Ontario’s public broadcaster has launched a third-party investigation into journalist Steve Paikin over allegations of sexual harassment made by a former Toronto mayoral candidate relating to comments at a 2010 lunch.
A statement from TVO chief executive officer Lisa de Wilde released Monday morning says the broadcaster became aware of the allegations on Saturday after Paikin received an email from Sarah Thomson.
CBC News has not independently verified the allegations.
TVO says Thomson referenced the allegation in two articles on her website and on social media, though she doesn’t name Paikin specifically.
“There is still one man whose actions haunt me,” Thomson writes on the website Women’s Post.
In the post, Thomson describes a lunch at Grano on Yonge Street that she says she attended along with her assistant and a political talk show host.
“Not five minutes into the lunch the host asked me if I would sleep with him. My assistant almost spit his drink all over the table,” the post reads.
Thomson writes that she replied she would never do that and then excused herself to call her campaign manager.
The post goes on to say that the host has since approached her several times, usually at political functions, with the proposition.
De Wilde says Paikin immediately notified TVO of the email.
Based on the evidence received so far, the broadcaster says, TVO sees “no reason to remove Mr. Paikin from his role” as host for its flagship programThe Agenda, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Paikin could not immediately be reached by The Canadian Press for comment.