Christy Clark recuses herself from oil refinery proposal over conflict of interest
B.C. premier's former husband Mark Marissen has ties to a $10-billion proposal in northern B.C.
Premier Christy Clark has recused herself from all involvement regarding an oil refinery proposal for northern B.C., due to a conflict of interest involving her ex-husband.
Clark's former husband, Mark Marissen, has ties to Pacific Future Energy which is pitching a $10-billion dollar facility for the region.
"I certainly don't have any business ties or financial ties with my ex-husband, although we do have a child together and share that responsibility," Clark said at a press conference Tuesday.
"As premier of the province though, I have another responsibility, and that is to every single British Columbian."
The premier has expressed support in the past for a similar proposal being pitched by newspaper publisher, David Black, which also looks to refine oil in B.C., rather than ship raw Alberta bitumen to Asia.
Clark said she sought out the opinion of the province's Conflict of Interest Commissioner in, what she called, "an abundance of caution".
"I sought the Conflict Commissioner's guidance and I will continue to seek his guidance," Clark said.
"It is my understanding that this proposal doesn't depend on, or is not linked to, any pipeline proposal. And I don't know if Mr. Black's [proposal] would have had the same distinction."
Clark said she will hand over any and all contacts and decisions on the Pacific Future Energy proposal as well as any other oil refinery proposal in B.C. to Finance Minister, Mike de Jong.