Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


February 12, 2014

Questions on the position of former BC Lottery Corporation CEO with PV Hospitality

S. Simpson: Two weeks ago Michael Graydon announced that he was leaving his position as chief executive officer of the B.C. Lottery Corporation. We discovered days later that he had jumped to PV Hospitality as the chief executive officer for the new proposed casino resort in Vancouver. This is a company that is owned by Paragon Gaming and 360 Vox. The chair of the B.C. Lottery Corporation, Bud Smith, released a statement saying that he first learned of this on the 29th of January.

It's not believable that Mr. Graydon negotiated his agreement somewhere between the 29th of January and yesterday when he started his new job. It appears, for all intent, that Mr. Graydon must have been having some form of discussions with this new company about the terms and conditions of his new employment. That would be a conflict of interest, in my mind.

My question to the minister is: has he investigated this? Has he determined if Mr. Graydon in fact was negotiating without telling his board that he was involved in this process? Does he believe that would constitute a conflict?

...

S. Simpson: As the minister says, the key issue here is: was he, in fact, conducting business as president and CEO of this corporation without telling his board that he was in active negotiations for a new job?

So people will know, the Lottery Corporation guidelines are clear: "An apparent conflict of interest exists where there is a reasonable apprehension, which reasonably well-informed persons could properly have, that a conflict of interest exists…. This applies even where no conflict is found to actually exist." So it is an apparent conflict. I will look forward to the results of this investigation, because it clearly seems to be there.

There's a second issue here. The second issue is that, as the minister will know, the previous Deputy Minister to the Premier, Mr. Dobell, who was the deputy to Mr. Campbell at the time, put in place a policy. That policy was to enforce a one-year cooling-off period for senior public service staff, the intention being, of course, that the policy stipulated that a person must not accept an offer of employment or contract to provide services to an outside entity for a year after the end of employment if they had been actively engaged, as with a gaming corporation.

That policy was introduced in order to protect the integrity of confidential information. The minister will know that Mr. Graydon may have signed a confidentiality agreement, but he knows what he knows today, and it will influence his ability to make decisions, presumably, since he knows it.

My question is this. Why was this policy not adhered to? The policy can only be waived in one way, and it would need to be waived by the Deputy Minister to the Premier — in this case, Mr. Dyble. My question is this. Was this policy enforced? And did Mr. Dyble and the Premier's office waive the position so Mr. Graydon could move forward into this job?

http://www.leg.bc.ca/hansard/40th2nd/20140212pm-House-Blues.htm

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