B.C. Liberal "Ethnic Vote Plan"

A leaked 17-page document dated Jan. 10, 2012 and called Multicultural Strategy Outreach Plan[72] was sent by Kim Haakstad, Clark's deputy chief of staff, to the personal email addresses of eight people, including Pamela Martin, who worked for the premier's office; Brian Bonney, a former government multiculturalism communications director; and former Liberal caucus official Jeff Melland.

The leaked strategy revealed plans to outflank the NDP in its approach to handling the ethnic media, with the objective to "match and then exceed the B.C. NDP's ethnic media efforts in a place of importance equal to that of so-called mainstream media."[72] The documents revealed the plan included eight strategy components, including quick wins, election readiness and community engagement.[72] The quick wins component involved building political capital in ethnic communities by taking what would be perceived as thoughtful and caring actions, stated the documents.[72]

In response to criticisms, Multiculturalism Minister John Yap said the plan was more than a year old and did not completely portray the government's plans for engaging with ethnic communities. "Since coming into the role as minister responsible for multiculturalism, we're reaching out to communities and not following through on some of the ideas that were listed," he said.[71]

Access Denied: Highway of Tears "Triple-Delete" Email Scandal, Cover-ups, Perjury Charge

On October 22, 2015, B.C. Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham published an indicting report, entitled Access Denied,[73] exposing a culture of "triple-deletions" of emails and related cover-ups, including lies under oath, within Christy Clark's government. The report found that the Premier's staffers, including Christy Clark's deputy chief of staff Michele Cadario, and her Transportation Minister Todd Stone,[74] routinely contravened freedom of information laws by bulk deleting emails on a daily basis.[75] The Ministry of Advanced Education was similarly found to be in contravention of freedom of information laws,[75] meant to protect the public's right to hold politicians accountable for their actions.[76]

According to Denham's report, "triple deleting" means first moving an email to the computer system's "deleted" folder, expunging the email from the folder itself, and then manually overriding a backup that allows the system to recover deleted items for up to 14 days.[74]

Tim Duncan, a staffer with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation, was the whistleblower who prompted the investigation. On May 18, 2015, Tim Duncan wrote a letter to Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham[77] in which he related two incidents (in November 2014, and again in January 2015) when he was directed by upper staff members—respectively Ministerial Assistant George Gretes and Liberal Research Director Jen Wizinsky—to erase dozens of ministerial staff emails in response to FOI (Freedom of Information) requests relating to meetings held by officials in the ministry regarding missing women on the Highway of Tears.[77]

"We were triple-deleting emails on a daily or a [twice] daily basis," said Duncan. Duncan provided that he and his colleagues at the Ministry of Transportation triple deleted hundreds of emails every day. "It's quite common to delete emails massively — not any one specific email, but hundreds of emails every night before you go home."[74]

As a result, members of the public who filed related FOI requests, including NDP MLS Jennifer Rice, received the following response: ""No records were located in response to your request. Your file is now closed."[78]

Regarding her Report, Ms. Denham wrote: "It is difficult to overstate the seriousness of the problems that my office discovered in the course of this investigation. It is important that the government take immediate action to restore public confidence in the access to information process."[75]

Transportation ministry staffer George Gretes is said to have lied under oath during the Commissioner's investigation when he denied that he intentionally deleted Highway of Tears emails and records.[75] Denham referred the matter to the RCMP, and Gretes resigned. On March 11, 2016 it was announced that charges have been laid against this former B.C. government staffer in connection with the so-called triple-delete email scandal.[79]

The number of emails and documents which have been permanently deleted and erased is believed to be in the millions.[80]

In her defence, Premier Christy Clark suggested that the controversy stemmed from a "big technological and guideline misunderstanding".[80]

More Email Purges and Document Destruction Scandals

No documentation related to controversial health firings: The government faced widespread public outrage over the controversial dismissal of eight researchers at the Ministry of Health. Despite calls for a public inquiry,[82] and the suicide of one of the dismissed researchers, the government has failed to produce a single email,[83]memo, briefing note or piece of correspondence in response to access to information requests.

