The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Canada needs more independent media. And independent media needs you.

Did you know that most news organizations in Canada are owned by just a handful of companies? And that these companies have been shutting down newsrooms and laying off reporters continually over the past few decades?

Fact-based, credible journalism is essential to our democracy. Unlike many other newsrooms across the country, The Tyee’s independent newsroom is stable and growing.

How are we able to do this? The Tyee Builder program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip into our editorial budget so that we can keep doing what we do best: fact-based, in-depth reporting on issues that matter to our readers. No paywall. No junk. Just good journalism.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to be Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
Life

The Liberal 'Quick Wins' that Were Anything But

'Ethnicgate' made many losers. Tenth in our series on BC political scandals.

By Tom Hawthorn 29 Apr 2013 | TheTyee.ca

Veteran political reporter Tom Hawthorn is writing about B.C. political history for The Tyee. Find his previous stories here.

image atom
Illustration by Jessie Donaldson.

[Editor's note: This is the tenth in our "Some Honourable Members" series, depicting the more dubious moments in B.C.'s political history, brought to you by veteran muckrakers Tom Barrett and Tom Hawthorn, one a day until election day.]

All political parties target what can be described as "ethnic" voters, but not all parties do so on the public dime.

Earlier this year, the NDP Opposition revealed the contents of a leaked memo written by an operative for Christy Clark's Liberals.

The memo outlined a strategy for the Liberals to woo ethnic voters while using government funds to collect data for the election. Using taxpayer resources for partisan purposes? That's expressly forbidden.

The memo also cynically suggested the premier offer apologies for "historical wrongs" such as the barring of the passengers of the Komagata Maru in 1914. Such gestures offered "quick wins" for the premier and the party.

At first, it was left to Deputy Premier Rich Coleman to apologize to the House.

"Some of the things that are in this thing are unacceptable," Coleman told reporters afterwards. "It blurs the lines, it goes beyond the lines."

The leaked 17-page strategy document was written by deputy chief of staff Kim Haakstad, a personal friend and confidant of the premier. It was shared on private email accounts, a deliberate attempt to circumvent disclosure under the freedom of information act.

Hakkstad resigned.

Multiculturalism minister John Yap also quit, though he wasn't the minister when the strategy was being prepared.

That was a bit of a puzzler until John Dyble, deputy minister to the premier, completed an investigation into the affair.

He uncovered more incriminating emails. Some had elements of farce.

Mike Lee, who was Yap's executive assistant, wrote the minister a note about the hiring of liaison workers on the government dime to do work for the BC Liberal party. "It is absolutely critical that we do not leave any evidence in us helping them through this application," Lee wrote.

"Great job," Yap replied. "Let's now hope for the best."

Any fan of television police procedurals will know it is probably unwise to leave written instructions about hiding evidence.

Lee resigned without severance.

Dyble's report, released March 14, found several serious breaches of the government's code of conduct. He blamed Haakstad and former government communications director Brian Bonney for much of the misconduct. Bonney had already left government service.

The BC Liberal party also cut a cheque for $70,000, payment for work bureaucrats did for the party, not the people.  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free.

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Do You Think the Injunction at Fairy Creek Will Be Reinstated?

Take this week's poll