Garry Thind, Liberal MLA candidate for Surrey-Fleetwood. (Submitted photo)

Surrey Liberal candidate wants apology after no evidence of corrupt voting found

Garry Thind calling on NDP and its local MLA candidates Ravi Kahlon and Jagrup Brar to apologize

Surrey-Fleetwood Liberal MLA candidate Garry Thind is demanding an apology from the NDP and two of its local MLA candidates after the NDP called on Elections BC to investigate “voter fraud allegations” involving his campaign.

Elections BC has found no evidence of corrupt voting in Surrey-Fleetwood after the NDP claimed last week that a campaign organizer for the Liberal party candidate Garry Thind allegedly solicited personal information from voters to request mail-in ballots over the internet. Ravi Kahlon, NDP incumbent and MLA candidate for Delta North, raised the issue during a presser Sept. 30 in Newton.

READ ALSO UPDATE: NDP asks Elections BC to investigate Liberal voter fraud allegations in Surrey-Fleetwood

Andrew Watson, communications director for Elections BC, said Saturday it has concluded its investigation and “found no evidence that corrupt voting has occurred.”

Watson said the investigation included “interviewing all identified parties, reviewing material obtained from all parties, and analyzing vote-by-mail package request data. No evidence of improper vote-by-mail package requests was found.”

Thind told the Now-Leader on Monday that it was not his campaign’s intention to collect anyone’s information. “It was just to aware people that you go online and do this, and this is information you need.”

“I think Ravi jumped onto it very quickly, Ravi must apologize from my campaign and my volunteers because he jumped onto the conclusion very quickly and blamed on us,” Thind said. “I think that’s bad on Mr. Jagrup Brar’s part as well.”

He said he wants both to apologize, “and the NDP of course because they did a press conference and made it a central issue.

“The intent was not to get anyone’s information,” he stressed. “His intention was just to make aware people this is what you need to order a mail-in ballot. We know this, that you cannot order anyone’s mail-in ballot.”

“I lost four days off my campaign, the morale was down, it affected my family too, my kids too, my children,” Thind said.

Kahlon responded Monday that while he’s “glad” that Elections BC didn’t find anyone had voted illegally,” Elections BC focus was on making sure that no one had actually voted fraudulently and so my belief is that, because this got exposed early, and became public, at this point there’s no proof that somebody actually voted in a fraudulent way.”

homelessphoto

NDP MLA candidate Ravi Kahlon. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Kahlon said on Sept. 30 that his party asked Elections BC to look into “very serious allegations that potentially involves mail-in ballots in the middle of a pandemic.”

The Victoria law firm Allevato Quail and Roy, on behalf of the BC NDP, on Tuesday Sept. 29 requested an “urgent investigation into possible violations of Section 257 –Corrupt Voting of the Elections Act in relation to a coordinated strategy to request mail-in voting packages online and gather votes by Surrey-Fleetwood BC Liberal candidate Garry Thind and his team.”

The law firm’s letter notes that the Corrupt Voting provision of the Act prohibits an individual from “obtaining a ballot in the name of another individual” (at Section 257(1)(e)). It is also an offence under Section 266 to provide false or misleading information when required to make a declaration under the Act. Violations of these provisions can result in monetary penalties, jail time, and disqualification from holding office or voting for seven years.”

“We are gravely concerned about this coordinated strategy,” the law firm’s letter read. “It appears to involve numerous, deliberate violations of the Act, including the corrupt voting and false declaration sections. We request an immediate investigation into these circumstances.”

Kahlon on Wednesday called on the Liberals to “explain what’s going on here.”

Thind is currently on a leave of absence as a Surrey School trustee.

Jagrup Brar, NDP incumbent and MLA candidate for Surrey-Fleetwood, said last week it’s a “very serious matter” and “all BC NDP candidates are concerned and I think the people in British Columbia are also concerned about these allegations.”

“I think I have full faith in Elections BC to fully investigate these matters and to ensure the integrity of this election,” he said. “I think it’s very important that the people of Fleetwood have complete trust in the system. No political party or candidate should ever, ever ask voters for their health card numbers or their social security number because that’s private information of the people. This information could be used to vote on other people’s behalf and that’s a serious, serious matter.”

“We don’t know if it did at this point in time, but that is for Mr. Wilkinson to explain to the people,” Brar said. “I’m getting a lot of phone calls from the people, and people of Fleetwood.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

BC politicsBC Votes 2020Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NEWS FILE PHOTO
Voters in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley may head back to polls in 2021

Election of local politicians in BC vote would trigger by-elections in several Fraser Valley cities

Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society volunteers clean up Aldergrove streams. (Aldergrove Star files)
Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society looking for new members to help protect Aldergrove waterway

The society hopes to hold stream clean-ups and blackberry bush removal events this fall

Coast Spas in Langley was ordered closed by the Fraser Health Authority after 12 staff came down with COVID-19 (undated Google Street View image)
COVID-19 outbreak closes Langley spa manufacturer

Fraser Health reports 12 employees have tested positive

Ferdinand Bredenholler played the last post at the Fort Langley Remembrance Day service in 2019, when a crowd of 6,500 attended. This year, due to the pandemic, organizers are asking the public to follow the ceremonies online rather than attending. (Langley Advance Times file)
A stay-at-home Remembrance Day planned for Fort Langley

Organizers take the annual ceremony online

Pastor Brad Sumner is inviting Halloween trick-or-treaters to visit the Jericho Ridge Community Church for a COVID-compliant celebration. (Courtesy Jericho Ridge Community Church)
VIDEO: A drive-in Halloween at the Jericho Ridge Community Church

A COVID-compliant event for kids on the Langley-Surrey border

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read