Virk shuffled to new job after Kwantlen flap

Probe into Virk's involvement in unauthorized payments to university executives wraps up, Premier Christy Clark moves him

Surrey-Tynehead MLA Amrik Virk

VICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark has moved embattled cabinet minister Amrik Virk out of his advanced education ministry role as the government wrapped up its probe into unauthorized signing bonuses for new executives at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Virk trades cabinet jobs with Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson, who was serving as technology, innovation and citizens’ services minister. The announcement came Thursday, after the government released the latest results of a probe of the Kwantlen hirings.

Virk was an inspector with the Langley RCMP and volunteer Kwantlen board member before being elected MLA for Surrey-Tynehead last year. In November, the NDP produced emails that contradicted Virk’s claim he was not involved in a decision to get around B.C. salary guidelines for university executives.

Virk said he forgot about an email exchange where he proposed a research allowance for then-University of Regina dean of business Ann Lavack for the position of vice-president academic at Kwantlen. B.C. public service pay rules limited the position to $170,000 a year, and Lavack took the job in 2011 with a $20,000 research allowance and a $50,000 “consulting fee” that were not reported to provincial officials.

Clark also announced three new cabinet assistant appointments.

• Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier takes a new position as parliamentary secretary for “energy literacy and the environment,” reporting to Environment Minister Mary Polak

• North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite is parliamentary secretary for child mental health and anti-bullying, reporting to Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux

• Penticton MLA Dan Ashton is parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Mike de Jong

 

Just Posted

Kelowna classroom where child allegedly overdosed re-opens after cleaning

An 8-year-old was unresponsive and unable to walk after ingesting an unknown substance at school.

Video: Rain doesn’t deter Terry Fox runners in Salmon Arm

Dozens showed up to continue the Canadian icon’s marathon of hope.

Friends and family gather for Parkinson SuperWalk in Salmon Arm

Word on the street: How has Parkinson’s Disease affected you or your family?

Vote online to help light up the Larch Hills

Larch Hills Nordic Society competing for Kraft Heinz Project Play funding

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Most Read