NDP party president Marit Stiles issued a sweeping apology Friday to those who have experienced harassment in their dealings with the party.

Introducing a new anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy at the start of the New Democratic Party's 2018 convention in Ottawa, Stiles described party members, volunteers, staff, and MPs, "who have survived unacceptable and unwelcome behaviour from their peers and people who wield power over them.

"They have been embarrassed, demeaned, violated, and in too many cases, saw those in powerful positions ignore that conduct or sometimes excuse it. Let me say on behalf of all of us, your party, we are sorry, you were failed, and we apologize."

NDP President Marit Stiles outlined a new anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy Feb. 16, 2018 in Ottawa. Photo by Alex Tétreault
NDP President Marit Stiles outlined a new anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy Feb. 16, 2018 in Ottawa. Photo by Alex Tétreault

Stiles extended the apology to an array of individuals and groups. "And let me acknowledge, too, for racialized members, for LGBTQ2 community, for those who are differently abled, or those who are just different, many of you, too, have endured words and actions that were hurtful, disrespectful, and unacceptable. Again, we apologize, we can do better and we will. As New Democrats we are committed to ending the scourge of patriarchy and misogyny, and racism and colonialism, homophobia and transphobia … and ignorance within the broader society but also within our own ranks."

Last week, former NDP MP Peter Stoffer was accused by women who had worked with him on Parliament Hill, of inappropriate touching and kissing. Stoffer apologized, but denied sexually assaulting or abusing anyone.

Singh said the party is reviewing its internal policies as a result of the allegations.

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