Premier Christy Clark says NDP Leader Adrian Dix had a right to contact the RCMP, launching an investigation into alleged Elections Act irregularities.
Dix’s complaint stemmed from the government’s plan to woo ethnic voters and it was announced last week that a special prosecutor is overseeing the investigation.
“I have confidence that the RCMP are going to do the right job on this, investigate it thoroughly,” Clark said Wednesday, her first public comments about the matter.
She said little else about it while chatting with reporters from Toronto about a meeting with labour market representatives to discuss Canada’s skills training programs.
Elections B.C. confirmed last week that the RCMP has contacted chief electoral officer Keith Archer about a complaint related to the Elections Act.
The leaked Liberals’ ethnic vote strategy detailed an internal government plan that included government workers, some of whom were paid by the Liberal party, to appeal to multicultural communities ahead of the May election.
Clark apologized several times to ethnic voters for the Liberal plan, which included suggestions to achieve “quick wins” in multicultural communities through events supporting long-standing grievances and cultural issues.
Clark’s deputy minister, John Dyble, concluded in a review she ordered that government resources were misused.
The review, which made six recommendations, found that a community contractor was paid $6,800 for work approved by former multiculturalism minister John Yap without a signed contract.
The second instance involved former government aide Brian Bonney, who worked for the caucus and the Liberal party while he was being paid as a government employee.
Dyble said at least half of Bonney’s time was spent doing work for the Liberal party on the ethnic-outreach strategy, prompting the party to later reimburse the government $70,000 as part of Bonney’s salary. He left government for a private-sector job.
The ethnic-vote issue was hotly debated in the legislature.
In July, Dix called the Liberals “cheats,” saying a huge amount of money was involved in government advertising, which was part of the plan.
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