Premier’s office refuses demands from all fronts for an external review of ‘ethnicgate’

Published: March 7, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Ben Chin

Communications Director for the Office of the Premier, Ben Chin, pictured here with Premier Christy Clark, says there is ‘no need’ for an external review as the issue at hand is ‘whether civil service resources were appropriately managed’ and the head of the civil service is ‘the appropriate person’ to determine that. Darryl Dyck/CP

The Office of the Premier continues to reject demands to launch an external review into the “ethnicgate” scandal, despite some of the requests coming from within the B.C. Liberal party itself.

“It’s just a joke for the legal system and for the assembly that … your junior (Deputy Minister to the Premier John Dyble) investigates you,” B.C. Liberal party member Vikram Bajwa told Vancouver Desi. “Nothing concrete is going to come out of this.”

The John Dyble investigation will be the beginning of the end (of the party).”

Bajwa, along with the NDP and B.C. Conservatives, are asking caucus for an external review into the government strategy leaked last week aimed at wooing ethnic votes in the run-up to the May election. In addition to offering ethnic groups apologies for historical wrongs as a means of gaining “quick wins,” the strategy sought to use taxpayer money for partisan purposes.

Vancouver-Fraserview MLA Kash Heed believes a review should be conducted the same way police investigate internal incidents, referencing external bodies like the Office of the Police Complaints Commission or the Independent Investigation Office.

“I’m asking for a transparent, accountable and appropriate investigation done in a timely fashion,” Heed said. “Certainly the perception that comes from the bureaucrat doing it is not a good one.”

The NDP party has been demanding the same since they leaked the document last week.

“We’re going to have a peripheral review by the Deputy Minister — who was appointed by Christy Clark,”said opposition House Leader John Horgan. “(And) Mr. Dyble has no power to subpoena.”

According to Horgan, Dyble cannot compel people who have left the government, like Kim Haakstad or Brian Bonney.

“He has no ability to interview them if they choose to not participate,” he said. “I hold him in the highest regard — he’s just the wrong person in the wrong place to do this investigation.”

“It’s a mess and the solution requires independence … then the public would be guaranteed that we would get to the bottom of this.”

B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins agrees, adding the review puts Dyble in an “awkward position.”

“The problem, of course, is that there is that relationship to the government — him being a senior bureaucrat . . . and essentially investigating his boss,” he said.

Both Bajwa and Horgan believe a B.C. judge would be fit to lead the investigation.

“There are no shortages of judges on various benches in British Columbia that would be impartial,” said Horgan.

But according to communications director for the Premier’s Office, Ben Chin, there is “no need” to follow up on any of these suggestions.

“What we are looking at here is whether the civil service resources were appropriately managed,” he said. “There’s no better person to do that than the head of the civil service.”

“(Dyble) is the appropriate person to review it and we should await the release of the review.”

Dyble’s review is expected to be released by the end of next week.

But Bajwa still wants an alternative.

“Otherwise … (Christy Clark) is going to take everybody down the drain with her,” he said.

He not only wants to question the premier, her staff and the concerned ministers, but he also wants to look into the Times of India Film Awards, which he believes was another ruse to gain ethnic votes.

“We love the movie stars from India, but how (did this) happen?” he asked. “The questions are not for British Columbia, it’s for the multicultural groups, the ethnic groups who have been damaged and who have been disrespected.”

“Unfortunately (Clark) doesn’t see the big picture.”

