The chair of the B.C. Liberal caucus says he can't release the results of a second investigation into the role Liberal caucus staff played in the ethnic outreach scandal because lawyers have told him it would violate people's privacy.
Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg looked into the role played by seven Liberal staff members named in the report released yesterday by Christy Clark's deputy minister John Dyble.
Yesterday Dyble released a scathing report that found several instances of serious breaches of public policy by government employees doing partisan political work for the B.C. Liberals while on the public payroll.
Dyble's report placed the majority of the blame on Christy Clark's deputy chief of staff, Kim Haakstad, and former government communications director Brian Bonney, both of whom have since quit.
Hogg said he found Dyble's report troubling but his own investigation found no evidence that information from within caucus was moved to the B.C. Liberal Party.
"Certainly, there were parts of that report that turned my stomach and made me feel that some of the actions being taken were terribly opportunistic and certainly could have been deemed to be racist and not very respectful of the multicultural nature of our province and our country," Hogg said.
But Hogg said it was credible to believe that Premier Clark knew nothing of the ethnic outreach strategy that was being developed by government staffers on behalf of the B.C. Liberal Party.
"Certainly, one of our concerns was that some of our caucus staff was working directly with direction from outside of caucus," he said.
Furthermore, Hogg says he can't release his report because lawyers have told him it would breach privacy rights.
"We submitted it to legal counsel and had them review it and they came back and said to us, particularly based on the [Personal] Information [Protection] Act, we would be breaking the act if we released that information."
Hogg says he supports an external review of both the Liberal and NDP caucuses.
"With respect to tightening of the roles and the actions that were taken, we certainly would welcome a review, which is what some the opposition have called for."
Yesterday Premier Christy Clark said her government will adopt all of the recommendations from Dyble's report and her party will repay $70,000 in misspent public funds.
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Documents Leaked - Feb. 27, 2013
Leaked B.C. Liberal documents revealing a wide-ranging plan with links to senior officials in Premier Christy Clark's office to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/27/bc-ethnic-vote-plan-liberals-leaked_n_2777292.html">win ethnic votes</a> in the upcoming May election are released by the B.C. NDP. Clark is seen here on a visit to India in 2011.
NDP Reaction - Feb. 27, 2013
"No one has any dispute about the rich multicultural heritage in B.C. and the obligation of government to celebrate that and to build upon various communities in every corner of the province," said NDP House Leader John Horgan. "What we object to, and I think every British Columbian would object to, is their tax dollars being used to prop up the B.C. Liberal election machinery."
Premier Apologizes - Feb. 28, 2013
"I want to sincerely apologize to British Columbians," said a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/28/bc-ethnic-vote-plan-inquiry-christy-clark-apologizes_n_2784464.html">statement from Premier Christy Clark</a>. "The document did not recognize there are lines that cannot be crossed in conducting this outreach and it is unacceptable."
Review Announced - Feb. 28, 2013
The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/28/bc-ethnic-vote-plan-inquiry-christy-clark-apologizes_n_2784464.html">B.C. Liberal government promises a review</a> into a plan to woo ethnic voters.
Kim Haakstad Resigns - March 1, 2013
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/01/kim-haakstad-resigns-christy-clark-ethnic-vote_n_2793904.html?1362197245&utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia">Kim Haakstad</a>, the B.C. premier's deputy chief of staff, resigns. She sent a strategy document to several of the premier's staff that outlined a plan to woo ethnic voters.
Internal Criticism - March 1, 2013
"This proposed outreach plan was insulting to the intended targeted communities and was, when I found out about it, insulting to me and to all other MLAs who believe in doing things properly, fairly and within the rules and laws of the legislature," Liberal MLA <a href="http://www.davehayermla.ca/">Dave Hayer</a>. "In all my 12 years as an MLA I have always reached out to all communities, regardless of ethnic background, because that is the right thing to do. I believe in doing the right thing, regardless of whether it will, or will not, 'win the vote' of any particular group."
Review Underway - March 1, 2013
"For the record, been given an early summary in 24 hrs, the terms of reference are out, a number of interviews needed. Plan progressing," said a tweet by deputy premier Rich Coleman. He added: "I am satisfied with the first steps to review what occurred here and fully support @christyclarkbc."
