The Plecas Report reveals a number of previously unknown connections between Clerk Craig James and senior BC Liberal MLAs and party operatives.
In the period examined, James took trips for 39 meetings. Of those, at least 24 were with people associated with the BC Liberal Party, including:
- Three meetings with Christy Clark after she left office.
- Meetings with Mike de Jong and Steve Thomson.
- A meeting at “Liberal Vancouver Offices” on January 31 2018, three days before the Liberal leadership vote. James did not disclose who he met with.
- A meeting with lawyers Geoff Plant and Paul Barbeau on June 20. Barbeau is the current BC Liberal President who at the time was Wilkinson’s representative on the executive of the BC Liberal Party.
This information raises a number of serious questions for Andrew Wilkinson:
- Is it appropriate for his representative on the BC Liberal Executive to be acting as legal counsel to the supposedly non-partisan clerk?
- Have Wilkinson and Barbeau discussed any business regarding Craig James or the operation of the Legislature?
- Who did James meet with at the Liberal Vancouver offices on January 31, 2018?
- Why were senior BC Liberals meeting so regularly with Craig James?
For several weeks, Andrew Wilkinson and his MLAs attempted to discredit Darryl Plecas prior to the release of his report:
“There’s a grave concern that the speaker is out of control. We need to be concerned that he’s building his own little empire, staffed with expensive lawyers, with investigators with no credentials and he’s being allowed to get away with it.” – Andrew Wilkinson, Times Colonist, Nov 26
“We have a real problem if we have the Speaker off in his own realm because the Speaker is nothing more than the referee in this chamber. And if he thinks he’s going to run a parallel government with an investigative arm and a legal arm, we have to stop that behaviour.” – Andrew Wilkinson, Times Colonist, Nov 26