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Liberal MP-elect George Chahal for Calgary under police investigation

George Chahal, ex-city councillor, ran for the Liberals in the riding of Calgary Skyview and won, defeating Conservative incumbent Jag Sahota on Monday.

However, it has come to light that the day before the election, he was captured on a doorbell camera 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. "The report has been directed to our Anti-Corruption Unit that handles investigations of a sensitive nature or involving a public official," read a statement from the spokesperson.

"We are in the very early stages of the investigation and at this point we have not yet determined if the investigation will remain with CPS or be transitioned to another investigative body, such as Elections Canada."

Chahal's campaign has stated that they were not aware of the investigation. "Neither George or the campaign have been contacted by the Calgary Police Service and we have not been made aware of any ongoing investigation related to this matter," said campaign manager Randall Zalazar in an email. "The commission has just become aware that there is an investigation into [Coun.] Chahal's alleged conduct during the campaign and will need to consider any steps to be taken," Heather Spicer, executive director and legal counsel for the Calgary Police Commission, said in an email.

Zalazar said Chahal will remain a councillor and a commissioner until he is sworn in as a member of Parliament.

"He has not participated in the work of the Calgary Police Commission since the last public meeting [on] June 29, 2021, and has been excused from its work since then," he said.

The punishment is not small potatoes. If charges are laid, Chahal may face a fine of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail.

Lori Williams, professor of political science at Calgary's Mount Royal University, said the investigation is a big hit for the Liberals, who have only two MPs (Chahal included) in the entire province to represent Alberta in the cabinet.

"When you know there are questions around the judgment of an MP-elect before cabinet selections have been made, it's much less likely that they'll be chosen for cabinet unless the investigation shows there's nothing to worry about, no charges will be laid, no offence being considered," she said. "Unless that sort of information comes up in time for the cabinet picks, this is likely to disqualify George Chahal from membership in the cabinet."

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