Global BC takes reporter off air pending review
Published Tuesday, January 18, 2011 9:25PM PST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 12:43AM PDT
A Global BC TV news reporter whose e-mails are part of a criminal probe into former solicitor-general Kash Heed will be taken off the air while the station's management review possible breaches of journalistic standards.
Global TV news director Ian Haysom said management will take several days to weigh the importance of an e-mail where Heed's campaign manager identified reporter Catherine Urquhart as a "communications director" for the campaign.
"The matter is being reviewed independently by the senior director of editorial policy for Global News to see whether any journalistic standards have been breached," Haysom said a statement emailed to CTV News.
"The review will take several days. In the meantime, Catherine will not appear on air."
Urquhart was mentioned in a search warrant application that is part of a criminal probe into whether Heed and his staff broke the law while campaigning in the riding of Vancouver-Fraserview during the last provincial election.
Investigator Sgt. John Taylor quotes an e-mail exchange between Heed's campaign manager, Barinder Sall on June 10, 2010.
"I can honestly say Kash would not be SG today if it hadn't been for some key people behind the scenes," wrote Sall. "There were truly three people that played a major role: Me, Peter Dhillon, and yourself and Kash knows this. Peter was the money guy, I'm the brown tanned James Bond strategy girl chasing guy, and you were like the communications director… your stories, coverage and timing gave Kash a lot of profile and built him a following from day 1."
"Hey, that's really sweet of you," wrote Urquhart. "Have to say -- there were a number of people along the way (cops and reporters -- mostly cops) who seemed to have it in for Kash. But I always believed he was a good guy. I'm truly glad it worked out! C"
Police are not investigating Urquhart's conduct. If true, the claim from Barinder Sall could constitute a professional conflict of interest for Urquhart.
Urquhart's official biography says she has spent 20 years as a reporter. She was trained in BCIT's broadcast journalism program and joined Global BC in 1995.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward