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| ||09 05 10
|Criminal record questions loom over candidate |
MetroValley Newspaper Group Thu 07 May 2009
Serious questions have emerged about the background of B.C.
Conservative candidate Gurcharan Singh Dhaliwal in the riding of Abbotsford South, however, neither he nor his party are providing answers.
A court document has emerged that carries the name of a Gurcharan Singh Dhaliwal as having been convicted of possessing a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Dhaliwal's campaign manager, Jaz Shergill, was first asked by The News on Wednesday whether the court documents, which were provided anonymously to The News, were associated to the candidate Gurcharan Dhaliwal.
At that point, Shergill said he had spoken to Dhaliwal, who told him ?I am clean.?
However, further investigation by The News has confirmed that Gucharan Dhaliwal, the candidate, used to live at two Abbotsford residential addresses listed on the court sentencing report, at the approximate time the offence, conviction and sentencing occurred.
The News has made repeated requests through Shergill to meet or speak directly with his candidate, who works in the trucking industry.
Dhaliwal has not made contact.
On Wednesday afternoon, a Black Press reporter confirmed that the court documents anonymously presented to The News were a copy of the original documentation available to the public in Chilliwack Provincial Court. The sentencing report indicates that the subject of the conviction received a 12- month conditional sentence, which included a three-month house curfew, but not a jail term. It carried several conditions, including not being within a mile of the border unless in a delivery truck related to work, and not to be in possession of any marijuana paraphernalia.
The same day, Shergill told The News that Dhaliwal would meet with reporters at the Abbotsford News office. He did not appear.
Later Wednesday, Shergill said Dhaliwal was at the Chilliwack RCMP office and stated subsequently that he was there to file a complaint surrounding ?illegally obtained documents.?
A Black Press reporter met Dhaliwal at the courthouse, and asked him if someone was attempting to launch a smear campaign against him.
At that point, Dhaliwal said ?no comment.?
Dhaliwal was also asked whether he was making a complaint to the police. He gave the same response.
By Wednesday evening, Shergill told The News that Dhaliwal would not be commenting, due to his assertion that the RCMP had started an investigation into the ?illegally obtained documents? and he and Dhaliwal had been advised by police not to say anything.
On Thursday, The News contacted RCMP media liaison Const. Leanne Dunlop. She could not confirm the reason Dhaliwal was at the RCMP office on Wednesday, and would not indicate whether an investigation had been launched.
However, she did confirm that the RCMP would not typically investigate a complaint that surrounds documents that exist in the public domain.
The court sentencing report received by The News is part of court documentation available to the public for viewing upon request. This is normally the case with criminal record conviction information.
The News contacted Wilf Hanni, leader of the B.C. Conservatives, on Wednesday morning. Hanni at that time said he was unaware of the documents but would contact Dhaliwal.
He was unable to do so, but on Thursday morning, Hanni said the Conservative Party's legal counsel had advised that the documents in the possession of The News may have been obtained illegally and for this reason, he could not comment further.
Hanni said he had been told there is an ongoing RCMP investigation, and he would comment after that investigation concludes - whether that be before or after the May 12 election.
Before declaring himself as a candidate, Hanni said Dhaliwal and all other B. C. Conservative candidates completed a form stating they had no criminal record.
?If it comes to light he misled us, we will take the appropriate action,? he said.
As of 12:30 p.m. Thursday, further messages had been left for Shergill, requesting an interview with Dhaliwal. Calls had not been returned.
The B.C. Conservative Party is not affiliated with the federal Conservative Party of Canada.
Abbotsford MP *Ed* *Fast* said Thursday, ?There is absolutely no connection between our federal Conservative government, and the group that calls itself the B.C. Conservatives.?
| ||09 04 27
||Globe and Mail|
|B.C. Liberals' smooth campaign slowed by speeding tickets|
IAN BAILEY and JUSTINE HUNTER
>From Saturday's Globe and Mail
April 24, 2009 at 9:46 PM EDT
VANCOUVER and VICTORIA ? The B.C. Liberal bid for a third term that has proceeded smoothly through the first third of the current election campaign ran into serious trouble Friday with news that the Solicitor-General has had to give up his driver's licence due to unpaid speeding tickets, and the release of an e-mail in which candidate Marc Dalton basically equates homosexuality to pornography.
