The former communications director for the BC Liberal party is now facing a new charge in connection with the “quick wins” investigation.
A special prosecutor with the Criminal Justice Branch (CJB) approved the charge of breach of trust against Brian Bonney in connection with a strategy by the Liberals to win ethnic votes in the 2013 election.
At the time, NDP leader Adrian Dix alleged that Liberal government staff were planning to use government resources to drum up votes in ethnic communities ahead of the provincial election.
A leaked memo referenced a number of “quick win” strategies to woo ethnic voters in the Port Moody, B.C. by-election campaign – including apologizing for historical wrongs.
In August 2013, B.C.’s privacy commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, announced she did not any find evidence of personal information being shared between the government and the BC Liberals as contemplated in the “Multicultural Strategic Ethnic Outreach Plan.”
In 2014, Bonney and Mark Robertson were both charged under the BC Elections Act and the case still remains before the court.
After reviewing all the material, the special prosecutor approved a further charge against Bonney on Tuesday morning.
Current NDP Leader John Horgan said the information Dix provided to the Mounties played a role in the current investigation that resulted in the new charge against Bonney.
Speaking to reporters outside the legislature Tuesday, Horgan said he was concerned it took three years for the special prosecutor to complete the investigation.
“It strikes me that would lead to a lack of co-operation by government, a lack of co-operation by officials in the B.C. Liberal Party,” Horgan said.
He said the so-called quick wins scandal dates back to 2012.
Deputy Premier Rich Coleman said the charge against Bonney is disappointing.
He dismissed Horgan’s concerns about the amount of time it took the special prosecutor to complete his report.
“That’s pretty much an out there statement,” said Coleman. “I do find these things take a long time.”
~ with files from Canadian Press