BC NDP says report into ethnic-vote scandal doesn’t go deep enough 0
B.C. Premier Christy Clark. (24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)
The BC NDP claims an internal investigation into the quick-win ethnic vote scandal that says lines were crossed between government and politics doesn’t go far enough.
The inquiry listing “serious” breaches of public trust was conducted by John Dyble, Premier Christy Clark’s deputy minister, and involves around 10,000 documents as well as 27 interviews.
The report mainly blames Kim Haakstad, Clark’s former deputy chief of staff, who resigned over the scandal, and former government communications director Brian Bonney for “misuse” of government resources.
In February, the BC NDP released the leaked memo showing government staff had worked on a strategy to gain ethnic support for the BC Liberals, partly by apologizing for historic wrongs.
Dyble’s report linked the beginning of the strategy to a December 2011 brainstorming meeting attended by government employees and BC Liberal party members, but added the participants weren’t sure if the meeting was a government or party gathering.
The January 2012 memo summarizing the meeting was then written by government staff member Mike Lee.
Haakstad admitted using personal instead of government email accounts to circulate the memo because it “was clearly a partisan document.”
Opposition Leader Adrian Dix said Dyble’s review proves the Liberal government spends more time campaigning than running the province and more investigating needed to be done.
“Mr. Dyble did his best under constrained circumstances,” said the BC NDP Leader. “But he couldn’t address key items and key issues that are involved here, so it clearly requires an independent review”
The premier and two ministers who were at one time responsible for the ministry overseeing the memo escaped the report relatively unscathed.
“Premier Christy Clark, MLA Harry Bloy and MLA John Yap were all interviewed as part of this review,” read the report. “All of them stated that they had never seen the draft strategy document or work plan until they were in the public domain in the week of February 25, 2013.”
The BC Liberals said the party would repay $70,000 in public money used to create the document.