LIBERAL MP George Chahal (Calgary Skyview) on Tuesday tweeted: “I have accepted and paid a $500 administrative penalty, as assessed by Elections Canada, for removing a flyer from a front door on September 19, 2021.”
He added: “I want to again apologize and acknowledge my mistake.”
The flyer was reportedly of his opponent, Conservative candidate Jag Sahota.
Chahal, who had been a Calgary city councillor since 2017, was expected to be appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cabinet after his election victory. It is believed that this flyer incident prevented that from happening.
On Tuesday, the Commissioner of Canada Elections’ website announced that an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) of $500 had been imposed on Chahal.
Under the “key facts of violation,” the website stated: “In September 2021, the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections (OCCE) received multiple complaints alleging that, on the evening of September 19, 2021, George Chahal, the then Liberal Party of Canada candidate for the electoral district of Calgary Skyview, removed another candidate’s campaign flyer from a person’s porch and replaced it with his own campaign flyer. These events were recorded by video, taken with a doorbell security camera.”
It said that Chahal admitted to OCCE investigators that he removed the other candidate’s campaign flyer.
It added: “There are therefore reasonable grounds to believe that George Chahal was in violation of subsection 325(1) of the Act, the prohibition against preventing or impairing the transmission of an election advertising message without the consent of a person with authority to authorize its transmission.”
A mitigating factor was that Chahal “provided all reasonable assistance to the Commissioner with respect to the violation” and he and his campaign team “immediately and consistently cooperated with the OCCE investigation.”
“The OCCE also applied an aggravating factor based on the circumstances. The failure for candidates to comply with the rules adopted by Parliament can contribute to a loss of public confidence in the integrity of members of the political class, which may, as a result, increase voter apathy,” the website added.
JOHN Brassard, Conservative Critic for Ethics and Accountable Government, in a statement on Tuesday said: “This is another example of a pattern of lawless behaviour by the Trudeau Liberals in order to further their own political interests. Whether it’s the trip to billionaire island, the SNC scandal, or clam-scam, the Liberals and Trudeau clearly think that the laws in this country don’t apply to them.”
He added: “Canadians need to trust that those in power follow the law. There can’t be two sets of rules, one for Trudeau and his party, and one for the rest of us. Justin Trudeau must now tell Canadians what punishment there will be for Chahal, or if this is just business as usual for a member of his caucus.”
He said: “Canada’s Conservatives will continue to be a voice for those concerned about the continuous Liberal ethics violations, lawbreaking, and lack of accountability by the Trudeau government.”