The Times Of India Film Awards scheduled to be held in Vancouver from April 4 to April 6 has further come under Canadian media's scrutiny after a spokesperson from the rival "International Indian Film Academy" told the Globe and Mail that the awards show was fixed by the British Columbia government officials to be held before the provincial elections scheduled for May.
There have been suggestions in recent days that the BC government tried to exert pressure on the award organizers to hold the event before the provincial election, suggesting that the awards show was carefully designed as a pre-election ploy of BC Liberals to get quick votes from ethnic south Asian voters.
Sabbas Joseph from the IIFA told the newspaper that the provincial government officials requested in a way "that was almost a demand" that the event be held before the election. The IIFA spokesperson informed the newspaper that talks fell apart when the province offered only a $5-million funding when the International Indian Film Academy refused to shift its schedule which was planned for June.
But when the rival Times of India Film Awards agreed to hold its function in the first week of April, the provincial government subsequently agreed to fund $9.5-million for the awards, Globe and Mail said in its report.
The spokesperson named British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and two other officials from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation as those responsible for fixing the dates for the show while Ms. Clark and the Ministry have denied the charges.
The latest development on the possibility that the award show could have been framed by politicians for ethnic votes came just days after the Premier's deputy minister, John Dyble, released a report on the ethnic voter outreach scandal. It was reported that senior officials had misused up to $70,000 worth of government resources for political purposes in a design to attract ethnic voters to the B.C Liberal Party.
Three officials connected in the scandal have left the government so far, and Ms. Clark has said that her party was repaying the entire money to the province.
International Business Times has not yet received a reply to a mail sent Saturday to the Times of India seeking its response to the issue.
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