OTTAWA — Liberal MP Darshan Kang is vehemently denying allegations that he repeatedly sexually harassed a young female staffer in his Calgary constituency office and is vowing to defend his reputation “at all costs.”
Kang issued a statement Tuesday proclaiming his innocence even as a damning new allegation surfaced that he tried to buy the woman’s silence and the NDP demanded that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau immediately suspend the Calgary MP from the Liberal caucus until an investigation is completed.
For the second consecutive day, Trudeau refused to comment on the matter, saying only that it’s being handled through a recently created independent process for resolving such misconduct complaints and that he’ll let the process “unfold as it should.”
But Kang’s vow to exhaust all efforts to defend himself suggests that process could drag on for weeks or even months.
Under a process adopted by the House of Commons in December 2014, when there is no mediated resolution to a harassment complaint, an external investigator is hired to review the facts and interview the complainant, the respondent and any witnesses before determining whether the complaint is partially or fully substantiated, not substantiated or frivolous.
Either the complainant or the respondent can appeal if they’re unsatisfied with the investigator’s final report, requiring an appeal panel to be appointed consisting of one member chosen by the complainant, one by the respondent and an external expert.