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Ministers thought hard about Tourism BC decision, produced no records

It was up to Tourism, Arts and Culture minister Kevin Krueger to explain to reporters today how the government managed to fold Tourism British Columbia into his ministry without generating a single paper record, e-mail or anything else.

“Government is thinking about issues all the time and thinking about things,” he said. “We were elected to represent British Columbians. We are assigned to ministries where we think about issues like this night and day.”

He consults with his predecessors regularly, he said. “This is something that evolved along the way. This is an opportunity and I'm really pleased with the step we took and how it's turning out.”

Last week New Democratic Party Tourism, Arts and Culture critic and Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Herbert revealed that his party's freedom of information request for all records related to the decision generated a response saying no such documents exist.

Today Krueger announced a new thirteen-person advisory council, but said they are not just 'yes' men and women. “They made it very clear to me these are extremely qualified, very respected people,” he said. “They didn't want to be part of any muffins and coffee group. It is a genuine commission to provide me with industry input, which I get every day but perhaps not from everybody.”

Members of the council include Prince Rupert hotelier and B.C. Ferries director Steve Smith, B.C. Pavilion Corp. CEO Warren Buckley, Aboriginal Tourism Association of B.C. CEO Keith Henry and Northwest Cruise Ship Association advisor Nancy Arsenault.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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