By Andrew MacLeod
Published: Jan.14, 2012.
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark accepted at least $3,800 worth of gifts in the month of June last year.
The bulk of Clark’s haul was six tickets from the Vancouver Canucks to watch the team at home in the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins. While Clark was public in June about having accepted the tickets, their value is named for the first time in her recently released public disclosure statement.
Clark and her pre-teen son Hamish each received tickets to the second, fifth and seventh game in the playoff series. Those tickets were worth $550 each, for a grand total of $3,300.
There was some public outcry at the time about Clark accepting the tickets, and the Globe and Mail noted that in contrast to Clark, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson paid their own way to playoff games.
However, Paul Fraser, conflict-of-interest commissioner, found it appropriate for Clark to take the free tickets. “You attended these games as the official representative of the Government of British Columbia, which you lead,” he wrote in a June 14 letter Clark’s office released. “Leading political figures have been attending major sporting events in this country for decades.”
Fraser wrote that such events “generate competitive pride and loyalty in city, province and country” and provide “a welcome break from the rigours of daily life.”
A day after Fraser wrote his letter, the Canucks lost the cup to the Bruins and Vancouver erupted in a riot that included widespread looting, injured at least 140 people, including nine police officers, and resulted in an estimated $5 million in property damage.
MLAs are legally required to disclose any gift they receive worth more than $250 to the conflict-of-interest commissioner, who then makes those disclosure statements public.
MLA McIntyre’s financial discloure statement reveal a full list of her assets and liabilities.
Premiere Clark also received a $500 pair of “custom made moccasins” from the Northwest Territories and Fort Simpson First Nation, a $325 “First Nations Pendleton Blanket” from the First Nations Summit and a “custom made aboriginal drum” of unknown value from then Northwest Territories premier Floyd Roland.
For comparison, former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell’s last three disclosure statements, which cover from 2008 to 2010 and include the period when the province hosted the Olympics, include no gifts over $250.
Also of note on Clark’s form, Cannacord Financial is now handling the premier’s investments, but without her knowledge of what’s in the portfolio. The arrangement is similar to one made for Campbell when he was premier.
The Tyee reported Clark said in an April 21, 2011 disclosure form she filed as part of the byelection process that she held no corporate shares.
(Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Tyee.)