Photo shows Premier Horgan, Surrey politicians with convicted gunman

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner says she didn’t know Maninder Gill would be attending private event

A photo of Councillor Tom Gill (second from left) at the same event with Maninder Gill (far left).

A photo of Premier John Horgan, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner and Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims with a convicted gunman is generating heat for the politicians.

The picture shows the politicians posing with former Radio India managing director Maninder Gill at a private residence. Gill was sentenced to four years in jail for a shooting that took place outside a wedding at a Sikh temple in 2010. Gill is appealing the conviction.

READ MORE: Four years in jail for former managing director of Radio India

The photo was taken at a private event hosted by Kulwant Dhesi. Dhesi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hepner said she attended the event as a guest and posing with Gill was “a mistake.” She said she didn’t consult with anyone prior to attending and wasn’t made aware of the guest list.

“People just said, ‘Come in, come in, take a picture.’ And I didn’t pay enough attention as I should have given that I know Maninder Gill and it’s not my intention to give a mixed message because I’m very clear about how passionately I feel about gun violence…. It’s heading into silly season, so I do have to be a bit more careful with whom I’m being photographed.”

Hepner said she looked at the event as an opportunity to speak with Premier Horgan.

“Kulwant Deshi called me and asked me to attend a function with the Premier. I did see it as an opportunity as the mayor to start creating a good kind of relationship when he’s in my city. So off I went.”

If she knew who was in the photo, she wouldn’t have been in it, she stressed.

Hepner said she also said she didn’t pay to attend and no one said it was a fundraiser.

“I didn’t stay for dinner,” she added.

Sims, who is standing right in front of Gill in the photo, has released a statement saying she, too, was unaware of the guest list, or that Maninder Gill would be in attendance.

“Anyone who knows me understands that I abhor violence. I have spent my life fighting against violence of all types,” said Sims in her statement. “Maninder Gill was convicted of a very serious crime that I do not condone in any way. He should not have been there.”

Surrey Councillors Mike Starchuk and Tom Gill were also at the event.

Tom Gill was also photographed with Maninder Gill, who is the brother of Tom Gill’s mother-in-law.

He was not immediately available for comment.

Tom Gill was sued by Surrey businessman Harjit Atwal over comments Maninder Gill made to the Surrey Leader about the violent 2010 incident that Maninder was convicted in. Atwal was shot in the thigh outside a wedding at Newton’s Guru Nanak temple.

There were rumours in 2015 that the case had just been settled out of court, and at the time, Tom Gill said it would be “premature” to comment.

READ MORE: Taxpayers will pay for Gill’s legal bills in defamation suit

amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The photo circulating of politicians posing with convicted gunman Maninder Gill (fifth from the left).

Just Posted

Chernove set to take on epic 1,000 kilometre cycling challenge

A local Paralympian is taking on an epic cycling challenge. Tristen Chernove… Continue reading

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Cranbrook RCMP looking for vehicle, driver involved in hit and run

RCMP are looking for the owner of a white Toyota Corolla that fled the scene

Cranbrook Cenotaph names get a touch-up

Legion members repaint 166 names, marking three wars, for the first time in monument’s history

BookNotes: The Australian prison colony’s first lending library

The books brought over by various officers proved quite popular with the convicts

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read