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Jalandhar-born Jinny Sims resigns from British Columbia cabinet

An Indo-Canadian cabinet minister in British Columbia has resigned from her post even as an investigation is being undertaken related to her.

The nature of the investigation has not been revealed, but BC premier John Horgan announced the resignation of Jalandhar-born Jinny Sims, who was the minister for citizens’ services in the provincial New Democratic Party government.

In a statement, Horgan said he had been informed by attorney general that a special prosecutor has been appointed to oversee an investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the RCMP connected to Sims. Horgan said: “Jinny Sims has resigned from cabinet during the investigation. I accepted her resignation as appropriate under the circumstances. We take any such investigation very seriously.”

Sims, who was one of two Indo-Canadian ministers in Horgan’s cabinet, said she had offered her resignation in the wake of the special prosecutor’s appointment. In a statement, she said: “I have not been given details of any allegations but there was no credibility to previous public allegations. I am confident that my name will be cleared but do not want to distract from the important work of government in the meantime. For that reason, I have decided to step away from my duties while the matter is resolved.”

As reported in the Hindustan Times in May, Sims faced trouble earlier with regard to writing letters supporting the visa applications of 10 Pakistani nationals, including three who were on an American security watch list. Defending herself at the time, Sims maintained she withdrew the letters once the local MP informed her office of the security concerns regarding some of the applicants from Pakistan. A former aide to Sims had alleged in a complaint that the Pakistani visitors had offered money to Sims’ campaign, an allegation she denied.

The former aide, Kate Gillie, had also alleged Sims’ staff was told to use personal communication modes, including WhatsApp and email, to bypass the province’s Freedom of Information laws instead of official email. However, it is not known whether her resignation was linked to either of these charges.

Sims was an MP from 2011 to 2015, and she explained she would write such letters supporting visa applications at that time. She was elected to the BC legislature in the summer of 2017 and subsequently to the cabinet of the newly formed New Democratic Party government in the province. She remains the MLA for Surrey-Panorama in the provincial legislature.