A former 2018 Brampton municipal candidate has been accused of sexual harassment by a prominent Brampton MPP.
Sara Singh, the NDP MPP for Brampton Centre and the party’s current deputy leader, has accused Bruce Marshall of sexual harassment dating back to last year. A former firefighter and radio host for 40 years, Marshall ran for Regional Council in Brampton’s Wards 7 and 8, losing to Councillor Pat Fortini.
Documents provided by Marshall detail how, from late 2017 to early 2018, Marshall was volunteering on Singh’s campaign for MPP. The documents contain a summary of the allegations, text messages between the two, letters Singh and Marshall sent to each other outlining those accusations and subsequent actions Marshall wanted to be undertaken.
At one point, Marshall admitted to having developed some feelings for Singh but denies having acted inappropriately with her in any situation. He claims it was Singh who initially expressed affectionate feelings back in December 2017, when he was helping her shoot a holiday greeting video to supporters.
In that video, she called him “a big teddy bear,” and said “he (Marshall) was awesome” as she blew a kiss toward the camera. Marshall said he later showed the video to several other people who agreed that Singh was “showing genuine affection”.
Neither Singh nor her spokesperson would provide any further comment on the content of the video, only that Singh asked Marshall to stop sharing with members of the public as it was ‘made when you were a volunteer in my campaign.’ The only other comments were released by the NDP party director, Lucy Watson.
“Mr. Marshall repeatedly crossed the line in his pursuit of Ms. Singh – in person and in long, rambling and derogatory emails and he was repeatedly asked to stop. It appears that he is now trying to harass her through the media. As Mr. Marshall disclosed, an anti-harassment investigation concluded that he violated the NDP’s anti-harassment policies. Women have a right to be safe in their workplace and in their community and that includes within our party. Our party is also considering legal intervention in this matter.”
As the provincial NDP’s anti-harassment policy states, harassment means “engaging in a course of comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” Marshall contends that, based on that definition and what Singh did in the video, that she herself violated the policy.