Eli Siegel wrote “when truth is divided, errors multiply” and it is in this context that I write this response to your March 15 2013 “Oh, my! A Scandal? Posting and the opinions offered by NDP candidate Norm Macdonald.
The BC Liberals have not in any way attempted to distract people from the Ethnic Outreach issue. Truth of the matter is that it happened and the “staffers” who were responsible have resigned without severance. Premier Christy Clark in the Legislature publically recognized the events were wrong and the government was profoundly sorry for the situation and as mentioned those who were responsible had resigned. The Premier ordered an independent investigation into the event which found that neither she nor any other MLA had knowledge of what had taken place and ordered the Party to pay back any monies that were spent. That is what leaders do, they take ownership and then action for what happened under their watch and then move on. Contrary to what the NDP candidate may think, distraction is far from what the Premier and government have done with this issue.
It takes courage and strength of resolve to admit wrong has been done and it is a sad and disappointing commentary to hear that Mr. Macdonald seems to have neither as demonstrated by his is attempts to deny allegations that are irrefutably true; and this he should take very personally. The fact is that the NDP were caught siphoning funds from their constituency office budgets, $2400 per year for five years, into a secret account. Macdonald himself in an interview with the Kimberley Daily Bulletin on March 14th admitted to this and I quote “the fund was set up and was intended for outreach in constituencies”. “We pooled resources for things like Chinese New Year events”. He went on to say that “the fund was discontinued when the Auditor General didn’t agree with the comptroller”. As reported in a March 12th story by Jessica Barrett, Vancouver Sun and Dirk Meissner, “excerpts” from Auditor General Doyle’s report stated “our review of supporting documentation underlying expenditure amounts charged to this account indicates that the funds accruing to this account were being used for partisan purposes and not for goods and services consistent with the original purpose of the constituency office”.
I find it puzzling given the published facts on this issue that Macdonald would have the arrogance to deny this happened. It would seem that the NDP are up to the same old tricks of the 1990’s and are getting caught with the hands in the cookie jar and then denying it. Remember when Adrian Dix got caught in an RCMP investigation? He backdated a memo to save Glen Clark and denied any wrong doing until it was clear that he could not get away from it. His consequence was a forced resignation with a $70,000 severance. I can do nothing about the behaviours of my NDP opponent but I can assure you that they are behaviors that are not found in my wheelhouse!
BC Liberal Candidate
Columbia River Revelstoke