By now, Gordon Wilson will have grossed a half-million-dollars since “coming home” to the BC Liberal Party during the 2013 election.
For helping Premier Christy Clark win, the ex-B.C. Liberal leader scored a plum patronage gig in October 2013 as the Buy B.C. LNG Advocate. A new job for which there was no open, public competition. Last year’s cabinet order extending his appointment to Feb. 24, 2018 at $150,000-a-year means Wilson is poised to gross $650,000. Unless there is a change in government.
That’s a lot of money to be a traveling salesman for a product that could be at least three years from its first sale. Wilson made headlines last year when he claimed that B.C. has a “moral obligation” to export LNG to China. The hyperbole was met by a Times Colonist editorial in which Wilson was dubbed “glib and cynical.”
Based on an analysis of Wilson’s travel expenses from January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016, he worked on 61 of 189 business days. Wilson charged taxpayers $4,507.67 for accommodation and $12,117.47 for travel, including $2.75 TransLink fares. Part-timer Wilson was paid his full $12,500-a-month cheque, totalling $112,500.36 over nine months.
That means taxpayers are dinged $595.24 per business day, whether or not Wilson is advocating for B.C. LNG.
Add the cost of expenses, and the daily ding for the nine months was $683.20.
All this for a fella who was an LNG buzzkill during the 2013 election. “The most compelling reason to be concerned about relying on this golden goose, however, is the fact that the markets we are told will buy all we can supply may not materialize as we think, and even if they do, the price they are prepared to pay for our product may be well below what is anticipated,” Wilson wrote on his blog on April 23, 2013.
Wilson did not respond to theBreaker for comment. Neither did his son Mat, the B.C. Liberal candidate hoping to knock-off NDP incumbent Nicholas Simons in Powell River-Sunshine Coast.
That was the seat “Flip” Wilson held from 1991 to 2001, a period in which he became opposition leader, had that affair with caucus-mate Judi Tyabji, lost the Liberal leadership to Gordon Campbell, started the Progressive Democratic Alliance, folded that small tent and joined the NDP.
Last year, Tyabji wrote Clark’s error-riddled “Behind the Smile” biography, which can described as the least-unauthorized, authorized biography in the Gutenberg age. Her son Kaz is scheduled to go on trial in Calgary on Sept. 11 over charges of importing deadly fentanyl from China.
Sept. 11 is, coincidentally, the same day that B.C. Liberal executive director Laura Miller is scheduled to go on trial in Toronto for breach of trust, and mischief in relation to data and misuse of a computer system to commit the offence of mischief. The charges date back to her days as deputy chief of staff for Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.