Punjabi councillor in Canada suspended for sexual assault
A Punjabi councillor from the Indian-dominated city of Brampton on the outskirts of Toronto has been suspended following allegations of sexual assault by a woman.
The city council has suspended two-time councillor Gurpreet Dhillion for 90 days and passed a unanimous motion seeking his resignation.
With a population of about 700,000, Brampton is dubbed as an `Indian city' in Canada as it has the biggest concentration of the Indian community that makes up about 25 per cent of the city's population.
The action against Dhillon follows after a local salon owner accused him of sexually assaulting her when the two were visiting Turkey as part of a Canada Turkish Business Council delegation in November 2019.
In her complaint to the city mayor, the woman said that Dhillon forced himself on her while she was in her hotel room.
The woman met the mayor to play the recording of her encounter with the councillor in her room and show text messages to support her claim.
The mayor asked the city's integrity commissioner -- which is the watchdog for city councillors -- to investigate the allegations.
The investigation found the allegations of sexual assault against Dhillon to be true.
But since the integrity commissioner can only recommend disciplinary action, not removal, it asked the city council to suspend Dhillon, without pay for 90 days.
However, the city council has not only suspended him but also unanimously asked him to resign.
Denying the allegations, Dhillon, who is a baptized Sikh, said he won't resign.
He said, "I am deeply troubled by city council's politically motivated decisions today in response to the integrity commissioner's flawed report. I have and continue to vehemently deny all allegations against me and have commenced legal action."