By Eric Wilkins, Staff Writer
Christy Clark’s BC Liberal party suffered another blow last week with the resignation of chief of staff, Ken Boessenkool. The former senior policy advisor to Stephen Harper tendered his letter of resignation after his role in an “incident of concern” was investigated.
In his letter to Clark, Boessenkool said, “Earlier this month I was involved in an incident where I acted inappropriately. I was wrong, regretted my behaviour very much and immediately and unconditionally apologized.”
Boessenkool noted that he now had the chance to, “be with my family,” in his letter.
He finished with, “I have been very proud to be at your side and proud of what I helped the team accomplish. Nothing should stand in the way of your successful leadership and the accomplishments of your government in creating jobs and making family life affordable.”
The “incident of concern” allegedly took place at a Victoria bar and involved Boessenkool and a female staffer. Clark, however, declined to comment on the exact nature of the episode, leaving it at, ”There has been no suggestion of any criminal conduct in this at all.”
Despite knowing about the incident for a couple of weeks, Clark kept Boessenkool on the job until the investigation was completed. When the topic of why she didn’t suspend Boessenkool for the duration of the process came up, Clark stated that, “I think an employer has a duty to gather the facts before letting someone go. Everything that was done, was done absolutely to the letter.
“After the investigation was done and I was presented with all the facts, I had a decision to make and I made that decision.”
Taking over as chief of staff is a former deputy minister of highways and chairman of BC Hydro, Dan Doyle. Doyle is Clark’s third chief of staff in 18 months, following Boessenkool’s dismissal after only eight.
Clark attempted to focus on the positives by bringing up Doyle’s resume, saying “he has about 36 years of unblemished public service to the people of British Columbia. He’s helped deliver some of the biggest projects in the history of our province, including the Pacific Gateway, including the Olympics.
“It’s good news that someone of this calibre is going to be joining our team in making sure we are remaining focused 100 per cent on creating jobs in British Columbia and strengthening our economy.”