to conclude in March.Brown vehemently denies the allegations, which were reported by CTV but not independently verified by the Canadian Press, and has recently embarked on a vocal campaign to clear his name. He announced his intention to sue CTV for its handling of the story and has publicly challenged the veracity of the accounts provided by two women.Nunziata was elected to the federal legislature as a Liberal in 1984, but was eventually tossed from caucus after failing to support his party’s budget. He was re-elected as an independent in 1997, but was ultimately defeated in 2000.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly called Nunziata a former member of provincial parliament.last_img read more

News Release Rice joins national organization focused on improvement of teaching and

first_imgAddThis Share3Rice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy McCaig713-348-6777amym@rice.eduRice joins national organization focused on improvement of teaching and diversity in STEM fieldsHOUSTON – (March 3, 2016) – Rice University is one of 25 research universities that are new members of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), a national initiative to increase the number and diversity of graduates in the STEM fields.CIRTL was established in 2003 with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve the teaching skills and diversity of future university faculty members in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The center is operated within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) in the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Education.With the addition of Rice and other new members like Yale, Columbia and Northwestern universities, CIRTL’s membership includes 46 research universities that produce one-third of U.S. doctoral degrees in STEM majors.“Through our involvement in CIRTL, Rice is excited to continue our efforts for graduate students, to support educational initiatives and to contribute to the national conversation about effective teaching in STEM disciplines,” said Joshua Eyler, director of Rice’s Center for Teaching Excellence. Improving education is one of Rice’s ongoing priorities.As CIRTL members, universities commit to developing local learning communities that promote proven teaching and mentoring techniques for their STEM graduate students.“The Center for Teaching Excellence, the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and faculty are all collaborating to develop Rice’s CIRTL offerings,” Eyler said.Robert Mathieu, director of CIRTL and WCER, said education research has shown that ineffective teaching often is the reason students leave STEM degree programs. “Knowing this, and that 80 percent of the Ph.D. students in the nation are educated at only 100 research universities, we realized the huge leverage and potential impact of training graduate students to become effective teachers before they become STEM faculty members,” he said.CIRTL stresses the use of evidence-based strategies proven to promote active learning and help STEM students from all backgrounds succeed and complete their degrees. Teaching strategies include connecting classroom topics to real-world situations, promoting inclusive learning, encouraging teamwork through shared projects and study groups, continually assessing student progress and using research skills to advance effective teaching practices. CIRTL’s member universities also develop their own programs, all built on the CIRTL core ideas of teaching-as-research, learning communities and learning-through-diversity.The project is supported by the NSF, Great Lakes High Education Corporation and Affiliates and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.-30-For more information, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related Materials:CITRL Network website: http://www.cirtl.net/Rice University Center for Teaching Excellence: http://cte.rice.edu/Photo link: http://news.rice.edu/files/2015/09/0915_USNEWS-campus.jpgPhoto credit: Rice University.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceUniversity.If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005last_img read more