It seems job security is not one of the benefits that comes from working for Premier Christy Clark.
On Monday, British Columbia’s multicultural minister John Yap stepped aside after a document proposing a series of initiatives to win the favour of ethnic voters in the run-up to May’s provincial election was leaked late last week. Over the weekend the premier’s deputy chief of staff, Kim Haakstad, was the first to take the fall for the memo.
Haakstad, whose name had the misfortune of appearing atop the controversial memo as its author, has been a part of premier’s inner circle of advisors and confidants since June, 2001, when she served as Clark’s executive assistant.
It’s hard to believe Haakstad would issue any memo without the full knowledge and consultation of her boss.
Of course wooing specific interests isn’t a new election strategy. Heck, it’s pretty much what every election campaign is about.
But for a government that can’t seem to get out of its own way as it stumbles toward a spring campaign as the underdog, the 17-page document that outlines ways to win favour with ethnic communities offends on two fronts—by using non-political government resources and information for political purposes, and by patronizing ethnic groups.
It’s true these strategies are no doubt discussed in caucus and campaign strategy meetings of parties of every political stripe.
But the memo suggests the BC Liberals clearly crossed a line.
Opening the drawer to expose the BC Liberals’ dirty laundry is embarrassing.
For that someone had to take the fall. Just as members of the premier’s communications team have paid the price for her previous gaffes.
The way things are going, they’re just beating her to the unemployment line.