Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon has been cleared of wrongdoing over accusations he was in a conflict of interest by being a member of the legislature's all-party ride sharing committee, while his father owns a Bluebird cab in Victoria.
Acting Conflict of Interest Commissioner Lynn Smith ruled Kahlon “was neither in a conflict of interest nor in an apparent conflict of interest” and also commended him for “withdrawing from the committee’s work while the facts were investigated.”
The ruling also states Kahlon’s finances are separate from his father and that he has no financial interest in his father’s taxi business or the taxi industry.
Kahlon in a statement noted, “I work hard to represent my constituents with integrity, and that’s why I took the initiative to write to the Commissioner. I am pleased that the Commissioner has rejected this baseless BC Liberal attack on my family. It’s disappointing to see Andrew Wilkinson spend his time making stuff up instead of trying to make life better for British Columbians.”
B.C.’s conflict commissioner earlier this year was asked by the opposition Liberals to get involved and rule on the perceived conflict of interest involving Kahlon, pointing out he was a member of the committee while his father owned a cab company.
“This member serves on the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations, which is shaping and influencing recommendations to the Legislative Assembly regarding ride hailing— yet his father holds a taxi license with Bluebird Cabs in Victoria,” said Jordan Sturdy, Official Opposition Critic for Transportation, at the time. “This certainly seems inappropriate.”
Kahlon denied being in a conflict of interest, noting at the time all decisions will be made by the minister and cabinet.
On the Delta Optimist’s Facebook page, he explained, “I would like to be clear. This is a committee that is responsible for crown corporations. We have been asked to consult and make recommendations on ride hailing. I was on the last committee that recommended legislation to bring in ride hailing. Our committee does not decide the rules.”