VICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark used staff and resources of the B.C. government to boost her chances to win Wednesday’s byelection in Vancouver-Point Grey, the NDP says in a complaint to Elections BC.
Elections BC is reviewing a letter from NDP provincial secretary Jan O’Brien that specifies two announcements Clark made in Vancouver during the 28-day byelection campaign. One was for a 30-unit seniors’ housing project in the Point Grey constituency, and the other was a funding announcement for Ronald McDonald House, located just outside the constituency.
Housing Minister Rich Coleman dismissed the complaint as “ludicrous.” The housing project is for people with disabilities and has been in the works for five years, he said. Major housing announcements have often been made by previous premiers, Coleman added.
The NDP complaint also referred to Clark’s campaign Twitter feed, which was being displayed on the premier’s official government website until Sunday. Coleman said that was a mistake and it was removed after it was pointed out.
Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Colin Hansen, who is managing Clark’s by-election campaign, defended the decision to keep Clark out of candidate debates in Vancouver-Point Grey. Hansen said he has been to many candidate forums, and they generally include few people who are undecided.
Clark is seeking the seat vacated by former premier Gordon Campbell.
The Clark campaign has also been distributing pamphlets in Vancouver-Point Grey that remind voters of NDP candidate David Eby’s opposition to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
The pamphlet also highlights some of the more controversial positions he argued as executive director the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. Those include opposition to Canada’s laws against polygamy and drugs such as marijuana and cocaine.