Former BC cabinet minister Kevin Falcon and interim BC Liberal Leader Shirley Bond need to answer for allegations that their campaigns misused a publicly-funded addictions rehabilitation centre for partisan political gain, says BC NDP MLA Aman Singh.

“It’s disturbing that the BC Liberals would use residents in a publicly-funded recovery facility for their own re-election,” said Singh. “Instead of ensuring every dollar goes into addictions supports, we’ve heard that facility staff were campaigning for the BC Liberals.”

Yesterday, Business In Vancouver posted an explosive investigative report that residents of the Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Community were forced by a former BC Liberal staffer to make calls for Falcon’s failed leadership campaign in 2011, and also made phone calls on behalf of Bond’s re-election efforts.

“Kevin Falcon and Shirley Bond should publicly disclose everything they know about this situation and explain why they think it’s ok to use public funds for partisan gain,” said Singh.

According to the report:

  • The BC Liberals gave the facility millions, including Falcon and Bond personally delivering a $500,000 cheque in July 2010.
  • In the subsequent BC Liberal leadership campaign, Falcon campaigned at the facility and was introduced as “the next Liberal leader,” according to a former employee.
  • The employee says that executive director Marshall Smith provided residents with BC Liberal phone lists and forced them to call on behalf of Falcon.
  • Smith was forced out of his position just days after Falcon lost the leadership vote.
  • A former resident told Business in Vancouver that he also made political calls on behalf of Bond.
  • It’s not known if Bond attended the facility with Falcon during the leadership race.