Debate in the B.C. Legislature today (Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019) between Premier John Horgan and Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver on the Speaker’s report and clerk meetings with MLAs.
A. Weaver: … Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the report is the alleged partisan nature of the Clerk’s office. The report details 39 entries of in-province trips taken by the Clerk since March 2017 for individual meetings. Four of these involved former B.C. Liberal Speaker Bill Barisoff. Four involved the former Premier Christy Clark, all of which occurred after she was no longer Premier. Fourteen were with former B.C. Liberal MLA Geoff Plant. Two were with the B.C. Liberal MLA from Abbotsford West. One was for a meeting at the B.C. Liberal Party offices.
Let me be clear. The Clerk has never once visited the B.C. Green Party, nor any of our MLAs, outside of this Legislature.
So my question to the Premier is this. How many times since March 2017 has the Clerk visited the B.C. NDP party office or an individual MLA’s office in Vancouver or elsewhere in the province of British Columbia, those MLAs being NDP MLAs?
Hon. J. Horgan: I thank the member for his question and his concern about the report tabled by the Speaker in the break after the last sitting of the House. I agree with him that it’s incumbent upon all of us, all members here, to demonstrate leadership. It’s not one party. It’s not one person. It’s all of us that have to demonstrate to the public that we’re serious and genuine about real reform to make sure that there’s transparency and absolute certainty that the activities of all members of this House, all table officers of this House….
Welcome to the table. I bet you didn’t count on this, did you?
But in all seriousness, the Clerk has never been to my office, whether it be at the Legislature or in my constituency. He has never visited the party office of the B.C. NDP. I have no knowledge of any of the members of my caucus ever having a visit from the Clerk of the Legislature.
Again, the questions of partisanship are in your report. The questions of partisanship are in the public domain. And I will remind members that when the Clerk, Mr. James, was appointed, it was not with the support of the official opposition — the first time in our history that an individual was appointed to head this jurisdiction, to head this table, that did not have unanimous consent. I think we need to start, as we go forward, to ensure that all of us, all 87 of us, are focused on restoring public confidence in the work that we do.
I know that each member, regardless of their political stripe, regardless of their former vocation, came to this place with a good conscience to make life better for their neighbours. I know that in my heart, and I know that we can demonstrate that to the public if we work together and not hector each other on who was right and who was wrong and whose fault it is. There’s a problem here. We all have to fix it.
Source: BC Hansard