No documentation related to the dismissal of government auditor: Requests for emails and text messages regarding Basia Ruta, B.C.'s auditor general for local government who was suddenly fired[84] by Minister Coralee Oakes in March 2013, came back with nothing.[85]

No documentation related to the Burrard Street Bridge scandal: Facing a public backlash in 2015 when it tried to close a bridge for a day-long yoga event that would have cost taxpayers $150,000 and conflicted with National Aboriginal Day,[86] no records related to the decision could be found.[85]

No documentation around the resignation of the Premier's Chief of Staff: In 2012 the Premier's then chief-of-staff Ken Boessenkool resigned after "inappropriate behaviour in a downtown Victoria bar". FOI requests turned up nothing.[85]

Missing 93 pages of agricultural land documents: In 2014 the Globe and Mail asked to see "studies, reports and assessments, including briefing notes to the Premier" about controversial legislation making changes to the Agricultural Land Commission and the Agricultural Land Reserve. They received in response 93 blank pieces of paper.[87]

No record of BC Liberal ethnic outreach strategy: In 2011, leaked e-mails[88] showed the BC Liberals were using government resources to coordinate partisan outreach to BC's ethnic communities. FOI requests turned up no records as the Liberals had been using private e-mail accounts.[89]

No record of Christy Clark and Allison Redford ever meeting: Despite existing CBC video[90] of Clark and former Alberta Premier Allison Redford making an announcement on a new pipeline agreement, FOI searches turned up no related findings.[91]

B.C. Liberals' contested claim to "Open Government"

In July 2011, years before the breaking "triple-delete" email scandal, Clark promised a new era of accountability in B.C. politics, calling it "Open Government". In a videotaped "Message to the Public Service on Open Government" entitled, "Open Data Signals New Direction for BC"[92] she claimed that her government would release more information without the need for freedom-of-information requests, would distribute documents released through such requests through its website, and would post a host of government data online.[80]

B.C. Liberals in violation of Charter of Rights and Freedoms, responsible for "lost generation" of public school students

In 2002, Christy Clark, then Gordon Campbell’s education minister, oversaw the dismantling of B.C. public teachers’ contracts, in direct violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Liberal government legislated a contract that stripped the B.C. Teacher Federation's control over class size, teacher workload, composition and specialist teacher ratios, as well as forbidding them to negotiate those issues in future contracts.[93]

The change in contracts immediately led to severely overcrowded classrooms, combined with lack of classroom support, including special education assistants, as well as a shortage of resources, claiming a full generation of students.[96] The BCTF filed a legal challenge in B.C. Supreme Court against the imposed legislation.[93]

In 2011, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Susan Griffin ruled in BCTF’s favour, citing the B.C. Liberal 2002 legislation as unconstitutional, and giving Christy Clark's Liberal government a year to fix.[93]

In 2012, as response to the B.C. Supreme Court decision, the Christy Clark Liberal government introduced Bill 22, essentially a revised version of its unconstitutional 2002 legislation. They further imposed a two-year wage freeze on B.C. teachers.[93]

In 2014, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Susan Griffin condemned the Christy Clark government in a new court decision, ruling that her government’s Bill 22, supposedly meant to fix its unconstitutional 2002 legislation, was also unconstitutional. The B.C. Liberals challenged this decision by bringing it to the B.C. Court of Appeal, and thus to the Supreme Court of Canada.[93]

B.C. Teacher's Federation wins landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling over B.C. government

In 2016, finally ending the court battle that began in 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada sided with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation over their right to negotiate classroom conditions. The Supreme Court of Canada supported two earlier Supreme Court of B.C. decisions that found the legislation to be unconstitutional, and thus the deleted language was ordered be restored.[97]

