Saturday, February 09, 2013

Oh what a tangled web we weave: BC Liberal party vetting process failed voters

Update on Dhaliwal story. He has now resigned, but what I am quite unclear about is when did the BC Liberal party find out he was facing the tax evasion charges. Here is a bit of a timeline. 

From 2006 to 2011 - Dhaliwal was a Member of Parliament.This time frame is included in the allegations against him for tax evasion.

Aug. 24, 2011 - Dhaliwal was “served personally” with a notice of requirement to file taxes and allegedly did not comply with order. 

Oct. 15, 2012 - The charges under the Income Tax Act were sworn by a Surrey justice of the peace against Dhaliwal.

Two weeks later, the B.C. Liberals announced that Dhaliwal would be their candidate for Surrey-Panorama in the upcoming provincial election.

Nov. 26, 2012 - Dhaliwal made a first appearance on the charges in Surrey Provincial Court.

Dec. 17, 2012 - Dhaliwal had an arraignment hearing. 

"On or about Dec. 23, 2011, [he] did unlawfully direct, authorize, assent to, acquiesce in or participate in Genco Consultant’s failure to file a completed Corporate Income Tax Return or T2.” This is what the indictment states. This is the same for 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

While all of this is certainly a very big problem for Dhaliwal, the bigger questions that remain are for the BC Liberal party. So, here are the questions I have for the BC Liberal brain trust. 

Is it not part of your vetting process for candidates that you ask them if they are facing any kind of charges, under any kind of legislation? 

Would this not be a prudent question to ask candidates you want to send out to represent your party? 

How would a ball this big get dropped? Is the zeal for a "star" Indo-Canadian candidate that strong that they would overlook such a thing until caught? 

On what exact date did the BC Liberal party "leadership" (and that is being generous) learn about these charges? And if it was when he was being vetted, or at any point before all of this became public, who made the decision to keep him as a candidate?

And, the most important question for voters now: Are there any other BC Liberal candidates facing charges that the BC Liberal party leadership may have decided to turn a blind eye to before May 14th when voters go to the ballot boxes?

Kim Bolan's story reports the following:

B.C. Liberal campaign director Mike McDonald said in an email that Dhaliwal “has made us aware of issues concerning a company in which he is a director and will be keeping us up to date with his progress.”

“He disclosed the matter and has assured the party that he is working to resolve it as expeditiously as possible and fully intends to fulfil any and all obligations,” McDonald said, without providing details of when the party was informed by Dhaliwal.

Here is some footage from Global BC TV's coverage of the story:


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