POLITICS

Ex-Liberal wants to join lawsuit against BC government over BC Rail scandal

05/07/2012 03:37 EDT | Updated 07/07/2012 05:12 EDT
VANCOUVER - A Fraser Valley MLA who recently bolted from the B.C. Liberal party wants to intervene in a lawsuit filed against the provincial government over the B.C. Rail scandal.

John van Dongen is asking the B.C. Supreme Court for intervenor status in the suit by the provincial auditor general, who's investigating the government's decision to pay the legal fees of two former ministerial aides who pleaded guilty in the scandal.

The government paid six million dollars to cover the fees for Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, who admitted to leaking government secrets involving the sale of B.C. Rail a decade ago.

The auditor filed the suit in a bid to get access to all documents relating to the decision to pay the fees, as well as other cases in which government workers have had their fees paid to defend legal suits.

Lawyer-client privilege may keep the documents confidential, but Van Dongen says the auditor can't do his job if he doesn't have access to all the relevant information, adding the auditor's work shouldn't be limited by claims of privilege or confidentiality.

When Van Dongen quit the B.C. Liberals in March, he said unresolved questions over the B.C. Rail affair were one reason he chose to switch to the Conservative party.