VICTORIA (January 25, 2019) – The NDP is taking money directly away from front line services in order to plant political insiders inside non-partisan constituency offices.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request shows the Executive Assistant (EA) to the Minister of Children and Family Development billed thousands of dollars to the ministry for office renovations and equipment. With EAs placed in nineteen government ministries, the total figure to create office space for them is estimated to be at least $127,300.
“Make no mistake— these are funds that should have been used to help British Columbians and instead are paying to further the NDP political agenda,” says BC Liberal Finance Co-Critic Shirley Bond. “We have repeatedly raised concerns, including in the Legislature, about the NDP decision to politicize constituency offices. This practice is totally inappropriate, and these types of funds would be better spent on front line services for British Columbians.”
So what could the government buy with this amount?
“The government should reverse course on this practice and put these dollars to use for British Columbians— not for its own political gain,” says Bond.
These new renovation costs are on top of the more than $1 million in salaries that will be paid out to these Executive Assistants.
Bond says this situation comes as no surprise, given a September 5, 2018 email from the Premier’s chief of staff Geoff Meggs to Layne Clark, formerly the B.C. NDP director of operations and according to internal documents, used to be in the Premier’s Office doing coordination work with the party. Meggs said, “the idea was to put someone out there to work on politics, not on case work,” in non-partisan constituency offices.