Don’t forget the Liberals called Plecas ‘a rogue’ on a ‘witch hunt’ | The Province

Opinion: On the legislature spending scandal, the Liberals’ credibility was shredded a long time ago.

When the legislature spending scandal first erupted, B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson called the whole thing a “witch hunt.”

He said Darryl Plecas, the crusading Speaker who pried the lid off the entire stinking mess, was “out of control,” a “rogue Speaker” and an “amateur detective” who should be fired.

“He’s building his own little empire,” Wilkinson fumed. “He’s being allowed to get away with it. We have to stop that behaviour.”

For Wilkinson and the Liberals, Plecas was an object of deep-seated scorn.

Plecas was a Liberal MLA who defied his own party to take the Speaker’s job, eliminating a Liberal vote in the legislature, and delivering a two-seat governing edge to the rival NDP-Green alliance. The Liberals kicked Plecas out of their party as punishment.

But then Plecas blew the lid off the spending scandal: The designer suits. The globe-trotting travel. The odious pension top-ups. The infamous $13,000 wood-splitter and trailer delivered to the home of clerk Craig James.

James and Gary Lenz, the former sergeant-at-arms, are now both under criminal investigation by the police. Both have left their lucrative legislature jobs.

But the revelations keep coming. The latest is that Plecas had a meeting with Premier John Horgan’s chief-of-staff, Geoff Meggs, on July 30, 2018, four months before the scandal became public.

In a report this week, Meggs revealed that Plecas brought a 40-to-50-page document to the meeting describing all manner of legislature misconduct. Meggs said he advised Plecas to call the cops. Then he shredded the document.

The Liberals jumped all over that last part Wednesday.

“Criminal allegations were present in the report,” Wilkinson said in a raucous Question Period. “Mr. Meggs shredded the report. This is suppression of evidence. This is obstruction of justice.”

And this is a big, fat joke! The same Liberals who called Plecas “a sham” and “a charlatan” now say the NDP tried to obstruct his work?

Give me a break. The Liberals wanted Plecas fired. Remember that as you listen to their histrionics.

As for Meggs, he said the report wasn’t “evidence,” but a summary of investigations with no supporting documentation. He also said it was one of several copies Plecas brought to the meeting, so he saw no problem destroying a duplicate report.

In hindsight, he would have been smarter to simply return the report to Plecas, instead of shredding it.

But Meggs also rightfully advised Plecas to call the police, which Plecas rightfully did. The sooner the cops finish their work, the better for everyone.

This content was originally published here.



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