British Columbia

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver calls B.C. premier a 'hypocrite' for NDP insider hires

B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver is accusing Premier John Horgan of being a "hypocrite" for a spate of party insider hiring after years of criticizing the Liberals for doing the same thing.

NDP fills dozens of government jobs with party faithful after decrying Liberals for doing the same

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver is calling premier John Horgan a 'hypocrite' following the hiring of a former candidate in a minister's office. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver is accusing NDP Premier John Horgan of being a "hypocrite" for a spate of party insider hirings. For years as the Opposition, Horgan criticized the Liberal government for doing the same thing.

"If you want to play the moral high ground you better practice what you preach, otherwise you are nothing more than a hypocrite," said Weaver. "Right now I feel the NDP is looking like a bunch of hypocrites because they are doing exactly what they said they wouldn't do.

"It's what makes people cynical about politics and they need to stop it because they are losing public trust. It's just wrong what is going on here."

Kassandra Dycke lost as the 2013 candidate in Comox Valley and has now been hired to work for Health Minister Adrian Dix. The NDP have overhauled all of the political offices during the change of government.

Following the 2013 election, Horgan criticized the B.C. Liberal government for hiring a number of failed candidates to work in the premier's office or ministerial offices. But government house leader Mike Farnworth says the difference between what Horgan criticized and what he is now doing as premier is a matter of scale. 

"In terms of 'failed candidates,' the Liberals hired nine. We have only hired one and that was after a full screening process," said Farnworth. 

The B.C. Liberals have also waded into the fray. 

"You hire people who are of a like mind, my concern is the number of people they have brought in and the cost to the taxpayers," said Vernon-Monashee Liberal MLA Eric Foster.

The government says its political staff costs are now 13 per cent higher than when the B.C. Liberals were in government.

The government has also been criticized for using taxpayer money for their Better B.C. campaign, that includes a self-promotional online ad. The one-minute video posted on the government's website, Facebook and Twitter talks about "A better B.C., where no one is left behind." A woman in the video says she's happy her family doesn't have to pay expensive tolls anymore.

"I think it's great that the government has lived up to its promise," she said.

Farnworth defends the ad saying the government is simply using it to explain the policies they've implemented. The government says it did not spend any money to put the spot on television. But it is still unknown how much the ad cost to produce and what the costs are associated with running the Better B.C. part of the government website.

"Unlike the government that was spending millions of dollars doing an ad buy, this was a social media post," Farnworth said.