Andrew Wilkinson must explain why his longtime organizer Paul Barbeau met with the Clerk, says NDP’s Selina Robinson

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VICTORIA – The Plecas Report has revealed a number of connections between Clerk Craig James and senior BC Liberals.

Among those was a meeting with Geoff Plant as well as BC Liberal executive member Paul Barbeau on June 20, 2018. (Exhibit 12, page 77)

Barbeau has been a trusted organizer for Andrew Wilkinson since he first ran for elected office:

  • In 2012, Barbeau backed Wilkinson for the BC Liberal nomination in Vancouver-Quilchena (Georgia Straight)
  • Following Wilkinson’s election as MLA in 2013, Barbeau became the President of Wilkinson’s riding association, a position held until late 2015 (Barbeau’s CV)
  • When Wilkinson became leader, he selected Barbeau in March 2018 to be the “Leader’s Representative to the Party Executive of the BC Liberal Party” (Barbeau’s website)
  • In November 2018, Barbeau was acclaimed President of the BC Liberal Party.

What was the June 20 meeting between Barbeau and the Clerk about?

According to Deputy Clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd, the purpose of that meeting was to determine how to “rein in Gary [Lenz] and ensure he wouldn’t be conducting any investigations in the future.” (Report, page 16)

This information adds to the growing list of serious questions for Andrew Wilkinson:

  • Did Wilkinson have any discussions with Barbeau about this meeting? Has Wilkinson asked Barbeau about it since the release of the report?
  • Does Wilkinson believe it’s appropriate for his representative to meet with and/or be legal counsel for the supposedly non-partisan clerk?
  • Who did the Clerk meet with at “Liberal Offices Vancouver” on Jan 31, three days before the Liberal Leadership vote? What was discussed?
  • Has Wilkinson asked Linda Reid why she ignored a 2014 memo which warned the Clerk had received a $258,000 payment for which he may not have been eligible? (Background)

BC NDP MLA Selina Robinson:

“It’s troubling that the Clerk met with so many senior BC Liberals, including such a close associate of Andrew Wilkinson. The list of questions for Andrew Wilkinson continues to grow. It’s time for him to tell British Columbians everything he knows about these meetings.”