Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


March 13, 2014

Appointment of Ben Stewart as Asian Trade Commissioner

S. Simpson: We're all pleased that the government has back-pedalled out of the John Les debacle now, but we all know that Mr. Les was hardly alone when it came to the litany of patronage and pork-barrel appointments.

Back when…. After the last election, we all know that Ben Stewart stepped down his seat to allow the Premier to get into the Legislature. Mr. Stewart then received a $150,000-a-year appointment as an agent trade commissioner — to which we still have no evidence what his qualifications are.

Will the Premier take the same position with Mr. Stewart as she's taking with Mr. Les: rescind that and put somebody in there who's qualified?

...

S. Simpson: There's no doubt in my mind that there are many people in the Premier's office who are very grateful to Mr. Stewart for stepping aside so that she could have a place to land with a seat.

Mr. Stewart might be a very good vintner and know about wine, but where is the evidence that he understands Asia and he understands that file? There is no evidence of that, as there is no evidence that Mr. Les had a clue about emergency preparedness.

Will the Premier do the right thing and show some merit — at least identify where the merit is — for Mr. Stewart and the litany of other failed Liberals who've got jobs from her?

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