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'Open secrets': academic says BC politics has own sexual assault, harassment problems

FILE (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

'It exists across the board, it exists across parties,' says political scientist about sexual assault, harassment

'There are open secrets in British Columbia,' says SFU political scientist David Moscrop

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With a series of recent allegations of sexual assault and harassment against politicians in other parts of the country, a local academic argues it’s time to acknowledge our province’s political sphere has its own problems with this issue.

The term SFU political scientist David Moscrop is using is “open secrets.” He says certain politicians are known to abuse their positions of power.

“The first thing everyone needs to remember when we’re dealing with sexual harassment and assault in politics is that it’s pervasive,” says Moscrop. “It exists across the board, it exists across parties. No one’s immune. That is an indication that there needs to be a reckoning and that the whole culture of politics — municipal, provincial, federal — has to change.

“Now that there’s a lot of people rallying to change, we need to ask — especially men — how can we be a part of facilitating this in making sure the culture changes going forward?”

He adds we should be ready to support sexual harassment and assault survivors if they decide to share their stories.

“There are open secrets in British Columbia,” says Moscrop. “I certainly hope that those of us who pay attention to politics and talk about politics are going to create a lot of space so we can have this conversation in British Columbia too.”

Moscrop says before we can make any positive change, we have to acknowlege there is a problem.