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HomeBusinesstheBreaker.news Podcast: Speaker shifts scandal spotlight back onto suspended officials

theBreaker.news Podcast: Speaker shifts scandal spotlight back onto suspended officials

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Drama in British Columbia, on two fronts. 

The Dec. 1 Vancouver International Airport arrest of Meng Wanzhou, dubbed the “Huawei Princess” on Chinese social media, sparked a war of words. 

Beijing has warned Canada and the United States, which ultimately wants to try her for fraud, of retaliation for jailing the telecom giant’s chief financial officer. Meng is also the daughter of the multinational company’s multibillionaire founder. 

A Dec. 7 bail hearing that captured global attention included evidence of Meng’s past as a permanent resident of Canada. Her husband Liu Xiaozong is named on property records for two mansions in Vancouver’s richest neighbourhoods. 

Meanwhile, the scandal at the B.C. Legislature unfolds, as Speaker Darryl Plecas emphatically defended calling-in the RCMP to investigate Clerk Craig James and Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz, who were suspended with pay on Nov. 20. 

In a Dec. 6 Legislative Assembly Management Committee meeting, Plecas said he had a duty to taxpayers to do due diligence and the RCMP, aided by two special prosecutors, must not be subject to interference from the opposition BC Liberals. 

Shortly after he was appointed speaker in September 2017, Plecas said he received information that he needed to act upon. 

“I felt a great duty to safeguard the integrity of this institution and be very mindful about why we’re all here. That’s to make sure that public dollars are spent appropriately.”

Plecas has proposed a separate forensic audit of James and Lenz’s offices and he vowed to resign if the public does not share his disgust. Lawyers for James and Lenz have not responded for comment. 

Hear highlights of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee. 

Plus commentaries and Pacific Rim headlines. 

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