British Columbia

Heed claimed ignorance of campaign laws

Former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed told police he knew nothing about election campaign laws before a scandal forced him from office, CBC News has learned.

Former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed told police he knew nothing about election campaigning or the laws regulating it before a scandal forced him from office, according to documents obtained by CBC News.

Heed — the Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview — left the cabinet in April following allegations his campaign violated election regulations with illegal advertising during the run-up to the May 2009 election.

Since the controversy became public, Heed has maintained he knew nothing about alleged offences by his campaign workers.

According a search warrant executed during the investigation to the documents, Heed told police in May that:

  • He wasn't sure how Barinder Sall became his campaign manager and didn't know his title.
  • He had no idea how election campaigns were run and didn't know who was responsible for what.
  • He didn't know who was in charge of printing his campaign pamphlets.
  • He hadn't read the B.C. Election Act.

But Heed did tell police he turned over campaign donations to Barinder Sall, who faces a number of charges including obstruction of justice and violating the Elections Act.

Two others charged

The RCMP allege Sall was part of an elaborate scheme to circulate illegal election advertising targeting Chinese-speaking voters in Heed's riding, and to cover up the activity.

Heed's campaign financial agent, Satpal Johl, is also charged, as is Dinesh Khanna, who runs a Metro Vancouver bulk-mailing business.

The 121-page search warrant shows the RCMP spent weeks following leads, searching cell phone records and interviewing campaign workers.

Nothing in the warrant appears to implicate the former solicitor general personally in any campaign violations.

Heed, a former RCMP officer and one-time West Vancouver police chief, declined to comment on any aspect of the case while it is before the courts.

Heed was re-appointed solicitor general May 4, but had to turn down the appointment 24 hours later — before he was sworn in — after it was learned that the law firm of the special prosecutor investigating Heed had contributed $17,000 to the B.C. Liberals for the May 2009 campaign.

With files from the CBC's Jeff Davies