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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks during a campaign stop in Toronto on Sept. 5. Trudeau won't say what new allegations against Liberal candidate Raj Saini entail, or whether they will be investigated by a third party.CARLOS OSORIO/Reuters

Justin Trudeau says he can’t discuss the details of new allegations against a former Liberal MP who withdrew from the federal election race over the weekend, even as the Liberal Leader acknowledged frustration and anger over the handling of misconduct complaints.

Still, Mr. Trudeau continued to defend his party’s process for dealing with previous allegations against Liberal candidate Raj Saini, which stretch back more than a year. Mr. Saini dropped out of the election campaign on Saturday, one hour before the party said it had launched a review of him after “new information” was brought forward. He denies all wrongdoing.

Speaking Sunday at a campaign stop in Markham, Ont., Mr. Trudeau would not reveal the nature of the new allegations against Mr. Saini, who was running in the Southwestern Ontario riding of Kitchener Centre. Mr. Trudeau also wouldn’t say whether the new allegations would be investigated by a third party.

“For confidentiality reasons, I’m not at liberty to disclose more of this information. Suffice it to say, that Mr. Saini is no longer our candidate,” Mr. Trudeau said. The Liberal Leader spent much of the past week defending the candidate in the face of four harassment allegations, including from a former staff member, reported against him by CBC News. The Globe and Mail has not verified all of the allegations.

“Obviously this is a far-from-ideal situation that we no longer have any candidate in that riding. There’s going to be lots of reflections on what we could have, should have done differently.”

He said the complainant will decide the next steps in any investigation or follow-up.

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Mr. Saini, a two-term MP, said in a statement on Saturday: “I am very proud of my work for Kitchener Centre, work to which I committed myself wholly, gladly and effectively. However, continuing my campaign no longer serves the best interests of my family, staff members, campaign team and constituents.”

“For everyone’s health and safety, I have taken the painful decision to end my campaign for the 44th Parliament.”

Mr. Saini said he would challenge the “false allegations” and is in the process of consulting legal counsel.

He has previously said he was only made aware of one allegation against him, and the individual chose not to pursue a formal or informal complaint. He said he initiated a third-party review of his office through the House of Commons in June, 2020, and was cleared. However, the woman at the centre of that allegation told The Globe that she was never part of the process.

The Liberal Party on Saturday said Mr. Saini was approved on the basis of that review’s findings but neither the party nor Mr. Trudeau has explained why she wasn’t involved in it. On Sunday, the Liberal Leader maintained that the party has a process for dealing with misconduct complaints.

“We can only apply that process and reflect on: Are there ways to improve that process? And I can’t even talk about the details of what was put forward, what happened on this allegation or that allegation,” Mr. Trudeau said.

“We had a process that was rigorously followed, which is an unsatisfactory answer and I understand people being angry about it. I’m pretty frustrated about the whole thing myself.”

The timing of Mr. Saini’s departure leaves the Liberals without a candidate in Kitchener Centre, although his name will still appear on the ballot because it is too late to remove it. No matter the outcome of the Sept. 20 vote, Mr. Trudeau said, “Mr. Saini will not be a member of the Liberal Party caucus.”

The former member of Mr. Saini’s staff who raised allegations against him told The Globe that throughout her time working for him, he made inappropriate and suggestive comments to her. Mr. Saini has repeatedly denied all of the allegations against him.

In a complaint filed to the Canadian Human Rights Commission in May, 2020, she described a hostile work environment that included unwelcome advances, harassing behaviour and psychological abuse. She said she was placed on a mandatory leave of absence in March, 2020, which culminated in a suicide attempt at the workplace. She was fired in August, 2020.

E-mails obtained by The Globe show that the former staffer raised concerns about Mr. Saini’s conduct last year with Liberal Party president Suzanne Cowan and its national director, Azam Ishmael. In addition, the e-mails show that they were raised with the chief of staff to Mark Holland, the Government Whip in the House of Commons. She also brought up her concerns with Diversity, Inclusion and Youth Minister Bardish Chagger and MP Tim Louis, who both represent ridings near Kitchener Centre.

In the e-mails that were obtained by The Globe, the former staffer said she got no response from Ms. Cowan or Mr. Louis. The e-mails show that Mr. Ishmael and Ms. Chagger directed her to the Whip’s office.

Liberal Party spokesperson Alex Lawrence said options to address the complaints were offered, including going to the Whip’s office, the House of Commons human-resources department, mediation or through the Liberal Party’s respectful workplace policy.

After news of Mr. Saini’s exit, the former staffer said she hopes in the future more people will feel safe raising concerns about workplace misconduct.

The Conservatives on Sunday wrote to the Clerk of the House of Commons, Charles Robert, to inquire as to whether the complainant making the allegations against Mr. Saini was prevented or steered away from pursuing an investigation.

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