Liberal MLA Eric Foster’s constituency office renovation (see here) just went from reeking to possibly criminal with this latest press release from the BC Conservatives:
BC Liberal insider bought future constituency office just four days before 2009 election
The BC Conservatives today demanded that Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster “tell the whole truth” and explain why in 2009 he transferred his constituency office to premises recently-purchased by his assistant’s husband – who in turn is a veteran BC Liberal donor and patronage appointee.
The demand came after it was learned that the property and building in question was acquired by a company owned by Ravinder ‘Sid’ Sidhu – husband of Min Sidhu, Foster’s constituency assistant – and his father, mere days before voters went to the polls in British Columbia’s 39th general election.
The property, apparently desperately in need of renovation, was bought by the Sidhus’ company, Kalview Park Investments, in a cash transaction dated May 8, 2009.
Four days after that purchase, on May 12, 2009, Foster won election as BC Liberal MLA for Vernon-Monashee.
Foster soon announced to the local news media that the Vernon-Monashee constituency office was being transferred from the Sun Valley Mall to a different, undisclosed site.
“It (would be) a little more accessible to people,” Foster was quoted on June 5, 2009 by Vernon radio station 107.5 FM. “That’s the only reason.”
Coincidentally, the location Foster chose for his new constituency office was the same building bought 29 days earlier by Min Sidhu’s husband, Ravinder, his father, Ajit, and their company, Kalview Park Investments.
Foster selected the premises – a former sushi restaurant – despite its dire need of renovations.
As British Columbians recently and belatedly have learned, Foster quickly ordered tens of thousands of dollars in office renovations, and then submitted to the Legislative Assembly a $78,000 bill unaccompanied by invoices or any other evidence of the renovator’s actual work
After the office of John Doyle, B.C.’s Auditor General, flagged the bill for irregularities, Bill Barisoff, the BC Liberal Speaker, reportedly authorized the expenditure of $67,000 in taxpayer funds to pay for Foster’s office renovations.
In early January, a legislative committee dominated by BC Liberals and chaired by Eric Foster refused to extend a second term to Doyle as Auditor General.
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