Eli Ridder | Report
University of Guelph-Humber alumnus and Progressive Party of Ontario candidate Simmer Sandhu quit his campaign on Wednesday evening citing anonymous allegations just hours after his former employer announced an investigation into a data breach.
Mr. Sandhu, who graduated Guelph-Humber as part of its inaugural business class, won the nomination in December to run for the PC Party in Brampton East and is featured on the university’s website as a notable alumnus.
Sandhu worked for nine years at 407 Express Toll Route as a team leader for collections litigation, the company that owns a toll road through the Greater Toronto Area.
Late on Wednesday, the company said it was informing 60,000 customers that identity information such as their names, mailing addresses and a few phone numbers were stolen from its office during the past year.
In a statement posted via social media, Sandhu said he had “recently been made aware of allegations anonymously made against me pertaining to both my work life and my nomination campaign,” calling the accusations “totally baseless”.
Sandhu made clear that he would “vigorously defend” himself and he is confident he will be found not guilty, without going into detail into exactly what the allegations are.
“However, I feel it is impossible for me to continue as PC candidate in Brampton East while doing so,” explaining that he didn’t want to take attention away from the campaign of the Progressive Conservative campaign.
407 ETR’s investigation into the incident “is being investigated as an inside theft of data”, but the company has not said who is part of the probe.
However, PC spokeswoman Melissa Lantsman said that “in light of the investigation into Simmer Sandhu, he felt it was necessary to stand down as a candidate and we accepted his resignation.”
Liberal campaign co-chair Deb Matthews titled the allegations as “very disturbing” in a written statement released Wednesday evening.
The Progressive Conservative Party named Sudeep Verma as its new candidate in place of Sandhu Simmer in Brampton East.
“I think they are implying he used the customer list to force people in his riding to sign up for the nomination,” an individual involved in the PC Party told The Avro Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
More details to follow.