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute

Tags: , , , , , , , ,




Featured

pioneers

Dharm Singh Gill changed the way Sikhs were regarded for wearing turbans at work

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Little did Dharm Singh Gill realize that an act of heroism would change the way Sikhs were regarded for wearing their…
Continue Reading »

Jacqui Feldman shows off a recovering Sugar, her 13-year-old poodle that Terra Nova vet Dr. Javaid Chaudhry, rear, helped save after operating to remove a tumour. Feldman, who is battling cancer herself, fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000-plus for Sugar’s procedure.  Alan Campbell/Richmond News

Richmond veterinarian steps up to save cancer sufferer’s dying dog

ALAN CAMPBELL RICHMOND NEWS Richmond’s Jacqui Feldman, who’s suffering from terminal cancer, is crediting a local veterinarian with saving her life. It was a few weeks ago…
Continue Reading »

An artist sketch of Yosef Jomo Gopaul, the man accused of killing hockey mom Julie Paskall. Felicity Don, Sketch

Man accused of killing Surrey hockey mom pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. — A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Surrey’s Julie Paskall, who was…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

pioneers

Dharm Singh Gill changed the way Sikhs were regarded for wearing turbans at work

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Little did Dharm Singh Gill realize that an act of heroism would change the way Sikhs were regarded for wearing their…
Continue Reading »

Jacqui Feldman shows off a recovering Sugar, her 13-year-old poodle that Terra Nova vet Dr. Javaid Chaudhry, rear, helped save after operating to remove a tumour. Feldman, who is battling cancer herself, fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000-plus for Sugar’s procedure.  Alan Campbell/Richmond News

Richmond veterinarian steps up to save cancer sufferer’s dying dog

ALAN CAMPBELL RICHMOND NEWS Richmond’s Jacqui Feldman, who’s suffering from terminal cancer, is crediting a local veterinarian with saving her life. It was a few weeks ago…
Continue Reading »

An artist sketch of Yosef Jomo Gopaul, the man accused of killing hockey mom Julie Paskall. Felicity Don, Sketch

Man accused of killing Surrey hockey mom pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. — A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Surrey’s Julie Paskall, who was…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

weight-loss

Do we need to exercise more or eat less?

JILL BARKER MONTREAL GAZETTE A battle is waging in the scientific journals between several prominent health and fitness experts. In one corner are physicians Aseem Malhotra,…
Continue Reading »

exam scores

Identical twins’ mark sheets almost as identical and the story of a courageous young achiever

HINDUSTAN TIMES AND VANCOUVER DESI They are identical twins and, interestingly, even their mark sheets look almost the same. Ranchi twins Aporupa and Anorupa Chattopadhyay …
Continue Reading »

India-pharma-under scanner

U.S. lawsuit puts generic drug imports from India under scanner

IANS Washington – A U.S. class action lawsuit accusing India’s Ranbaxy of large-scale deception on its generic drug applications puts a question mark on drug…
Continue Reading »

100 year journey

Apart from the overwhelming cold, Sucha Singh Bagri has fond memories of his first few days in B.C.

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Sucha Singh Bagri arrived in Canada with his father Harnam Singh Bagri on Feb 2, 1935, on the Empress of Russia,…
Continue Reading »

swimsuits

Who wants to be a Princess? Beauty pageant contestants undergo rigorous training

VANCOUVER DESI Divas aspiring to become Indian Princesses are undergoing rigorous training before the grand finale of the beauty pageant in Mumbai. Indian princess pageant 2015 ◄…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Items of clothing are displayed in room 331 of the Martinez Hotel, where Parisian fashion house Elie Saab provides sartorial services to celebrities attending the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 21, 2015. During the Cannes Film Festival, room 331 is radically transformed into a red carpet emergency room - where celebrities like Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman can rush to if they pop out of a dress, or a zipper breaks. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

‘Nip slips’ and broken zippers: Red carpet Emergency Room for Cannes wardrobe malfunctions always full of drama

THOMAS ADAMSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNES, France – For most of the year, room 331 of the Martinez Hotel is just your run-of-the mill luxury…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai doesn’t leave her daughter alone even for a night

HINDUSTAN TIMES Apart from walking the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is also screening footage from her upcoming film, Jazbaa. The first…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Photos: Aishwarya Rai an absolute stunner at Cannes 2015 (updated)

VANCOUVER DESI Former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a Cannes regular for over a decade now. But this year marks her comeback to the…
Continue Reading »