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Conflict Commissioner asked to review actions of Burquitlam MLA and potential $30,000 benefit in special health authority deal

The Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) is asking provincial Conflict of Interest Commissioner H.A.D. Oliver to review the conduct of Liberal MLA Harry Bloy after the union today released e-mail correspondence between the member from Burquitlam and executives of the Fraser Health Authority (FHA) that raises the specter of special treatment for Liberal insiders.

“These e-mails create the appearance that old-style pork barrel politics are alive and well under the Campbell Liberals,” says HEU spokesperson Zorica Bosancic. “And they raise questions about the conduct of Bloy and the FHA, and the integrity of the government’s privatization tendering process.”

The correspondence indicates that Bloy contacted the FHA to seek information on contracts to be tendered a week before the April 23 government public announcement of plans to privatize some health care services. Another undated e-mail suggests the office of Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Patty Sahota contacted the FHA on behalf of a constituent who wanted to bring his security guard company to the health authority’s attention.

“But more alarming,” says Bosancic, “is that senior FHA executives proposed and entered into a special arrangement to give Bloy detailed documents about all tenders for privatized services for free-information the average taxpayer would have to pay $50 a pop for.”

Some 600 tenders will be issued this year, says the FHA, which may create a potential $30,000 benefit for Bloy. So far some 40 tenders have been put out, and more are pending.

The e-mails then detail how a senior authority administrator, David Lawson, determined that providing the comprehensive tendering information free of charge to Bloy is “in the best interests of the public.” Asked “would this work for you?” Bloy responds, “the suggestion is great.” Lawson is then congratulated by senior FHA colleagues for the success of the arrangement.

Bosancic said her union made the request to Oliver in a letter sent yesterday. And she also called on Premier Campbell to account for the actions of his MLA and the health authority “to ensure that the public interest has not been compromised,” she said.

“The Premier needs to clear the air and take immediate steps to protect the public health care system from potential conflict of interest and interference by his MLAs.”

Copies of the e-mail correspondence and the letter to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner are attached to the electronic version of this release available at heu.org.


Stephen Howard, director of communications,