Former BC LIberals communications director Brian Bonney. (File photo)

Update: B.C. government aide gets conditional sentence in vote-getting scandal

Brian Bonney has been given a nine-month conditional sentence for using his public job to woo ethnic votes

A former government communications director has been given a nine-month conditional sentence for using his public job to woo ethnic votes for British Columbia’s Liberal party.

Provincial court Judge David St. Pierre said Brian Bonney made “certain choices” that landed him in court.

Bonney’s lawyer told a sentencing hearing earlier this month that his client was an instrument of others in the scandal, including senior officials in former premier Christy Clark’s office.

St. Pierre told Bonney on Wednesday that citizens expect public servants to work for everyone, not a particular political party.

“The message in this case, at least to be passed on to other public servants in similar situations, is there might well be unfair and undeserved consequences for saying ‘No’ to the minister but those consequences, I’m sure I hope you agree, pale in comparison to what you’re having to go through,” the judge said.

The conditional sentence will be served in the community and Bonney will live under a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. He must also do 60 hours of community service work.

READ MORE: Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

READ MORE: Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Bonney pleaded guilty to breach of trust last October in the so-called quick wins scandal for the partisan use of taxpayer money in an attempt to attract support from minority groups.

Special prosecutor David Butcher presented a series of emails during the sentencing hearing showing Bonney used a private account to communicate with liaison workers who were tasked with gaining support from various ethnic organizations before the 2013 election.

Butcher said the plan to win ethnic votes involved a “cynical purpose” that had no aim to legitimately engage minority groups. He had asked the court to impose a 12 to 23 month community sentence.

Bonney’s lawyer, Ian Donaldson, called for a suspended sentence, saying his client crossed a line but was directed to do so.

After the scandal broke, Clark appointed her deputy minister to conduct a review and it concluded public officials misused government resources. It said Bonney was among those who spent a considerable amount of time during his workday on party activities and used private emails.

Clark apologized and the Liberals returned $70,000 of taxpayers’ money.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RCMP report

Some of the more interesting callouts for Columbia Valley RCMP November 4-10th

Films celebrate passionate people and places

Get your tickets now for upcoming Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Helping women improve their career prospects

CBAL offers women an eight-week career program starting November 19th

Walking around a Winter Wonderland market

Winter Wonderland Market on this Saturday, November 14th

A taxpayer’s penny for your thoughts

District of Invermere hosts coffee chats Thursday, November 14th for tax talks

B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Transgender inmate in Surrey denied transfer to women’s prison

Petitioner argued denial of transfer to women’s prison was unreasonable and unfair

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Adoption centre closes despite effort to save it; B.C. left with two agencies

Choices Adoption and Pregnancy Counselling in Victoria was set to close in April

Most Read