Mike Smyth: The next 10 days could change everything in B.C. politics

Aerial image of downtown Nanaimo. Hang on to your hats! From the police probe at the legislature to the byelection in Nanaimo, the next 10 days could change everything in B.C. politics.
Aerial image of downtown Nanaimo. Hang on to your hats! From the police probe at the legislature to the byelection in Nanaimo, the next 10 days could change everything in B.C. politics.

Hang on to your hats! From the police probe at the legislature to the byelection in Nanaimo, the next 10 days could change everything in B.C. politics.

Hang on to your hats, secure your valuables, buckle your seat belts and get set for another wild ride on B.C.’s political roller coaster.

From the mysterious police probe at the legislature to the crucial byelection in Nanaimo, the next 10 days could change everything.

It starts Monday, when the all-party management committee of the B.C. legislature meets for another instalment of the Darryl Plecas Show.

Plecas is the crusading Speaker of the house who called in the cops last year when he became aware of “certain activities that were taking place in the legislative assembly.”

That led to an RCMP investigation, the appointment of two independent special prosecutors to oversee the probe, and then the astonishing events of Nov. 20.

That’s the day Craig James, the long-serving clerk of the house, and Gary Lenz, the sergeant-at-arms, were suspended with pay and perp-walked by police out of the parliament buildings as TV cameras rolled.

What’s it all about? No one is saying precisely, but Plecas made clear it involves suspected financial wrongdoing of a criminal nature.

“I have a duty to taxpayers to make sure, if I ever see something that I think is inappropriate in terms of spending, financial matters, that I pursue that with due diligence,” Plecas told the last committee meeting in December.

“Under my watch, there will never, ever, be anything buried here — ever.”

In that spirit, Plecas said the public deserves to know what’s going on.

“The public has a right to know,” he said. “The public has a need to know. I want them to get an absolutely complete picture. That is going to happen. That will happen.”

And Plecas said he wants it to happen on Monday, when the committee meets again.

IN THE HOUSE PODCAST

This week, Mike Smyth and Rob Shaw discuss big developments in two ongoing byelections, the ups and downs of the federal race in Burnaby South, and the fallout of new speculation-tax rules in the provincial race in Nanaimo. They also look ahead to promised bombshell revelations from Speaker Darryl Plecas into the legislature scandal. LISTEN HERE:

Of course, there’s the little matter of that police investigation. You can bet the cops, the…

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