The B.C. Liberal party is taking a second look at the candidacy of a man considered to be one of the party's top contenders in the May provincial election but who is now charged with failing to file taxes.
Premier Christy Clark has asked members of her party's election readiness committee to review the candidacy of Surrey-Panorama Liberal nominee Sukh Dhaliwal in light of the six counts of failing to comply with the Income Tax Act that he's facing.
"Mr. Dhaliwal disclosed his legal situation to party officials on Wednesday," the party said in a news release. "Since that time, he has provided information and background on this issue, which the candidate approval subcommittee is reviewing."
Court documents show Dhaliwal's first appearance on the charges took place last November, almost one month after the party announced his acclamation in the riding.
Earlier this week, Dhaliwal told a local radio station he made a mistake in trusting other people to run the company where he and his wife are listed as the sole directors, but he said his taxes on his own company and his personal taxes are up to date.
Dhaliwal said he is taking full responsibility and is working to resolve the situation
"The only time that I heard about these charges was after I became the candidate so the party knows about it now," Dhaliwal told CKNW.
Dhaliwal could not be reached for further comment.
The party said the decision for the review was taken at Clark's request, but the news release provided no other details.
He is supposed to run for the Liberals in the riding held by Minister of Children and Families Stephanie Cadieux, who will stay with the party but run in a nearby riding.
Dhaliwal ran unsuccessfully for the federal Liberals in the riding of Newton-North Delta in 2004, but returned two years later, winning a seat in Parliament for two terms before being defeated by the federal NDP's Jinny Sims, a past president of the BC Teachers’ Federation.