Skip to content

Ward 7 councillor Nav Nanda accused of violating election finance rules

Nav Nanda | Town of Oakville
Nav Nanda | Town of Oakville

Ward 7 town and regional councillor Nav Nanda is accused of spending money on election-related events but not declaring it on her financial statements.

The complaint was filed on June 29 by local realtor Gobinder (Gobe) Randhawa, who is asking for a compliance audit of Nanda’s campaign finances.

The request will be considered by the town’s Municipal Election Compliance Audit committee at a meeting on Aug. 1.

Nanda was elected for her first term during October’s municipal election, defeating incumbent Ward 7 councillor Pavan Parmar.

In the complaint filed with the town, Randhawa says “significant discrepancies” in Nanda’s campaign finances “warrant further investigation.”

He says that photos and postings on Nanda’s social media documented a campaign kick off event held at Boston Pizza, as well as a breakfast meeting prior to advance voting.

But Nanda’s financial statements don’t declare any expenses for hosting events during the election period, “casting doubt on the accuracy of her financial disclosures,” says the written complaint.

Randhawa’s complaint includes screenshots of now-deleted posts from Nanda’s social media feeds.

“It is particularly noteworthy that she selectively deleted certain posts from her social media accounts, raising additional doubts about her motives for concealing these meetings.”

The complaint adds that Nanda failed to disclose any campaign expenses occurred for phone and internet charges.

“Even though the costs may be minimal, the failure to report such expenses would constitute a violation of the (Municipal Elections) Act,” says Randhawa.

“It is essential to ensure that all campaign-related expenditures are accurately disclosed, regardless of their size. This raises concerns about the completeness and accuracy of Ms. Nanda’s financial statements.”

Randhawa is connected to Zumin Real Estate brokerage and to broker Gurkirat (Garry) Rai, a donor who contributed $1,200 to Pavan Parmar’s campaign.

Nanda describes him as “a key member of my opponent’s campaign team.”

“Our democracy is based on systems of checks and balances to ensure fairness in our electoral system,” she said, in an emailed statement provided to Oakville News.

“Any resident of Oakville can make compliance audit requests, regardless of the motive. I believe in these processes because they make our democracy stronger and am happy to provide any information that may be required to confirm that our campaign complied with all electoral laws.”

Randhawa was not available for an interview prior to publication.

Both Randhawa and Nanda will have a chance to speak to the matter when the committee considers the complaint.

If the committee grants the request for a compliance audit, it will appoint an auditor to scrutinize Nanda’s campaign finances.

Any violation would result in an auditor’s report that would be provided only to the clerk, committee, Nanda and Randhawa. The committee would then have 30 days to decide whether to start legal proceedings for violation of the rules.

The compliance audit committee is a joint committee shared by Halton region and its four municipalities.

Under terms of the Municipal Elections Act, it must be composed of between three and seven members.

Members cannot be employees, councillors, candidates or registered third parties in Halton, Oakville, Burlington, Milton or Halton Hills.

In the past, the committee has been staffed by auditors, accountants, lawyers, academics and other people with an understanding of the municipal election campaign financing rules. Members are paid a retainer of $400 and a per diem of $250 per meeting.

The current committee was picked by a selection committee made up of the clerks of all five municipalities. Details on the committee’s members were not available at publication time.

We can’t keep Oakville News free for those who can’t afford it without your support. If you are already donating, thank you. If not, please click here to donate: