In British Columbia, legislation restricts reappointment of the Auditor General and the Representative for Children and Youth but not the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. The Liberals found a reliable one and both Government and the Commissioner enjoy a fine relationship. The liaison continues despite the Commissioner being accused of conflict by having a son who is a deputy minister in the BC government as well as a long-time associate of Premier Clark.
Fraser the Elder might be a costly associate but he is very, very busy. He’s been called on to investigate Christy Clark, Bill Bennett and Pat Pimm in the last two years. They were accused of conflicts and Mr. Fraser had to issue formal written opinions absolving each.
All of these duties take up so much time that Mr. Fraser is forced to ignore all questions submitted by freelance journalist Bob Mackin. In an email that accidentally found its way into Mackin’s possession, Fraser wrote:
Let’s continue to ignore all of his requests.
Of course, Fraser has only a handful of staff members to assist him so communicating with inquiring reporters is nigh impossible. When one man has only a single Executive Co-ordinator, one Executive Administrative Assistant, one Legal Officer and a single research assistant and faces one, two, even three formal opinions to be issued each year, some time saving moves are required.
These numbers are from BC Public Accounts:
Categories: Conflict of Interest