NEWS
08/26/2015 21:15 EDT | Updated 08/26/2016 01:12 EDT

Brampton man sees donation given to Conservatives without his consent

A longtime Liberal supporter says his credit card was charged for a donation to a local Conservative riding association without his authorization. 

Brampton, Ont., resident Jagdish Singh says he's been supporting the Liberal Party since he moved to the area, northwest of Toronto. CBC News has learned he's made at least four contributions to the Liberals since September 2011. 

However, when he saw a Visa credit card statement in June of this year, he noticed a $400 charge made to the Conservatives — not the Liberals. The contribution was made to the Brampton North Conservative riding association. Parm Gill is the Conservative member of Parliament for that riding.

The Liberal supporter said he was shocked to see his contributions end up with the Conservatives when he had intended for them to be made to the Liberals. He doesn't know how his personal credit card information ended up in the hands of another political party.

Jagdish Singh told CBC News he raised the issue with Harbhajan Singh, who was the man he contacted whenever he wanted to make a donation to the Liberals. Harbhajan Singh reached out to him for a donation, took his credit card information and arranged the payment, according to Jagdish Singh.

He said Harbhajan Singh offered to personally refund the $400. Jagdish Singh responded by saying the funds should be reimbursed by the Conservatives — not by Harbhajan Singh personally, 

Jagdish Singh said Harbhajan Singh now appears to be supporting the Conservatives."When I saw my bill, I call to him, then I know he shift his parties, otherwise, he don't tell me nothing," Jagdish Singh told CBC News, who added that he found out about the donation charge only when he saw his bill.

The Liberal supporter says he was never informed by Harbhajan Singh that he was no longer associated with the Liberals or that his funds would be reallocated to the Conservatives.

'This is cheating with me'

"He tried to convince me to leave it like this," Jagdish Singh said. "I said no because I am not a supporter. This is cheating with me."

The Conservatives have since refunded the money but it's unclear how the funds ended up there in the first place. The Tories say they are investigating to see if there are any other donations involving Harbhajan Singh. The party says he has no role with their campaign. 

"The Brampton North EDA received a request from Jagdish Singh to refund a donation in August 2015. The donation in question was immediately refunded," said Conservative spokesman Meagan Murdoch, referring to the local Electoral District Association. "The EDA is currently investigating whether there are other donations involving Harbhajan Singh."

When asked about Harbhajan Singh's connection to the Liberals, the Liberal Party issued the following statement:

"The individuals in question are occasional donors to local Liberal riding associations. It appears that those donations were made directly to the riding association, and that all applicable rules have been followed," said Liberal spokesman Olivier Duchesneau. 

It's unclear what role Harbhajan Singh had with the Liberal Party.

Phone calls made to Harbhajan Singh were not immediately returned.