B.C. Liberals scrap Bingogate inquiry

Attorney General says inquiry was long process and nothing new could be learned

The B.C. government has ended the Bingogate inquiry, called in 1996 to investigate charges that an NDP fundraising arm deprived local charities of $2.6 million.

Attorney General Geoff Plant, who announced the decision, said that the inquiry had been a long process and that no more could be learned about gaming in British Columbia.

"I think the public interest has been satisfied in relation to Bingogate," Plant said. "It's time to move forward."

No report will be released by the inquiry, which has cost roughly $6 million and has been extended six times. Lyndsay Smith, commission counsel for the inquiry, had not comment.

The Bingogate inquiry, more formally known as the Smith Commission of Inquiry, looked into the bingo and lottery scandal linked to the Nanaimo Commonwealth Holdings Society.

The society was alleged to have skimmed money from charity bingo operations over several decades.

Former NDP cabinet minister Dave Stupich pleaded guilty to fraud in the scandal and was sentenced to two years of house arrest.

Former B.C. Premier Mike Harcourt resigned over the Bingogate scandal, although he was cleared of any wrongdoing by the inquiry.