British Columbia

Former B.C. government communications director facing new charge in 'quick wins' scandal

Brian Bonney charged with breach of trust by a public officer relating to 'quick wins' ethnic outreach plan.

Brian Bonney charged with breach of trust by a public officer in 'quick wins' ethnic outreach plan

Former B.C. Liberal government communications director Brian Bonney has been charged with breach of trust in connection with the 'quick wins' scandal. (CBC)

Former B.C. government communications director Brian Bonney has been charged with breach of trust by a public officer.

According to a statement from B.C.'s Criminal Justice Branch, the charge follows an RCMP investigation into potential offences arising from the "quick wins" draft multicultural strategic outreach plan that was drawn up in 2011.

At the time, Bonney was the communications director for multiculturalism and government communications, as well as a volunteer with the provincial Liberal party.

Outside of court Bonney's lawyer Ian Donaldson said his client will fight the charges.

"Mr. Bonney was employed by the public and the public got what they paid for and then some. That's our position." said Donaldson.

Donaldson said the Crown, not his client, had requested and been granted a publication ban on Bonney's bail hearing.

'Three years to get here'

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan questioned why it took so long for Bonney to be charged.

"My significant concern is that it took us three years to get here. It strikes me that that would lead to a lack of cooperation by the government, a lack of cooperation by the B.C. Liberal party," Horgan told reporters.

A 2013 report looked into allegations Premier Christy Clark's Liberal administration blurred the lines between government and partisan activity in drawing up plans to win the multicultural vote ahead of the 2013 election.

The report, authored by deputy minister John Dyble, concluded Bonney breached public service standards of conduct by not distinguishing between his role as a public servant and as a volunteer for the Liberals. It concluded that Bonney spent as much as half of his time on partisan activities while being paid by taxpayers.

Dyble's report also concluded that as much as $70,000 of government resources were inappropriately used by government workers on the ethnic outreach strategy designed to boost the B.C. Liberals.

Election Act charges

Bonney is facing three other charges under the Elections Act related to conduct during the provincial 2012 Port Moody-Coquitlam by-election campaign.

He and former Liberal party field director Mark Robertson are charged with two counts each of "making a political contribution" and one count each of incurring "an unauthorized election expense." They are alleged to have provided the services of campaign worker Sepideh Sarrafpour to Port Moody Liberal candidate Dennis Marsden in the 2012 by-election without reporting it.

With files from Eric Rankin