Attorney General David Eby says De Jong’s statements regarding Hastings race track ‘misleading’

David Eby

DAVID Eby, Attorney General, in a statement accused B.C. Liberal MLA and former finance minister Mike de Jong of issuing “misleading” statements about his concerns regarding Hastings race track and said that it is important to set the record straight.

Eby said: “On November 3, 2016, I alerted Mr. De Jong to concerns that the provincial drug policy was not being consistently enforced at race tracks in Metro Vancouver.

“Mr. De Jong then responded that he engaged George Morfitt, a former auditor general, to conduct an independent review. Mr. De Jong concluded that, based on Mr. Morfitt’s review, he was satisfied that the horse racing unit was following best practices.

“What Mr. De Jong failed to mention was that, in Mr. Morfitt’s independent review, there were numerous areas of concern and made several recommendations. One of those concerns was that security at both Hastings Park and Fraser Downs race tracks is not as rigorous as it needs to be, particularly on non-race days. Mr. Morfitt recommended that “security measures at the Lower Mainland race tracks be reviewed by track officials and staff responsible for security or sensitive information and of the race track premises. In particular, access to the back stretch by unlicensed persons, especially on non-race days, appears to be a matter that requires attention.”

“I understand Mr. De Jong’s defensiveness of his history on the gaming file. But what I don’t understand why, when he gets a report raising issues and concerns on the backstretch of Hastings race track, is he doesn’t feel some sense of responsibility or accountability. This is similar to when he was asked questions about money laundering and kept claiming that there were no issues when in reality, money laundering was impacting BC’s economy.”