News Views: Out of order

An online petition is growing to stop Gordon Campbell from accepting the Order of B.C.

The petition, started by a Maple Ridge woman, claims the former premier is ineligible for the award because he was still in office when nominated – a criteria violation.

Nominations for the award closed March 10, when Campbell was still a MLA. He resigned March 14.

Why even the rush?

Could Campbell not have been nominated next year?

Other former premiers have yet to be nominated, including Bill Vander Zalm and Glen Clark.

They too had their scandals.

Campbell was arrested for drunk driving in Maui. The B.C. Rail deal? Then finally the messy introduction of the HST, which ultimately forced his resignation and subsequent referendum. His legacy now is not the Olympics, but the millions of dollars wasted on the whole process, all because he couldn’t be up front with voters.

And for such outstanding achievements he should be bestowed the highest honour in B.C.?

Barbara Steele, a Surrey councillor and Union of B.C. Municipalities president who sat on the nomination committee, defended Campbell’s selection. She also ran for the Liberals in 2005.

Chief Justice Lance Finch was also part of the committee and claims Campbell’s nomination and selection were above board.

Close to 200 nominations were received. The committee couldn’t fine one less controversial, or a little more deserving?

In all, 14 were picked, including: Ken Dobell, former Vancouver City manager and deputy to Campbell; David Emerson, a former senior B.C. bureaucrat who served in two federal Liberal cabinets; and Luigi Aquilini, developer, berry farmer and owner of the Vancouver Canucks who is also a Liberal donor.

Political cronyism? Some suspect so, which only taints the award.

The timing and optics are of Campbell’s selection are poor. It  should be rescinded or he should decline the honour. More than 5,000 people on Facebook agree.

Clearly, the selection process is out of order.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows New