VICTORIA — The incoming NDP government’s plan to spend public money on a new office to manage its political relationship with the Green party is a misuse of taxpayer funds, the B.C. Liberals allege.

The Liberal party filed a written complaint to acting Comptroller General Carl Fischer on Monday, saying the new Confidence and Supply Agreement Secretariat announced in premier-designate John Horgan’s office will inappropriately use public service resources for political purposes.

“By placing this so-called Secretariat within the Office of the Premier, this political office would be funded and supported by the B.C. Public Service resources,” wrote Liberal MLA Andrew Wilkinson in his letter.

“British Columbia’s public servants are required to serve the citizens of British Columbia through the administration of public services. They are not employed to oversee and support political agreements between parties.”

The letter alleged the office violates the B.C. Public Service’s Standards of Conduct, and asked Fischer to rule on the matter before the NDP is sworn in to power on July 18.

The secretariat’s office will manage the power-sharing arrangement between the Greens and NDP that was signed in late May and gave the NDP the one-vote advantage in the legislature that allowed it to topple the Liberal government June 29 on a confidence vote. The agreement stipulates that the Greens be consulted in major policy decisions, briefed and given access to NDP government briefing material.

“We’ve announced a co-ordination effort with respect to our agreement with the Green caucus that’s designed to be open and transparent so the public understands we want to make this minority situation work,” Horgan said July 11 of the new secretariat.

The NDP has not provided the salaries or cost of the new office, though it would be funded using public money out of the premier’s office. However, it did name the …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics

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