Kevin Vuong, who won the Toronto riding of Spadina-Fort York as a Liberal candidate, said he will serve as an Independent MP, days after his party said he will not sit as a member of the caucus.
Last week, the Toronto Star first reported that Mr. Vuong had been charged with sexual assault in 2019 and that the charges were later dropped. In response, the Liberal Party released a statement saying that should Mr. Vuong be elected, he would not sit as a member of the caucus. Advance polls had already been open the previous weekend.
On Wednesday, Mr. Vuong shared a statement on Twitter saying that he intends to keep his seat.
“I appreciate that not everyone is happy with my election,” he wrote. “For those who feel this way, I understand the source of your doubts and I will work hard to earn your trust.” He added that allegations of sexual assault are a serious matter, and that he intends to address the allegations against him “at a later date more wholly in a dedicated forum.”
Joe Cressy, the city councillor for Spadina-Fort York, later commented on Twitter that Mr. Vuong did not earn the right to represent the community. “He should do the honourable and right thing and step aside,” he wrote. “If he wants to sit as an Independent MP, he should campaign for the job as one.”
Mr. Cressy ran as an NDP candidate for the former riding of Trinity-Spadina in a 2014 federal by-election, which he lost. He’d also endorsed Norm Di Pasquale, the NDP candidate in Spadina-Fort York, during this election.
Mr. Vuong beat Mr. Di Pasquale by less than 1,400 votes. The NDP was hoping to pick up the seat, and Leader Jagmeet Singh visited the riding three times during the campaign.
Mr. Singh also had his sights set on the Toronto riding of Davenport, where the NDP was again looking to make a breakthrough. But by Wednesday afternoon, incumbent Liberal candidate Julie Dzerowicz was poised to keep the seat.
This election was a “status quo election,” according to Carleton University comparative-politics professor Elliot Tepper. “We returned a Parliament almost a mirror image to the previous Parliament,” he said.
He added, though, that riding-by-riding changes, where seats may have flipped from one party to another, shouldn’t be underestimated: These results are sometimes cancelled out when only looking at the overall seat count.
The few close races where ballots were still being counted on Wednesday won’t change the overall minority-government situation, Dr. Tepper said, but they can affect if a party is represented in a specific part of the country or not. “The difference between being a national party and not being a national party may be determined by these very close elections,” he said.
Winning the riding of Spadina-Fort York or Davenport would have given the NDP a seat in Toronto. The party holds five ridings in Ontario, but has been shut out of the country’s largest city.
Other late-result races include Vancouver Granville, where late Wednesday, Liberal Taleeb Noormohamed had a slim lead over the NDP candidate. Vancouver Granville was previously held by Jody Wilson-Raybould, a former Liberal cabinet minister who was removed from the caucus and then sat as an Independent. Ms. Wilson-Raybould did not run for re-election this year, and made positive comments online about NDP candidate Anjali Appadurai.
The NDP is on track to win the Vancouver Island riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith, with results coming in late Wednesday. The seat was previously held by Paul Manly for the Green Party. The NDP’s Lisa Marie Barron is leading the race in the riding and if she wins, it would bring the party’s total to 25 seats.
The race in New Brunswick’s Fredericton riding was called on Wednesday, with incumbent Jenica Atwin winning for the Liberals by about 500 votes over the Conservative candidate. Ms. Atwin, a former MP for the Green Party, crossed the floor in June to join the Liberals after a disagreement with Green Party Leader Annamie Paul.
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