British Columbia

B.C. minister apologizes to Gordon Wilson for comments about work performance

Jobs minister Bruce Ralston has retracted statements he made about Gordon Wilson, the former advocate for B.C.'s liquefied natural gas program, saying they were inaccurate.

'I regret making the statement, I retract that statement in its entirety,' says Bruce Ralston

Gordon Wilson in a photo op with then-premier Christy Clark. The photo was taken at Vancouver Airport in 2013, the same year Clark appointed Wilson to the LNG position. (CBC)

Jobs minister Bruce Ralston has retracted statements he made about Gordon Wilson, the former advocate for B.C.'s liquefied natural gas program, saying they were inaccurate.

In a written statement Saturday, Ralston apologized, saying a comment he made about Wilson's work performance was based on "incorrect information provided to me."

"I regret making the statement, I retract that statement in its entirety, and apologize to Mr. Wilson for my error in making that inaccurate statement," Ralston said.

The provincial government fired Wilson from his post earlier this month. At the time, Ralston said the government could not find any written reports from Wilson to justify his salary.

But on Saturday, Ralston said Wilson did provide reports detailing work performed.

Wilson was hired in  2013 by then-premier Christy Clark to promote B.C.'s LNG industry. He was paid $150,000 per year and earned more than $550,000 all told.

At the time of his firing, Ralston criticized Wilson's track record on the job, saying "it's very difficult to see that he accomplished anything other than to cash his cheques."

Since then, the government has walked back those comments. On Tuesday, B.C. Premier John Horgan apologized to Wilson, saying that if Ralston missed some of the documentation of Wilson's work, he was sorry to have said otherwise.

The public comments about his work performance appeared to anger Wilson. Last week he tweeted "you cannot slander private citizens without consequence." and said he would consult a lawyer.

 "There was all kinds of documentation of work by the LNG advocate and the LNG program," he said. "The work that I did was well beyond report-writing."