The fact that BC Liberal Ministers of the Crown ENJOY their trips, throughout BC, across North America, and overseas, doesn't convert the public duty to be worthy of it being considered to be a violation of the Members' Conflict of Interest Act...... or something like that.
There are conditions though, on who pays for the Members' travel expenses. Basically it's us, the taxpayers, whereas as the Conflict of Interest Commissioner wrote in 1999, the lunches ...... may be picked up by others....like an Ice Rink Meet with the Prime Minister of Canada. Not saying she let the Prime Minister pick up the tab, but he could have. Another example that would be acceptable to the Commish would be for a BC Finance Minister to sit down with a contender for the BC Rail spur line during negotiations at a now defunct restaurant (law office now). Coincidentally, the RCMP undercover officers lunch bills for that same meeting were picked up by the Attorney General of BC. One would think that the AG would keep a closer tab on those sort of bills...... liquor...... just how much is the AG of BC kept in the dark when it comes to covert operations? Were the RCMP sober enough when they became star witnesses.....
Back in 1999, an Opposition MLA wanted to nail a BC NDP Minister to a cross for ..... well, its best stated by the Commish (below). However, if the method by which covered costs were calculated that were allowed in 1999 were now applied to our current Premier's photo op spree, what would H.A.D. Oliver have to say.....????
PRELIMINARY DRAFT - Office of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner
www.coibc.ca/down/opinion_sihota_1999.pdfFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
May 31, 1999. Page 2. OPINION OF THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST COMMISSIONER ... Ms. Clark has based her request on recent media reports of statements by Mr. Sihota and in particular: "I've gone to ski resorts in British Columbia where owners have entertained me, taken me out, showed .... H.A.D. Oliver, Q.C.. Conflict ...
Snipped from Page 6 of 7
.......When a minister in the course of his ministerial duties travels, whether down a mine or up a ski hill, the cost of enabling him to do so whether borne out of public funds or by or on behalf of the owner or operator of the facility in question is a necessary expense, incidental to the carrying out by the minister of his official responsibilities. The fact that the minister may find the trip enjoyable does not convert the public duty into a private junket nor the cost necessarily involved into a personal gift or benefit prohibited by or subject to disclosure pursuant to section 7 of the Members' Conflict of Interest Act. The mere fact that from time to time a public duty required of a member may actually be enjoyable does not thereby make it sinful or unlawful.
1. that the necessary travel, meals and accommodation expenses were paid for by his Ministry and that the ski hill transportation costs and the costs of the working lunches were appropriate items paid for by the ski hill operators, and were not "fees, gifts or personal benefits" within the meaning of section 7 of the Members' Conflict of Interest Act.
2. the helicopter ride was not a fee, gift or personal benefit" within the meaning of section 7 but was necessarily incidental to Mr. Sihota's Ministerial duties.
3. that no conflict or apparent conflict of interest occurred.
Though Mr. Sihota's words, volunteered by him during a media scrum, when read out of context may well, at the time, have given rise to suspicion of a contravention of the Members' Conflict of Interest Act, I am of the opinion that no improper conduct was involved in the ski hill incidents which form the subject matter of this complaint.
Dated this 31st day of May, 1999
In the City of Victoria, Province of British Columbia
H.A.D. Oliver, Q.C.
Conflict of Interest Commissioner
Note: Victoria – Paul Fraser, QC has been recommended to the Legislative Assembly as the province’s third Conflict of Interest Commissioner. The all-party Special Committee to Appoint a Conflict of Interest Commissioner presented its unanimous recommendation in a report to the House this afternoon. It is expected that Mr. Fraser will take up his duties on January 1, 2008. (for a Five year Term)(Ending December 31, 2012)If you haven't read the Link to the Commish Report from above, then let's put it this way. Who would raise such an issue as this....a perceived conflict....look no further than the Premier of British Columbia, the current Premier, Christy Clark, when she "listened carefully" to what she wanted to hear, while a BC NDP Minister was in a scrum with reporters ........ which she then took completely out of context just to do some political grandstanding of her own.
The benefit derived from that request of clarification from the Conflict of Interest Commissioner has resulted in having a clear course on how, and when to spend tax payers dollars while traveling, anywhere.
The golden rule is that one must SMILE, to show that although one is doing their duty, they are also permitted to ENJOY what they are doing, and that's not a crime, is it.
There is an exception, in the public's mind. Its when an Elected person, such as an MP, orders a glass of Orange Juice for $16 and SMILES when asked why. Or, not liking the hotel, upgrades her residence, and SMILES, when asked why..... Bev Oda tenders her resignation as an MP for Durham!
BC Gov came by at exactly Jul 3 2012 10:27:13 am having arrived from this Referring URL
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The B.N.A. Act, Section 109, states in part: "all lands, mines, minerals, and royalties belonging to the several provinces of Canada . . and all the sums then due or payable for such lands, mines, minerals or royalties, shall belong to the several provinces . . . in which the same are situate or arise, subject to any trusts existing in respect thereof, and to any interest other than that of the province of the same.- snippppppitedy doooo dahh.