Opinion Column

B.C.'s Premier Clark premature in supporting staffer

Leo Knight Prime Time Crime columnist 24 hours (PHOTO SUBMITTED).

By Leo Knight, Law and Order, 24 hours Vancouver

Laura Miller speaks to reporters after testifying at a gas plant committee hearing in Ontario on Aug. 6, 2013.

Laura Miller speaks to reporters after testifying at a gas plant committee hearing in Ontario on Aug. 6, 2013. (FILE PHOTO/QMI AGENCY)

While loyalty should be considered a good thing, the blind support displayed by Premier Christy Clark in defending Laura Miller — the executive director of the BC Liberal Party — would seem to be a bit misplaced. Or, at the very least, premature.

Miller's boyfriend Peter Faist is embroiled in a $1.1-billion Ontario gas plant scandal that is consuming that province's politics and headlines. The scandal involves two gas-powered electricity plant projects that were cancelled, leaving taxpayers to cover hefty penalties. Then-Premier Dalton McGuinty resigned after the scandal blew up, but denies any wrongdoing. His successor, Kathleen Wynne, is now under fire from opposition politicians about what happened.

Revelations contained in an Ontario Provincial Police Information to Obtain a search warrant — known as an ITO — exploded last week. The document alleges Faist was brought in by Miller's boss, McGuinty's then-chief of staff David Livingston, to allegedly cleanse the hard drives of 24 computers in the premier's office.

Miller at the time was McGuinty's deputy chief of staff and, I would think, involved in political strategy.

The OPP is alleging a case of breach of trust against Livingston — not Miller or Faist. None of the allegations have been proven in court and Livingston, through his lawyer, has professed his innocence.

Central to the OPP investigation is any attempt at covering up the who-knew-what-and-when aspect of the scandal.

There was a time when those involved in the political process needed to be above reproach in their professional and personal lives. When under a cloud of suspicion or actively under investigation, the individual would step aside from their role to allow the appearance of propriety. This is, or perhaps was, the honourable thing to do.

I believe the premier should be cautious about lending her support until more questions surrounding this controversy are cleared up.

Until these questions are answered through the police investigation, a cloud hangs over the Ontario political scene.

The premier should allow that cloud to clear, lest she find herself caught in the vortex should that cloud become a full-blown storm.

Leo Knight is a former police officer, security expert and host of primetimecrime.com






Should Premier Christy Clark withdraw her support of Laura Miller?

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