Calgary MP on leave after accusations of sexual harassment
Published Tuesday, August 29, 2017 6:56PM MDT
A Calgary Liberal MP at the centre of a sexual harassment investigation is now on stress leave and there are calls for Darshan Kang to step down until the case is complete.
The allegations against Kang come from one of his female staffers.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has faced the same questions about Calgary’s Skyview MP two days in a row.
“The Whip's office is very much engaged as it must be in this process and we will allow this process to unfold as it should,” says Trudeau.
The House of Commons is investigating Kang.
None of the allegations have been proven.
The Toronto Star says a young woman accuses Kang of touching her inappropriately for over five years claiming he hugged her, stroked her hands during car rides and once took her to an Ottawa apartment where he offered he wine and tugged at her jacket.
The woman’s father claimed Kang offered her $100,000.00 to stay quiet.
“It’s an open file, obviously a difficult one, this is not going to be good news for Mr. Kang it’s not going to be good for his constituents and if the findings result in him being expelled from the Liberal Caucus then it’s bad for both Mr. Kang and those constituents and the Liberal party in Alberta,” says Lori Williams a political scientist at Mount Royal University.
CTV Calgary tried to call the longtime politician but the call went to voicemail.
Kang did release a statement saying:
“For the past decade, I have dedicated my life to public office”.
“Since the allegations of sexual harassment were levelled against me I have been under a tremendous amount of stress and subsequently, I was placed on medical leave. As a result of this leave, I have not participated in public events”.
“While I cannot comment directly on an open, ongoing investigation, I continue to proclaim my innocence and will defend my reputation at all costs”.
“It’s very bad news if the findings go against Mr. Kang,” says Williams.“It’s very bad news for him his political career is probably over and in the worst way possible.”
The federal MDP want Kang to be removed from caucus since Trudeau previously expelled two of his Liberal MPs amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Calgarians are torn over the issue.
“Even if you're in the investigation of something like that should you be holding public office, that should be held to a higher standard than an individual working in the private sector,” says Shane Griffin.
“If it’s innocent until proven guilty i think he should be able to continue to do what he’s doing,” says Dana Cook.
Kang served as an Alberta MLA until he was elected to federal politics.
(With files from Ina Sidhu)