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Burying the evidence


BC Housing is a crown corporation and reports to the Minister of Housing.

Up until recently, the Minister of Housing was Premier Eby.

BC Housing is in charge of billions of your hard earned tax dollars, given to it by government.

Their sole purpose was to deliver on the NDP-promised 114,000 units of housing, which they have failed at.

BC Housing should be held to a high standard of governance and accountability.

But that hasn’t happened.

In fact, it’s been quite the opposite.

For those that read my columns regularly, this may not be a surprise.

By now, many of you are aware of the inappropriate conflict of interest between the former CEO of BC Housing and the CEO of one of their key housing providers Atira, leading to some 90 million of funding that didn’t meet the proper governance test.

That’s bad enough but it actually gets worse.

It is now alleged, by former BC Housing board members, that the board tried to warn then Housing Minister Eby about the potential for corruption but that they didn’t have the evidence they needed to take action.

They wanted to hire a subject matter expert, trained in examining organizational conflict of interest.

This was because an audit by Ernst & Young had raised concerns about the dealings of BC Housing, and how they awarded contracts, but didn’t properly collect evidence of their allegations.

Instead of listening to the board, Eby fired them all, accused them of not doing their job, and buried the first Ernst & Young report by releasing it just before a long weekend.

But there is even more scandal.

This Ernst & Young report came after an initial report from BDO that was also buried by the Minister of Housing.

The knowledge of this first report only came to light because of a leak to the press and when the opposition questioned the premier about its existence, he denied it.

Once it became clear the leak to the press was accurate, he reluctantly admitted the report’s existence.

So why did Mr. Eby fire the board and accuse them of ignoring corruption within the operations of BC Housing?

It’s obvious now that he was trying cover up so he wouldn’t have to pay a price politically just before he began his leadership campaign to become premier.

BC Housing having a fiscal corruption meltdown on Mr. Eby’s watch would have led to uncomfortable questions and headlines.

So, he threw the board under the bus and kicked the can down the road, past his leadership campaign.

Our now premier put his political ambitions before what was right.

This sets a concerning precedent.

What else is he prepared to bury to protect his political career?

Our BC United caucus and our leader Kevin Falcon will not stop asking uncomfortable questions, raising the voices of British Columbians and advocating for proper governance in all aspects of BC Housing.

If BC Housing isn't working well, British Columbians suffer the consequences.

My question this week:

Do you believe this government’s housing plan will address our province’s housing crisis?

I love hearing from you!

Email me at Renee.Merrifield.MLA@leg.bc.ca or call the office at 250-712-3620.

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