Plecas recall effort continues despite bombshell report
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2019 12:16PM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2019 7:20PM PST
The man pushing to recall Darryl Plecas says he’s moving forward despite the revelations in the Speaker's bombshell legislature expenses report.
But Robin Roy says he’ll delay the next steps for a few weeks while he waits for a proper response from the two senior officers named in the report.
“It’s politics, it’s smoke and mirrors,” Roy told CTV News. “I’d like to hear the Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms respond.”
Roy is targeting Plecas, the MLA for Abbotsford South, and had planned to submit paperwork to Elections BC by the end of January.
A committee of the legislature released a report authored by Plecas on Monday that blew the whistle on allegations of “flagrant” overspending.
Among the items Plecas’s investigation discovered: thousands of dollars on new suits, allegedly inappropriately claimed per diems, expensive headphones and a fantasy novel, $13,000 on a wood splitter and a tools trailer for the legislature that actually ended up at James’s house.
The Speaker also raised the alarm about a $257,000 retirement payment that allegedly went to James.
These are allegations in the report that the pair are disputing. An RCMP investigation is ongoing involving two special prosecutors, but there have been no criminal charges laid.
With the power balance in Victoria so close, removing Plecas would mean that someone else would have to take his place as Speaker.
If that person came from the ranks of the Green Party or the NDP, that could make passing votes in the legislature more difficult, and make the party more vulnerable to a confidence vote that could bring down the government.
After the James and Lenz were walked out of the legislature, Plecas had been targeted by skeptical Liberals. Their leader, Andrew Wilkinson, told CTV News in December that the investigation was a “farce.”
Under B.C.’s recall law, voters can remove an MLA from office if they can collect signatures from at least 40 per cent of eligible voters in the MLA’s riding during a 60-day campaign.
Roy says the delay is not to avoid the fallout from the speaker’s report – instead it’s to allow time for James and Lenz to respond to the allegations.