OTTAWA – A Toronto employment lawyer will run the investigation into how the Conservative party handled a sexual assault allegation made against former Tory MP Rick Dykstra by a young staffer in the middle of the 2015 federal election campaign.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says Carol Nielsen, a partner at the Toronto firm Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti, will review the events around the allegations and seek information to help the party create policies for responding if a similar situation arises in the future.
Dykstra resigned in January as the president of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party after the allegation was made public.
However, it then came out that federal Conservative party officials, including former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, were made aware of the allegation during the 2015 campaign but still allowed Dykstra to continue as a candidate.
Harper said in a Twitter post last month that he made that decision because he was told police had investigated and closed the case without charges; he said he had only recently been made aware that the investigation may not have been completed.
Scheer says Nielsen’s findings will be made public.
Dykstra denies the allegations, which have not been tested in court nor confirmed independently by The Canadian Press.