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Friday, 10 March 2017

Clark - Family Connection to a free walk

All in the Family!
Personal enrichment from the handouts of wealthy donors, some of whom have paid tens of thousands of dollars to meet with her at private party fund-raisers? No conflict of interest here, according to a pair of rulings last year by the province’s conflict-of-interest commissioner — whose son works for Ms. Clark.

In nine years as British Columbia’s conflict of interest commissioner, Paul Fraser said he has never found any government official to be in violation of the province’s Conflict of Interest Act. Mr. Fraser has donated to Ms. Clark’s political party, and so has his son, John Paul Fraser, who worked on Ms. Clark’s election campaign and now serves in her cabinet as the deputy minister for government communications and public engagement.
“B.C. is the wild west,” said Duff Conacher, a founder of Democracy Watch, a Canadian civic organization that has petitioned the Supreme Court of British Columbia to void the commissioner’s decision. The group argues that there is a “reasonable apprehension of bias” because the commissioner’s son is a deputy minister in Ms. Clark’s cabinet. The court heard arguments in the case on Friday.

So, why is this a problem?  Remember the 2014 destruction of the Quesnel River?

"Critics say that big donors to Ms. Clark’s party often appear to have benefited financially from their political generosity. These include banks, Chinese real estate developers, and companies like Imperial Metals, the owner of a mine tailings pond that spilled billions of gallons of toxic debris in 2014, and was then permitted to operate an even larger mine. Imperial Metals did not respond to a request for comment."