January 23, 2018

Liberals charge NDP with rule breaking slush fund

The BC Liberals are accusing the NDP of operating a slush fund out of the Provincial Legislature.
This after parts of a secret report by the Auditor-General were leaked to CKNW, outlining the Auditor’s concerns with a 260-thousand dollar pool of cash assembled using money intended for MLA’s constituency offices.
Liberal Cabinet Minister Bill Bennett says that’s not kosher, “The rules are spelled out very clearly in what you can do with that money and what you can’t do. There is certainly no allowance in the member’s handbook for taking money that’s supposed to be spent in your constituency and sending it back in the form of a kickback to the NDP caucus for God knows what.”

The Auditor’s report also cites inadequate documentation on how the money was spent, saying, “There is a risk that inappropriate use of the funds would remain undetected and create a significant reputational risk for the Legislative Assembly.”  

NDP Caucus Chair Shane Simpson shrugs off the allegations, saying the party broke no rules by diverting about 200 dollars per month from their constituency offices into the pooled fund.
Simpson says the money was used to pay for services individual offices could not afford, including outreach to the Asian community via Gabriel Yiu, a three time NDP candidate, “Gabriel Yiu was, his contract was paid for through that, and there was additional things for things like advertisements for the caucus around things like Diwali or the Lunar New Year events, those kinds of events where we purchased large advertisements for the whole caucus on behalf of everybody.”

Simpson says the fund has now been shut down. He says the Liberals are just trying to divert attention from their ethnic outreach scandal.

CKNW Vancouver News

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