Quebec MNA won’t face charges but can’t return to caucus right away: premier

Quebec MNA won’t face charges but can’t return to caucus right away: premier

QUEBEC — A Quebec member of the legislature who was accused of sexual assault won’t be automatically allowed to return to the Liberal caucus even though he isn’t facing charges, Premier Philippe Couillard said Friday.

In October, Gerry Sklavounos was removed from caucus after a woman accused him of sexual assault dating back to 2014.

The file was referred to the Crown prosecutor’s office, which announced Thursday it won’t be laying any charges.

But Couillard said he won’t consider readmitting Sklavounos to the fold until he feels convinced the longtime politician will show good conduct toward women.

“His eventual reintegration into the Liberal caucus cannot be immediate or automatic,” he told reporters in Quebec City.

The premier said Sklavounos would need to make “a very strong, very heartfelt and sincere” declaration of how he intends to treat women in the future to be considered for readmission.

Couillard also said he would take the feeling of Quebec women into account when making his decision.

Sklavounos, who eventually took a medical leave, has indicated he would soon like to return to work.

He currently sits as an Independent and has always maintained his innocence.

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