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

 

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

Just Posted

B.C. Family Day to move to third week in February next year

Premier John Horgan said the move is to better align the holiday with businesses and families

B.C. Health Minister announces plan for new hospital in Terrace

“This means more beds, a level three trauma centre, better surgery and better care,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

B.C. to increase minimum wage to $15.20/hour in 2021

Premier John Horgan says next increase will come in June

$2.5M project underway at BC Ferries terminal in Bella Coola

Construction has started in the $2.5M project to modify the berth at Bella Coola

Winter storm warning issued for the B.C. Interior

Upwards of 50 centimetres of snow could fall over the next two days

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BCHL Today: Langley enjoys home ice while roller coast ride continues for Chilliwack Chiefs

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal government to fight solitary confinement ruling from B.C. court

B.C. Supreme Court decided to end the practice of solitary confinement in Canadian prisons

Hedley withdraws from Junos, plans to discuss ‘how we have let some people down’

Hedley was dropped by their label last week after sexual misconduct accusations

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: B.C. takes home gold in two-man bobsleigh

Women’s hockey team beats Russia 5-0, Comox skier takes home best qualifying score

Most Highway 16 closures for avalanches in years after multiple dumps of snow

Highway 16 has had four closures between Terrace and Prince Rupert due to 35 mile avalanche area

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Most Read