Party favours?

Public Eye has uncovered yet another connection between the Campbell administration and Vancouver-Fraserview MLA Kash Heed's controversial former campaign coordinator. According to records obtained via a freedom of information request, Barinder Sall was invited to two exclusive 2010 Winter Olympic Games receptions hosted by the government. But the government has said it doesn't know how he came to be on that VIP list. Mr. Sall was recently charged under the Criminal Code and the Election Act following a RCMP investigation into possible offences involving Heed's 2009 election campaign office. Mr. Heed - who has denied any wrongdoing and not been charged - has repeatedly declined or been unavailable to discuss his relationship with Mr. Sall.

But, in June, we learned Mr. Sall was promoting then West Vancouver chief constable in the media as early as 2007, telling a talk show host he could also arrange interviews with several members of the government - including Premier Gordon Campbell.

Now, we've obtained internal records showing Mr. Sall made the invite list for two events celebrating the opening and closing of the Games.

VIPs and community members, as well as former Olympic competitors and their families attended those events - which took place at the British Columbia Pavilion on the fourth floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

MLAs from both parties - including Mr. Heed - were also invited, with the government expecting 300 to 325 guests for the first event on February 12 and 425 to 525 for the second on February 28.

Among the expected: Mr. Sall.

Asked how Mr. Sall came to be on the invite list, a government spokesperson stated since the "names of invited guests came from many sources almost six months ago, it's not possible at this time to ascertain from where or from whom guests name was submitted."

According to the spokesperson, those sources included the Olympic Games secretariat, the ministry of small business, technology and economic development, "business and community leaders," as well as "public servants who were assigned to Olympic-related duties."

The six charges against Mr. Sall relate to the publication and financing of controversial anti-New Democrat, Chinese-language pamphlets distributed in Vancouver-Fraserview during that campaign. Those pamphlets had no sponsorship information on them, a violation of the Election Act.

At the same time those charges were laid, special prosecutor Terrence Robertson cleared Mr. Heed because "there was no evidence of actual knowledge on his part and no evidence that reasonable diligence would have made him aware of any of the offences that have been charged against other people involved in the campaign."

But a day later, on May 4, Mr. Robertson stepped aside after disclosing his law firm had contributed $1,000 to Mr. Heed's bid for public office.

His successor, Peter Wilson, is now conducting a "fresh independent" charge assessment.

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