At this time, it was estimated that about 3,500 full-time teaching and related jobs had been eliminated since 2002, and the BCTF estimated that it would cost between $250-million and $300-million a year to restore class limits and other provisions of previous contracts.[97]

B.C. Public Health Researchers: Firing Scandal

In the fall of 2012, B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s government made a public show of firing eight health researchers over an alleged data breach. The eight researchers were tasked with reviewing the safety, effectiveness, and/or potential harmful effects of various pharmaceutical drugs currently in use by B.C. and Canadian residents. The workers lost their jobs to allegations of inappropriate and potentially criminal conduct. One of the researchers, co-op student Roderick MacIsaac, who was weeks away from graduation, committed suicide in response to the allegations.[82]

All of the remaining seven fired researchers called for a public inquiry and sued the government for wrongful termination.[99] Bill Warburton, one of the fired researchers, alleges in his lawsuit that the BC Liberals are in the pocket of drug companies, receiving sizeable contributions from some of the same companies currently supplying medications for the province's drug plans. A 2013 analysis found drug companies’ political contributions to the BC Liberals outstripped those to the BC NDP 11 to 1. According to Warburton, the research he was working on, at the time of the firings, had found that about 60,000 people now taking anti-psychotic drugs will die prematurely as a result of that medication. He believes this to be connected with the firings.[99]

The alleged RCMP investigation that never really happened

Margaret MacDiarmid took over the job as Minister of Health from Mike de Jong the day before the government announced the firing/suspension of eight ministry employees. In the following months she would repeatedly allude to an RCMP investigation that was later revealed to have never happened.[98]

BC Ombudsperson Jay Chalke condemns Health Researcher Firings

After an 18-month investigation into the firings, B.C. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke concluded that the B.C. government's rushed decisions and flawed investigations led to harmful consequences for the eight Ministry of Health workers who were wrongly dismissed in 2012. 

In his report, Misfire: The 2012 Ministry of Health Employment Terminations and Related Matters[101], Chalke called for apologies and compensations to the fired employees, and he demanded sweeping changes including public interest disclosure legislation for handling whistle blower complaints, as well as imposed legislation to oversee provincial dismissal practices.[100]

Government claim re. RCMP investigation "deceiving"

Chalke's investigation determined that the RCMP in fact did not investigate any allegations, as per claims by acting Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid (see above). In his report he called the claims "deceiving" and stated that it was wrong to mention the RCMP, given the impact on the individuals who were dismissed.[100]

Awaiting justice after Health Firings Report

Despite all the findings of the 478 page report (Misfire, see above), Michael Chalke held not a single Liberal politician or political appointee accountable. In fact, some of those involved in the firings have since been promoted and given raises.[102]

The New York Times calls out Christy Clark's B.C. as the ‘Wild West’ for no limits on political donations

The NYT article brought international attention and further local focus to an ongoing "cash-for-access" scenario in Christy Clark's government.[103] [104]

The NYT article noted that despite a salary of $195,000 Canadian dollars in taxpayer money, Christy Clark also received an annual stipend of up to $50,000 Canadian dollars from her party, financed by political contributions.[103] The province's conflict-of-interest commissioner, Paul Fraser, was twice called to rule on this matter but excused Ms. Clark both times. The NYT article noted that Conflict-of-Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser's son, John Paul Fraser, is employed as Deputy Minister of Government Communications & Public Engagement for the Christy Clark government. [103][105]

Ms. Clark has received more than $277,000 Canadian dollars from the BC Liberal Party since 2011, according to Canadian news media reports. No other party in British Columbia pays its leader a stipend.[103] Political donation records show that Kinder Morgan and other oil industry supporters of the project had donated more than $718,000 Canadian dollars to the BC Liberal party through March 2016.[103]

British Columbia currently has no limits on political donations.[103] Duff Conacher, a founder of Democracy Watch, a Canadian civic organization, has petitioned the Supreme Court of British Columbia to void the commissioner’s decision, arguing that there is a “reasonable apprehension of bias” because the commissioner’s son is a deputy minister in Ms. Clark’s cabinet.[103]


