Darshan Kang placed on medical leave; denies allegations of sexual harassment
Allegations against the Liberal MP for Calgary Skyview first surfaced in early August
Stress from allegations of sexual harassment have forced Calgary MP Darshan Kang to take a medical leave of absence, he said in a statement released Tuesday that also denies any wrongdoing.
"For the past decade, I have dedicated my life to public office," the statement reads.
"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."
The Hill Times in Ottawa first reported the allegations in early August, tracing the complaint back to an unnamed employee at Kang's Calgary Skyview constituency office in northeast Calgary.
Asked in Ottawa on Tuesday why he hasn't removed Kang from caucus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the process developed in recent years for dealing with complaints must be followed.
"We are allowing that process to undergo in a responsible way," he told reporters. "The whip's office is very much engaged, as it must be in this process, and we are allowing this process to unfold as it should."
Sheila Malcolmson, the NDP critic for the Status of Women, issued a statement Tuesday calling for Kang to be dismissed from caucus.
"In the past, the prime minister has advocated a 'zero tolerance' approach to handling allegations of sexual harassment by Liberal MPs," it read.
"Until such time as a full investigation can be completed, Mr. Kang should not sit as a member of the governing party. That is exactly the approach the prime minister previously espoused and acted upon. I am at a loss as to why he has refused to take similar action in response to these allegations."
Trudeau expelled two sitting MPs from the Liberal caucus in 2015 after complaints filed by two NDP MPs.
That action followed an independent investigation into the incidents.
Kang was elected as an MP in 2015. Before entering federal politics, he was a two-term MLA representing Calgary-McCall in the Alberta legislature. He was first elected in 2008.
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