Left out of the government and the Liberal caucus because of an alleged sexual misconduct investigation, National Assembly veteran Pierre Paradis is unlikely to be the subject of any criminal charges.
According to information gathered , the (SQ) can not provide evidence to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) that could support a complaint of aggression or even harassment against its former chief of police. Law firm Valerie Roy.
The former minister was interviewed for the first time by SQ investigators last week. Another meeting is planned in the near future. But it is already clear that the DPCP, which will have to make a final decision, will find itself faced with the divergent versions of the complainant and the politician, which makes it difficult to reach a verdict “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
M me Roy had a first contact with the Prime Minister Couillard in autumn 2016, when accusations of Alice Paquet for MP Gerry Sklavounos made headlines. It reappeared two months later, with an e-mail to Mr. Couillard’s chief of staff, Jean-Louis Dufresne. After she reported to the SQ, the police initiated a formal investigation at the end of January, which resulted in Mr. Paradis being expelled from both the Council of Ministers and the Liberal caucus.
In her testimony, the complainant never refers to any violent gestures, does not refer to any situation of “physical control”, a key to describing a situation of aggression.
Four facts alleged by the complainant have already been disclosed: the Minister unfastened her employee’s bra through her clothes; He would have given him a pat on the buttocks on the sidelines of a reception; Seated in front of her, he would have taken his foot to put it between his legs, in his seat; And finally, he had asked him to apply Voltaren, an ointment to reduce his back pain. The Voltaren event seems corroborated, he had already asked the same thing for other political employees.
“We are faced with displaced actions, not criminal [offenses],” summarizes a source close to the investigation, for whom it is obvious that we will quickly put aside the suspicions of aggression. A prosecution for harassment is always possible under the Criminal Code. The complainant pointed out that her boss was “buoyant, insistent” but the evidence for harassment presupposes a toxic situation over a long period of time. The question of the relationship of authority arises, since Mr. Paradis was his employer, but the function of chief of staff supposes a good deal of psychological independence on the part of a person.
In addition, there is no evidence in the record that the complainant was, when she was employed, the target of malicious gestures; For example, testimonies or e-mails where she confided in a third person at the time of the alleged acts. There were no incriminating e-mails or text messages from Minister Paradis either.
It was also shown that while on sick leave, which lasted more than a year, M me Roy spoke on the phone many times with Pierre Paradis, a surprising attitude for an alleged victim in the eyes of investigators .
Pierre Paradis has not left his residence in Bedford since the beginning of the investigation – he was temporarily hospitalized in Montreal to treat the sequelae of a serious concussion, which obviously prevents him from returning to the Assembly National level.