What’s in Christy Clark’s Elections BC public disclosure file in Kelowna West?
The statutory disclosure form shows that Clark reported interest in real property near Vancouver city hall and on Galiano Island.
The form does not say what theBreaker has reported: Clark is living in a house in Dunbar owned by a party donor. A real estate agent close to the BC Liberal Party sold it for $3.7 million in April 2016. Clark disclosed no debts.
Clark’s residential address was obscured for the purpose of the public disclosure file. The BC Liberal office phone number was originally listed.
She reported unspecified income as “Premier and MLA.” In January she said she stopped receiving a $50,000-a-year leader’s allowance from the party, but would instead be reimbursed for expenses. theBreaker, however, reported in April what Clark has not disclosed, that her 2016 Buick Enclave SUV from Dueck GM is paid for by the party.
The first page is a letter from Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser to Clark, one of several MLAs whose investments are in a “hold mail” account. While she is allowed to know the balance, she is not permitted to know the contents of the portfolio.
The Fraser letter was addressed to Clark, in care of her lawyer John Esson. Bill Tieleman’s A-to-Z of the Basi-Virk/BC Rail trial says that Esson was acting on Clark’s behalf beginning in August 2009 regarding disclosure of BC Liberal MLAs’ email.
In December 2013, the Clark administration announced Esson was among 32 lawyers honoured with a Queen’s Counsel designation.
His bio was the shortest in the Dec. 11, 2013 news release: “John Robert Esson practises predominantly in the area of criminal law, both as defence and crown counsel. A respected practitioner, Mr. Esson has also coached, taught and mentored students.”
Esson has an intriguing connection to a friend of Clark who is a donor to the party that has benefitted from BC Liberal rule.
Esson is listed in the Federal Corporation Information registry as one of three directors of Inspirit Group, which was incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.
The other two directors? Lisa Kerfoot and her husband, Greg Kerfoot, the owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Clark lives in the aforementioned Dunbar house registered to Greg Kerfoot’s business associate, Nevin Sangha. Both Kerfoot and Sangha have donated to the party. Sangha gave a modest $1,250 in 2010. Greg Kerfoot donated $15,000 from the Inspirit Group in 2010 and 2011. His donations have totalled almost $80,000, including $7,500 from Carrera Management Corp. Kerfoot is listed as Carrera’s only principal officer for Elections BC purposes, but Sangha is the sole director on Carrera’s company registry.
After the leaders’ debate, Clark walked away from questions from theBreaker about who really pays for her house.
UPDATE, May 4: Bob Mackin spoke briefly with Clark’s lawyer, John Esson, on May 1 after sending him a detailed request by email to see Clark’s tenancy contract, cancelled rent cheques and annual conflict of interest disclosure submission. Esson did not respond to several follow-up email and phone messages.
Meanwhile, Clark’s nominators included Forests minister Steve Thomson, ex-Conservative MP Dan Albas, West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater, West Kelowna Coun. Rick de Jong (younger brother of Clark finance minister Mike de Jong), Liberal youth organizer Mellisa Morphy and Liberal regional organizer Ashley Spilak. Spilak’s resume website includes an endorsement from Global BC press gallery reporter Keith Baldrey.