ANDREW Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party, in a statement in response to the report written by Speaker Darryl Plecas into Clerk of the House Craig James and Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz, who were both suspended November 20, and released publicly by the all-party Legislative Assembly Management Committee (LAMC) on Monday, said the report “makes serious and shocking claims that have significant implications for public trust in our democratic institutions.”
He added: “The B.C. Green caucus fully supports the motions passed unanimously today by the LAMC. These are crucial first steps towards restoring integrity and faith in our provincial government.
“As a caucus we have made democratic integrity a major focus, championing issues such as lobbying reform and campaign finance reform. The people of our province deserve public institutions they can trust. We have never been more committed to seeking the truth and restoring our democracy for the benefit of all British Columbians.
“We will do whatever it takes to ensure that this trust is restored and that British Columbians get answers to the numerous unanswered questions that are raised by this report.
“We will have further comments in the near future once we have had a chance to review this report in detail.”
The report states:
Broadly speaking, the matters which gave me concern related both to certain specific conduct of the Clerk and the Sergeant-at-Arms, as well as the functioning and culture of the Legislative Assembly as a workplace more generally. As detailed in this Preliminary Report, what I have observed at this stage, and been informed of includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• flagrant overspending on luxurious trips overseas with questionable business rationales;
• expensing of all manner of personal purchases to the Legislative Assembly, totalling tens of thousands of dollars over a period of less than two years;
• inappropriate payouts of cash in lieu of vacation, which appear to total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars;
• lack of oversight or appropriate protocols in the awarding of employment benefits, and evidence of attempts to obtain highly questionable further benefits, collectively representing actual or contingent liabilities to the Legislative Assembly totalling in the millions of dollars;
• using working time to make day or overnight trips away from the Legislative Assembly, at the Legislative Assembly’s expense, for what appear to be other than legitimate work purposes;
• instances where thousands of dollars of alcohol and equipment may have been misappropriated from the Legislative Assembly;
• various concerns relating to management of employees, including potentially retributive or otherwise unjustified terminations; and
• taking steps to conceal information which could indicate improperly claimed
The full report can be viewed here.