Clark apologizes for ethnic vote strategy 0
Premier Christy Clark (seen Feb. 27 at Pink Shirt Day) speaks Thursday about a leaked Liberal document outlining a strategy to get ‘quick wins’ from ethnic voters. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Premier Christy Clark issued a statement Thursday apologizing for an outreach document outlining a strategy for “quick wins” that would help the B.C. Liberal party gain support from ethnic groups.
The January 2012 document was uncovered by the BC NDP and revealed a plan to secure ethnic support through a number of strategies, including apologies to communities that were victims of government injustice.
The document was released Wednesday and sparked a wave of criticism over whether tax dollars were used in its creation and over the sincerity of such apologies. On behalf of Clark, Deputy Premier Rich Coleman read an apology in the legislature Thursday calling the language in the draft “inappropriate.”
“I have now had the opportunity to read the draft outreach document and I want to sincerely apologize to British Columbians,” the statement said.
“As such, I am asking my deputy minister to conduct a review to ensure that no government resources were inappropriately used.”
But critics said the effort doesn’t go far enough.
Former NDP candidate Charan Gill, CEO of the Progressive Intercultural Community Services, said the act of contrition likely wouldn’t help people forget the latest Liberal scandal.
“Everything is kind of going wrong for them,” he said. “Everything is backfiring. They should stop doing all these things and go straight.”
Meanwhile, Provincial Opposition House Leader John Horgan said the use of government resources to develop the plan is a major concern. He alleged Government of B.C. staff had partaken in the writing of the draft that was forwarded by Kim Haakstad, the premier’s deputy chief of staff.
Horgan felt the inquiry likely wouldn’t yield results.
“An apology and a quick review by your hand-picked deputy minister does not come anywhere close to addressing the challenges that the government has opened up for themselves.”