Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark says a diesel spill in the waters off the Great Bear Rainforest is a prime example of the federal government's inadequate commitment to disaster cleanup on the West Coast. Clark addresses a gathering of First Nations leaders and B.C. cabinet ministers, in Vancouver, B.C., in a September 7, 2016, file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Canadian Press

Two rulings clearing British Columbia Premier Christy Clark of conflict of interest allegations are now being challenged in B.C. Supreme Court by a citizen advocacy group.

Ottawa-based Democracy Watch has petitioned the court to set aside rulings last May and August by provincial conflict of interest commissioner Paul Fraser.

They cleared Clark of conflict allegations connected to her attendance at high-priced, exclusive B.C. Liberal party fundraising events.

Story continues below advertisement

The petition filed Tuesday in Vancouver also asked the court to find Fraser should not have ruled on the complaints because his son works as a deputy minister for the provincial government.

It said John Fraser "has personal ties to the premier. It is reasonable to suggest that the close family connection to senior members of the B.C. Liberal party, including Premier Clark, is a factor indicating a reasonable apprehension of bias."

The petition also said the conflict commissioner recused himself in 2012 from a separate conflict complaint against Clark by a former Liberal member of the legislature on grounds his son's senior government role could be viewed as creating a perception of conflict.

Fraser, citing unique family connections in 2012, said in a letter he was asking the conflict commissioner for the Northwest Territories to complete the review.

The petition filed Tuesday seeks an order to quash and set aside Fraser's May 4 and Aug. 9 rulings on conflict allegations about Clark's fundraising appearances. It also asked to send the complaints "to a substitute decision maker for reconsideration."

Fraser said Wednesday he has not yet seen the court petition. He said he will consider his next steps, which include responding to the court document, once he has time to study it.

He said Opposition New Democrat MLA David Eby, who filed the original conflict complaint against Clark, has publicly stated his confidence in Fraser conducting the review.

Story continues below advertisement

Fraser ruled last May that Clark's appearances at exclusive B.C. Liberal party fundraisers, which guests paid up to $20,000 to attend, did not constitute a conflict of interest because she did not receive a personal benefit.

Fraser said in his August ruling on separate conflict complaints, filed by Eby and Democracy Watch co-founder Duff Conacher, that he considered the matter closed.

However, Conacher said in a statement Wednesday that he's asking the court to "overrule commissioner Fraser's decision that the donations didn't benefit Premier Clark or put her in a conflict of interest."

Conacher's statement also said Fraser should have stepped aside in the case, as he did in 2012.

Fraser said he recused himself from the 2012 conflict complaint investigation because his son had once shared office space with Clark's former husband, Mark Marrissen, who was then working for a bank that had been managing the sale of the former Crown-owned B.C. Rail.

The 2012 conflict complaint involved allegations about B.C. Rail.

Story continues below advertisement

Clark's office said in a statement it will not comment while the matter is under review.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies