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Elections BC turned advertising over to RCMP

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The RCMP investigation involving former Solicitor General Kash Heed is related to a brochure that was distributed during the provincial election campaign, the Tyee has learned.

“We did forward an issue to the RCMP,” said Nola Western, Elections B.C.'s executive director in charge of electoral finance and corporate administration. “We did not know at that time it had anything to do with Kash Heed or any other candidate.”

Heed announced today he is stepping down as the minister of public safety and solicitor general during an RCMP investigation into an Elections Act violation.

Under the Elections Act any election advertising has to include the name and contact information for a registered sponsor. During the election a brochure came to Elections B.C.'s attention that had no sponsorship information on it, said Western.

While it didn't mention any particular candidate, she said, “They were brochures that were very critical of the NDP.”

Heed's NDP opponent in Vancouver-Fraserview was Gabriel Yiu. Yiu did not respond to a phone message by publishing time, but the Tyee reached Helen Lim who volunteered on his campaign. She said she remembered the brochure well.

“I threw mine away,” she said. “We were really upset.”

The brochures were written in both Chinese and English, she said. “The Chinese was worse than the English.” It alleged that Yiu and the NDP supported an inheritance or death tax, something that wasn't true, she said. “That to Chinese people is very taboo.”

The brochures also incorrectly said the NDP would force everyone to join unions and people who did not join unions would not be allowed to work, she said.

“I am confident that I have done nothing wrong,” said Heed's statement. “I fully support the RCMP's efforts and will be co-operating fully with the investigation.”

Heed will continue to represent his constituents as an MLA and Attorney General Michael de Jong will act as Solicitor General.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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