"The governing B.C. Liberals brought in more than half their $13-million in donations last year from controversial cash-for-access fundraisers, such as golf tournaments and dinners with the Premier, techniques that have been widely criticized for helping create a “Wild West” political system unlike any other in Canada."[104]

References (Note: For live annotated reference links, please download the PDF from the link above)

The Canadian Press (March 1, 2016). "'It goes beyond the lines': B.C. Liberals in damage control over leaked ethnic vote memo". The National Post. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
The Canadian Press (Feb 27, 2013). "Leaked Liberal documents reveal widespread ethnic vote plan". Times-Colonist. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
"Leaked documents reveal Liberals' plan to win ethnic vote". CBC News. Feb 27, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
Meissner, Dick (Feb 27, 2013). "Leaked BC Liberal documents reveal ethnic vote plan". Global News. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
B.C. Liberals (2012). "Multicultural Strategic Plan: An internal B.C. Liberal Document". Scribd. B.C. Government. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
Denham, Elizabeth (October 22, 2015). ACCESS DENIED: RECORD RETENTION AND DISPOSAL PRACTICES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA. INFORMATION AND PRIVACY COMMISSIONER FOR BC.
CBC News (October 22, 2015). "B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone admits to 'triple deleting' his emails". Retrieved September 18, 2016.
CBC News (October 22, 2015). "Highway of Tears email deletion referred to RCMP by B.C. privacy watchdog". Retrieved September 17, 2016.
"Email scandal uncovered a culture of 'delete, delete, delete' in B.C. governmen". CBC News. October 22, 2016. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
Re: Destruction of Freedom of Information records; Letter from Tim Duncan to Ms. Elizabeth Denham @ Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner; dated May 18, 2015.
"Emails relating to B.C.'s Highway of Tears allegedly deleted". CBC News. May 28, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
"Triple delete: Former ministry staffer George Gretes charged in scandal". CBC News. March 11, 2016. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
Zussman, Richard (October 24, 2015). "Triple deleted emails shed light on troubling political culture". CBC News. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
"8 government records BC Premier Christy Clark can't find anywhere". Press Progress. November 3, 2015. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
Mason, Gary (June 17, 2015). "Wrongful firings of B.C. health workers deserve a public inquiry". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
Shaw, Rob (October 30, 2015). "Government claims it has no records related to health firings". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
"Basia Ruta, fired as B.C. local government auditor general, plans to fight dismissal". CBC News. March 23, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
"Christy Clark's Liberals pounded on document-destruction scandal". The Province. October 28, 2015.
"'Om the Bridge' cancelled as sponsors and Christy Clark pull out". CBC News. June 12, 2015. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
Hume, Mark (April 27, 2014). "Why B.C. should release 93 pages left blank on agricultural land documents". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
Leyne, Les (October 1, 2013). "'Quick wins' scandal not fading away". Times-Colonist. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
Mackin, Bob (June 18, 2013). "How Liberal Staffers Tried to Skirt FOI Laws". The Tyee. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
"B.C., Alberta premiers agree on pipeline framework". CBC News. November 4, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
The Canadian Press (March 9, 2014). "Many B.C. freedom-of-information requests come up empty". CBC News. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
Clark, Christy (Jul 18, 2011). "Open data signals new direction for BC". Province of BC. Retrieved September 19, 2016 – via Youtube.
Shaw, Rob (November 10, 2016). "Timeline of dispute between B.C. Teachers' Federation and B.C. government". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
O'Neil, Peter (November 10, 2016). "Court ruling to force hiring of hundreds of teachers in B.C.". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
Zussman, Richard (November 10, 2016). "BCTF wins Supreme Court battle over class size and composition". CBC News. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
Steffenhagen, Janet (January 26, 2012). "B.C. teachers to wear black Friday in protest over lost bargaining rights". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
Stueck, Wendy (November 10, 2016). "B.C. teachers' union wins landmark appeal at Supreme Court". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
Allingham, Jeremy (June 13, 2015). "B.C. health researcher firing scandal timeline". CBC News. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
Webb, Kate (January 18, 2016). "The biggest B.C. scandal you've never heard of". Metro Vancouver. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
Zussman, Richard (April 6, 2017). "Ombudsperson finds government decisions harmed 8 fired health ministry workers". CBC News. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
http://www.bcombudsperson.ca/sites/default/files/OmbudsReport%202017%20533-web-sm.pdf
MacLeod, Andrew (April 7, 2017). "Still No Justice After Health Firings Report, Say Victims". The Tyee. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
Levin, Dan (January 13, 2017). "British Columbia: The 'Wild West' of Canadian Political Cash". New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2017.

