A downtown Toronto Liberal candidate is in the midst of a $1.5-million lawsuit concerning his pandemic mask manufacturing business, even though the party's national rules forbid the approval of a candidate involved in any sort of potentially controversial litigation.
Before being announced as the Liberal candidate for Spadina—Fort York, Kevin Vuong co-founded the reusable mask company Take Care Supply with Larry Lau during the pandemic. Take Care Supply manufactures their cotton masks in Toronto.
Toronto accessories designer Anna-Maria Mountfort alleges that she and the co-founders had a “handshake deal,” according to which she would become a founder or partner should the three start a mask-making business during the pandemic. Both Vuong and Lau have denied the accusations.
According to a report in the Globe and Mail:
The Liberal Party’s national rules for candidate selection include a section specifically related to lawsuits.
The rules outline nine requirements the party’s green-light committee must consider when deciding whether to approve a candidate.
One of them states that an individual must “have not engaged in any claim, litigation or dispute of any sort which is liable to bring controversy or disrepute upon the qualified nomination contestant or the party.”
Mountfort told the Globe and Mail that a Liberal Party official contacted her about the lawsuit before Vuong's candidacy was announced.
Spadina—Fort York has been held by Liberal MP Adam Vaughan since 2014. Vaughan announced in August of this year that he would not seek reelection, and the Liberals acclaimed Vuong two days before Trudeau called the general election.