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Eric Foster focus of debate
Questions continue to revolve around Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster but others are quick to rally around him.
The B.C. Conservative Party say it has concerns about a conflict of interest review into Foster leasing space from his executive assistant’s family and renovations that were done to the 31st Avenue office.
“The party will consider all possible courses of action to get to the bottom of the renovations and leasing costs of Mr. Foster’s constituency office since his election in 2009,” said John Cummins, Conservative leader.
Foster has the full support of the Vernon-Monashee Liberal Constituency Association.
“He has done a good job for the riding and worked hard,” said Greg Beatty, association president.
Beatty believes the Conservatives’ concerns are politically motivated.
“It’s an unfair attack on his character. In terms of a possible conflict of interest, I don’t see how there is a benefit for him personally.”
The Conservatives’ concerns focus on the ownership of the office, why Foster selected that site and how the renovations were paid for.
“A letter from B.C.’s conflict of interest commissioner that Eric Foster claims cleared him of violating the Members’ Conflict of Interest Act is so riddled with factual errors,” states a Conservative release.
In a June 7, 2012 letter to Foster, conflict of interest commissioner Paul Fraser provided the findings of his investigation.
“It is my opinion that neither your private interest nor that of your constituency assistant were furthered by the lease arrangements that you negotiated as part of your official duties or functions as an MLA,” said Fraser.
“In my view, a reasonably well-informed person would not properly have the perception that your ability to perform your public duty or function must have been affected by your private interest or that of your constituency assistant.”
Foster, who would not comment on the matter, has previously stated he selected the office because it provided easy accessibility and parking, and his decision was not influenced by who owned the building.
In terms of the renovations, Foster has stated that matter was handled by the landlord and the Legislature.