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Amid accusations of sexual harassment, Darshan Kang resigns from Liberal caucus

By Abbas Rana      

The resignation comes after two different women stepped forward to accuse Mr. Kang of sexual harassment.

Darshan Kang is resigning from the Liberal caucus. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
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Embattled Alberta MP Darshan Kang, facing sexual harassment accusations from two different women, is resigning from the Liberal caucus.

In a statement released Thursday evening, Mr. Kang (Calgary Skyview, Alta.) said he’s stepping down to focus on clearing his name.

“Effective immediately, I am resigning from the federal Liberal Caucus,” Mr. Kang said in a statement to The Hill Times. “I wish to focus my efforts at this time on clearing my name.”

“I appreciate that Parliament has provided for due process, and a fair and objective policy for resolving this matter,” he continued. “I also very much appreciate that I am being provided an opportunity to provide my perspective to the independent investigator of the Chief Human Resources Office of Parliament.”

However, Mr. Kang said he did not want his “present circumstances” to further distract from any of the good work being carried out by his colleagues in government.

He said he had informed the Government’s Whip Office of his decision, and wouldn’t comment further on the sexual harassment allegations.

On Thursday, The Hill Times reported explosive new accusations from a former staffer of Mr. Kang, who alleged that the MP sexually harassed her while she was working in his constituency office during his time in the Alberta legislature.

“He doesn’t understand or seem to care about the word no, or about the word stop,” Kirstin Morrell said in an interview.

“When I worked in his office, he would come up, and he would grab my breasts, he would make me sit next to him.”

In June, a female constituency office staffer also accused Mr. Kang of sexual harassment. The Hill Times reported on Aug. 11 that the House chief human resources officer is investigating these allegations, and had hired an external investigator to handle the case.

The staffer’s father accused Mr. Kang of offering his daughter an escalating series of payments totalling $100,000 if she didn’t disclose the allegations to her parents, the Toronto Star reported. Both families have known each other for years.

Earlier this week, NDP MP and party status of women critic Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo-Ladysmith, B.C.) issued a statement calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) to “immediately remove” Mr. Kang from the Liberal caucus, citing the allegations and purported payoff offer.

arana@hilltimes.com

The Hill Times

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