Petition demands ousted Spadina-Fort York Liberal candidate resign

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As Kevin Vuong — the ousted Liberal candidate for Toronto Spadina-Fort York — continues his healthy lead in the still-ongoing tabulation of Monday night’s election results, one political commentator has launched a petition urging him to step aside.

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Mark Slapinski told the Toronto Sunhe launched the petition on Tuesday, in response to Vuong’s unofficial win in the riding, despite being disallowed by the Liberal Party over a dropped 2019 sexual assault charge.

“The Liberals didn’t vet him properly, Elections Canada didn’t take his name off the ballot, and the media was reporting on him as a Liberal candidate during the election,” Slapinski said.

“I think this was a failure of democracy, and hope this petition will bring attention to this mix-up.”

The petition garnered over 730 signatures by Tuesday evening.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was grilled over his initial refusal to drop Vuong, saying the party was only asking him to “pause” his campaign.

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That was followed by a statement the next day from the Liberal Party, saying it parted ways with Vuong — by then too late for Elections Canada to remove Vuong’s name from the ballot.

Vuong denied the allegations made against him, and in a statement last week, said the charge was withdrawn by the Crown before the matter went to trial.

Spadina-Fort York was previously held by Liberal Adam Vaughan, who did not seek re-election.

Earlier in the campaign, Trudeau spent several news conferences defending Kitchener Centre candidate Raj Saini over allegations he’d sexually harassed a number of female staffers in complaints that date back years. Saini denied the accusations.

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Vuong, an officer in the naval reserve, is also facing a review by the Canadian Armed Forces, for allegedly not informing them of the dropped 2019 charge.

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With all but one of the riding’s 129 polls reporting results as of early Tuesday evening, Vuong was ahead of NDP candidate Norm Di Pasquale — a Catholic school trustee — by 1,320 votes, enough for many to unofficially declare his victory.

  1. Justin Trudeau finally got around to jettisoning Kevin Vuong, writes Warren Kinsella.

    KINSELLA: Liberals acted too slowly on latest sex scandal

  2. Kevin Vuong in Toronto on Tuesday, Oct. 9 2018.

    Trudeau refuses to fire latest Liberal candidate caught in sex assault allegations

  3. Kevin Vuong is pictured in a file photo taken on the Bathurst Bridge overlooking Toronto on Sept. 28, 2018 while he was campaigning during the Toronto municipal election for the position of city councillor for Ward 10, Spadina-Fort York.

    Liberals cut ties with Toronto candidate after news of dropped sex assault charge

Once confirmed the winner, Vuong can either choose to sit in the house as an independent or resign.

Both Di Pasquale and Vuong declined comment when contacted by the Sun. 

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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