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Appearance of conflict possible with brothers on ferry board, commission

In her review of the governance of British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., comptroller general Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland noted the family ties between the ferry company's board and the ferry commission office.

The commission, set up in 2003 when the government restructured the ferry company from a Crown corporation to a quasi-private company owned by the government, regulates the company.

“The Deputy Commissioner is a brother of a BCFS Board Director,” said Wenezenki-Yolland's 97-page report.

The report does not name the people in question, but the deputy commissioner is Sheldon Stoilen. Wayne Stoilen sits on the B.C. Ferry Services Inc. board of directors.

There is no legal reason to block the deputy commissioner's appointment and there's no evidence of bias in the commission's decisions, Wenezenki-Yolland's report said.

The public might not like the situation though, she added. “The relationship might be perceived by the public as being a conflict of interest and could result in damage to the credibility of the Commission.”

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

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