Virk shuffled to new job after Kwantlen flap

Probe into Virk's involvement in unauthorized payments to university executives wraps up, Premier Christy Clark moves him

Surrey-Tynehead MLA Amrik Virk

VICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark has moved embattled cabinet minister Amrik Virk out of his advanced education ministry role as the government wrapped up its probe into unauthorized signing bonuses for new executives at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Virk trades cabinet jobs with Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson, who was serving as technology, innovation and citizens’ services minister. The announcement came Thursday, after the government released the latest results of a probe of the Kwantlen hirings.

Virk was an inspector with the Langley RCMP and volunteer Kwantlen board member before being elected MLA for Surrey-Tynehead last year. In November, the NDP produced emails that contradicted Virk’s claim he was not involved in a decision to get around B.C. salary guidelines for university executives.

Virk said he forgot about an email exchange where he proposed a research allowance for then-University of Regina dean of business Ann Lavack for the position of vice-president academic at Kwantlen. B.C. public service pay rules limited the position to $170,000 a year, and Lavack took the job in 2011 with a $20,000 research allowance and a $50,000 “consulting fee” that were not reported to provincial officials.

Clark also announced three new cabinet assistant appointments.

• Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier takes a new position as parliamentary secretary for “energy literacy and the environment,” reporting to Environment Minister Mary Polak

• North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite is parliamentary secretary for child mental health and anti-bullying, reporting to Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux

• Penticton MLA Dan Ashton is parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Mike de Jong

 

Just Posted

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges cadet program on gendered policy

He wants the policy to be more gender inclusive

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Summer sun for Sunday

The forecast for the week ahead shows some rain but plenty of sun and warm tempertures.

In photos: Uptown Askew’s Family Day

The Uptown Askew’s Family Day event was filled with classic cars, face… Continue reading

CSRD to support cannabis growth in agricultural zones

Regional district revision brings policy in line with Agricultural Land Commission

Word on the street: Has the wet July weather put a damper on your summer any?

Due to the wetter-than-usual July weather, the Observer asked: Has the wet… Continue reading

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Police on scene at Penticton beach

RCMP were at a what is believed to be a crime scene near Skaha Beach Sunday

Community service ordered for Princeton man who stole from firefighters

A young man who stole food and money from the Princeton Volunteer… Continue reading

Okanagan rainbow crosswalk defaced

Vandals cover colours with white paint in District of Coldstream sometime overnight Saturday

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Hespeler had connection to Mennonite migration

Home in Summerland was built in 1907, moved when the highway was changed

Most Read