Special prosecutor appointed in senior NDP health advisor Gurveen Dhaliwal alleged elections violation case

0
114

VICTORIA, BC: The BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) has announced appointment of John M. Gordon KC as Special Prosecutor in relation to an investigation of an election candidate, Gurveen Dhaliwal, who was ultimately elected as a member of the Board of Education for New Westminster Schools.
Dhaliwal is being investigated for possibly breaking election rules by being present at a voting place as a scrutineer, which the Local Government Act prohibits, as candidates are only allowed at polling stations to vote on election day.
On May 1, 2023, Ms. Dhaliwal was appointed as a ministerial advisor to the Minister of Health.
The Service said in a press release that Assistant Deputy Attorney General Peter Juk KC (ADAG) appointed Gordon under section 7 of the Crown Counsel Act because he considered it in the public interest to do so. “The appointment of a Special Prosecutor is intended to avoid any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice considering the nature of the allegations and the identity of the accused as an elected public official and a political appointee.”
Gordon is a senior Vancouver lawyer in private practice. He was given a mandate to provide legal advice to the investigators as may be necessary, conduct any related charge assessment, and assume conduct of the prosecution if any charge is approved.
Official Opposition BC United MLA Peter Milobar welcomed the appointment to investigate the matter of whether this senior health advisor to the NDP violated the Local Government Act last year.
“It is deeply troubling that the NDP saw fit to promote this staffer to a Ministerial Advisor position in the Ministry of Health even after these allegations were made public,” said Milobar.
On Saturday news conference, Premier Eby told reporters that Dhaliwal has been “immediately” placed on administrative leave.
“At this point, it’s in the hands of the special prosecutor and certainly we’ll continue to monitor the situation,” he said.