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BC Election 2017

Court Review of Clark’s Conflict of Interest Rulings Delayed

Democracy Watch seeks judicial review of decisions that cleared premier on fundraising activities.

Andrew MacLeod 5 Jan

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria and the author of A Better Place on Earth: The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 2015). Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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Democracy Watch’s Duff Conacher says the Supreme Court of BC scheduled 90 minutes to hear arguments about whether or not the case should proceed, but adjourned it.

A court action seeking a judicial review of decisions that last year cleared British Columbia Premier Christy Clark following conflict of interest complaints has been delayed until at least Friday, January 13.

Democracy Watch co-founder Duff Conacher said the Supreme Court of British Columbia had 90 minutes scheduled Thursday — at the request of B.C.’s conflict of interest commissioner Paul Fraser, who made the decisions clearing Clark — to hear arguments about whether or not the case should proceed.

“The commissioner knew we had many issues to raise and should have agreed [ahead of time] to an adjournment,” said Conacher. “It happened anyway.”

The hearing will happen next Friday if a judge is available for a full day in court, he said.

Fraser ruled in a May 2016 decision and an August 2016 addendum to the decision that Clark didn’t contravene the Conflict of Interest Act by receiving $50,000 annually from the BC Liberals while fundraising at exclusive party events where attendees paid as much as $20,000.

In an Oct. 25 petition to the court, Democracy Watch asked that Fraser’s decisions on the complaints made by Democracy Watch and NDP MLA David Eby be quashed and sent to a substitute decision-maker for reconsideration.

In November, Fraser asked the court to dismiss the advocacy group’s petition.

With files from Christopher Cheung.  [Tyee]

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