Kwantlen executive payments should be investigated by Auditor General

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VICTORIA—New Democrats are calling on the Auditor General to investigate executive compensation and reporting practices at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

“The B.C. Liberal government has not treated the allegations that have come to light at Kwantlen seriously,” said New Democrat advanced education critic David Eby.

“These are allegations concerning compensation practices happening when Minister of Advanced Education Amrik Virk was chair of the university’s human resources committee – yet this government still maintains that the appropriate response is an internal review that will report back to the minister himself.”

A series of leaked documents detail an alleged plan involving the minister to funnel $100,000 to the incoming president from the Kwantlen foundation that provides bursaries and grants to students, as part of a scheme to hide bonus payments to executives from public scrutiny.

New Democrats have repeatedly questioned Minister Virk about why, as a board member, he allowed two employment contracts for Kwantlen’s incoming president – one of which was made public, while the other, signed on the same day, was not publicly disclosed, yet provided for an extra payment of $50,000.

“There are staff at Kwantlen who have contacted me with information to bring forward, but they need to know that their jobs will be protected when they do, and that the information they provide will be given appropriate consideration. That will only happen when an independent investigation is called,” said Eby.

“Kwantlen students deserve to know that money that is earmarked for their education will never be used to secretly top up executive paycheques. A thorough investigation by the auditor general will help put this question to rest.”

Click to view Eby’s letter to the Auditor General