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Temporary Elections BC chief offers 'bureaucratic' rationale for shuffle

Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog said he's unsatisfied with the response he received from interim chief electoral officer Craig James about the restructuring of Elections British Columbia that saw a senior official lose her job.

“It doesn't really answer the question,” the NDP's Krog said of James' Sept. 22 letter. “It doesn't put the issue to rest, quite frankly.”

“The organizational adjustments I have made will result in more efficiency, effectiveness, economy and responsiveness and advance the managerial capacity of Elections BC,” James wrote. “The changes I have made will offer better opportunities for emerging leaders within the office.

“I am confident that with the current structure, the office will be able to better execute its statutory mandate, a goal that will serve the interests of anyone who may hold the position of Chief Electoral Officer.”

Krog said James' response to his letter was bureaucratic and failed to explain what triggered the restructuring or why he felt the timing was right to make changes. “I would have liked to see a more fulsome response for the public,” he said. “He is in charge and I think he owes a duty to explain. That's what I asked him to do.”

Elections B.C. spokesperson Don Main said James won't be commenting on the matter beyond what James said in his letter to Krog.

Asked for more details about the restructuring, Main said the only other changes he's aware of at Elections B.C. are the promotions of two executive directors, Nola Western and Anton Boegman, to assistant chief electoral officer positions.

An all-party committee is seeking a new CEO to replace Harry Neufeld, whose term ended in June. The Liberal government appointed James to act as CEO until a new CEO is found.

The Tyee reported two weeks ago that the restructuring of Elections B.C. eliminated the deputy electoral officer position which Linda Johnson had held for 19 of her 28 years with the non-partisan office.

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

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