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Indian-origin lawmaker in Canada accused of sexual harassment by staffer

The chief government whip’s office confirmed that the House chief human resources officer Pierre Parent was conducting an investigation into the incident.

world Updated: Aug 13, 2017 22:08 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindustan Times, Toronto
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,Darshan Kang,Calgary
Liberal Party Mp Darshan Kang, who is facing allegations for sexual harassment. (Credit: dkang.liberal.ca)

A Canadian Member of Parliament, who is of Indian origin and belongs to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberal Party, has been hit with allegations of sexual harassment by a staffer.

Darshan Kang was elected to the House of Commons for the first time in the Federal elections in 2015, and represents Calgary Skyview, a riding in the province of Alberta. The staffer he allegedly harassed worked in his constituency office in Calgary.

The chief government whip’s office confirmed that the House chief human resources officer Pierre Parent was conducting an investigation into the incident, Ottawa-based The Hill Times reported. It quoted Charles-Eric Lepine, chief of staff to chief government whip Pablo Rodriguez, as saying: “We were made aware of the allegations and referred them, as per the House of Commons process, to the chief human resources officer.”

Multiple Canadian outlets said the Prime Minister’s office was not commenting on the matter and directing queries to the Chief Whip’s Office.

Liberal Party MP Darshan Kang with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prior to the 2015 Federal elections in Canada. (Twitter)

There was no response to a request for comment in an email sent to Kang’s office.

Whether the sexual harassment charges have also been made locally cannot be confirmed. When contacted, a spokesperson for the Calgary Police Service told the Hindustan Times that while they would have jurisdiction if a criminal case were to be filed, he was unaware that an official complaint had been made.

Kang, 66, was born in India and immigrated to Canada in 1970. He was twice elected to the provincial assembly before becoming the first Liberal Party candidate to be elected to the House of Commons from Calgary in nearly 50 years, when he defeated the sitting Conservative Party MP. His website states that he had obtained a pre-medical degree at the University of Indore and was a commercial realtor before getting into politics.

First Published: Aug 13, 2017 15:53 IST