Rylee Schuhmacher was finishing class when a friend told her that Premier Brad Wall was talking about her allegations of sexual assault in the province’s legislature.
The University of Saskatchewan told HuffPost Canada she wasn’t given a heads up from the premier’s office that her experience — claims that have launched two internal investigations — would be brought up in legislature last week.
“It felt like it was a political whipping point rather than something that happened to a real person,” Schuhmacher told HuffPost Canada.
The sociology student published a blog post last month with detailed allegations of how she was sexually assaulted by a former NDP election candidate. Her story was one of two the premier made a reference to in legislature.
“It’s like things finally had started dying with all that had happened after I went public and now it’s back,” she said.
It felt like it was a political whipping point rather than something that happened to a real person.
Wall’s comments raised eyebrows for Schuhmacher and the NDP, of which she is an active member. The remark came up during question period on Tuesday during debate over a land deal scandal involving the province’s Global Transportation Hub.
Wall said he found it “interesting” the opposition was lecturing him on accountability when the NDP “has a former leader who is alleged, alleged to have a complaint on sexual harassment brought to him, and it’s also been alleged that he did nothing about it.”
The remark incensed Saskatchewan NDP Leader Nicole Sarauer. She called on Wall to retract his statement the next day.
“Shame on this premier for using these words for cheap political points,” she said.
Sarauer accused Wall of “completely ignoring” Schumacher’s request that her story “not to be used for political gain.” Wall doubled down and questioned the party on why the accused continued to be a member of the provincial NDP after allegations about his conduct surfaced.
NDP MLA Trent Wotherspoon called Wall’s points “disgusting” and added, “Those aren’t his stories to tell.”
Watch the full exchange between Sarauer and Wall:
“I make no apology for raising it,” Wall later told reporters. He justified the relevance of bringing up the young woman’s story by citing it was in the pursuit of transparency and accountability.
The NDP did not respond to HuffPost Canada’s request for comment.
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Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel