• Reporter Elaina John

Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs Denies Allegations


Shannon Stubbs. Photo submitted

Erin O’Toole leader of the Conservative party has called upon the House of Commons to investigate workplace harassment allegations made against Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs, by former members of her staff.

According to a report O’Toole called for the probe following reports from former staff members alleging they experienced extreme workplace abusive behavior at the hand of Stubbs. The report states that at least one employee was forced to take sick leave to get away from what they called a “miserable, unhealthy, toxic and just really unfortunate” workplace.

Two of the staffers who spoke with the Globe and Mail on conditions of anonymity said that Stubbs would yell at them, call them at all hours of the day and constantly find fault with their work. There were also claims that Stubbs forced staff members to paint her house.

After reaching out to MP Stubbs office in regards to the allegations her Executive Assistant, Tina Warawa replied stating that MP Stubbs response would be the same as in the interview with the Globe and Mail.

“Ms. Stubbs denies the allegations of abusive behavior, saying she is a victim of retaliation for being one of the dissidents in the Conservative caucus calling for an early review of Mr. O’Toole’s leadership,” stated Warawa. She also noted that as per the house painting allegations Stubbs felt, “The painting of the house was a wonderful surprise that I didn’t know about. It was a wonderful gift of kindness from staff members,” MP Stubbs said. Stubbs said, “I never asked or directed staff to paint my bedroom.”

Warawa also added on to MP Stubbs statement and said, “There have been some false claims regarding painting in her house which I shook my head at since I was actually there and there was absolutely no direction to staff to do this. However, I was there as we discussed what a great surprise this would be for her to come home to. It’s sad a thoughtful gift would now be used in such a hurtful manner.” Warawa went on to say that, “I guess some people might not understand how a situation would come up where a staff member would do a gift like this, but that is because most people do not have a friendship and almost a family-like relationship with their boss. I think most people on the flip side would not expect their boss would make work accommodations for them like she has for almost every staff member, know what their family is up to, ask about their kids, come to their homes, but Shannon does.”

Warawa, who has been with MP Stubbs since after her 2015 election, making her the longest staff member for MP Stubbs noted that she has been in literally every situation with the MP from being in Ottawa, to working with her in the riding, to attending events.

“I have worked for her now for over half a decade and can tell you that these claims are the opposite of my experience. I have never been yelled at or any of the other false claims and also have not as an office manager had other staff members report it to me either,” stated Warawa.

Warawa did mention that their jobs are certainly not within a set 9-5 hours due to the nature of the work and at times it can be intense which in not unique to her office.

“It is the job and it has also been the most rewarding time of my life and the fact that I have been with her for almost six years should speak volumes,” commented Warawa.

Since the allegations came to light Jordan Paquet, a former policy adviser to Stubbs, said he was surprised by the allegations, adding his experience was of a positive work environment.

“I was always treated with respect. Absolutely, it was a mutually respectful environment,” he said. “If I needed time off, I took time, she was always fine about that. She was always totally reasonable with expectation, with deadlines.”

Current staff member, Gregory Loerts also came to Stubbs defence by tweeting on Monday that Stubbs is “wonderful to know personally, the work has been challenging, but extremely rewarding.

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