B.C. Government Deputy Ministers' Council of British Columbia
[104] Mason, Gary (April 15, 2017). "Amid a cash-for-access clampdown, the BC Liberals are laughing". Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 15, 2017. Retrieved from: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/more-than-half-of-13-million-raised-by-liberals-came-from-cash-for-access-fundraisers-last-year/article34649377/


Media related to Christy Clark at Wikimedia Commons (currently censored)


 

 


 

 

 

B r i t i s h   C o l u m b i a
E L E C T I O N 
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The controversial Wikipedia content that was censored from the public record:






April 17, 2017 | Victoria, BC :  The following content appeared in the "Controversies" section of Christy Clark's public Wikipedia page until the beginning of her 2017 election campaign. Since the beginning of the B.C. election campaign, a posse of various Wikipedia "editors" have repeatedly defied Wikipedia protocol and guidelines by ultimately deleting almost the entirety of the section's content. When the list of controversies was restored, a new vandal would appear to delete entire passages again. Eventually there followed weak and unsubstantiated claims as to issues of protocol around tone and neutrality. Even if this were true, however, the practice of outright deletion of copy is contrary to Wikipedia's own principled guidelines, which state clearly:


When you find a passage in an article that is biased or inaccurate, improve it if you can; don't delete salvageable text. For example, if an article appears biased, add balancing material or make the wording more neutral. Include citations for any material you add.

This eventually turned to a case of "warring" (Wikipedia terminology) and indiscriminate penalties were issued. And then we were "blocked" from editing the page for 48 hours, with the deletion of copy enforced. (April 20 update: The block was extended to a week, and this extended block was appealed. I appealed on the grounds that complete deletion of the section copy defied Wikipedia protocol, and restated the premise of vandalism, given the election campaign timing. The Wikipedia admin denied my appeal, and sustained the block. Further, there is suggestion of an all-out ban on my editing any politicians in BC. And my "Controversies" section for Rich Coleman, whereby I referenced the 2009 Land Giveaway to TimberWest where his brother worked--also now wiped clean. As if these controversies never existed...)


It seems also that the content in dispute has now been blocked from future repost. At this time it would appear that no Wikipedia Administrator is taking into account the difficult fact that, in this instance, some allegiance to the acting Premier--who is currently running for re-election--may well be outweighing the general "good faith" protocol of Wikipedia editors. Meanwhile, we verily maintain a claim of "vandalism" which amounts truly to hacking, and censoring. 


But all is not lost!

​The entire section of Christy Clark's "Controversies" as originally presented on Christy Clark's WIkipedia page is printed below for the public record.
Note that citations at this time are not linked or live (working on it) but all references can be found in the "References" list at the end. And note also that this was by no means a definitive list of this politician's transgressions and scandals. We welcome each and every reader to verify that the controversial issues cited are legitimate, backed by evidence, and worthy of the public record. Or better yet, add to the page yourself. Make it your own.


And you can click here for a Youtube screen capture video of Christy Clark's Wikipedia Page BEFORE and AFTER the vandalismOr see below, at the bottom of this page.