Dr. Allison Patton Photo by Dan Denis
BY RATTAN MALL
DR. Allison Patton, former B.C. Conservative Party constituency association president of Surrey-White Rock, confirmed to Asian Journal earlier this week that she will run as an independent candidate from Surrey-Panorama.
Patton, a naturopathic physician who co-founded the Mountainview Wellness Centre in Surrey, told me different surveys carried out in that riding give her the confidence that she could win against the then-B.C. Liberal candidate Sukh Dhaliwal (who stepped down on Friday afternoon because of party pressure after the Vancouver Sun revealed on Wednesday night that he was facing tax evasion charges) and the NDP candidate Amrik Mahil.
The riding is currently held by Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development, who will be running in Surrey-Cloverdale in the May election.
The Liberals will now be in a veritable dilemma about whom to select as their candidate from Surrey-Panorama. They may even try to desperately woo Patton.
SOURCES told Asian Journal that the Liberal Party asked Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, to act as the enforcer on Thursday night to make Dhaliwal step down to save the party any further embarrassment and damage.
But Dhaliwal reportedly stubbornly resisted. The party then issued the following press release on Friday morning:
“At the direction of BC Liberal leader Christy Clark, the Candidate Approval Subcommittee of the Provincial Election Readiness Committee is reviewing Sukh Dhaliwal’s candidacy.
Premier Christy Clark is no longer holding Sukh Dhaliwal’s hands! Photo by Chandra Bodalia
“Mr. Dhaliwal disclosed his legal situation to party officials on Wednesday, February 6th. Since that time, he has provided information and background on this issue, which the Candidate Approval Subcommittee is reviewing.”
Dhaliwal apparently then realized that the game was over and sent out emails to the media that stated: “In response to news reports over the past 48 hours, BC Liberal candidate for Surrey-Panorama Sukh Dhaliwal will have a statement regarding his current legal situation.”
At the press conference in Surrey he announced he was stepping down and the party then emailed the media the following press release:
“Sukh Dhaliwal has informed the BC Liberal Party that he is withdrawing as the candidate in Surrey-Panorama.
““I would like to thank Sukh for his commitment to the Party and our leader,” said BC Liberal Party president Sharon White.
“The Provincial Election Readiness committee will consult with the Surrey-Panorama constituency association regarding the timing of a new candidate selection meeting.
““We will be moving ahead soon with nominations throughout Surrey and look forward to announcing our full Surrey team,” said White.”
THE Vancouver Sun’s revelation on Thursday that Dhaliwal is facing six charges under the Income Tax Act for failing to file returns for Genco Consultants Inc. of which he is president couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Liberal Party that seems to find it very hard to get good South Asian candidates and that has lost a lot of goodwill and credibility in the community because of the disgraceful way it dumped Abbotsford Councillor Moe Gill.
Many South Asians are angry that Dhaliwal hid the facts from his party and noted that too many South Asians from both the Liberal Party and the NDP have disgraced themselves and the community by being too ambitious even though they were aware of unsavoury personal facts about themselves that would cause problems.
In any case, Dhaliwal’s popularity in the South Asian community was limited. He was defeated by Jinny Sims in the Newton-North Delta federal riding in 2011.
The Sun’s Kim Bolan was the first to report (on Wednesday night on the newspaper’s website) that the charges were sworn by a Surrey justice of peace on October 15, 2012, and Dhaliwal made a first appearance in Surrey Provincial Court on November 26 and was arraigned on December 17.
Dhaliwals’ wife, Roni, is listed as secretary in the corporate documents; no other director is named.
Dhaliwal was “served personally” with a notice of requirement to file on August 24, 2011. The indictment states that he “did unlawfully direct, authorize, assent to, acquiesce in or participate in Genco Consultant’s failure to file a completed Corporate Income Tax Return or T2” and there is separate count for each of the years 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Dhaliwal has told media that this case has nothing to do with his personal taxes or his own business, Dhaliwal & Associates Surveying.
Many in the community feel that people like Dhaliwal and B.C. Liberal campaign bosses Mike McDonald and Bruce Burley have brought disgrace on the South Asian community.
PATTON told Asian Journal earlier this week that she will be filing her nomination papers next week.
Patton expects support from the constituents because “some of the ideas that we are going to be putting forward are linked more to representing the people and the concerns of the people.”
She added: “So that’s the support we are going to be looking forward to, those individuals who want to support someone who cares about what their issues are specifically for that community.”
Patton was born in Tsawwassen and then moved to Victoria where she lived for 20 years. She earned her B.Sc. Honours in biochemistry and psychology from the University of Victoria. She went on to graduate from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and became licensed as a naturopathic physician.
In 2002, she co-founded the Mountainview Wellness Centre and is involved in all aspects of running the business. She is also a first line therapy lifestyle consultant, a speaker at a host of events every year and is the online women’s health expert for Choices Market.
In 2010, Patton completed her MBA with a specialization in leadership at Royal Roads in 2010 and was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal for the most outstanding thesis or major project at the university in 2010 at the convocation. She is
currently working on completing her Canadian Securities Course through the Canadian Securities Institute.
PATTON’S platform includes:
* To promote and in all ways endeavor to bring to and improve good governance to the lives of the citizens and to the institutions of government in British Columbia.
* To undertake good government activism and articulate a vision of open, honest government in British Columbia through pragmatic means that confronts cynicism, cronyism, corruption and unethical behavior with equal force.
* To foster campaign finance reform and ethics reform in all levels of government in British Columbia.
* To act with integrity and honesty; dedicated to serving and being responsible to the voters of the Surrey-Panorama.
* To put the interests of the voters and this constituency first and to not in any way be beholden to, controlled by or unduly influenced by any social, corporate or trade organizations or other special interest groupings.
* Undertake to achieve social justice through good government by increasing voter participation and knowledge.
* Using rational thinking and common sense, to study, research, evaluate and recommend responsible policies for government based on: fiscal responsibility; the rule of law implemented with fairness and equality; equitable educational opportunities that prepare students for their future; sustainable and responsible environmental practices; advanced, sensible and affordable health care and other social programs; encouragement of manufacturing and resource development; allowing all citizens to enjoy the fruits of their labour and to own private property; the belief that individual enterprise is generally preferable to government intervention; and above all to further equality of opportunity for all citizens of British Columbia.