Heed’s reappointment
is height of arrogance

An editorial in the Vancouver Province, May 5, 2010


It’s outrageous that Kash Heed has been reinstated as solicitor-general while his top political advisors are facing charges related to alleged illegal spending during his campaign and a subsequent coverup.

Not only must the ex-police chief not be in cabinet while the case against his campaign manager, financial agent and a third man is before the courts — and the subject of a continuing police investigation — there is a chance Heed could lose his job as an MLA over the whole sorry mess.

Under the Election Act, any candidate whose expenses exceed the $70,000 allowed during a campaign “ceases to hold office” and their seat “becomes vacant” unless they apply to the court within 120 days of the election and admit their error.

Heed’s campaign manager, Barinder Sall — now facing charges of obstruction of justice, submitting a fraudulent document, obstructing election officials and improper election advertising — reported to Elections B.C. last May that Heed’s campaign expenses totalled $63,203. In August, he amended the figure to $60,762. And now we know financial agent Satpal Johl is accused of not disclosing the cost of an illegal, dirty-tricks bulk mail-out to the Chinese community in Heed’s riding that some have suggested could have cost $10,000.

Heed won the riding by just 748 votes. If it turns out he exceeded his spending limit, a byelection must be called. But even if he keeps his seat, surely we need people in cabinet with a better eye for detail and ability to manage staff than this.