Alan Mullen, chief of staff to Speaker Darryl Plecas, takes questions at the B.C. legislature after senior staff members were suspended and police called, November 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

B.C. Legislature Speaker Darryl Plecas says there will be no comment on his chief of staff’s road-trip tour of provincial and U.S. state legislatures until a report to the MLA committee is made this fall.

Plecas was responding to the latest questions from the B.C. Liberal opposition about Alan Mullen’s tour of the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario legislatures to look at their security arrangements. The road trip cost $13,000, returning on the U.S. side with visits scheduled to state legislatures in Wisconsin, Iowa, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

“Any further information on this matter will be presented to LAMC [the Legislative Assembly Management Committee] once the report is complete,” Plecas told Black Press in an email. “I expect that will be towards the end of September.”

Langley MLA Mary Polak, the B.C. Liberal house leader, sent a letter to Plecas this week, asking if appointments were confirmed before the trip began. She said Plecas has provided no answers to committee members a month after they asked for a detailed itinerary.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that LAMC should learn about the costs of this road trip from media reports,” Polak said. “Worse still, we now know that the Speaker’s hand-picked staffer didn’t even meet with the Speaker or Sergeant at Arms in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Ontario. Frankly, without a detailed itinerary we have no idea what he was actually doing.”

Polak’s letter also asks if driving across the country was the least expensive option, and whether Mullen made the trip alone.

Mullen has been a controversial addition to Plecas’s office since he was brought in to help investigate spending and travel practices of senior B.C. legislature staff. Former Clerk Craig James and Sergeant at Arms Gary Lenz were suspended from their jobs last fall, and James took early retirement after Plecas released a report in January detailing trips to

England, Scotland and Seattle, and questionable purchases including clothing, gifts and a wood splitter.

RELATED: B.C. legislature clerk retires after wrongdoing found

VIDEO: B.C. clerk, sergeant at arms led from legislature by police

Lenz remains on paid leave, after former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice Beverley MacLachlin cleared him of any improper activities.

The B.C. Prosecution Service appointed two special prosecutors on Oct. 1, 2018 to look into the billings and activities of James and Lenz. Since then Auditor General Carol Bellringer has begun a review of the B.C. legislature’s $70 million annual operating budget, which includes security and operation of 60 MLA constituency offices around the province.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Alberni residents gather to protest racism

Peaceful Drive By Protest planned for Thursday

San Group opens new sawmill in B.C.

It’s the first mill in 15 years to be built on west coast

Drive-in movie coming to Port Alberni

Event limited to 50 vehicles due to COVID-19

City of Port Alberni’s security program open to all residents

Matching grant program offers 50 percent reimbursement for security upgrades

Hundreds of cars participate in second Port Alberni Cruise for Care

Event was a salute to frontline workers at seniors’ care homes

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Summer tubing ban on Cowichan River lifted

The Tube Shack opening on June 27

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Vancouver Island grizzlies: moving in, or just passing through?

Lack of data makes seeming increase in grizzly sightings on the North Island an open question

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Most Read