A pair of candidates in the upcoming civic election have been before the courts in the past decade, The Leader has learned.
Kuljinder Singh Gill, who changed his name to Gill 22 for the ballot, was found guilty of uttering threats and mischief under $5,000 in July, 2004. He was also charged with assault the same year, and was found guilty of breach of his probation order.
He served two weeks in Surrey Pretrial Services Centre for the offenses.
“Those are the serious ones (charges), those are going to give me negative feedback for sure,” Gill said Tuesday. “In the past, I have had a negative side.”
He is now married with children, and said he realizes being on the wrong side of the law is not the way to live his life. He is in a recovery program and has taken anger management classes, Gill said.
The 31-year-old says he’s learned from personal experience that youth need more activities in the city.
“Here the kids are shooting each other. Why can’t we do something more positive, like paintball or laser guns, or batting cages and roller hockey?” Gill said.
His past, he said, gives him a range of experience those currently on council don’t have.
Another candidate with a colourful history is former Surrey councillor Gary Robinson, who left office in 1999 after The Leader reported he had been battling a cocaine addiction.
In the years after he left politics, Robinson had a few brushes with the law, including an assault charge, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of stolen property. There are no charges after 2002.
Robinson, now five-and-a-half years clean and sober, helps others overcome their addictions.
Like Gill, Robinson said he’s bringing a wealth of experience to his run for council that none other can.
“(The charges were) part of the addiction and it’s part of the reason I’m running – to help other people that may go through the same thing to understand they can get out of it and success is possible,” Robinson said.
The theft, he said, occurred when he took meat from a Safeway store.
“When you’re in the throes of addiction, and all the money you have goes to maintaining addiction, you end up doing things you wouldn’t normally do,” Robinson said. “I actually ended up stealing some food.”
The rest of the candidates in the upcoming election show no record of appearing before the courts, save for some minor traffic tickets for speeding or other infractions.
Under the Local Government Act, a candidate can seek public office as long as they are not incarcerated on the day they are to take office.
The municipal election is being held Saturday, Nov. 19.