Former BC LIberals communications director Brian Bonney. (File photo)

Update: B.C. government aide gets conditional sentence in vote-getting scandal

Brian Bonney has been given a nine-month conditional sentence for using his public job to woo ethnic votes

A former government communications director has been given a nine-month conditional sentence for using his public job to woo ethnic votes for British Columbia’s Liberal party.

Provincial court Judge David St. Pierre said Brian Bonney made “certain choices” that landed him in court.

Bonney’s lawyer told a sentencing hearing earlier this month that his client was an instrument of others in the scandal, including senior officials in former premier Christy Clark’s office.

St. Pierre told Bonney on Wednesday that citizens expect public servants to work for everyone, not a particular political party.

“The message in this case, at least to be passed on to other public servants in similar situations, is there might well be unfair and undeserved consequences for saying ‘No’ to the minister but those consequences, I’m sure I hope you agree, pale in comparison to what you’re having to go through,” the judge said.

The conditional sentence will be served in the community and Bonney will live under a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. He must also do 60 hours of community service work.

READ MORE: Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

READ MORE: Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Bonney pleaded guilty to breach of trust last October in the so-called quick wins scandal for the partisan use of taxpayer money in an attempt to attract support from minority groups.

Special prosecutor David Butcher presented a series of emails during the sentencing hearing showing Bonney used a private account to communicate with liaison workers who were tasked with gaining support from various ethnic organizations before the 2013 election.

Butcher said the plan to win ethnic votes involved a “cynical purpose” that had no aim to legitimately engage minority groups. He had asked the court to impose a 12 to 23 month community sentence.

Bonney’s lawyer, Ian Donaldson, called for a suspended sentence, saying his client crossed a line but was directed to do so.

After the scandal broke, Clark appointed her deputy minister to conduct a review and it concluded public officials misused government resources. It said Bonney was among those who spent a considerable amount of time during his workday on party activities and used private emails.

Clark apologized and the Liberals returned $70,000 of taxpayers’ money.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Impaired driver crashes into Victoria police vehicle, injures officer

Cook Street collision occured in the early morning hours of Tuesday

Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Plaque that replaced Macdonald statue at Victoria city hall vandalized

Less than 24 hours after plaque was installed, an ‘X’ had been scratched through the centre

Weekend collisions keep West Shore RCMP busy

Officers responded to three separate incidents within the span of one hour

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Most Read