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Canada sports minister resigns after harassment allegations

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    AFP

Ottawa | Fri, January 26, 2018 | 11:12 am
Canada sports minister resigns after harassment allegations Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the Ford Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, March 30, 2017. F (The Canadian Press via AP/Dave Chidley)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he has accepted the resignation of Canada's sports minister pending an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Kent Hehr's resignation came on the same day that the conservative opposition leader of Canada's most populous province quit over sexual misconduct allegations.

"As a government we take any allegations of misconduct extremely seriously, and we believe that it is important to support women who come forward with allegations and that is exactly what our government will do," Trudeau said in a statement.

"I accepted the Honourable Kent Hehr's resignation from cabinet pending the outcome of the investigation," he said.

Hehr issued a statement saying he welcomed the investigation, and would be staying on as a member of parliament while it is conducted.

"I have been informed that an investigation into these allegations has begun and I welcome and respect this process," Hehr said, adding that he does not "want to be a distraction to all the good work being done by our government."

Earlier on Thursday, Patrick Brown announced his resignation as Ontario's Progressive Conservative party leader, becoming the second provincial Tory leader to quit over misconduct in 24 hours.

Brown called the sexual misconduct allegations raised by two women "false" and "difficult to hear."

He said that he would remain a member of the provincial parliament "while I definitively clear my name from these false allegations."

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