B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau, who represents the party on the Legislative Assembly Management Committee. (Black Press files)

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

The allegations against B.C. legislature clerk Craig James and sergeant at arms Gary Lenz abusing their positions for personal gain mean the B.C. Green MLAs can never have confidence in them again, Green leader Andrew Weaver says.

Weaver spoke to reporters Tuesday after going over a lengthy report and dozens of supporting documents released by speaker Darryl Plecas to an MLA management committee Monday.

The report details questionable overseas travel, spending sprees and expense claims, as well as allegations that employees were threatened or fired for questioning the practices of the inner circle in charge of the legislature’s $70 million annual budget.

“The allegations in this report point to a culture of entitlement and were to be honest, sickening to read,” Weaver said. “To be blunt, I do not see how it is possible for our caucus to continue to have confidence in the clerk and the sergeant at arms, if they were recommended to come back to the legislature.”

The all-party MLA committee unanimously passed a series of motions Monday, one of which calls for the three party house leaders to recommend whether Lenz and James should continue on paid leave while RCMP investigate their activities.

RELATED: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, expense claims

RELATED: Legal battle ahead for suspended B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms

Another is for an auditor from outside B.C. to do a forensic review of the legislature’s books. Weaver said he wants that audit to go back beyond the 18 months of the current government, at least to the previous terms of B.C. Liberal speakers Linda Reid and Bill Barisoff.

The report even touches on the Social Credit government of Bill Bennett, where speaker Walter Davidson was involved in pension arrangements for senior administrators.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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