THAT staff is directed to prepare a policy that will require members of Council to declare before voting on any development proposal, campaign contributions knowingly received from the applicant, or from individuals associated with the applicant, and that members of Council are encouraged to recuse themselves where such a declaration is made;
Trust, communication and cooperation are vital elements in a workplace, particularly when staff is small, financial stakes high, and tasks important. But, what happens when trust is broken and wrongdoing discovered? Well, […]
Leaked: legislative officers’ defence
Darryl Plecas reported on many incidents and the suspended officers of the Legislative Assembly are due to provide response on February 7. An anonymous source leaked an incomplete list of the initial defences to be raised by Messrs. James and Lenz…
The lady doth protest too much
Ms. Bellringer is another highly paid failure. She did not protect taxpayers by examining for fraud when warning signals had been issued. Auditors have access that citizen watchdogs do not. She had a responsibility to thoroughly investigate deceptive practices. Having failed, she complains that Darryl Plecas didn’t ask her to redo her work with more diligence.
Trust in AG is broken
If the Horgan Government and the LAMC allows Auditor General Bellringer to direct a re-examination of the Legislative Assembly’s financial records, that is a clear sign, they’ve made a choice to sweep yet more scandalous behaviour under the carpet.
Standards of behavior
Integrity and putting interests of the public and the public service above personal interest seem to have been forgotten. Yet, it was not only James, Lenz and Speakers Linda Reid and Bill Barisoff who dismissed those promises. In fiscal year 2018, Deputy Clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd was paid $251,925 (up 121% since 2009) and Executive Finance Officer Hilary Woodward received $198,380 (up 74% since 2014). Yet neither sounded an alarm of financial mismanagement.
How broad the impacts of this scandal?
This years-long financial scandal at the Legislature would have been impossible if BC had sunshine laws ensuring full transparency of government spending.
Despite indulgent remuneration provided the BC Legislature’s senior executives — including sums paid secretly — financial problems at the institution have continued for more than a decade.
Still too timid to act
Freelance reporter Bob Mackin wrote that BC’s Legislature was a scandal waiting to happen and he quoted journalism professor and former Legislative reporter Sean Holman about the significant potential for abuse. Mackin blames excessive secrecy and lack of transparency…
Forget what they say, watch what they do
Pal explained that I had wasted time reading platforms and promises. He said the only method of judging real intentions is to scrutinize a politician’s finances. Give me a list of contributors and full details of a candidate’s financial records. I’ll know exactly what to expect without reading platforms or listening to promises. Tell me who a politician is beholden to and I can figure out what they are going to do.
When a big financial donor to Liberals wanted to acquire publicly owned BC Rail, Liberals pretended the railway was a money loser with little value and sold it, despite an election promise not to do so. Then, they quietly distributed the railway’s extensive land assets in sweetheart deals with friendly developers. After that, government spent millions of taxpayer dollars to induce guilty pleas and end the infamous BC Rail scapegoat trial.
Unsolved crimes, a cold case file
BC residents who read comments here and like places in social media will be familiar with the very articulate Lew Edwardson (@valtamtech on Twitter). Lew has had a particular interest in general matters of public integrity and in particular, the mouldering case of BC Rail. Lew has tried to interest corporate media members in examining facts he’s assembled but they’ve ignored this scandal for years and are determined to continue in states of purposeful ignorance. I invited Lew to make a contribution here. It follows
Ruled by criminals?
Before July 18, 2017, if British Columbia was not ruled by criminals, it was ruled by people who turned blind eyes to criminality. Attorney General David Eby issued a statement that ought to be national news in Canada…
Taxpayers pay for campaign promises
Feeling heat from the Opposition and worried about angry voters, BC Liberals dissolved the Legislature two weeks earlier than planned. They didn’t even pass the budget, so the MSP cut is only a campaign promise.
$6.2 million inducement ended BCR corruption trial
With various accusations of BC Liberal corruption being discussed in 2017, it is worth repeating how the first major scandal came to a highly unsatisfactory conclusion for taxpayers and anyone interested in honest administration of justice. This item about BC Rail was first published in 2014.
Rule by expediency, not by principle
After days of claiming Official Opposition supporters were hackers engaged in dirty politics, Premier Clark finally made the walk back. Turns out there was no computer hacking involved; there was simply an error […]
Awash in power at premium prices
Increasing IPP purchases and flat demand for power obviously means that BC Hydro creates less power to meet demand by its users in BC. However, massive spending means the utility employs more than triple the assets to produce one gigawatt hour of electricity than it did a dozen years ago. This is bad policy not explained by mere incompetence of management. We must conclude that the Liberal Government is directing the public utility, either to cripple it or to deliver billions of dollars to friends and supporters.
Swag, the Liberal raison d’être
Swag is what British Columbia’s Liberal Party is about. Whether it’s cash-for-access, pay-to-play, quango patronage or tried and true scratch-my-back contracting, Liberals are practiced at converting public wealth to private. BC Hydro is an example. The utility paid private power producers over $9 billion between 2003 and 2016. But, that’s only the start.
Labels – a poor substitute for informed comment
First published in February 2011. I still agree with the thoughts expressed and continue to believe that corporate media serves us poorly in political reporting. The genesis of a preceding article, Drive-by […]
More honour’d in the breach than the observance
While boasting of wise management and “balanced” budgets, Liberals run up almost $200 billion in public debts and obligations, give away natural resources and help pay for the removals, subsidize corrupt foreign operators, sell public lands for a fraction of value, gift tens of billions to private power operators, enable more than $120 billion of pension funds to be invested without public oversight and spend tens of millions of tax dollars telling us that all is well. Just remember, for Liberals and their pals, all is indeed well.