Ontario’s public broadcaster says the host of its flagship current affairs program will remain on the air while being investigated for alleged sexual harassment.
TVO said Monday that Steve Paikin is alleged to have made inappropriate comments to a woman during a lunch in 2010.
The broadcaster said it became aware of the allegation on Saturday, when Paikin notified TVO of an email he received from the woman.
TVO’s chief executive officer said in a statement that an independent third party will investigate, during which time Paikin will continue to host "The Agenda with Steve Paikin."
"TVO does not tolerate sexual harassment. We believe it is important that allegations be fully heard and investigated," Lisa de Wilde said in the statement, also posted on TVO’s website.
"However, based on the evidence to date, TVO sees no reason to remove Mr. Paikin from his role as host for ’The Agenda’ pending the outcome of the investigation. During the investigation, stories related to this subject matter will be handled by other TVO journalists."
The move comes amid a social justice movement under the #metoo and Time’s Up banners that have undone the careers of several personalities named in sexual harassment and misconduct allegations.
CTV News reporter Paul Bliss was suspended hours after a woman made a sexual misconduct allegation against him, while politician Patrick Brown resigned as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party after two women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Paikin could not immediately be reached for comment. The allegations have not been verified by The Canadian Press.
The former CBC−TV correspondent is TVO’s best known personality, and has become a fixture of provincial and federal political coverage since joining the network in 1992.
His show "The Agenda" airs weeknights on TVO, a channel primarily funded by the province of Ontario and a registered charity supported by sponsors and thousands of donors.
Its programming is a mix of current affairs shows, documentaries, educational fare and kids series.
An annual list of the province’s highest public sector earners shows Paikin made $302,622.30 in 2016.
Paikin also serves as chancellor of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont., and holds honorary doctorates from Victoria University, Laurentian University and Humber College.
He was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2013.