August 04, 2015 - 12:59 PM
KAMLOOPS – Coun. Arjun Singh has been accused of a conflict of interest following a recent vote on whether to impose a buffer between liquor vendors, something he strongly denies.
Singh participated in a public hearing, July 28, to decide the fate of a motion that could have seen the city enact a one-kilometre buffer between liquor vendors.
Someone has accused the councillor of conflict of interest because his brother-in-law Al Deacon owns Fox'n Hounds Pub and Fox'n Hounds Sahali Liquor Store. Singh finds the allegations baseless and says he consulted with city staff the day after the vote, who assured him his relation to Deacon did not put him in conflict of interest.
“I’m not too sure how it’s a conflict of interest when you vote the opposite way… the person wants you to,” Singh notes.
The motion was voted down after an evenly split vote, with Singh among the ‘no’ votes. The buffer was something most small liquor vendors were lobbying for.
The community charter, which governs all processes of city council, states a conflict of interest is “a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the matter, or another interest in the matter that constitutes a conflict of interest.” Pecuniary interest is defined as a likelihood of financial loss or gain.
As the owner of a liquor store Mayor Peter Milobar did have a direct conflict of interest in this matter and he did not participate in any meeting or discussions on the matter, vote on the question or attempt to influence his fellow council members on the motion.
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