An investigation has been launched into an incident involving Liberal MP-elect George Chahal, Calgary police confirm.
Chahal, formerly a city councillor, ran for the Liberals in the riding of Calgary Skyview and captured the sole non-Conservative seat in the city from incumbent Jag Sahota on Monday.
He was captured on a doorbell camera the day before the election removing one of Sahota’s campaign flyers and replacing it with one of his own.
A Calgary police spokesperson confirmed that a complaint was received Thursday and the anti-corruption unit is now investigating.
Campaigns allege flyers had incorrect info
The Chahal campaign has said the brochure was taken because it contained the wrong polling location.
In a written statement sent to CBC News earlier this week, Chahal’s campaign manager Randall Zalazar said: “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.
WATCH | Video shows Chahal removing flyer from Calgary home:
“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.”
Zalazar has not yet responded to CBC News requests for comment on the investigation.
But the Sahota campaign, as well as the homeowner who captured the footage, said that wasn’t the case.
Glenn Pennett, the homeowner, says it was Chahal’s flyer that had the incorrect information.
CBC News contacted both Elections Canada and the Commissioner of Canada Elections on Wednesday to get clarification around the rules if a candidate removes an opponent’s campaign materials and to confirm that incorrectly labelled materials had been reported by Chahal’s campaign.
Penalties could include fine, jail time
Elections Canada responded that if there was a contravention of the Canada Elections Act, it would be up to the Commissioner of Canada Elections to investigate and decide.
The office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections says it won’t confirm if it has received a complaint or started an investigation.
It says the Canada Elections Act contains a section on impairing or preventing the transmission of election advertising, which includes defacing or removing election signs or other election advertisements.
If charges were laid by the commissioner, possible penalties set out in the act include a fine of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail.
The commissioner can also use informal means to resolve a complaint, like a caution or information letter.