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Calgary UCP MLA Devinder Toor Fined $15k for Funding Violations

MLA Devinder Toor represents the Calgary-Falconridge area and has been fined $15,000 by Elections Alberta for funding violations. The United Conservative backbencher is accused of accepting corporate donations and filing false statements.

Toor was penalized for fundraising and spending infractions in the 2019 election and as a candidate for the party nomination. The MLA faces ten separate but related violations, which include exceeding expense limits. Toor is also accused of accepting a prohibited contribution from a numbered company - a company for which the MLA is a director. The company, 2082146 Alberta Ltd., for which the MLA is a director, has also been fined $4,500 for donating to the campaigns.

Elections Canada records indicate that for his time as a provincial candidate, Devinder Toor faces the following charges:

  • Accepting a prohibited contribution from a corporation of which he was a director, in the form of use of property.

  • Exceeding expense limits.

  • Filing a false financial statement with the chief electoral officer.

Additionally, Toor is accused of borrowing money from a “party other than a financial institution”. According to Elections Canada, in addition to exceeding expense limits and filing false statements with the chief electoral officer, Toor also committed the following violations prior to the election when campaigning as the UCP candidate in the northeast Calgary riding:

  • Accepting a prohibited contribution from a corporation of which he was a director, in the form of use of property.

  • Failing to deposit contributions into the account on record with the chief financial officer.

Toor also allowed a person other than his chief financial officer to accept donations which violates election campaigning rules. In his riding, Toor won the constituency seat over the NDP candidate Parmeet Singh Boparai by 91 votes. It is his first time serving as an MLA.

Now, rival NDP MLA hopefuls are calling on Toor to resign amid the accusations. The NDP’s statement says that the infractions by Toor were a conscious effort to circumvent the rules. The NDP has called into question Devinder Toor’s fitness for public office and his integrity. Rachel Notley, the leader of Alberta’s NDP party, Tweeted that Toor must resign: “This is an unacceptable violation of our election laws. I feel sorry for the other Albertans, regardless of their party, that put their names forward to represent the people of Calgary-Falconridge. I call on @jkenney [Jason Kenney] to join me in calling for Devinder Toor’s immediate resignation. #ableg #yyc #abpoli

Devinder Toor’s financial officer, Sahib Bhakri, who worked alongside the politician on both campaigns, also faces fines of $14,000 by Elections Canada for failure to keep proper records and filing false statements.

NDP deputy leader Sarah Hoffman stated, "Mr. Toor must resign, and Jason Kenney needs to eject him immediately from the government caucus for this corrupt behaviour. This is not a simple mistake. These are willful, deliberate breaches of election laws that call into question Mr. Toor's integrity and his ability to hold the public's trust. Albertans should be outraged at this level of sleaziness and corruption in Jason Kenney's UCP caucus. Jason Kenney must send a clear message that this corrupt behaviour is unacceptable, and he must do it today."

Toor was previously accused of abusing labour laws during the 2019 campaign in Alberta. According to a statement obtained from an alleged former employee, Toor withheld wages from foreign temporary workers. Despite NDP’s call for the UCP to address the former employee’s affidavit, UCP did not expand upon the accusations.

Toor has stated that he is fully willing to participate in the current investigation by Elections Canada. He said, “I should have done better to oversee full and complete compliance with the election finance laws. The fault ultimately rests with me.”

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