Former Surrey MP and wife fined after pleading guilty to tax charges

Former Surrey MP and wife fined after pleading guilty to tax charges

SURREY — Former Surrey Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal and his wife Roni have both pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the Income Tax Act.

"I have learned from this mistake," he told the Now on Tuesday. "My main concern was correcting an outstanding wrong."

Roni was originally charged with 14 counts but pleaded guilty to five and was fined $5,000, while Sukh had been charged with six but pleaded guilty to three. His fine was $3,000.

The matter was dealt with in Surrey provincial court this week. Dhaliwal said he’s glad to "move on forward" after having this hang over himself and his wife.

The Now asked him if he’ll run for public office again.

"Honestly I can’t answer that question at this moment," he replied.

Dhaliwal had dropped out of the last provincial election race, as the BC Liberals’ MLA candidate for Surrey-Panorama Ridge, after the charges were laid. "I want to make sure I take care of the outstanding matters that are in front of the courts," he said at the time.

Veteran Surrey city councillor then ran in his place and won the seat for the Liberals.

Dhaliwal had been the Liberal MP for Newton-North Delta from 2006 to 2011, when the NDP’s Jinny Sims defeated him.

Dhaliwal said he didn’t want this matter to be a distraction for the governing Liberal party as it headed into the May 14 election.

Asked if the party brass had pushed him to quit, he replied "absolutely not. It’s my decision, and my family’s decision, and that’s what I’m making."

Dhaliwal said he wasn’t aware of the charges until after he was acclaimed candidate. "There’s no tax evasion, just income tax filing," he said.

The charges were laid in connection with Genko Consultants Inc., a holding company connected with buying and selling properties, of which Sukh is president and Roni is the secretary. The couple had failed to file corporate income tax returns for the company.

"There’s nothing sneaky," he said at the time.

tzytaruk@thenownewspaper.com