Everyone wants this newly-elected Toronto MP to resign but he won't
Just days after Toronto candidate Kevin Vuong was elected to the House of Commons in one of the most bizarre races in Monday's election, calls are mounting for the embattled MP to step down.
Vuong initially ran as a Liberal in the densely-populated Spadina-Fort York riding — one of three Toronto ridings that were too close to call on election night — but was disavowed by the party following a sexual assault allegation revealed just days before the vote.
It was far too late to remove his name from the ballot, so Vuong was elected as an independent when the votes tallied up in his favour.
The complaint against Vuong was withdrawn in 2019, with the alleged victim quoted as saying she "didn't have the energy" to go to trial, but many voters were unaware of the allegation at the time they cast their ballot.
Vuong responded to the growing controversy, releasing a statement on Wednesday afternoon addressing the allegations and calls for his removal.
Please see my statement: pic.twitter.com/XxnN1BzKTf— Kevin Vuong 😷🇨🇦⚓ (@KevinVuongTO) September 22, 2021
If anything, the momentum to de-seat the embattled MP has only been growing since his statement was released, with calls from constituents and other politicians urging Vuong to resign, including his NDP challenger Norm Di Pasquale.
Among the voices calling for his removal is local political heavyweight and fellow MP Adam Vaughan, who represented the Spadina-Fort York riding as a Liberal MP from the riding's 2015 creation up until election night. Vaughan also represented the previous Trinity-Spadina riding as both an MP and City Councillor.
On Thursday evening, Vaughan issued a statement via Twitter, joining the chorus of voices urging the newly-elected MP to step down.
I have worked hard over the last few days to convince Kevin Vuong to resign. I offered to assist him navigate this move & to do it in a way that respects the person at the heart of the allegation while also showing him how to maintain constituency services for riding residents/1— Adam Vaughan (@TOAdamVaughan) September 24, 2021
"Mr. Vuong's actions have betrayed that trust, that betrayal led to his election victory under the false premise of Liberal representation," the statement reads.
Co-penned by the Spadina-Fort York riding Executive, the statement goes on to recommend that a by-election should be held following Vuong's suggested resignation.
The Spadina Fort York riding Exec posted a statement yesterday. I helped draft the statement that calls for him to resign. I also supports the Party’s position that he should not sit in caucus. The full statement can been seen below/3 pic.twitter.com/Oqnfi8WCAB— Adam Vaughan (@TOAdamVaughan) September 24, 2021
"We believe that a by-election should be called and call on Mr. Vuong to listen to our voices and those of many other leaders and residents of Spadina-Fort York to resign and show respect to the people of the riding and the integrity of Parliament."
Vuong has maintained radio silence since releasing his statement, with no further posts on Twitter and his Instagram set to private.
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