WATCH: Growing controversy over news B.C. Liberal Party hired back former executive director who’s facing criminal charges in Ontario. Tess van Straaten reports.
The B.C. Liberal government is dealing with yet another controversy, after word the former executive director of the B.C. Liberal Party will return to her job, despite criminal charges against her in Ontario.
“The highest political operative in B.C. Liberal land is under criminal investigation in another jurisdiction,” NDP leader John Horgan says. “I think that will be a problem for the public.”
Laura Miller stepped down in December after being charged with breach of trust and other crimes related to the destruction of email records involving two cancelled gas plants.
Miller was one of two former aids to then-premier Dalton McGuinty charged but in a statement, the B.C. Liberal Party says Miller’s been working to “mount a vigorous and successful defense…and is now in a position to step back into her role.”
“The B.C. Liberal Party made this decision and I support it,” Premier Christy Clark told media. “They made it after a lot of consideration and they made it based on something we all believe in — people are innocent until proven otherwise.”
But critics say that’s a double standard, especially in light of the controversial health researcher firings that tragically led to a suicide.
“Where was the presumption of innocence on the health researchers who were fired?” Horgan asks. “They were fired without cause, without the benefit of the doubt. The premier has selected innocence — Liberals are innocent until proven guilty and everyone else in fending for themselves and I think that’s unfortunate.”
Triple deleting email scandal
Critics say it’s interesting the Liberals brought Miller back at a time when the B.C. government is under intense scrutiny for deleting emails.
Triple deleting emails was allegedly routine practice for ministers and staffers and a former transportation ministry staffer is now facing charges.
But despite the concerns, Clark says she has total confidence in Miller.
“All of her work for us here in British Columbia has shown her to be a person of the highest moral integrity,” Clark says.