Marking 20 years
of bold journalism,
reader supported.
BC Politics

Virk Removed as Advanced Education Minister, Handed Tech Portfolio

MLA's actions on Kwantlen University board have generated controversy.

Andrew MacLeod 18 Dec

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

image atom
Amrik Virk was shuffled out of his position as Minister of Advanced Education. Credit:

Amrik Virk, whose actions while on the board of Kwantlen Polytechnic University have been the subject of controversy in the legislature, was today removed as minister of advanced education.

Premier Christy Clark made the announcement mid-afternoon on Dec. 18, swapping Virk with Andrew Wilkinson. Virk moves to Wilkinson's old role as minister of technology, innovation and citizens' services.

"I think it's the right thing he's out of advanced education," said Kathy Corrigan, the NDP's advanced education critic.

However, the demotion doesn't go far enough, she said. "I don't think he should be minister of anything right now. I don't think he should be in cabinet."

Served on Kwantlen board

In the legislature the NDP had revealed that the board of Kwantlen, which had at the time included Virk, had in 2011 circumvented provincial policies that would have limited the pay of senior executives.

A review into the matter by finance assistant deputy minister Rob Mingay that was released in June 2014, found "there were failures to disclose under the compensation disclosure guidelines."

After the NDP tabled documents in the legislature this fall that showed more evidence of Virk's involvement, Mingay re-opened his investigation and today his amendments to his report were released.

Corrigan said Virk broke the rules, then tried to cover up his actions. "It shows there's an integrity issue here, and I don't think he should be rewarded with another cabinet position."

David Eby, who was formerly the NDP's advanced education critic and first raised the Kwantlen issue, said Virk lied to the legislature about his involvement.

"I do think it raises the question about why Mr. Virk is still in cabinet given his conduct,” Eby said.

Virk, a retired RCMP officer who'd been a volunteer on the Kwantlen board, was not immediately available for comment.

"These changes allow us to make the decisions necessary for a thriving province," Clark's announcement of the cabinet swap said.  [Tyee]

Read more: Education, BC Politics

  • Share:

Get The Tyee's Daily Catch, our free daily newsletter.

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.


  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context

Most Popular

Most Commented

Most Emailed


The Barometer

Will the BC Conservatives’ Surge Last?

Take this week's poll