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

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

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U’mista Cultural Centre is closed to the public until further notice, as of Nov. 23, 2020. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
U’mista closed until further notice due to new restrictions

North Island on high alert against COVID-19

Port Hardy Rotary Christmas Float. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Rotary float returns to Port Hardy to spread much needed Christmas cheer

The Christmas Cheer Float is a festively decorated full-size semi-tractor.

Email letters to editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish online and in print.
LETTER: Fish farms boost North Island economy

“… our local jobs, local taxation revenue, and the like will disappear!”

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Most Read