B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has asked for B.C.’s Conflict of Interest Commissioner to rule on whether Attorney General David Eby can change MLA recall rules on the eve of a possible effort to recall him from his Vancouver-Point Grey constituency.
The province’s recall law has never been successfully used, due to the high threshold of petition signatures required. No petition can be filed until 18 months after a general election, and as the Nov. 9 deadline approaches, Eby has introduced a bill to restrict donations to recall campaigns.
In a letter to conflict commissioner Paul Fraser, Wilkinson notes “there are published reports indicating that several members of the assembly, including the member for Vancouver-Point Grey, will be targeted for recall by voters within their constituencies.”
Eby earned the ire of some constituents for the NDP government’s imposition of a property surtax on homes valued at more than $3 million. Another likely target is Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas, who was expelled from the B.C. Liberal Party after standing for the job of legislature speaker and strengthening the NDP minority government.
B.C.’s legislation defines as conflict of interest if an MLA uses official authority while knowing “there is the opportunity to further his or her private interest.”
The legislation extends the same restrictions on campaign contributions for elections to recall campaigns. Personal donations are capped at $1,200, corporate and union donations are prohibited, and third-party advertisers are also regulated as they are in an election.