Nova Scotia

Conservative candidate for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour denies sex assault allegation, steps down

Conservative Party candidate Troy Myers is stepping out of the race in a Nova Scotia riding following an allegation from a woman who says he sexually assaulted her at a work conference in 2019. Myers denies the allegation.

Troy Myers will no longer carry Conservative banner in federal election

Conservative candidate Troy Myers was running in the Nova Scotia riding of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, but has decided to step down from the federal election race following an allegation of sexual assault, which he denies. (Dartmouth-Cole Harbour Conservative Association/Facebook)

Conservative Party candidate Troy Myers is stepping out of the race in a Nova Scotia riding following an allegation from a woman who says he sexually assaulted her at a work conference in 2019.

Myers denies the allegation and says he will fight to defend his reputation.

Lauren Skabar, who ran unsuccessfully for the provincial NDP in the recent Nova Scotia election, shared her account on Twitter Sunday evening. 

She said she met Myers, the federal Conservative candidate for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, in October 2019 at a conference hosted by the Nova Scotia Library Association. Myers is the CEO and chief librarian of South Shore Public Libraries.

Skabar said Myers offered to create a job for her after she graduated from school, as she was a masters student at Dalhousie University at the time, specializing in librarianship. She said he started referring to himself as her "future boss."

The following day, still at the conference, Skabar said Myers tugged at the hem of her skirt then reached up the skirt and into her underwear.

"When I objected, he told me that was no way to talk to my 'future boss.' "

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Conservative leader asked about two of his party's candidates

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Erin O'Toole spoke with reporters about Troy Myers and Cheryl Gallant during a stop in King City, Ont., on Monday. 1:56

Skabar, who declined to comment further when contacted by CBC News, wrote that she was mortified and heartbroken by the encounter.

"Seeing his face show up on my timeline knocked the wind out of me. To see him run for a position of power after experiencing how he uses his current power enrages me." 

Myers issues statement

Myers issued a statement Monday morning denying the allegation and announcing the end of his election bid.

"Last night, false statements were made about me on social media. These statements, about untoward behaviour and inappropriate contact are unequivocally false," he said.

"I have spent my entire career working in and promoting an environment of respect and equality. For the best interests of my loved ones and my colleagues and career I have taken the difficult decision to back [away] from politics and focus all my attention and efforts to fight these defamatory false statements. I have already consulted legal counsel to review all options."

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Myers thanked the volunteers who helped with his campaign, the people he met on the campaign trail and his family.

"I intend to rigorously defend my reputation and our family's good name."

WATCH | Trudeau says Liberals have zero tolerance for harassment, intimidation: 

Liberal leader comments on Conservative candidate stepping down

2 months ago
1:33
Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters during a stop in Granby, Que., on Monday about the news that Troy Myers will not run for the Conservatives in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, N.S. 1:33

The Conservative Party said in a statement that it learned of the allegations Sunday evening and asked Myers to step down.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said his party takes any allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment very seriously.

"That's why this person is no longer a candidate for our party. We need to make sure that we have a slate of candidates that are here to serve the country and that we show support for victims and zero tolerance for folks facing allegations."

With Myers out of the running, the Conservative Party will not have a candidate in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour this election.

The federal election will be held Sept. 20.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taryn Grant

Reporter

Taryn Grant is a Halifax-based reporter and web writer for CBC Nova Scotia. You can email her with tips and feedback at taryn.grant@cbc.ca

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