Dosanjh questions rival's ties to man in Air India case
Published Saturday, April 23, 2011 6:15PM PDT
Vancouver South Liberal candidate Ujjal Dosanjh has asked Elections Canada to investigate any potential wrongdoing after his Conservative rival was endorsed by a man who was acquitted of charges in the Air India bombings.
The complaint claims candidate Wai Young and Ripudaman Singh Malik together urged parents and teachers to support her campaign at a meeting at the BC Khalsa School on April 6.
The school is run by the Satnam Education Society of BC, a registered charity that Malik helps govern. The Canadian Revenue Agency states that charities must not "engage in any partisan political activity" that directly or indirectly supports or opposes any party or candidate.
Dosanjh questioned both the legality of the endorsement and Young's judgment for appearing with Malik.
"It is offensive to Canadians when you have a mainstream political candidate actually seeking, or accepting, the endorsement of a man who has admitted ties and links to Air India bombers," he said.
Young responded Friday evening with a statement confirming she visited the school, but denying political ties to Malik.
"No one involved with this school or Ripudaman Singh Malik is involved in my campaign nor have I ever asked for his support," Young wrote.
"The Khalsa School was one of several schools which I toured and spoke at, both private and public. These have been excellent opportunities for the students and parents to engage in the democratic process."
Malik has admitted to providing financial assistance to the family of Inderjit Singh Reyat, who pled guilty in 2003 of supplying bomb parts that exploded aboard Air India Flight 182. He is the only man to have been convicted in the bombing.
The Satnam Education Society received more than $7.8-million from the provincial government in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, according to documents filed with the CRA.
"Having a meeting at the Khalsa School, run by the charity, endorsing Wai Young … I believe that violates the law," Dosanjh said.
His complaint, which was also sent to the CRA and the B.C. Ministry of Education, also suggests the school may have been used to call Vancouver South voters "for advance polls for, and on behalf of Wai Young" this week.
It requests an immediate investigation into the meeting, as well as any potential subsequent use of the school for campaign purposes.
The Vancouver South riding promises a tight race in the May 2 federal election. Dosanjh squeaked by in the last election by a mere 20 votes.