Monday, May 8, 2017

Christina Joan "Christy" Clark, MLA Controversies

Controversies 
B.C. Liberal "Ethnic Vote Plan"
A leaked 17-page document dated Jan. 10, 2012 and called Multicultural Strategy Outreach Plan[68] was sent by Kim Haakstad, Clark's deputy chief of staff, to the personal email addresses of eight people, including Pamela Martin, who works for the premier's office; Brian Bonney, a former government multiculturalism communications director; and former Liberal caucus official Jeff Melland.

The leaked strategy revealed plans to outflank the NDP in its approach to handling the ethnic media, with the objective to "match and then exceed the B.C. NDP's ethnic media efforts in a place of importance equal to that of so-called mainstream media."[68]

The documents revealed the plan included eight strategy components, including quick wins, election readiness and community engagement.[68]

The quick wins component involved building political capital in ethnic communities by taking what would be perceived as thoughtful and caring actions, stated the documents.[68]

In response to criticisms, Multiculturalism Minister John Yap said the plan was more than a year old and did not completely portray the government's plans for engaging with ethnic communities. "Since coming into the role as minister responsible for multiculturalism, we're reaching out to communities and not following through on some of the ideas that were listed," he said.[69]

2017 re-election campaign[edit]
On September 14, 2016 the B.C. Liberal Party named executive director Laura Miller to be the party's campaign director for the May 9, 2017 provincial election. Laura Miller is facing criminal charges in Ontario for allegedly deleting emails in service with the Dalton McGuinty provincial government.[70]

In addition to start of construction of bridge replacement of Massey Tunnel in 2017, the Premier is expected to also campaign about attempts to make more affordable housing by establishing taxes for Metro Vancouver property purchases by foreigners and no-interest loans from the government to first-time home buyers.



Government
Following the BC Liberal Party's election victory in 2001, Premier Gordon Campbell appointed Clark Minister of Education and Deputy Premier.[14][15] She brought in a number of changes[which?] that were claimed to increase accountability, strengthen parental power in the decision-making process, and provide parents greater choice and flexibility in the school system.[citation needed] These changes were unpopular amongst teachers, school board members, opposition politicians, and union officials who argued that the decision not to fund the pay increases agreed to by the government resulted in funding gaps. The changes made were challenged by the BC Teacher's Federation, and were later found to be unconstitutional.[16]

As Education Minister, Clark sought to increase the independence of the BC College of Teachers against heavy opposition from the British Columbia Teachers' Federation.[17][18] In 2002 the BC Liberals and Education Minister Christie Clark introduced Bills 27 & 28 forcing teachers back to work and banning collective bargaining. In 2011 the BC Supreme Court found Minister Clark’s decision to do so unconstitutional.[19] Clark was deputy premier at the time of the privatization of BC Rail and resulting scandal.[20] Clark was also the co-chair of the 2001 Liberal campaign, which included a platform that specifically promised not to sell BC Rail.[21] In 2009, Michael Bolton, defence attorney in the Basi-Virk trial, alleged that Clark had participated in the scandal by providing government information to lobbyist Erik Bornmann. These allegations were never proven or tested in court.[22] Her brother Bruce Clark was the subject of one of the warrants. Though confidential draft "Request for Proposal" documents relating to the bid process allegedly provided by Dave Basi were found in Bruce Clark's home no charges were laid against him. Dave Basi and Bob Virk, Liberal Party insiders were charged for accepting benefits from one of the bidders, however.[23] Clark has rebuffed talk of her links to the scandal as "smear tactics". At the time of the raids and associated warrants, her then-husband Mark Marissen was visited at home by the RCMP.[24] Her husband was also not under investigation, and was told that he might have been the "innocent recipient" of documents then in his possession.[25]

In 2004, Clark was appointed Minister of Children and Family Development after Minister Gordon Hogg was forced to resign. On September 17, 2004, Clark quit provincial politics and did not seek re-election in the 2005 provincial election. She declared she wanted to spend more time with her three-year-old son.[12]