Only a thorough and independent investigation will get to the bottom of the allegations swirling around Jobs Minister Pat Bell and Justice Minister Shirley Bond relating to the assembly of property for the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, New Democrats say.
In the legislature Wednesday, New Democrat House Leader John Horgan revealed a document signed by the CEO of the Northern Development Initiative Trust that states that Ministers Bell and Bond – two highly influential members of cabinet and crucial players in Prince George – made a specific request that the trust lend money to a private Prince George developer to buy the property.
The property is at the centre of complaints levied against Bell by two Prince George developers. They allege Minister Bell first promised to help shortlist their companies for the development, and then reneged on the promise.
The letter from NDIT CEO Janine North said the trust “acted as a lender, financing 75% of the property acquisition costs of the following lots at the request of the two local ministers,” a statement that flies in the face of Bell’s repeated claims that he had no involvement in the project. Horgan said the allegations must be investigated.
“The document prepared by the CEO of the Northern Trust says that moneys were lent — public moneys were lent — to private individuals to assemble land at the request of the Minister of Jobs and the Attorney General,” said Horgan in the legislature.
“Clearly, the Attorney General can't investigate herself... Isn't it past time that an independent body is appointed to investigate the scandal swirling around the Wood Innovation and Design Centre?”
Text from Thursday’s question period today is available at this link:http://www.leg.bc.ca/hansard/39th5th/H30306y.htm
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