Liberal Nicola Di Iorio, a member of Canadian parliament crossed a line on International Women’s Day when he passed a sexist comment on MP Dianne Watts during a private committee meeting. The news was first reported by National Post, which gathered attention of the liberal party and PM Trudeau.
Two weeks after the meeting, PM Trudeau assured the media, the conservatives and the liberals that a meeting was underway that would properly address this issue.
National Post was first to report the story. During the meeting, Watts got a phone call. After hearing the ringtone, Di Iorio said, “Where’s your pole to slide down on?” The stripper-related joke was not only offensive but also left the staff and parliament members very uncomfortable.
An incident such as this on International Women’s Day comes as a great blow to the prime minister. The comment defeats the purpose of the meeting held on 8 March to discuss about giving women equal rights.
Another thing to be noticed is that this news comes out way after 8 March, which leads us to assume that PM Trudeau did not want the media to be distracted from portraying him as a “feminist”.
Although PM Trudeau said that an investigation is under way, no verdict has been reached yet. It’s also possible that he is too busy trying to dodge the House of Commons, so that he does not have to answer questions on important matters.
According to PM Trudeau, “As a part of my commitment to gender equality, to a harassment-free workplace, there’s an actual process to deal with issues of this sort”. Well . . . we haven’t seen any so far.
According to Whip Pablo Rodriguez, the chief government, Di Iorio has apologized twice for his inappropriate comment and said that it was meant as a joke. After the apology, though the matter was somewhat resolved, Watts said that she was still waiting on PM Trudeau to deal with the matter. Earlier this month, Di Iorio rose in the House of Commons to once again apologize, which we assume was the end of the matter, when Watts thanked Di Iorio.