Former Simcoe North Liberal candidate, Gerry Hawes, has been charged with child pornography offences following a four-month investigation, as reported by OrilliaMatters.com.
The Ontario Provincial Police say Hawes was charged on Thursday after a search warrant was executed at a residence in Orillia on May 5. He was charged with both child pornography possession and accessing child pornography.
Hawes ran unsuccessfully as the Liberal candidate for the Simcoe North riding in the 2019 federal election.
He has no current role in the organization or its riding associations, according to the party.
“While the Simcoe North Federal Liberal Association and the Liberal Party of Canada had no previous knowledge of these charges, they are deeply troubling to local volunteers and the community, and the party takes the matter very seriously,” Liberal party spokesperson Matteo Rossi said in a statement.
Hawes is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Orillia on Aug. 25.
Global News reached out to Hawes for comment but did not immediately receive a response.