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

Forestry Hockey league: Week 16 highlights

Serenity put blanket over Fraser River Stars and Bear doubles up BCS

Quesnel Kangaroos split pair of games at home

Lose 7-4 to Terrace but prevail 5-2 versus Kitimat

Trial date moved for convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams

Adams will now be facing her breach of probation charges in court on May 16

Quesnel ice dancer focusing on improving herself at National Championships

Haley Sales and Nikolas Wamsteeker will be competing in New Brunswick this week

One year on: Quesnel inventor starts local factory

The Observer catches up with George Jennex, inventor of the Shur-Lok Safety Hitch

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

SUV wedged on top of car in B.C. mall parking lot has customers confused

The accident occurred Tuesday, no injuries were reported

Huawei founder thanks inmates, Canadian justice system for treating daughter well

Ren Zhengfei said he believes there will be a just conclusion to the case of his daughter, Meng Wanzhou

May government faces no-confidence vote after Brexit defeat

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would stay put in her leadership role

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external committee

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Canada needs a digital ID system, bankers association says

The Department of Finance last week officially launched its public consultation on the merits of open banking

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

Most Read