John van Dongen, the Solicitor-General, has also given up his responsibilities for the Insurance Corporation of B.C. and the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.
The two men apologized in statements and interviews, but the bombshell developments provided political traction for the NDP, who had been having campaign troubles that included the resignation of a candidate who posted saucy photos on Facebook, and blistering attacks on the party from high-profile environmentalists, including David Suzuki, over their opposition to the carbon tax.
The NDP's public safety critic said Mr. van Dongen, should quit. ?He has to go,? said Mike Farnworth. ?He is the province's top cop ? the minister responsible for road safety and the enforcement of the traffic code. It is unacceptable. He has lost all credibility.?
Mr. Campbell, in a late afternoon scrum with reporters, said he thought Friday's revelations would not have a long-lasting impact on the Liberal campaign.
?I think these are legitimate issues for people to raise right, and I think it's how you respond to the issues that makes a difference. I think the campaign is still about British Columbians asking themselves the question about who's best to get us through these challenging times, and get us out on the other side in the strongest possible position,? Mr. Campbell said.
He noted that Mr. Dalton has apologized for his remarks and he understands how hurtful his remarks could be. And Mr. Campbell noted that Mr. van Dongen paid off his parking tickets.
?[Mr. van Dongen has] come forward and says he wants to be open about this. He's carrying on with his responsibilities as solicitor-general because obviously we've got a major initiative to go after a lot of the gangs in British Columbia,? he said.
?I take my hat off to John for bringing this forward and we have taken the actions that are appropriate Early in the morning of Jan. 18, after an all-night sitting of the legislature, Mr. van Dongen climbed in his pick-up truck and raced to catch the 9 a.m. ferry to get home to Abbotsford on the mainland.
He said Friday he doesn't know just how fast he was going when police spotted him on the Patricia Bay highway, but it would have been over 120 kilometres an hour.
?I was hoping to make the ferry,? Mr. van Dongen in an interview after announcing he has been ordered to give up his driver's licence.
The highway has a posted speed limit of 80 kilometres an hour for most of the stretch that connects downtown Victoria with the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay. Excessive speeding means more than 41 km/h above the posted limit.
Mr. van Dongen, who has a lengthy history of speeding, learned on Thursday that he had lost his driver's licence for four months after collecting two tickets for excessive speeding in a short period of time.
?I'm not proud of my record,? he said.
The Liberal candidate for Abbotsford South now must finish the election campaign relying on public transit or having campaign workers chauffeur him around. He said he expects to spend a lot of time in his campaign office making phone calls to constituents until the May 12 election.
He said he cannot recall how many speeding tickets he has collected during his 43 years, but acknowledged he has a ?history of speeding.?
He promised to do better when he is allowed to drive again.
?The law applies to me as it does everyone. I have made a decision to take a defensive driving course, I'm determined to improve my driving.?
Sgt. John Price of the Saanich Police, the detachment responsible for the Patricia Bay highway, said anyone who garners an excessive speeding charge on that stretch of road would stand out.
?They are so noticeable they get reported by other motorists as dangerous drivers, everyone can tell they are travelling way too fast,? he said.
It's not the first time a cabinet minister responsible for traffic safety in B.C. has landed in hot water for a lead foot.
In 1993, the Liberal opposition called for Moe Sihota to give up responsibility for ICBC when it was revealed the New Democratic Party cabinet minister had collected seven speeding tickets in five years.
| ||09 04 26
|Apparently this sitting MLA had a fair number of speeding tickets over the years or some sort of driving issue. Probably shouldnt matter, this is safe Liberal riding either way, might have a minor impact but this is much less worrysome than the guy who talked about homosexuality being an ?addiction? like drugs or alcohol(he is in a swing seat). Then again though it might not even matter in a swing seat(Remember the Premiers DUI? He still won by about 10% last time in spite of that, in a fairly marginal seat for his party)|
| ||09 04 22
|Putnam's 5th rule of predicting BC elections:(post Socred/Reform BC eras): in a riding where the number of churches outnumbers the number of Starbucks', the prediction shall be cast for the BC Liberal Party.|
| ||09 01 12
|Heart of bible belt. There is a better chance of some far-right fringe-party upset then this going to the NDP. Liberal hold.|