‘Ethnic outreach’ scandal could end B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s political career

B.C. premier facing backlash over memo

Seventy-three days.

Barring a political miracle, that's the maximum number of days left in Christy Clark's reign as premier of British Columbia — the provincial election is scheduled for May 14th.

There are reports, however, that she may not last even that long.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark (Reuters)

In response to the public outcry to the ethnic outreach scandal, Clark — at the urging of several disgruntled caucus members — has called an emergency cabinet meeting for 4 p.m (PST) on Sunday afternoon in Vancouver, according to Global News.

The scandal came to light last Wednesday when the opposition NDP revealed a 17-page multicultural outreach strategy outlining the Liberal party's plan to win ethnic votes in the May election. The report, along with a spreadsheet leaked on Friday, suggests that the party was using staff from the premier's office, other government staff and resources for crass political purposes.

Clark denied any previous knowledge of the ethnic vote plan but her deputy chief of staff, close friend and confidant Kim Haackstad stepped down over her role in the scandal on Friday.

Resignation after 'ethnic vote' controversy

And, while the government has apologized and announced an internal investigation, that hasn't been enough for several Liberal caucus members who have publicly criticized the premier's office about the conflict.

[ Related: B.C. premier's top staffer resigns amid 'ethnic vote' controversy ]

Some reports claim that Sunday's meeting is simply to discuss how to control the backlash.

In one tweet, however, Vancouver Sun reporter Jonathan Fowlie suggested that cabinet ministers are bandying about three options for the premier:

The fact that all this is happening just 10 weeks before an election is bad news for Clark's Liberals. The most recent Angus Reid poll, puts the NDP ahead of the Liberals by a whopping 16 percentage points. Most analysts believe that the ethnic outreach scandal will strip the Liberals of even more support -- ironically, especially among the ethnic communities.

On Friday, Bill Chu, chair of the Canadian Reconciliation Society, called a press conference where he chastised the government for the strategy.

[ Related: Chinese community outraged at Liberal 'ethnic vote' plan ]

Chu especially took umbrage to one excerpt from the document which called for 'quick wins' in ethnic communities by making apologies for historical wrongs.

"In the leaked document, you can see the wording in it, how they want to manipulate our [Chinese-Canadian] community — not just our community, but the entire multicultural community," Chu said.

"It's full of disrespect."

 

RAW: B.C. premier's apology unacceptable

Will Christy last 73 days or just a few days?

At this point, that seems to be the only question left.

Are you a politics junkie?
Follow @politicalpoints on Twitter!