By: Laura Steiner
Milton Progressive Conservative (PC) Candidate Parm Gill has said he held back party memberships during the lead-up to the party’s nomination meeting last June. The admission came in an hour-long audio posted to the website “The Post Millennial” on Thursday.
“Even in the Muslim Community, they helped me sign members. And I held those members back as soon as Rashid was in. I did not submit those,” he said. ‘Rashid’ refers to the third candidate Rashid Qadri in the nomination contest that took place June 18, 2017.
In a nomination race, the goal for candidates is to sign up as many members as possible. The PC Party has memberships going up to as high as five years. A 1-year is $10, 2 year is $20, 3 year is $30, 4 year is $40, and a 5-year is $50. Gill claimed to have as many as 1,000 members, and several hundred came out to support him in Milton. The other candidate in the race was Milton Councillor Mike Cluett.
The nomination meeting was one of many clouded in controversy for the party. Reports of fraud circulated after Faisal Elahi said he’d received a letter enabling him to vote, but he hadn’t paid for it. Elahi was at the time a member of the federal Liberal Party’s Milton Riding Executive. The meeting itself was troubled by reports of intimidation.
Gill Offers Qadri “Chief-Of Staff” Position
Gill also appealed to Qadri to drop out, and offered him a position as Chief-of Staff in exchange. “The opportunities are limitless, but it’s what interests you.” Gill said.
This is a potential offense under section 96.1 of the Ontario Elections Act. It reads: “No person shall, directly or indirectly, give, procure, or promise or agree to procure an office or employment to induce a person to become a candidate, refrain from becoming a candidate or withdraw his or her candidacy.”
Parm Gill has issued a statement denying these allegations. It reads in part: “Three experts, including a former Police Chief, a lawyer and Retired Police Sargent independently arrived at the conclusion that there was no wrongdoing on Mr. Gill’s part. It was pointed out that Mr. Gill’s conduct was professional and beyond reproach. The Former Police Chief wondered why the individual would record the conversation in the first place. It is unfortunate that these false allegations from 2016 are brought forward three weeks before an election having already been proven false.”
Two Ontario Liberal operatives faced charges for similar offenses in relation to the 2015 Sudbury by-election. Gerry Lougheed, and Pat Sorbara were accused of offering candidate Andrew Olivier a position if he dropped out of the race. They were acquitted of those charges in October, 2017. To hear the full audio click here