Canada

Veteran New Democrat defends Stupich

Former NDP Attorney General Alex MacDonald says his friend, former NDP MLA Dave Stupich, did nothing wrong in the Nanaimo Commonweath Holdings Society bingo and lottery scandal.

Testifying at the inquiry into the NCHS affair, MacDonald says Stupich, who pleaded guilty to fraud charges, is the victim of bad legal advice.

Stupich, who was in charge of the Society which deprived local charities of at least $2.6 million, was sentenced to two years under house arrest.

MacDonald says his friend borrowed money from the charities for good reason. "He put up a hotel and a senior citizens' home a tower with the bingo rooms. Nanaimo wasn't hurt by the actions of Dave Stupich; it was helped," says MacDonald.

MacDonald hopes the public will be a little kinder to Stupich once the other side of the so-called bingogate story is revealed.

"The true story was that the Nanaimo volunteers helped to sustain a social democratic government in B.C., which otherwise would have collapsed. and Harcourt would never have been premier."

MacDonald is calling for an end to the inquiry, calling the entire process a waste of time and money.