British Columbia

B.C. Court of Appeal will not review Christy Clark conflict of interest case

For the second time, Ottawa-based advocacy group Democracy Watch's appeal to review two rulings from the conflict of interest commissioner involving Premier Christy Clark have failed.

Democracy Watch's second attempt to revisit the allegations has been dismissed

In May 2016, B.C.'s conflict of interest commissioner ruled exclusive fundraisers and a stipend paid to former premier Christy Clark by the B.C. Liberal Party were not conflicts. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

For the second time, Democracy Watch's appeal to review two rulings dismissing conflict of interest allegations against former Premier Christy Clark have failed.

On Wednesday the Ottawa-based advocacy group appeared in the B.C. Court of Appeal to challenge a lower court ruling that the courts can't review — let alone reverse — two key decisions by B.C.'s conflict commissioner Paul Fraser.

In May 2016, Fraser ruled exclusive fundraisers and a stipend paid to the former premier by the B.C. Liberal Party were not conflicts.

In August 2016, Clark was cleared on conflict of interest allegations connected to party fundraising events for the second time.

In January, Democracy Watch petitioned B.C.'s Supreme Court to set aside the provincial conflict commissioner's decisions.

The organization also asked that the court find Fraser shouldn't have been involved in the decisions at all, due to potential bias, as his son worked for the provincial government.

But later that month, the B.C. Supreme Court decided it wouldn't hear a challenge against the two rulings.

Justice Kenneth Affleck ruled no court challenges of Fraser's decisions would be allowed because they are protected by legislative privilege and are consequently "unreviewable."