Paikin was promoting his newly published book about John P. Robarts. SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

Steve Paikin, the host of TVO’s flagship current affairs show The Agendavisited U of T’s Faculty Club on February 22 to promote his newly republished book. The event consisted of a moderated discussion with former journalist Allan Bonner as well as a Q&A period with the audience.

Paikin’s visit to the university comes a few weeks after he was accused of sexual harassment by former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson. Thomson claims Paikin made unwanted sexual advances toward her, writing on her website, “Not five minutes into the lunch the host asked me if I would sleep with him.”

Paikin briefly fielded questions regarding the allegation during the Q&A period. “I don’t know why this is happening, but apparently it is. The incident in question never happened,” he said.

Paikin declined to comment further on the allegations to The Varsity, citing an independent third-party investigation currently being administered by an employment lawyer.

Paikin’s book, Public Triumph, Private Tragedy: The Double Life of John P. Robarts, covers the personal life of Ontario’s Premier from 1961–1971. Robarts advocated for the improvement of the provincial education system, the expansion of public transit in the GTA, and he opposed Québec separatism.

“John Robarts’ story, in particular, is absolutely Shakespearean,” said Paikin in an interview with The Varsity. “This guy had a brilliant public life and an absolutely, ultimately tragic life, and it’s one of the truly great Shakespearean tales of Ontario politics.

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