Raj Saini’s name will still appear on ballots: Elections Canada

By Aastha Shetty

Former Liberal candidate Raj Saini has pulled out of the race for Kitchener-Centre — but his name will still appear on the ballot this election.

Saini's name will still appear on the ballot simply because he was entered as a nominee before Election Canada's Aug. 30 deadline. It's a formality that will also ensure the Liberal party won't have the opportunity to enter in a new candidate to represent Kitchener-Centre.

During a campaign stop in Markham yesterday, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said Saini was chosen to represent the Liberal Party after a prior investigation, but now, Saini has been dropped as a candidate after new allegations came forward.

Trudeau did not go into detail about what kind of new allegations have surfaced, but he is promising that new, stricter processes will be put in place to investigate those allegations.

“There really isn't a better answer to be had than 'we've put into place new, stronger processes than have ever been placed before and in every situation, we will make sure we are following them as best we can.'”

He said it is “far from ideal” that there is no longer a Liberal candidate to represent the Kitchener-Centre riding. He says there needs to be a more rigorous process that can be applied in many different situations.

“We can only apply that process and reflect on 'are there ways to improve that process?' and I can't even talk about the details about what was put forward, what happened in this allegation and what happened in that allegation. Suffice it to say, we had a process that was rigorously followed – which is an unsatisfactory answer and I understand people being angry about it. I'm pretty frustrated about the whole thing myself.”

He confirmed Saini will not be a part of the Liberal Party caucus regardless of whether or not he wins race in Kitchener-Centre.

“The choice on what actually happens on these complaints is, quite rightly, on the complainants themselves. If they don't want to pursue a further investigation or follow-ups, we still have ways of doing reviews that we will make sure are done – because absolutely, we need to learn from this situation.”

570 NEWS has confirmed with Elections Canada that Saini's name will still appear on the ballot, so any votes for Saini in Kitchener-Centre will still count.

If Saini does win in Kitchener-Centre, he will have the option to resign from his seat — at which point a by-election will be called.

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