British Columbia

Premier John Horgan apologizes for saying former LNG advocate Gordon Wilson did no work

Gordon Wilson was fired from his position Aug. 1 after the NDP government said he'd done very little work — a claim Wilson disputes.

Wilson, a Liberal appointee, was fired from the position Aug.1 after NDP government said he'd done very little

B.C. Premier John Horgan has apologized for saying Gordon Wilson, who he recently fired, did little to no work during his tenure as B.C.'s former LNG advocate. (CBC, left, and Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press )

B.C. Premier John Horgan has apologized to Gordon Wilson, the province's former LNG advocate, for implying Wilson had not done any work during his tenure.

Wilson was fired last week from the position he had held since 2013, when he was appointed by then-premier Christy Clark. He was paid $150,000 annually to promote B.C.'s LNG industry (and made over $550,000 over that time).

At the time of his firing, Jobs, Trade and Technology MInister Bruce Ralston said the administration couldn't find any evidence of written reports from Wilson, adding "it's very difficult to see that he accomplished anything other than to cash his cheques."

Last Monday — the day Wilson was fired — Horgan told guest host Richard Zussman on CBC's On the Coast there was very little to show for Wilson's time on the LNG file.

"We decided there was a better value-for-money proposition for the people of B.C. than paying $150,000 for no reports, no briefings, no memoranda and we're going to put those resources to people who will benefit people and make their lives better."

Wilson, upset with the public conversation, intimated he was seeking legal action tweeting "you cannot slander private citizens without consequence."

At a news conference Tuesday, Horgan offered an apology to Wilson, saying if Ralston missed some of the documentation of Wilson's work, he was sorry to have said otherwise.

"I've known Bruce Ralston for many, many years. He is a man of the highest integrity. If he believes that he misspoke, I support that. I offer a similar apology to Mr. Wilson," he said.

"I hope we can all move on."

'Extremely shoddy way of doing business': Wilson

Wilson said while he appreciated Horgan's comments, he is still going to consult with his lawyer who will review all their commentary for defamation.

He says he still hasn't received any direct communication from Horgan or Ralston telling him he was terminated.

"I think it's an extremely shoddy way of doing business. Very unprofessional, quite damaging and hurtful."

As for his work as LNG advocate, Wilson said there was plenty of documentation of the work he did.

"There was all kinds of documentation of work by the LNG advocate and the LNG program," he said. "The work that I did was well beyond report-writing."