Parm Gill, the PC candidate for Milton, is facing questions of alleged bribery after a recording surfaced implicating he had urged a fellow PC nominee to withdraw from consideration in exchange for a chief of staff position.
The verified recording, which was reportedly sent to PC headquarters in 2016, featured Gill, former nominee Rashid Qadri, and two unidentified people discussing a wide array of issues, including Gill’s background as a PC insider with ties to former leader, Patrick Brown.
At one point the conversation focuses on the ancillary possibilities if Qadri were to drop out of the race.
“You tell me, what is it that interests you, moving forward. How can I be helpful, moving forward and I will do anything I can.”
Gill then says “The opportunities are limitless, but it’s what interests you.”
“The other possibility to kind of really get in and learn a lot of the stuff really quickly is let’s assume we form a government and you become a chief of staff.”
“And the chiefs of staff are actually paid really decently believe it or not, almost at the same pay grade as the MPPs…”
According to Elections Ontario, it is illegal to offer a plum position to a potential candidate in exchange for dropping out of a nomination race.
This type of deal-making could be considered bribery at which point it would be a prosecutable offence.
Sources also indicate the PC executive had considered sending the tape to the local authorities to determine whether or not an actual bribe had been offered, but ultimately decided to handle the matter internally.
Qadri sent a letter to then PC President Rick Dykstra, as well as other members of the PC executive, but it took months before they decided against taking action against Gill.
The investigation is undergoing.