News flash: BC Liberal delivered something on-time and on-budget.
But, in true BC Liberal fashion, it isn’t so simple.
Sam Oliphant became Christy Clark’s press secretary after the 2013 election, but quit in Febuary 2016 to become a lobbyist and consultant with Kirk and Co. Kirk is the BC Liberal-aligned public relations firm and multimillion-dollar B.C. government contractor.
theBreaker has learned Oliphant made a comeback in the dying days of the BC Liberal dynasty. The Office of the Premier hired Oliphant on a confidential, $7,500-maximum, no-bid contract from June 15 to 23, to “provide writing services.”
June 15 was, coincidentally, the last day of Oliphant’s undertaking to lobby the Transportation ministry on behalf of Sqomish Sea to Sky Developments LP.
The contract, obtained under the freedom of information law and published below, contains few details about those writing services, except that Oliphant was to report directly to deputy minister of corporate policy Neil Sweeney.
The contract was signed by Clark’s other deputy minister, Kim Henderson. Under description of services, it only says: “In response to request by the province, the contractor will provide the province with writing services.”
There was no engagement or assignment letter to explain the nature of the writing services.
The contract was originally worth $5,000 maximum, but it was increased to $7,500 on June 20.
Oliphant invoiced the government for $7,402.50, including GST, on June 23. He claimed 47 hours of work at $150 per hour between June 15 and 19.
What writing did Oliphant deliver?
No prose was disclosed to theBreaker.
Oliphant has not responded to phone and email messages from theBreaker.
The Office of the Premier’s most-important and best-known written product in June 2017 was recited in the Legislature on the afternoon of June 22 by Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon. The biggest gamble of Clark’s political career.
The Speech from the Throne totalled 5,721 words and was quickly branded the “Clone Speech,” because it copped numerous spending and policy planks from the NDP and Green election platforms.
Platforms that the BC Liberals spent millions of dollars to oppose in the spring election campaign.
A week after the “Clone Speech,” on June 29, the Greens and NDP ganged-up to topple the Clark Clique in a 44-43 vote of no confidence. Clark failed to spark another election. Guichon tapped John Horgan to become the next premier. Clark resigned as BC Liberal leader in late July.
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