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Sukh Dhaliwal Resigns At Ill-Advised Press Conference Following Failure To File Tax Returns Controversy

It Remains To Be Seen If This Is The Death Knell For Dhaliwal Politically Or Will He Rise From The Ashes!

The news of former MP Sukh Dhaliwal’s resignation as BC Liberal candidate for Surrey-Panorama came as a shock to everyone but his press conference to announce it was ill advised as the mainstream media was ready to pounce on Dhaliwal and they did just that, asking him how could a veteran politician ignore something as important as tax filing and that too for so many years. And also why did he not act when he was served with the CRA notice in August 2011

By R. Paul Dhillon

SURREY – On Friday Premier Christy Clark put one of her star Indo-Canadian candidates under review following charges of failing to file corporate tax returns for one of his companies but with media pressure swirling over the controversy or direct pressure from his friend the Premier – embattled Surrey-Panorama candidate Sukh Dhaliwal called it quits at an ill-advised press conference where mainstream media piranhas were ready to tear Dhaliwal from limb to limb.

Sometimes if you are in such a mess politically – it’s better to just resign via a press release and minimize the damage but Dhaliwal wanted to be sincere and a brave BC Liberal party soldier and wanted to resign publicly in a gesture that he was doing the right thing and keeping his new party above his person failings in deciding to resign.

But a veteran politician should know that the mainstream media doesn’t care about you resigning – for them that is not the story – the story is that you didn’t file the return when you had several years to do so and you continually ignored CRA warnings, including being served with paper in August 2011.

After giving his emotional goodbye – Dhaliwal couldn’t take the heat from questions from such media luminaries as Kim Bolan and said that is all and headed to the exits – but that is exactly the shot the TV media guys are looking for and they got Dhaliwal on the run which by now most British Columbians have seen on the Friday 6 o’clock and 11 o’clock newscasts.

Warning to other wanna-be and existing politicians – don’t call a press conference where you can’t take the heat. Look at the circumstances that got you there in the first place before you decide to hold court with the media. They are only out for your blood and nothing more and they are looking for suckers like you as it helps get good ratings and public participation in their channels.

That was that as with his resignation, Dhaliwal heads for the political exit provincially as most likely the BC Liberal party will be wiped out after the next election and his friend the Premier would be looking for a media job or something like it.

But does it mean the end of Dhaliwal’s political career or will he rise from the ashes? It’s too early to tell but judging by his bad advisors and some really head-spinning decisions and actions of the former MP – it may be better for him to call it quits from elected politics and go back to being a kingmaker!

Before rumours of his resignation came – the LINK was certain that Dhaliwal would be able to ride out this storm, which seemed to be a product of the mainstream media who wanted Dhaliwal served up on a platter. Dhaliwal himself deserves much of the blame for this mess as he served up this turkey beautifully for the media to chew on and on. But he did admit that he was not in charge of the company’s affairs and his own taxes and his main company’s taxes were up to date. And he did take responsibility for the mess and said he is doing everything in his power to get it cleared.

Earlier Friday, sources close to the situation told the LINK that the review of his candidacy was strictly a formality by the party to satisfy the media and make it look like Clark takes such matters seriously but that Dhaliwal will end up keeping his candidacy after the legal dust settles as he is too important an Indo-Canadian candidate for the Premier to lose.

Just how important Dhaliwal is to Clark was evident when she attended his fundraiser in Surrey last weekend, where her only asset – her smug smile – was ever present as she took pictures with practically every table in the house and was presented with a sword by Dhlaiwal’s campaign.

Dhaliwal is currently facing six counts of failing to abide by the Income Tax Act in allegedly failing to file returns for a company he runs with his wife. His wife is also facing charges.

Dhaliwal, a former Liberal MP for Newton-North Delta who lost to NDP’s Jinny Sims in a close race in the last federal election, has declared that he intends to stay on as a candidate in Surrey-Panorama. a riding that is currently held by BC Liberal Stephanie Cadieux, who plans to run in former Finance Minister and BC Liberal leadership looser Kevin Falcon’s riding next door.

Dhaliwal has said that he made a mistake in trusting other people to run the company where he and his wife are listed as the sole directors, but he said his taxes on his own company and his personal taxes are up to date. He said he is taking full responsibility and is working to resolve the situation

“The only time that I heard about these charges was after I became the candidate so the party knows about it now,” Dhaliwal told CKNW.

When he was asked if paying his taxes might be a better solution than a court battle, Dhaliwal said it is better to let his accountant and lawyers handle this matter as it is already before the courts.

” I am working with my accountants and lawyers and they are the ones you know who are suggesting and I will follow the process,” he said.

Dhaliwal’s tax troubles grow out of a company called Genco Consultants Inc., which failed to file tax returns for six years.

The indictment reads that Dhaliwal “being director of Genco Consultants Inc… did unlawfully direct authorize, assent to, acquiesce in or participate in Genco Consultant Inc.’s failure to file a completed Corporate Income Tax Return on Form T2” for the years 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

“I relied on others to make sure the company was in good standing in regards to taxes and other matters,” Dhaliwal told the Surrey Leader. “That was my mistake, I am the director, so I take full responsibility, and I’m working to resolve these matters through the proper channels.”

While he may not have been in charge of daily operations, the indictment states a “notice of requirement was served personally on him on August 24, 2011…”

Asked why he didn’t file the back years’ taxes at that point, he said the matter is complicated.

“This company is reliant on many other things, and it’s before the courts and I cannot say that right now,” Dhaliwal said. “I can’t comment any further.” Roni is secretary of Genco. She is facing 14 charges under the Income Tax Act, according to court documents.

Both Sukh and Roni were arraigned Dec. 17, and appeared in court on Thursday to fix a date. Their next court date is Feb. 21.

The maximum penalties under the act for the offence are a $ 25,000 fine and a year in jail.

With News Files

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