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Justin Trudeau dodges question on candidate charged with sexual assault

Kevin Vuong, the candidate for Spadina-Fort York, had been charged with sexual assault in 2019, but the charge was later withdrawn.

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Angelo Isidorou Vancouver British Columbia
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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was asked Friday about new sexual misconduct reports for yet another candidate in his party. The Liberal leader dodged the question.

"Once again, you have a candidate that's mired in allegations of sexual misconduct," a reporter said. "And you say that you always take this stuff seriously. And yet, this was news to the Liberal Party. How is it that the liberal team failed to learn this until the Toronto Star told you about it? And will you let that candidate Mr. Vuong sit as a liberal if indeed he wins his seat since it's too late to change any ballot?"

"First of all, as you said, We are a party that always takes seriously any allegations or reports of sexual harassment or intimidation or assault," Trudeau said. "That has been clear from the very beginning. As you also pointed out, we only learned about these serious allegations yesterday through the work of the Toronto Star. We are looking into it very carefully. And we have asked the candidate to pause his campaign."

"Is he going to be able to sit if he wins?" asked the reporter. "We're looking into it right now. We've asked him to pause the campaign and we're trying to find out more," Trudeau replied.

"Why don't you tell him to quit? Why are you keeping him on?" the report asked but was dismissed.

Kevin Vuong, the candidate for Spadina-Fort York, had been charged with sexual assault in 2019, but the charge was later withdrawn. Vuong told the Star that the allegations were false, that he fought against the claims and that he finds it "deeply troubling" they surfaced in the last week of the federal election campaign.

Meanwhile, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh lambasted Trudeau for being complicit in the allegations. "These are not the actions of a feminist Prime Minister. To those feeling harmed, I want you to know that you are loved - I believe you. If you need support, please reach out to someone you trust or your local sexual assault centre," Singh said.

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