Kitchener Centre Liberal candidate Raj Saini denies allegations of inappropriate behaviour

Kitchener Centre Liberal candidate Raj Saini issued a statement Tuesday denying allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

"I have never acted inappropriately towards staff or constituents," Saini said in the statement.

The incumbent candidate said he has only been made aware of one allegation against his office.

"The individual chose not to pursue a formal or informal complaint process," he said. "Upon learning of this, I insisted an independent third-party review of my office take place through the House of Commons. The outcome of that review, which was completed in June 2020, found that nothing arose regarding concerns of harassment in the office."

Saini also said he passed the file onto Waterloo regional police after the House of Commons raised concerns about his personal safety and the safety of his staff.

He added police took action to "mediate the situation" and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

"Protecting my staff and ensuring they are respected is not something I take lightly," Saini said. "As you can appreciate, I can’t discuss specifics regarding this matter, in order to protect the privacy of all those involved."

A second statement was also issued Tuesday, attributed to Saini's current female and male staff.

"Raj has consistently treated us with the utmost respect and professionalism, regardless of gender or background," the statement reads. "The claims made are wholly inconsistent with our extensive experience working for Raj, both personally experienced as well as witnessed in his interactions with other staff, volunteers, and our community."

At a press conference on Tuesday, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was asked why Saini was approved as a candidate in light of the existence of allegations.

"I have said that Mr. Saini has shared the processes; there have been rigorous processes undertaken that he has shared the details of. We know that it is extremely important to take any allegations seriously, which we certainly have and we always will because everyone deserves a safe workplace," Trudeau said.