Friday, November 8, 2013

Glen Clark

Born November 22, B.C., Glen Clark was B.C.'s 31st premier from 1996 to 1999.

Clark's post secondary education was conducted at both Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia and he worked in the labour movement before entering politics.

Glen Clark was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the 1986 provincial election. Clark was Minister of Finance and Corporate relations before becoming Minister of Employment and Investment in the government of Mike Harcourt.

As I stated on Wednesday, Harcourt resigned as a result of Bingogate. Clark ran for the leadership of the BC NDP party and won, making him the next premier.

He didn't waste any time and called an election in 1996. The NDP narrowly won the majority. The party won fewer seats around the province but managed to earn all but eight seats in Vancouver.

That is all well and good but then the scandals started. The first is in connection with the fast ferries. In an effort to rebuild the shipbuilding industry, Clark undertook a project that was designed to upgrade the existing BC Ferries fleet as well as improve the shipbuilding industry in Vancouver. The ferries took longer than expected to produce and the expenses were massive. Not only that, they didn't work as planned. Eventually, the ferries were sold by the incoming Liberal government to the American owned Washington Marine Group. Unfortunately, they were sold for a fraction of what they cost to build.

Events became interesting in March of 1999 when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police executed a search warrant and searched the Clark household. Someone tipped off the media about the raid and television stations showed footage during prime time of the premier pacing inside his home while the search was being conducted.

Two weeks later, Premier Clark's office was searched.

Naturally, the media covered this story intensely. And there were inaccurate reports as well causing some critics to allege a media or RCMP conspiracy to smear the premier.

On the night of August 21, 1999, Glen Clark resigned after allegations that he had accepted $10,000 in free renovations from Dimitrios Pilarinos in exchange for approving a casino application. (Clark had actually paid the $10,000)

Clark was later charged with a criminal offence, committing a breach of trust.

In 2001, H.A.D.  Oliver, conflict of interest commissioner, concluded that Clark had violated conflict of interest laws in British Columbia. On August 29, 2002, the Supreme Court of British Columbia acquitted Clark of all criminal charges.

Justice Elizabeth Bennett ruled that although Clark had unwisely left himself open to a perception of unethical behaviour, there was no proof that he had actually done anything illegal.

Glen Clark went on to be employed as president of the Jim Pattison Group and president of the News Group North America.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the information on Glen Clark.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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