HALIFAX - An Ontario Liberal MP is being accused of sexual assault after an incident at a Halifax bar early Saturday morning.
Francis Drouin, who represents the rural Ottawa riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, is facing an unspecified allegation of sexual assault after a reported incident at the Halifax Alehouse bar early Saturday, News 95.7 has learned.
Drouin’s office wouldn't confirm any details of the allegation but in a statement Sunday afternoon said no charges have been laid and he is fully co-operating with an investigation.
“I can confirm that an allegation has been made. I believe it is important for individuals to have a safe environment to come forward, share their stories, and be supported,” his statement reads.
“While no charges have been laid against me. I’m cooperating fully with the investigation.”
Regional Police could not confirm Drouin was the subject of any ongoing probe, but said officers were investigating a sexual assault in the 1700 Block of Brunswick Street reported just after 2 a.m. Saturday, which News 95.7 has confirmed from two employees was the Alehouse.
Citing an unnamed Liberal Party source, The Canadian Press reports Drouin was telling party members a woman accusing him of groping her backside at the bar and that he was "rattled" by the accusation, but fully denied it.
The police investigation is being led by the Integrated Sexual Assault Investigative Team.
While providing no further details about the incident, police said in a statement sex assault investigations are complex and investigators work closely with victims to ensure they’re willing to proceed with an investigation, which would include providing police with a statement and suspect description if they can.
But, police say, officers must also protect a victim’s privacy and well-being, steps investigators have taken since first speaking with the victim.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police at 902-490-5020, while anonymous tips can also be left with Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Drouin was in Halifax for the national Liberal convention, which ran Thursday through Saturday evening, drawing thousands of members and a number of MP’s to the city, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The first of its kind event in Atlantic Canada also drew non-stop parties from Thursday to Saturday at bars in the downtown core surrounding the Halifax Convention Centre.
News of the incident at the Alehouse also came just hours after Liberal Party members took in a workshop on how to make workplaces harassment-free.
All inquiries with the party were referred to the government's whip, MP Pablo Rodriguez, whose office hasn't yet responded to a request for comment made Sunday night.