Illegal election flyers might have hurt NDP campaign
Published Monday, April 12, 2010 1:21PM PDT
The man who blew the whistle on B.C.'s latest political scandal says that an illegal campaign pamphlet could have cost his candidate the election.
Dwaine Martin was the NDP's campaign manager in former solictor-general Kash Heed's Vancouver-Fraserview riding in the 2009 election.
Less than a week before voters headed to the polls, Martin noticed a Chinese-language pamphlet being distributed in the riding.
"I filed the complaint the moment that I found the piece of literature that was about to be distributed," he told CTV News.
The pamphlet linked the NDP with prominent criminals, and warned that the party would support, among other things, legalizing heroin and instituting an inheritance tax.
"The accusations made were so over the top," Martin said.
He believes that the pamphlet could have discouraged some people from voting.
"Going into the final week of the campaign, our numbers were very good," he said. "It was going to be the Chinese vote that would make the difference."
NDP candidate Gabriel Yiu lost the seat to Heed by fewer than 800 votes.
But what concerns police is what wasn't printed on the pamphlets -- by law, campaign advertising materials must state who funded them.
That's why the RCMP are investigating whether Heed's campaign had any connection to the pamphlets -- news that prompted him to resign his office Friday.
Heed has spent the weekend insisting his election team did nothing wrong.
"I know very little about this, and really can't comment on it," he said on Saturday. "I've done nothing wrong and I'll fully cooperate with the police."
CTV News has tried to reach Heed's former campaign manager Barinder Sall, but his phone number is no longer working.
Dinesh Khanna, owner of North American Mailing Services, the company that sent out the flyers, would not comment on who ordered them or who paid for them.
As for Martin, he just wants police to get to the bottom of this myster.
"I would like to see the people responsible be made accountable. This severely impacted the voters' choices in Vancouver-Fraserview.
The RCMP expect to issue a report on their investigation to Crown Counsel by June.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Stephen Smart