Poll asks whether Vancouver Mayor and Malik should have been on same stage
Over the last 48 hours a lot has been written in the media about Vancouver South Conservative candidate Wai Young. She attended an event and was subsequently endorsed by Ripudaman Singh Malik, the man acquitted for the terrible Air India bombings that killed hundreds of innocent victims. Her political opponent Ujjal Dosanjh has filed several complaints with government officials stating the endorsement of the Khalsa school was inappropriate.
Now a photo of Mayor Gregor Robertson and Malik taken on March 13, 2010 has surfaced. The Mayor along with Vancouver NDP MLA Mable Elmore can be seen in the photo. We're advised that just prior to this photo, both the Mayor and councillor Raymond Louie (also in attendance) shook the hands of Malik in plain view of those in attendance.
Mayor Gregor also took the time to tweet out about the event whereby he stated:
celebrated khalsa school re-opening, amazing community rally to rebuild since fire last summer. kudos 2 school board too!
Investigators believed that Ripudaman Singh Malik was the man who bankrolled the bombings. He faced eight counts – the same charges that his co-accused Ajaib Singh Bagri faced. The verdict was the same – not guilty on all counts.
Just last week Malik was making headlines again when the BC government won the right to sue him to recover legal fees relating to the Air India bombing trial. According to the Sun:
Thursday's ruling by Canada's highest court paves the way for the B.C. government to recoup $5.8 million paid for Malik's legal fees and interest after a funding agreement was reached on the eve of the historic Air India terrorism trial in 2003.
At the time, Malik and co-accused Ajaib Singh Bagri were accused of killing 331 people in twin bombings on June 23, 1985 targeting Air India.
Needless to say, Young's alleged connection to Malik is generating front-page headlines while Mayor Gregor's photo not so much. Here is a copy of Young's statement to the media:
I was invited to visit the Khalsa School by the school’s Principal, not Ripudaman Singh Malik. Had I known he would have been present or was involved with the school I never would have attended. No one involved with this school or Ripudaman Singh Malik is involved in my campaign nor have I ever asked for his support. I strongly stand against terrorism and support the strong leadership by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government to fight terrorism.
Throughout my campaign, I have met with as many constituents as possible so they can meet and learn about me in order to make an informed choice in this election. The Khalsa School was one of several schools which I toured and spoke at, both private and public. These have been excellent opportunities for the students and parents to engage in the democratic process and to learn more about myself, as the Candidate for the Conservative Party in Vancouver South.
What do you think? Are the two politicians being treated differently? Is it okay for the Mayor to attend an event with Malik as long as it relates to something charitable? Take a minute to fill out our online poll and let us know what you think.
UPDATE Mon @ 10:15 PM: Federal Liberal candidate Ujjal Dosanjh was on CTV News and Global TV News tonight speaking out about politicians and what they should know about Ripudaman Singh Malik. Dosanjh tells Global TV:
The fact is you have to live in a cave or on some other planet to not know who Mr. Malik is if you are politically at all conscious. And if you are running for public office you can't be that ignorant about public issues.
UPDATE Tue @ 8:31 PM: CBC Television did an excellent story on the Malik/Robertson on stage appearance. You can view it here. Robertson is now claiming he never shook hands with Malik while Anton claims he did so in plain view of the audience. Who is telling the truth?
Jeff Lee over at the Vancouver Sun has also filed this story. So far they are the only MSM to cover this story.
- Post by Daniel. Follow us on Twitter @CityCaucus.