Several candidates running for election in the three North Shore ridings have been sanctioned – most in relatively minor ways – after brushes with the legal system, a check of court records has revealed.
The most public of those is NDP candidate Svend Robinson’s guilty plea and conditional discharge after he admitted stealing an expensive ring at an auction in 2004 when he was still an NDP MP.
Robinson acknowledged his actions at the time, citing mental health difficulties, and was given a discharge after completing 100 hours of community service.
Today Robinson – who is running for the NDP in Burnaby North-Seymour – is open about what happened, but says the 15-year-old incident is not a concern for voters he meets on the doorstep.
“I dealt with the issue very comprehensively,” he said. “It’s not an issue.”
Robinson said he hopes voters will look at his overall history including years of public service rather than judging on one mistake.
According to court records, Liberal candidate Patrick Weiler, who is running in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, was charged when he was 18 with impaired driving in West Vancouver, in May 2004. Weiler pleaded not guilty to that, but did plead guilty in August 2005 to a “lesser and included” Motor Vehicle Act charge of driving without due care and attention in relation to the same incident.
He paid a fine of $600, a victim fine surcharge of $90 and was banned from driving for five months.
Contacted by the North Shore News, Weiler sent an emailed statement.
"Fifteen years ago, when I was eighteen years old, I paid a fine for a motor vehicle violation. I did something irresponsible that I deeply regret and I faced the consequences. I should not have done it. I have learned from that experience and have never done anything like that again. I am a very different person today, than who I was fifteen years ago," he wrote.
Independent candidate Terry Grimwood, who is also running in the West Vancouver Sunshine Coast Sea to Sky riding, was charged in 2011 with criminal harassment in Sechelt but the charge was later dropped after Grimwood agreed to enter a peace bond.
A peace bond usually includes conditions to stay away from certain people and obey certain conditions.
Grimwood told the North Shore News the incident involved him contacting friends and family of someone he believed had a mental illness. That person did not want his help, he said.
Other candidates running on the North Shore have also dealt with Motor Vehicle Act violations.
Andrew Saxton, running for the Conservatives in North Vancouver, was originally handed a Motor Vehicle Act ticket for driving without due car and attention following an incident in North Vancouver on April 16, 2018 after he accidentally struck a boy walking to school after making a U-turn into a driveway to avoid construction traffic.
The boy who was struck at low speed, was taken to hospital but not seriously injured, according to police reports at the time.
Saxton later paid a $167 fine for a lesser and included Motor Vehicle Act ticket of failing to yield to a pedestrian.
Trevor Ford, Saxton’s campaign manager, confirmed Saxton had been ticketed for a “two-pointer” traffic incident. “He did not contest it and promptly paid the $167 fine,” said Ford.
Also showing up in public records were speeding tickets that have been handed to Liberal candidate Terry Beech, running in Burnaby North-Seymour, for Green Party candidate Dana Taylor, running in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, and for North Vancouver People’s Party candidate Azmairnin Jadavji.
Usually records for traffic violations do not show up in public records unless an individual indicates at some point that they plan to dispute the ticket.
Terry Beech also paid a $120 fine for contravening a Canadian National Parks regulation in Port Renfrew in 2005.
In an email, Beech said the fine was for hiking the West Coast Trail a week before it officially opened. Beech said the group he was with were told by many other hikers that they regularly hiked the trail off season "but when we completed the trail the park rangers met us at the last river crossing and advised us not to do it again."