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The move comes after the Toronto Star revealed he faced a sexual assault charge in 2019 that was later dropped
The Liberals won the Toronto riding of Spadina-Fort York by more than 20,000 votes in the 2019 election.
As a result, the party led by Justin Trudeau had high hopes that its new candidate, Kevin Vuong, would hold the seat after the incumbent, former city councillor Adam Vaughan, chose not to seek re-election.
But just days before voters go to the polls, the Liberals cut ties with Vuong, telling media outlets in a statement on Saturday morning that if he’s elected on Monday, he will not sit as a member of the Liberal caucus.
A day earlier, the party had asked Vuong to “pause” his campaign.
Vuong was charged with sexual assault in 2019 when he was a member of the Naval Reserves. The Crown dropped the charge a year later, according to the Toronto Star, but the Canadian Armed Forces is now reviewing whether he reported the arrest to his chain of command.
Vuong has told the Toronto Star that the allegation is false and noted that the charge was withdrawn.
In response to this news, Trudeau told reporters during a campaign stop in Windsor that his party “always takes seriously any allegations or reports of sexual harassment or intimidation or sexual assault.”
“That has been clear from the very beginning,” Trudeau said.
He added that the party only learned about these “serious allegations” as a result of the Toronto Star story.
Vuong’s name will remain on the ballot for the September 20 election.
This story originally appeared in the Georgia Straight. With files from NOW staff