We all slip up sometimes and say things that are inappropriate but Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe Member of Parliament, Robert Goguen, crossed the line this week when he asked a witness at the Justice Committee hearings on the federal government’s prostitution bill if her rights were being violated while being gang raped and if she would have felt violated if rescued by the police during the rape.
A bit of context here: the witness, Timea Nagy, is the former victim of human trafficking. She has since founded an organization to assist victims of human trafficking. The proposed Tory legislation is in response to the Supreme Court ruling that previous laws governing prostitution were unconstitutional.
To all, regardless of where they stand on the debate on the proposed Tory bill, Mr. Goguen’s comments were inappropriate, unprofessional and downright offensive. As the Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice he should have known better. Even on a common sense level, he should have known better.
At a very minimum, Mr. Goguen should apologize for his comments. Really, he should be disciplined for his comments. What other workplace would tolerate this type of behaviour? If Mr. Goguen does not see why his comments were so offensive, then he should enrol in sensitivity training.
As a New Brunswicker, I am embarrassed. I hope that his constituents will remember this when they go to the polls in 2015. Heck, I may even remind them!
Patrick Colford is the President of the NB Federation of Labour.