WINDSOR, ONT. AND SHERBROOKE, WHAT. – Liberal leader Justin Trudeau declined to say how a Liberal candidate who once faced a charge of sexual assault and is being sued by a former business partner received the green light from the Liberal Party, and whether he will be kicked.
Trudeau admitted to reporters that Vuong passed the internal investigation process, saying the party only learned of the charge, which a prosecutor withdrew to the surprise of the former plaintiff, through the Toronto Star report.
He did not say how the Liberal Party is reviewing the matter or whether it is verifying the veracity of the allegations.
“We have questions about what exactly happened. We were investigating that very quickly and in the meantime we have asked the candidate to stop this campaign, ”Trudeau said.
The Star reported Thursday night that Kevin Vuong, the liberal candidate at Spadina – Fort York, had faced a criminal sexual assault charge in early 2019, but the Crown dropped the charge later that year, according to court documents.
Vuong, 32, became the Liberal candidate to ride at Spadina – Fort York this summer, shortly after current Liberal MP Adam Vaughan announced that he would not seek reelection.
The woman whose indictment led to the sexual assault charge told the Star she did not know Vuong was running for the Liberals until she returned to Toronto recently to see his face on the election posters in the King Street West area.
Court documents show that the Crown Prosecutor dropped the charge against Vuong on November 27, 2019, during the eighth hearing date of the criminal proceedings.
Vuong is the second liberal candidate in this campaign to face allegations of sexual misconduct. Trudeau’s candidate, Raj Saini, resigned from his campaign last week over allegations about his conduct towards a staff member in his MP office.
“We are a party that always takes any complaint or complaint of sexual harassment or intimidation and assault seriously. That’s clear from the beginning, ”Trudeau said in Windsor.
“We learned about these serious allegations yesterday from the Toronto Star reports,” he said.
“We are looking into it right now,” Trudeau said. “We have asked him to stop the campaign.”
Pressed to answer why the candidate was allowed to suspend his campaign and not be forced to immediately resign, Trudeau did not respond.
The Liberal Party has rules that require all candidates to undergo a criminal background check and answer questions about their background. The NDP also confirmed Friday that it conducts criminal background checks for its candidates.
Trudeau, however, did not elaborate on how the candidate was approved.
At a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Sherbrooke in eastern Quebec municipalities, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh had harsh words for Liberals, claiming that the party’s failure to go beyond suspending the campaign de Vuong was another sign that Trudeau is not the feminist she claims to be. .
“Either this candidate in Toronto lied to the Liberal Party and the Liberal Party agrees with that, or the Liberal Party knew it all along,” Singh said.
“Either way, it’s horrible. I want to make it clear that we deserve better than that. “
Singh also alluded to his own experience as a survivor of sexual abuse and asked the Trudeau liberals to make it clear that Vuong cannot represent the party.
What actions have they taken? What has Mr. Trudeau done? You are still the candidate. His name is still on billboards. The billboards have not been removed. They have not distanced themselves from him, ”Singh said.
“Silence in the face of injustice is acceptance.”
In a statement, the Conservatives also called on the Liberals to “fire” Vuong and linked the situation to unspecified past “cover-ups” allegedly committed by the party.
“Once again, Canadians are wondering how they can trust liberals,” the statement read.
“Justin Trudeau must do the right thing and immediately fire this candidate and confirm that if elected, this candidate will not sit in the liberal caucus.”
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