While the mainstream media has all but forgiven recently elected Liberal porch pirate George Chahal, Conservatives in parliament haven’t forgotten.
“During the election, the member from Calgary Skyview was caught on a doorbell camera and has been accused of not just removing campaign literature from Conservative candidate Jag Sahota but replacing it with his own piece that provided wrong information about a polling location,” CPC MP John Brassard told Parliament on November 24.
“The member is facing a $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail during an investigation that is continuing from the Commissioner of Canada Elections,” he continues.
“Even with the low bar on ethics and conduct set by the Liberals and, indeed, the Prime Minister over the last six years, does the Prime Minister think that this type of action from a member of his caucus is acceptable?”
In October, The Counter Signal’s Keean Bexte got the chance to confront Chahal over the investigation into his actions while campaigning as he was heading into CTV News’ HQ in Calgary.
“Mr. Chahal,” reporter Keean Bexte began, “could you tell me from how many houses did you steal election campaign material? How many houses was it, and were you targeting specifically houses that had conservative lawn signs?”
Chahal said nothing and scrambled to cover his face with a mask, clearly disturbed by the confrontation after hiding for over a month.
“Did you just make up the polling location that you sent Conservative voters to,” Bexte asked Chahal as he hurried away. “Would you call that voter suppression?”
“That’s what many are calling it,” Bexte explained, “and they’re saying you only won the election because you suppressed the vote. Could you elaborate just a little bit because I’m sure your friends at CTV are not going to be asking you these questions?”
Again, silence. Chahal’s friends at CTV News barely mentioned the scandal, either; though, Chahal would admit that stealing his opponent’s election material “was a dumb mistake.”
The investigation into Chahal, which The Counter Signal covered extensively, came after a video captured by homeowner Glenn Pennet shows Chahal approaching the house in northeast Calgary, checking the mailbox, seeing that a Conservative poster was taped to the voter’s door, allegedly removing said poster before replacing it with his material and walking away.
Pennett spoke with The Counter Signal on September 22 and confirmed that he was filing a police report, which he subsequently did.
“And that’s him,” Pennett said, referring to the video of Chahal. “And that’s the sheet from Jag. And then he’s putting this [Liberal flyer] under my [door].”
Pennett also says that the only reason he can think of that Chahal targeted his house was that he is not a Liberal supporter, having voted Conservative ever since he had the opportunity and supporting Jag Sahota in the last election.
The Counter Signal also spoke with many of Pennett’s neighbours who say that they never received Sahota’s campaign literature, despite proudly hosting her sign on their lawns.
Whether Chahal removed their campaign literature, too, is currently unknown but not unlikely.
Having been forced to respond due to the overwhelming evidence, Chahal’s campaign admitted that Chahal took the flyer and replaced it with his own but said that he did this because his opponent’s flyer contained misinformation.
“While dropping off polling info flyers prior to polls opening on Election Day, George removed a piece of campaign literature that identified an incorrect polling location for the person residing at the address,” wrote campaign manager Randall Zalazar.
“All through Election Day, campaign volunteers found incorrectly labelled materials across the eastern side of the riding. Our campaign contacted Elections Canada and advised them of the issue.”
However, the video tells a different story. Indeed, Chahal barely looks at his opponent’s campaign literature before replacing it with his own.
Sahota, who spoke with the Sun following the incident, said she is “shocked” and “disappointed” with the video.
“If you watch the video, he made no attempt to look at the pamphlet,” she said.
Moreover, during our interview, Pennett showed The Counter Signal the new election material, directing Pennett to vote at Saint Clare Elementary School — the wrong location given his address.
“And actually, that isn’t even a voting station,” continued Pennett. “People have emailed me and told me that it isn’t a voting station.”
“[Jag’s poster] just reminded me to go to vote, reminded me to vote, and where to vote, which is a Catholic school just around the corner from here,” explained Pennett.
“And this here — if you look at that — Coventry is 9.6 kilometres North of me. And, then, that’s not even a polling station.”
The Counter Signal investigated this issue and found that, indeed, Pennett’s polling station is at a different school just around the corner.
Moreover, Sahota provided her election material, which does, in fact, contain the correct polling information.
All facts point towards Chahal being guilty of what he’s accused of doing, but few are hopeful that justice will be served. After all, it’s a member of Justin Trudeau’s caucus being investigated by a Trudeau-appointed Commissioner.