Sur­prise guilty plea in ‘quick wins’ scan­dal


A for­mer B.C. Lib­eral govern­ment com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor qui­etly en­tered a guilty plea to one count of breach of trust on Thurs­day in the so-called quick wins scan­dal from the Christy Clark era.

Brian Bon­ney, who once worked on Clark’s Lib­eral lead­er­ship cam­paign, en­tered the plea to the crim­i­nal charge be­fore pro­vin­cial court Judge David St. Pierre in Van­cou­ver.

Bon­ney’s trial in pro­vin­cial court had been sched­uled to be­gin on Mon­day.

A sen­tenc­ing hear­ing for Bon­ney is ex­pected Dec. 6 and 7.

David Butcher, the spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor in the case, wrote in an email that his com­ments, which will in­clude a thor­ough re­view of the cir­cum­stances, will be made dur­ing the sen­tenc­ing pro­ceed­ing.

“I think there’s lots to say, but I’m go­ing to say it when we get there in De­cem­ber,” Ian Don­ald­son, Bon­ney’s lawyer, said when he was asked for com­ment late Thurs­day.

The charge of breach of trust by a pub­lic of­fi­cer, which was laid in May 2016, re­lates to an of­fence that oc­curred between Oct. 16, 2011 and Dec. 21, 2012.

The charge came nearly three years af­ter the RCMP, fol­low­ing a com­plaint by the then-op­po­si­tion NDP, opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the B.C. Lib­er­als’ mul­ti­cul­tural outreach plan — the so-called quick wins scan­dal. It sought, among other things, to use tax­payer-funded re­sources to drum up votes in tar­geted eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties in the 2013 gen­eral elec­tion.

The plan, which was leaked to the me­dia, dogged the Clark govern­ment in the months lead­ing up to the 2013 elec­tion, and re­sulted in sev­eral res­ig­na­tions, in­clud­ing Kim Haak­stad, Clark’s close friend and deputy chief of staff.

Elec­tion Act charges aris­ing from the same in­ves­ti­ga­tion were laid in 2014 against Bon­ney, co-ac­cused Mark Robert­son and a num­bered com­pany. Those charges re­lated to al­le­ga­tions stem­ming from a by­elec­tion in 2012. The charges were dealt with in May 2016 af­ter the num­bered com­pany en­tered a guilty plea to one count of mak­ing or ac­cept­ing a po­lit­i­cal do­na­tion.

The com­pany, which did busi­ness as Main­land Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, was fined $5,000 and the re­main­ing charges were stayed. Bon­ney was the pres­i­dent of the com­pany.

Brian Bon­ney


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.