British Columbia

Heed claims no knowledge of disputed pamphlet

Former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed says he didn't know about a controversial election pamphlet at the centre of an RCMP investigation that has forced him to step down from his cabinet post.

Former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed says he didn't know about a controversial election pamphlet at the centre of an RCMP investigation that has forced him to step down from his cabinet post.

Heed resigned Friday, after revealing he was part of the RCMP investigation prompted by a complaint about the pamphlet sent out to Chinese-Canadian voters in the Vancouver-Fraserview riding in the closing days of last year's provincial campaign.

The mail-out accused the New Democrats of planning to legalize illegal drugs, including heroin and cocaine, and said the party would also consider bringing in an inheritance tax.

"I recall seeing it shortly after the election," said Heed Monday. "It was in some Chinese media. We had nothing to do with it. I had nothing to do with it. The campaign didn't endorse anything of that nature. We never would."

Initial complaint made by NDP

Responsibility for the mail-out has been difficult to determine, Elections BC said Monday.

"We couldn't tell whether it was conducted by a registered sponsor or not because we didn't know who was sponsoring the ad," said spokeswoman Nola Western. "We didn't know whether they were complying with the requirement to be a registered third party sponsor."

Western said Elections BC called police last June to investigate the alleged violation.

The New Democrats said they filed complaints to Elections BC about the financing of the pamphlet.

Heed defeated New Democrat candidate Gabriel Yui by fewer than 750 votes.

If charges are forthcoming in connection with the mail-out, they must be laid before May 12, the one-year anniversary of the election.

Premier Gordon Campbell said he did not know about the election pamphlet until hearing media reports last weekend.

"I'm not going to comment on it," he said. "I'm going to let the RCMP do their job. I think that's what's appropriate."

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