Reid must answer for her expenses and silence as Speaker: MLA Garry Begg

Garry Begg
Garry Begg

NDP MLA Garry Begg said on Wednesday: “It’s disturbing that [BC Liberal MLA] Linda Reid kept silent even though she knew the [BC Legislature] Clerk may have collected over a quarter million dollars improperly. We see evidence of inappropriate spending going back years under BC Liberal speakers, and there’s still a lot we don’t know. British Columbians deserve answers from the BC Liberals about exactly what they knew and why they didn’t act.”

Begg noted that on Tuesday,  British Columbians heard from Connor Gibson,the former BC Liberal caucus employee who blew the whistle on Reid, who may have been allegedly double-dipping on expense claims.

Gibson says that when he brought his concerns to Reid as well as senior BC Liberal caucus staff, they instructed him to process the claims anyways. Gibson then took his concerns directly to the Speaker’s office.

But Begg says that Reid’s involvement extends beyond her own expenses. She presided as Speaker over the Legislature from 2013 to 2017, a time in which many of the alleged incidents of inappropriate spending took place.

In January 2014, an internal report warned Reid that Craig James received a massive $257,000 payment to which he may not have been entitled. (Plecas Report, pages 44-48)

Instead of taking action, it appears Reid did nothing – and the report mysteriously disappeared from the Speaker’s vault during her tenure.

Neither Reid nor BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has been available to media to answer questions on their party’s direct connections to the spending scandal, noted Begg.