Tuesday proved to be good as it was Monday when it comes to BC political theatre of absurd. It looks like every single day some new controversy will pop-up and will capture not only province wide attention but national attention. I’m afraid if they continue like this we’re gonna miss “Habemus papam” announcement while we’re glued to our screen following Clark&Co. vs Dix&Co.
The newest player on the theatre scene is BC Auditor-General, John Doyle, who’s leaked report raises question about NDP spending. Last week NDP attacked Liberals over outreach spending and use of taxpayers money for party needs, now Liberals got their chances to attack NDP for almost similar “crime”. Well next time I’m expecting either Independents to attack either Liberals or NDP or in the best case both of them for having taxpayers spending coalition, and to call House of Commons speaker to rule over BC Legislature problems.
Second interesting event of the day was announcement that Suzanne Anton after all will be candidate for BC Liberals but not where she was suppose to be in Vancouver-Quilchena but in Vancouver-Fraserview. Another appointment by the party, not by the will of riding membership, which could work against BC Liberals. Especially based on Anton’s previous runs for numerous positions and fails in almost all of them, most importantly in the race for Vancouver mayorship.
Interesting thing is that these two events are tightly connected, and could be very troubling to both political parties. Apparently key player in NDP “fund-gate” is Gabriel Yiu, who’s also NDP candidate in Vancouver-Fraserview, yes the same riding where Suzanne Anton is BC Liberals candidate. I can predict that this will be one of the most interesting ridings in British Columbia in April and May.
Doyle vs. NDP, Kootenay Bill vs. NDP
“Some payments from the fund were not deemed to be adequately documented nor clearly of direct benefit to the collective NDP constituency offices,” said a document for the government’s all-party Legislative Management Committee, disclosed by The Canadian Press.
“From 2006 up to Dec. 31, 2011, the fund has made total expenditures of $459,790 and currently has an unexpended balance of $145,773. The Auditor-General has questioned the authority by which the fund carries forward the unspent balance from year to year.”
Government side played smart game and they send out Culture Minister, always outspoken, loud and proud Bill “Kootenay” Bennett to talk to media. Straightforward Bennett told them that BC NDP must to issue apology for the program which took $202 from each constituency allowance to respond to common constituency needs. Leaked document as we can see above states that majority of funds or $314.017 is used so far and majority of that money went to Mr. Yiu who served as an adviser to NDP caucus, leaving those duties to run as the candidate. Bennett followed NDP practise from the last week or so calling for independent investigation and report on use of this fund, but now NDP to be investigated. Hmmm… Really?! Now they’ll go with calls for investigations and reports for every single thing happening in political world of British Columbia all the way to the elections? When it will be time for some policy discussion, real hard work campaigning and fight for the votes? Maybe in June or July or we need to wait on federal elections?
NDP side, in particular caucus chair Shane Simpson, come out to saying that they didn’t do anything wrong and that everything was legal in the line with permission issued from Legislature comptroller office. In his words this money was not used for any particular political needs, but to multicultural outreach for every member of their caucus. I don’t know what to make from this, if you’re planning to do something and you’re attacking somebody, well then be prepared to be attacked, but don’t allow yourself to be caught red handed in almost similar situation. NDP probably knew that this document will be presented to the public soon, and they nominated Mr. Yiu in Vancouver-Fraserview. Let me be clear nobody will give any attention to his words regarding policies or promises, probably this issue will surround him for the entire campaign time.
Anton and Fraserview
Here again we have again eternal question in Anton’s case: who’s entitled to decide who’s gonna run in the particular riding, members or the party? Suzanne Anton already run for nomination in Vancouver-Q
Having Yiu on the one side and Anton on the other with previous campaign elements like “Chickens for Gregor” in 2011, I’m pretty sure that Vancouver-Fraserview voters and their needs will be put in the second or even third line of media interests during the campaign. But I’m still optimistic that people in that riding will have proper representation in Victoria over the next four years, protecting their needs and helping them to move forward. uichilena and failed to get enough support but now she’s basically just dropped into the Fraserview riding just because she has support of the party leadership. I don’t think that this is the right way to nominate the candidate and also is not the democratic way. Doesn’t matter how skillful or competent Anton is there should be more than one person to fight for the nomination and to work their way up to the top. People in the riding should decide who’s their choice, who knows them the best and who can protect their needs. Being Vancouver Councillor and on the Park Board is sufficient experience but here we’re talking about higher level of political fight and needs are bit different.