Andrew Scheer would remove candidates accused of sexual assault - Macleans.ca

Andrew Scheer would remove candidates accused of sexual assault

Scheer calls the allegations about former MP Rick Dykstra disturbing, and says there’s no place for such conduct in the political system

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Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Andrew Scheer, makes an announcement and holds a media availability at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Thursday, July 20, 2017. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

OTTAWA — Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says if allegations of sexual assault were levelled against candidates for his party today, they wouldn’t be allowed to run.

But Scheer says he can’t speak to a decision made by party officials during the 2015 campaign to allow Ontario MP Rick Dykstra to remain on the ballot despite knowing he had been accused of assault.

That the party was aware of an allegation of sexual assault against Dykstra came to light in a report at macleans.ca.

Scheer says he can’t comment on that decision but if the party was made aware of such an allegation today, the individual would be removed as a candidate until an investigation was completed.

Scheer calls the allegations about Dykstra disturbing and says there’s no place for such conduct in the political system.

Dykstra has not returned a request for comment on the allegations; he lost his seat in the 2015 election and went on to become president of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, a position from which he resigned over the weekend just ahead of the Maclean’s story publication.