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Heed risks losing seat over election expenses

Vancouver-Fraserview MLA Kash Heed resigns as public safety minister last year after election spending violations were found. - Tom Fletcher/Black Press
Vancouver-Fraserview MLA Kash Heed resigns as public safety minister last year after election spending violations were found.
— image credit: Tom Fletcher/Black Press

VICTORIA – Former public safety minister Kash Heed went over the election spending limit in his 2009 campaign in Vancouver-Fraserview, according to court documents produced Tuesday by the NDP opposition.

After an Elections BC audit discovered expenses over the limit by $4,135.70, acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James made several demands for updated financial information on the campaign, the documents show.

In a letter to Heed Dec. 2, James granted a final extension and warned Heed his next step is to recommend the seat be vacated if he doesn't comply.

A special prosecutor is still reviewing the case, after charges of Elections Act violations were laid against two of Heed's campaign officials related to unauthorized campaign pamphlets distributed to voters in Vancouver-Fraserview.

On Christmas eve, Heed's lawyer applied to the B.C. Supreme Court, asking for relief from a demand he file updated financial information. In an affidavit, Heed says he depended on his official agent Barinder Singh Sall and financial agent Satpal Johl to handle campaign funds and comply with the rules.

Sall, Johl and Dinesh Khanna, whose print shop produced the anonymous brochures, were charged in May 2010 with violating the Elections Act. Sall and Khanna also face Criminal Code charges for obstruction of justice and creating a false document, while Johl is charged with a single count of making a false election finance report.

The documents do not indicate if the excess expenses are related to the brochures, or some other expenditure of the campaign.

Interim NDP leader Dawn Black released the documents at the legislature Tuesday. She called on Heed and the B.C. Liberal Party to follow the same election rules, and file the new information demanded by Elections BC.

Heed should "show some respect for the people of his community" and either comply with the rules or resign his seat, Black said.

Heed has not commented publicly since RCMP search warrant applications were made public this month, alleging that Heed didn't tell investigators the whole story when he was interviewed about the campaign brochures and how they were paid for.

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