NEWS RELEASE · 28th February 2013
New Democrats have revealed a secret Liberal plan, hatched in the Premier's Office, that again uses tax dollars for partisan political activities, this time to assist the Liberal Party’s pre-election ethnic outreach efforts.
New Democrat House Leader John Horgan led the charge in question period by grilling the government on a leaked Liberal plan, a key goal of which is “creating a contact database” for the Liberal Party via “coordination between constituency assistants, the Party, the ministry of state for multiculturalism, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, and GCPE.”
"This leaked document confirms that the Liberal government is turning the public service into a wing of the B.C. Liberal party in their increasingly desperate attempts to improve their re-election chances," said Horgan. "This secret plan details a comprehensive plan to target ethnic voters, involving the Premier's Office, the Liberal caucus, the Liberal party and—most disturbingly, the public service.
“The Premier is well aware of the rules that forbid staff in her office, ministers' offices, and MLA community offices, from working on B.C. Liberal party contact lists and databases,” said Horgan. “The rules are clear, taxpayer-supported resources cannot go toward building political party contact lists and campaign databases, such as the Liberal Party’s system.”
Horgan noted that a central objective of the plan is “making sure that government, caucus and the party are all working together in a coordinated and effective manner” and asked the premier to justify her government’s abuse of taxpayer resources for partisan political purposes. The document mentions “facilitating coordination between the party, government and caucus” at least seven times.
"This secret plan clearly demonstrates the Liberals are deliberately folding government resources and staff into their party’s campaign machinery, despite rules that forbid this," said Horgan. "We've seen this before, with the Liberals' efforts to run a secret committee to subvert the public process around Burnaby Hospital, and in the attack website created by caucus staff and launched by the Liberal party. Today's leaked documents show an even more brazen and cynical effort."
In accordance to the terms of their employment, Premiers Office, and Ministers' office staff cannot “engage in political activities during working hours or use government facilities, equipment, or resources in support of these activities.”