B.C.’s Conflict Commissioner Paul Fraser has thrown out a complaint against Attorney General David Eby over recall legislation that was passed on Tuesday. In a letter provide to Global News, Fraser states the complaint was filed under the wrong act and that the request was premature.
“No recall application has actually been filed with Elections BC under the existing Recall and Initiative Act. The published reports referred to in your letter describe steps that one or more voters may take in the future,” reads the letter. “Whether they actually will do so is unknown at this time.”
“The policy of this office is not to give opinions on hypothetical matters.”
BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson asked Fraser to rule on whether Eby should have been allowed to participate in debate around legislation that would restrict union and corporate donations to recall campaigns.
British Columbia is the only Canadian jurisdiction that provides a legislative framework for voters to remove an elected member from office. A website has been created to launch a recall campaign against Eby.
Recall petitions cannot be initiated until at least 18 months after an MLA is elected. That would make Nov. 13 the earliest opportunity to apply to recall an MLA elected in last May’s provincial election.
A B.C. MLA has never been recalled under the existing legislation.
Under the Recall and Initiative Act, citizens have up to 60 days to gather signatures and submit the petition for verification in order to remove an elected MLA.
But Eby says he’s “disappointed” the Liberals filed the complaint and it is distracting away from what he says is important legislation to make recall campaigns fairer.
“I just regret the Liberals decided to take this showboaty-type step,” said Eby. “Getting big money out of recall campaigns is necessary.”
“I am certainly frustrated by the fact they filed this complaint that had no basis. But the reality they will do what they have to do because they are opposition.”
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