As Premier Clark appoints one Liberal insider after another and hands out lucrative contracts to friends of the Liberal party it is clear that the families of friends and insiders come first with her government. Even more appalling is the fact that Christy Clark has increased the cost of salaries for her senior staff by more than 10 per cent compared to the former Liberal premier.
Here is what Christy Clark has said about insiders and political appointments in the past:
- “I think what British Columbians…want from government now is not a leader who can grant access to people who already have a lot of access.” -Globe and Mail, Jan. 31, 2011
- “We need to create a public service that is non-partisan and qualified and hard-working.” -Times Colonist , Feb. 14, 2001
- “The process for hiring should be transparent and it should be fair. '' – Vancouver Sun, Feb. 14, 2001
Yet, since becoming Premier, Christy Clark has shamelessly given Liberal friends and insiders contracts, directorships and high-paying jobs with little to no process.
Here are just a few of the partisan insider appointments and contracts that have been handed out by the Liberals under Premier Clark:
- Athana Mentzelopoulos: Was a bridesmaid at the premier's wedding. She has since been appointed deputy minister for corporate priorities (Globe and Mail, Aug. 5, 2011) where she will likely make more than $200,000 a year. She was previously B.C. deputy minister of intergovernmental relations, replacing Andrew Wilkinson, the former B.C. Liberal party president. (Georgia Straight, June 3, 2004)
- Nathan Bauder: Was a local organizer for Premier Clark's successful leadership campaign. Was appointed to the Passenger Transportation Board, a part time position that paid $35,625 for the equivalent of 57 full days of work in fiscal 2010/11. Bauder has since stepped down due to allegations that he falsified documents. (Globe and Mail, Aug. 4, 2011)
- Kareem Allam: Was the deputy campaign manager for Kevin Falcon's failed leadership bid. His company was secretly awarded a contract to work on the Liberals' pro-HST campaign, worth about $46,000. (Public Eye Online, Aug. 3, 2011)
- Marc Andrew : Was a senior aide to former Finance Minister Colin Hansen, who introduced the HST. He was awarded a secret contract to provide “political analysis” to Tom Syer, the head of the HST information office. The contract, which was never tendered, paid out $33,433.30. (Public Eye Online, July 26, 2011)
- Campaign Research Inc.: This company worked on cabinet minister George Abbott's unsuccessful campaign for the Liberal leadership. It was awarded a contract for $167,800 to conduct the Liberals' pro-HST town halls. (Public Eye Online, July 26, 2011)
- Judy Kirk: This former executive director of the Liberal caucus heads up Kirk and Co. Consulting Ltd., a firm that was awarded a secret contract worth up to $25,000 to provide the Liberals' hand-picked HST panel with media and public relations advice. (Public Eye Online, July 26, 2011)
Once again, Premier Clark has shown that the Liberals simply can't be trusted to keep their word. They're too busy looking out for Liberal friends, donors and insiders to act in the best interests of all British Columbians.