BRITISH COLUMBIA

Kash Heed Calls Pat Bell, Shirley Bond To Resign

03/26/2013 07:20 EDT | Updated 03/27/2013 01:41 EDT

Premier Christy Clark distanced herself from Kash Heed, a B.C. MLA and former solicitor general, who is calling on two of his Liberal caucus colleagues to resign amid a controversy over a project in Prince George.

Jobs Minister Pat Bell and the B.C. government are accused of getting involved in an independent bid process for the Prince George Wood Innovation and Design Centre.

Another claim has surfaced from the head of the Northern Development Initiative Trust that two Crown ministers, including Attorney General Shirley Bond, asked for a letter about a loan to be altered.

In an exclusive blog for The Huffington Post B.C. on Tuesday, Heed called on Bell and Bond to step down until a formal investigation is conducted, "in the interest of maintaining the integrity of B.C.'s Executive Council."

Premier Christy Clark responded to the Vancouver-Fraserview Liberal MLA on Tuesday, saying "I inherited a caucus from my predecessor and lots of those people aren’t running again."

Heed wrote: "The public trust is where we as elected officials derive all of our legitimacy from. The moment that this public trust is called into question is the point that our entire system of governance is compromised. I hope that Mr. Bell and Ms. Bond seriously contemplate the importance of the decision they have in front of them and do the right thing."

Clark strongly defended her attorney general, telling reporters that Bond has "conducted herself with absolute integrity. That's the reason she's running again and part of our renewed team."

Clark, who was at a Surrey rally for Liberal candidates, said Bond has done a "fantastic job."

Bond, the MLA for Prince George-Valemont, also rejected her caucus colleague's call in an interview with the HQPrinceGeorge.com.

"Mr. Heed has 15 days left in office so I'm not sure what his motivation would be but I think the fairness advisor has been unbelievably clear about this; in fact published a report and made it clear that there was no involvement that was inappropriate in the procurement process," said Bond.

Bell is not running again in the May 14 election for health reasons.

Heed, who is not seeking re-election, touched on his personal experience with a similar controversy in 2010. He resigned from cabinet after learning the RCMP was going to question him about violating the Elections Act. Heed was cleared of any wrongdoing, but two of his campaign workers were charged and fined.

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