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Canada sports minister resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations

Canadian Sport and Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr announced his resignation Thursday over allegations of his sexual misconduct.

Hehr said he welcomes and respects an investigation process and he will stay on as a member of parliament at the House of Commons.

The allegations against Hehr date back to his time as a member of the Alberta legislature.

Late Wednesday night, a public servant in Alberta tweeted that she was told "to avoid being in an elevator with Kent Hehr" on her first day working at the legislature. She alleged that Hehr made "verbally sexually suggestive comments" to a number of women.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement Thursday from Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting, saying he has accepted Hehr's resignation.

"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," said Trudeau,

Trudeau said Science Minister Kirsty Duncan will take on the sport and disabilities portfolio.

Hehr was shuffled into the sport and disabilities portfolios last summer from veterans’ affairs ministry.

Xinhua / PNA