Conservative Yukon Senator Daniel Lang and his policy adviser were forced to fend off allegations of workplace harassment, multiple senior Senate sources tell CBC News.
After a complaint about his behaviour earlier this year, an internal investigation was launched by Senate officials into the senator’s treatment of a parliamentary staffer.
The Senate would not confirm the review, or identify the nature of the complaint.
“The integrity of any complaint-based human resources process is dependent on confidentiality being maintained. For this reason, the Senate does not disclose information of this nature,” Senate spokesperson Jacqui Delaney said.
This is the second complaint against Lang and his policy adviser, Naresh Raghubeer. The first complainant withdrew the accusation after quietly being transferred to another job on Parliament Hill, CBC News has learned.
Senate officials privately describe the complaints as being about bullying and intimidation, including screaming and belittling in front of other senators and staff.
The sources spoke to CBC News on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with reporters and/or they feared retribution from their superiors.
Lang, appointed by former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2009, declined requests for an interview but Raghubeer initially provided a statement quoting the senator.
“I don’t know where you heard this, but neither my office nor I are currently subject to any administrative review,” the senator said in the statement sent to CBC News.
Late Thursday, Raghubeer issued another statement in which a different version of events were presented.
“There was a workplace complaint against me in 2016 that was fully investigated by an outside independent investigator and found to be ‘utterly baseless,'” Raghubeer said in the statement. “Senate harassment policy strictly prohibits me from commenting on this matter so as to respect the privacy of the complainant.
“I can confirm that legal fees were provided as part of the employer’s indemnification policy, and as the complaint was deemed ‘unfounded,’ the Senate assumed the responsibility for the legal costs incurred.
“I do note that Senator Lang is not, and never has been, subject to a harassment complaint or a probe by the Senate.”
Lang also contacted CBC News late Thursday with a third statement.
“This report by the CBC is false,” it said. “My office is not subject to a harassment probe by the Senate. Neither I nor anyone in my office is in breach of Senate policy related to workplace harassment or any other Senate policy.”
Lang gets Senate funds for legal costs
Lang and Raghubeer have applied for and received approval for Senate funds to cover legal expenses associated with the harassment allegations.
In total, the Senate’s internal economy committee has approved more than $28,000 from the legal indemnification fund for Lang and his staff since the Yukon…