Canada Kevin Vuong out as Liberal candidate over dropped sexual assault charge, party says
With one week to go before election day, here's what to watch in the final stretch
Public polls are showing the Liberals and Conservatives in a tight battle to form a government, with the New Democrats in third but falling back. That pressure has created a few storylines and races to watch in the home stretch. Liberal cabinet ministers at risk For the first time in more than two weeks, the Liberals have moved ahead of the Conservatives in national support — but by just a hair. The close race has put some cabinet ministers at risk, with the Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois closing in.
Downtown Toronto candidatewill no longer be affiliated with the Liberals following an investigation into a past sexual assault allegation, the party's spokesperson said Saturday.
On Friday,as officials reviewed the circumstances surrounding the Crown’s decision to drop a sexual assault charge against him in 2019.
"We take any allegation extremely seriously," a Liberal Party spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Global News.
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SHERBROOKE, QUE. – For an election that is largely about authentic leadership and trust, the news that a Liberal candidate has been asked to “pause” his campaign, while the party looks into a Toronto Star story that he was charged with sexual assault, is potentially a serious setback for Justin Trudeau. Kevin Vuong, the candidate in the Toronto riding of Spadina-Fort York, denies any wrongdoing and The Star said the charges were later dropped. But the Conservatives and NDP were quick to leap on the story as proof of a “pattern of behaviour” in the Liberal Party.
Since it is too late to remove him from the ballot, the party added that "should he be elected, he will not be a member of the Liberal caucus."
Vuong, who has been in the Naval Reserves since 2015, is also under review by the Canadian Armed Forces.
In an emailed statement to Global News, a military spokesperson said Vuong neglected to inform his Chain of Command that he had been charged with sexual assault in 2019, despite an "expectation that members in such situations do so."
"We are looking into the matter further but there is no additional information to provide at this time," the statement read.
Pressure has been mounting for the Liberals to take action and have the Spadina–Fort York candidate removed from the party since the news of the assault charge wason Thursday. The party's move to cut ties with Vuong comes days before voters head to the polls on Election Day, which is set for Monday.
Toronto candidate asked by Liberals to ‘pause’ campaign amid news past sexual assault charge dropped
"This is a situation that we are taking very seriously and looking into," Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said, adding the party learned about the dropped charge on Thursday.Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was pressed by reporters about the matter Friday morning after news surfaced Spadina--Fort York candidate Kevin Vuong was charged in connection with an alleged sexual assault on April 8, 2019.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who is currently seeking re-election, told reporters in Aurora, Ont., on Saturday that cutting ties with Vuong is "the right thing to do."
"We followed the processes that are in place of the party to ascertain and to look into this, and we've come to the conclusion that this individual can no longer be a liberal candidate in this election," he said.
But New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh called the Liberals' slow move to remove Vuong "an insult," and accused Trudeau of not doing enough to protect women.
"It took them two days to do something that shouldn't have taken them 20 minutes," he said, speaking from a campaign stop in Saskatoon.
"Mr. Trudeau does not believe women. He does not have the courage to take on powerful men. He protects powerful men instead of protecting women, instead of standing up for women. That is wrong."
More to come.
-- With files from Global News' Abigail Bimman, Nick Westoll, Ahmar Khan and Ryan Rocca
Ex-MP Adam Vaughan urges successor Vuong to step down, not sit as MP "under a cloud." .
OTTAWA — The former Liberal MP for Spadina-Fort York said he has urged his newly elected successor, Kevin Vuong, to resign, warning him that local people will be "furious" if he takes his seat. Adam Vaughan, who did not seek re-election this year after having represented the downtown Toronto riding since 2014, also said that he would not brief his successor on certain sensitive cases and would instead ask ministers or neighbouring MPs to take them forward.