UPDATE: Oakville Regional and Town Councillor Refuses to Step Down After In-Laws Charged by OPP
In a previous inhalton article, it was noted that three Oakville residents are facing alleged charges following a municipal election investigation.
According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Anti-Rackets Branch (ARB), three residents of Oakville have been charged following an investigation into irregularities under the Municipal Elections Act.
Two of the three accused people are Nanak Parmar, and Nirmal Parmar - Pavan Parmar's, Ward 7 Regional and Town Councillor in Oakville, in-laws.
A past Ward 7 Regional Councillor candidate, Shahrez Daniyal Hayder, who ran against Parmar in the 2018 Oakville municipal election has released a statement regarding the matter. In his statement, Hayder notes that Parmar should step aside or resign until the matter is resolved in a court of law.
"Until this matter is resolved in a court of law, it is incumbent upon Ms. Parmar to either resign or step aside," reads Hayder's statement. "Ms. Parmar's continued presence on town council while these charges are being prosecuted, where she will likely be called as a witness, and as the investigation into voting irregularities continues is not in the interest of Ward 7 residents."
However, Parmar has also released a statement regarding the matter.
“The people of Oakville Ward 7 elected me as their Regional & Town Councillor and I will continue to represent them," Parmar said. "With respect to the charges against my mother and father-in-law, I was never contacted by the police as a part of this investigation. My in-laws lived with me well before the election and before I even decided to run for office."
"They provided invaluable support to me and my family with my newborn son," Parmar continued. "They had every right to vote in Ward 7 - the ward they resided in when they casted their votes. I understand the unsuccessful candidate would like a ‘do-over’ as he was the second place candidate, but that’s just not how the democratic process works."
"We ran a clean campaign and my election came with a clear and definitive margin of victory. I am confident that when the full facts are brought to light, these charges will be not be sustained and then everyone can focus on issues that matter to my constituents and to the people of Oakville," Parmar said.
All three of the accused are scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice - Provincial Offences on Palladium Way in Burlington on June 24, 2019.
We will provide updates as they become available.
Screenshots are courtesy of the Shahrez Daniyal Hayder - Oakville Regional Councillor Candidate, Ward 7 Facebook page.
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