B.C. Liberal Minister withheld evidence in government probe

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VICTORIA – New Democrats revealed emails showing B.C. Liberal Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk deliberately breaking executive compensation rules and withholding evidence from a government probe ordered by Finance Minister Mike De Jong.

When questioned, the Minister was unable to explain why this information was withheld.

“Minister Virk was part of a plan to break government compensation and disclosure rules, and then he withheld this key evidence from a government investigation while sitting in cabinet as the minister responsible for enforcing those rules,” said New Democrat leader John Horgan.

Horgan and the B.C. New Democrats revealed the information in the legislature on Monday.

The emails from April 2011 show that Virk approved a scheme to break executive compensation limits for a Kwantlen Polytechnic University executive, former Vice President Anne Lavak.  This is not reflected in the government’ s internal review into the conduct of Minister Virk, which cleared Virk of having any knowledge of Ms. Lavak’s compensation exceeding government rules on executive pay.

New Democrats asked the minister in the legislature on Monday why he withheld critical evidence from the government review.

“These emails impugn the credibility of the government’s review into their cabinet minister,” said Horgan. “It also raises questions of what other evidence has gone unexamined in relation to this minister’s role in Kwantlen rule-breaking and disclosure.

“These revelations underscore the need for an independent investigation by the Auditor General’s office.”

 View PDF of the emails