Premier Photo Op’s deputy chief of staff resigned over her role in the Liberals’ ethnic outreach artifice. The Liberals and their faithful media partners emphasized that Kim Haakstad took no cash on her way out the door. Clark said:
She… didn’t take a penny of severance…
Of course, this is Whac-A-Mole and, shortly after, Haakstad was working on Clark’s campaign in Vancouver Point-Grey. Soon, she’ll pop up in a new sinecure, lobbying for a government dependent industry group, headquartered on Easy Street.
Anyone paying attention to election coverage repeatedly heard the “no-severance, no-rewards for Haakstad” claim. However, I was cynical, expecting the Premier’s fidus Achates could and would gain rewards in numerous other ways.
My cynicism seems justified by what Bob Mackin called an alleged bribery attempt uncovered in nearly 8,000 pages of not-entirely redacted documents. The person who Liberals wanted to keep silent was a taxpayer paid staffer with a role in multicultural outreach:
Assess her response and advise… If need be, offer x dollars per month to do non public work up to election…
Her knowledge was so dangerous that one of Christy Clark’s underlings was trying to determine the amount of cash that might keep her mute. At the same time, John Dyble, Clark’s deputy minister, was “investigating” the outreach affair but never contacted the woman.
Dyble’s paper on the multicultural strategy was already suspect. Hardly objective, given his position at the apex of the BC Liberal government, he restricted what he would review and report. A great many of the 8,000 documents released by Dyble were heavily censored, which of course raises suspicions about embarrassments that would be revealed if complete records were available.
Dyble will be rewarded for his loyalty but those will come at the cost of his reputation. Given past activities, particularly regarding BC Rail, at least Haakstad didn’t have to worry about her reputation being degraded by ethnogate.