Vancouver Sun: B.C. Conflict Commissioner accused of Clark bias in new court challenge

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October 26, 2016 | Rob Shaw

Quoted from the article:

NDP critic David Eby accused Clark earlier this year of being in a conflict because her party hosts exclusive fundraisers in which donors pay up to $20,000 for access to herself and ministers, while she also receives a $50,000 annual stipend for leading the B.C. Liberal Party.

Fraser ruled in May that Clark was not in a conflict because the donations went to the party and not her personally. He reaffirmed that ruling in August after a second, similar, complaint by Eby.

The Democracy Watch court petition cited a 2012 case in which Fraser recused himself because of his son’s job in government. Fraser said that case was unique, because it involved Clark’s ex-husband Mark Marissen, who used to share an office with his son.

The petition also argues Fraser’s ruling was an unreasonable interpretation of the law.

The fact that Fraser’s son works in government has been well known for years and was not raised as a concern by all-party committees of NDP and Liberal MLAs who renewed Fraser’s term in office in 2013 and more recently increased his job to full-time status.

Democracy Watch co-founder Duff Conacher said he doesn’t know why MLAs haven’t complained, but he thinks the courts should now intervene.

B.C. NDP housing critic David Eby complained the premier was in a conflict earlier this year. Eby reiterated Wednesday he doesn’t believe Fraser’s son’s job was a factor in the decision.

But, he said he welcomes the court reviewing B.C.’s conflict law.

“I accept (Fraser) did his best in applying his understanding of the law, and I’m very curious to hear what a court will say,” said Eby.

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