Jinny Sims Denies “Fired” Ex-Staffer’s Claims About Money For Reference Letters And Other Accusations

Minister of Citizens Services Jinny Sims responded Wednesday, strongly denying all the accusations which include writing visa support letters for 10 Pakistanis on behalf of her supporter Rabina Sattar (Fired staffer Kate Gillie alleges that Rabina Sattar told her that each Pakistani was paying $10,000 for the letters), circumventing privacy laws through private emails and allegedly doing favours for an Indo-Canadian developer Gurdeep “Goldie” Dhaliwal in exchange for campaign donations (practically every politician including much of the BC Liberal caucus, has been or can be accused of doing this). Sims added that the Opposition appears to be raising this because they have nothing more substantive to talk about at the moment. “Our government continues to work hard to make life better for people in B.C,” she said.

By DESIBUZZCanada Staff

SURREY – BC Minister of Citizens Services Jinny Sims recently came under attack from the opposition BC Liberals over unsubstantiated allegations that she was taking money for writing reference letters for Pakistanis who were later found to be on a security watch list.

Sims responded Wednesday, strongly denying all the accusations which include writing visa support letters for 10 Pakistanis on behalf of her supporter Rabina Sattar (Fired staffer Kate Gillie alleges that Rabina Sattar told her that each Pakistani was paying $10,000 for the letters), circumventing privacy laws through private emails and allegedly doing favours for an Indo-Canadian developer Gurdeep “Goldie” Dhaliwal in exchange for campaign donations (practically every politician including much of the BC Liberal caucus, has been or can be accused of doing this)..

“I wrote a letter, but no money was ever discussed. As an MP, I used to write these letters,” Sims told reporters after Question Period where Opposition grilled her on the accusations.

Sims said she never received any money for the letters. Visa support letters are common practice, she said, but she admitted it was a mistake to include her job title. “In this case, I knew some of the people who were coming,” she said.

These and other allegation came from a letter written by an ex-employee Kate Gillie, who charged that staff were told to never admit the use of personal email for ministerial business as “we have to protect the minister.”

It’s also alleged that the use of channels including personal email addresses, iMessage and WhatsApp was meant to skirt B.C.’s Freedom of Information rules.

“That is a load of nonsense. A load of nonsense. I follow the rules,” Sims said. “In that very same letter, the privacy commissioner stated, ‘For your information the FIPPA – Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act – does not apply to MLAs or the office of a person who is an MLA.”

Sims added that it’s her job to help her constituents and she follows the rules.

“These allegations are completely untrue. I follow the rules and best practices on records management and advise my staff to as well. I help people in our community because it is my job as a representative. I do not take money for it and I’m offended that anyone would suggest otherwise,” Sims said

Sims said this matter is related to a challenging HR situation regarding a former employee and due to privacy she can’t get into further details.

“When the letter was received in March after her (ex-staff) employment had ended, the claims she made were reviewed and there was no evidence to support them. The issue was dealt with by Caucus as she was not a government employee,” she said.

“Ministers use their government account for government business and legislative account for legislative or constituency business. That is how the system is meant to work and that is what I explained to staff. That’s appropriate. I use my government email for government business and I do not use Whatsapp for government work.”

The privacy commissioner’s office has confirmed it’s reviewing a letter related to the issue.

Lawyer for Sims’ fired employee, Kate Gillie, said his client isn’t speaking to media but says she’s a principled woman who wants to do the right thing.

Gillie in her letter makes loads of colour accusations including calling local beautician Mindy Bansal an unqualified Executive Assistant who threw temper tantrums at her and was only hired to brush up Sims’ online image. She also warned MP John Aldag not to write support letters for Sims’ people.

Sims added that the Opposition appears to be raising this because they have nothing more substantive to talk about at the moment.

“Our government continues to work hard to make life better for people in B.C,” she said.

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