One of the principle elements of the now ‘under investigation’ multicultural outreach program was the hiring of four outreach ‘consultants’ to organize events in various ethnic communities.
Multiculturalism Minister John Yap says the plan wasn’t implemented. Nevertheless his ministry hired four consultants: Ann Woo, Pavandip Singh Bahia, Estrellita ‘Lita’ Nuguid and Clara ‘KK’ Chow. After some negotiation they were hired at up to $25,000 per contract for their non-partisan work.
All that is now theoretically under investigation and Deputy Premier Rich Coleman, the Premier’s new chief spokesthingy, told the Sun he wants results to show within twenty-four hours.
Clark or Coleman or whoever is really running the government has yet to release the terms of the investigation but Clark told the Sun Editorial Board – I bet that was a beehive of tough questioning given Fazil Mihlar’s views on the matter – that her intention was to “determine that no government resources were used to support that effort.”
Now since we already know that $100,000 of ministry money was spent on the four ethnic co-ordinators, it seems clear that money was spent on the “that effort”.
It becomes even clearer when we learn that the four were not necessarily the most qualified although they all shared at least one important qualification: BC Liberal Party activism.
All are Liberal Party activists with at least two involved in the by-election campaigns and others involved in nomination campaigns. There seems to be some involvement in Federal Liberal politics as well.
And despite Minister Yap saying he thought the plan had been dropped there are plenty of pictures on line of him posing with his hires and the non-partisan folks they outreached to.
For example here’s one of Minister Yap and Ms. Lita Nuguid at the acclimation of Liberal candidate Theresa Wat. Oops, that partisan.
And another one of Ms Nuguid and John Yap at Gabby Kalaw’s campaign fundraiser in Vancouver Kensington… Oh wait, partisan too.
Here’s one with Fraser River MLAs and nominees… at a River Rock campaign fundraiser. In fact there are almost nothing but partisan pics of Mr Yap and government outreach worker Ms. Lita Nuguid.
Ms Nuguid was one busy woman, squiring Mr. Yap and other Liberal dignitaries like Executive Director Chad Pederson around town to… partisan events. How lucky the team was to find an outreach person who coincidentally happened to be a party member active in party affairs.
Will Mr. Coleman and government puppy John Dyble find a way to interview all these folks to determine just what Ms. Nuguid’s real job was? I doubt it.
When Ms. Nuguid finally did get John Yap to an actual community event there was a form to complete that included a sign in sheet. On behalf of the government, Ms Nuguid and the other three outreach consultants collected the names of every person at every event.
It seems like those names ended up with Brian Bonney, well known Liberal organizer in the Lower Mainland who somehow turned up as the Communications Director for the Ministry after Ms. Clark won the BC Liberal leadership and became our Premier.
Mr Bonney’s party job ended in 2006. He was Director of Operations, which meant he was in charge of the party’s database. He continued to be very active in party affairs and was the government employee who came up with the plan to politicize he renewal of Burnaby General Hospital.
I wonder why that wasn’t investigated with the same diligence?
Here’s how Bonney describes part of his Communication job over at John Yap’s ministry:
- Organized and delivered ethnic media and stakeholder roundtables
- Worked with Community Liaison Officers
- Oversaw the development of communications materials for multiculturalism events
- Vetted and approved invitations and plans for proposed events
- Liaison with the Premiers office for ethnic events and outreach
My conclusion is that it’s a short hop from Bonney to the Liberal Party database. If Mr. Coleman really wants to find out if and more likely, how the BC Liberal Party benefitted from the hiring of supposedly non-partisan outreach workers he’s going to need a search warrant. But neither he nor John Dyble have one.
But then he knows that. Mr. Coleman’s a former RCMP officer.