Vaughn Palmer: ‘Vindication’ for NDP political staffer
VICTORIA — NDP political staffer and school trustee Gurveen Dhaliwal is off the hook for scrutineering an election where she was also a candidate, after saying she did not know it was against the law to do so.
Special prosecutor John Gordon concluded that Dhaliwal had “likely contravened” the Local Government Act when she briefly stepped in as a scrutineer in the same election where she was running for school trustee.
The act says that “other than for the purposes of voting, a candidate must not be present at a voting place while proceedings are being conducted.”
Nevertheless, Gordon decided that it was not in the public interest for Dhaliwal to be charged with violating the rule. He gave several reasons, including that “the offence was committed as a result of a genuine mistake or misunderstanding of fact.”
Dhaliwal told a police investigation that “she was unaware that, as a candidate, she was prohibited from being present at the voting place for any purpose other than casting her own ballot.”