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

Evacuation alert issued for City of Kimberley

Three hours after an evacation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearbycommunity of Kimberley.

Little Wagon Theatre brings comedy to Nelson streets

There will be various performances of It’s Jest a Show throughout the weekend

Hometown gold for rowers at Nelson Regatta

Rosie Velisek and Jesse Harold won three golds Saturday

LETTER: Time to roll back power prices

FortisBC is overcharging customers, Andy Shadrack argues

Taekwondo is a family obsession at Nelson’s Yom Chi Martial Arts

The Jordahls have found success with their Baker Street dojang

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Most Read