Chinese Community Outraged - March 1, 2013
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/01/bc-ethnic-vote-plan-chinese-community_n_2792877.html">Bill Chu</a>, chair of the Canadian Reconciliation Society, called the premier's apology "not acceptable." "In the leaked document, you can see the wording in it, how they want to manipulate our community — not just our community, but the entire multicultural community," Chu said. "It's full of disrespect."
Emergency Cabinet Meeting - March 3, 2013
Christy Clark calls an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/03/christy-clark-emergency-cabinet-meeting_n_2800276.html">emergency meeting</a> of her cabinet held on a rare weekend.
Too Legit To Quit - March 3, 2013
A calm, confident <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/03/christy-clark-emergency-cabinet-meeting_n_2800276.html">Christy Clark brushes aside questions about her leadership</a> after a three-hour emergency cabinet meeting. "This group is absolutely united and we have a lot of work to do on behalf of the people of British Columbia" she said. "We're going to get on to that work."
Cabinet Reaction - March 3, 2013
"Christy Clark is our premier. She's going to be our leader," said <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/03/christy-clark-emergency-cabinet-meeting_n_2800276.html">Bill Bennett</a>, minister of sport and culture after an emergency cabinet meeting. But he added: "We've made some mistakes. This last one was a doozy."
Calls For Premier's Resignation - March 3, 2013
Liberal party member Virkram Bajwa said the leaked document has "made the ethnic vote a joke," and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/03/christy-clark-emergency-cabinet-meeting_n_2800276.html">demanded the premier's resignation</a> on behalf of a group of Indo-Canadian Liberal members. "In order for us to gain and come back to the government, she has to resign and somebody new has to come and lead the party into elections," he said.
Cabinet Reaction - March 3, 2013
"We shared some inner feelings," said Ben Stewart, minister of citizen services and open government after an emergency cabinet meeting. "There's certainly disappointment at so many people close to government involved in these activities."
Cabinet Reaction - March 3, 2013
"This was the first chance we had to talk about last week (with the premier)," said Health Minister <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/03/christy-clark-emergency-cabinet-meeting_n_2800276.html">Margaret MacDiarmid</a>. "Everybody's very concerned about it, disturbed by it and wanted to move forward. We talked about that."
Cabinet Reaction - March 3, 2013
"We're all here to stick together and do our jobs," said Jobs Minister <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/03/christy-clark-emergency-cabinet-meeting_n_2800276.html">Pat Bell</a>. "I'm as committed as I've ever been to Christy."
Minister Resigns - March 4, 2013
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/04/bc-ethnic-vote-john-yap-resigns-christy-clark-caucus_n_2807240.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia">John Yap</a>, the minister responsible for multiculturalism, steps aside during the review into the ethnic votes strategy. He said he's taking responsibility for the report's contents — but also said he had never seen the document, which was written several months before Yap joined cabinet.
Debate Is 'Nauseating' - March 8, 2013
Former B.C. premier <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/08/ujjal-dosanjh-bc-ethnic-vote-debate_n_2840019.html" target="_blank">Ujjal Dosanjh</a>, seen in this 2005 photo, says the ethnic vote-winning debate that has hammered British Columbia's Liberals and forced them to issue numerous apologies is nauseating, sanctimonious and holier-than-thou.
Damning Report Released - March 14, 2013
A <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/14/bc-ethnic-vote-plan-report-dyble-liberals_n_2877534.html" target="_blank">report by deputy minister John Dyble</a> into the ethnic outreach plan finds the B.C. Liberal government misused public money and breached standards of conduct.
Breach Of Standards Of Conduct
Brian Bonney, a former Liberal government communications official, spent half his time working on the ethnic outreach plan for the Liberal party while being paid as a government employee, concluded a report. "This ... amounts to a serious breach of the standards of conduct," said the report by deputy minister John Dyble.
Cheque Written - March 14, 2013
After John Dyble's report is released, Premier Christy Clark tells media that the B.C. Liberal Party has written a $70,000 cheque to the government to repay some of the work ex-communications official Brian Bonney did on government time.