British Columbia

NDP wants an explanation for B.C. Liberal MLA's controversial photo ops

There is still no word from Liberal MLA Peter Fassbender, two days after the B.C. NDP accused him of using taxpayer dollars to benefit his party’s re-election campaign.

Opposition crying foul over Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender's cheque presentation

The B.C. NDP is demanding an explanation from B.C. Liberal MLA Peter Fassbender following a pair of controversial cheque presentations. (CBC)

There is still no word from Liberal MLA Peter Fassbender, two days after the B.C. NDP accused him of using taxpayer dollars to benefit his party's re-election campaign.

The allegations stem from a Facebook video that was posted on March 26.

In the video, Fassbender and fellow Liberal MLAs Amrik Virk and Marvin Hunt are joined by three party candidates who are running in the upcoming election.

The group is seen presenting a $50,000 cheque at a Hindu temple in Surrey.

"I want to say on behalf of Premier Clark, my colleagues, the existing MLAs from here in Surrey and our future MLAs, how much we appreciate the hard work that you do," Fassbender is heard saying on the video.

The video also shows the candidates posing for a photo op with the cheque.

NDP MLA Mike Farnworth says he finds the incident troubling, especially because Fassbender apologized for last week's $75,000 cheque presentation to the Surrey Newton Rotary Club, after it was revealed the event had been held at Fassbender's campaign office.

"Last week, Peter Fassbender apologized for using people's hard-earned tax dollars to benefit his re-election campaign, promising this kind of thing would never happen again," said Farnworth.

"Six days later, British Columbians have their answer: Christy Clark does the right thing for herself and her rich donors, and British Columbians are paying the price.

Fassbender has not responded to CBC's request for an interview.

Election season

The writ doesn't drop until next month but that hasn't stopped the B.C. Liberals from getting a jump start on the campaign trail.

B.C. Liberals are attending eight photo ops today:

  • 9 a.m.ICBC along with the B.C. government and Federation of B.C. Youth in Care Networks announce new funding to help support B.C. youth in, or those who have aged out, of foster care. Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux will be in attendance.
  • 10 a.m. Join Jane Thornthwaite, Parliamentary Secretary for Child Mental Health and Anti-Bullying for the Minister of Children and Family Development and MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour; MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale Naomi Yamamoto; and MLA for West Vancouver-Capilano Ralph Sultan, along with representatives from the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Carlile family for this event.
  • 10 a.m. MP Goldsmith-Jones and MLA Sturdy will make an important funding announcement to benefit wastewater treatment on Bowen Island. Media are invited to attend.
  • 11:30 a.m. Media are invited to join Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, on behalf of Premier Christy Clark, as she bestows the Medal of Good Citizenship on Terry Yung, a citizen of Vancouver who has acted in a particularly generous, kind or selfless manner for the common good without expectation of reward.
  • 11:45 a.m. Members of the media are invited to join Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad, Chief Joe Bevan of the Kitselas First Nation, and Wan Badrul Hisham, chief project officer for Pacific Northwest LNG, for an announcement concerning LNG development on the North Coast.
  • 1:00 p.m. MP Goldsmith-Jones and MLA Sturdy will make an important funding announcement to benefit water and wastewater treatment in Lions Bay, Squamish, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and Whistler. Media are invited to attend.
  • 1:30 p.m. MLA for Vancouver-False Creek Sam Sullivan will visit Crosstown Elementary on behalf of Education Minister Mike Bernier to make an important milestone announcement alongside Vancouver School Board official trustee Dianne Turner, students and staff. There will be a tour of the school following the announcement.
  • 2 p.m. Media are invited to join Greg Kyllo, parliamentary secretary for the BC Jobs Plan, on behalf of Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, for a site visit recognizing diversity in B.C.'s apprenticeship system.