Glen Clark

Glen David Clark (born November 22, 1957) is a Canadian business executive and former politician, serving as the 31st Premier of British Columbia from 1996 to 1999.

Glen David Clark
Glen Clark 2011 NDP convention.jpg
Glen Clark at the 2011 NDP convention
31st Premier of British Columbia
In office
February 22, 1996 – August 25, 1999
MonarchElizabeth II
Lieutenant GovernorGarde Gardom
Preceded byMike Harcourt
Succeeded byDan Miller
Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations of British Columbia
In office
November 5, 1991 – September 15, 1993
PremierMike Harcourt
Preceded byJohn Jansen
Succeeded byElizabeth Cull
Minister of Employment and Investment of British Columbia
In office
September 15, 1993 – February 22, 1996
PremierMike Harcourt
Succeeded byDan Miller
Minister Responsible for Youth of British Columbia
In office
February 28, 1996 – August 25, 1999
PremierGlen Clark
Succeeded byAndrew Petter
Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly
for Vancouver-Kingsway
Vancouver East (1986-1991)
In office
October 22, 1986 – May 16, 2001
Serving with Robert Arthur Williams (1986-1991)
Preceded byDave Barrett
Alexander Macdonald
Succeeded byRob Nijjar
Personal details
Born (1957-11-22) November 22, 1957 (age 62)
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Political partyBritish Columbia New Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Dale Clark

Early life and educationEdit

Clark attended independent Roman Catholic schools: St. Jude’s Elementary and Notre Dame Secondary in East Vancouver. At Notre Dame, Clark was known as a small, fearless linebacker for the football team. Notre Dame is also where Clark was student council president and played the lead male role in The Sound of Music and later performed in South Pacific.[1] Clark holds a bachelor's degree from Simon Fraser University and a master's degree from the University of British Columbia. Before entering politics, he worked in the labour movement.[2]

Premier of British ColumbiaEdit

Clark was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the 1986 provincial election. He served as the Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations and then as the Minister of Employment and Investment in the government of Mike Harcourt.[2] When Harcourt resigned as a result of the Bingogate scandal, Clark stood for and won the leadership of the BC NDP and therefore became BC's 31st premier. Clark called an election in 1996 in which his party narrowly held onto its majority. Although it received fewer votes across the province than the second-place BC Liberal Party, the NDP was able to hold on to power by winning all but eight seats in Vancouver.

Clark largely continued the policies of the Harcourt government, particularly its implementation of the B.C. Benefits welfare reform package, similar to reforms carried out by Ralph Klein in Alberta and Mike Harris in Ontario. When the 1997 party convention adopted a motion condemning the reforms and calling for an increase in welfare rates, Clark responded, "No. We have a deficit."[3]

ScandalsEdit

Fast ferry scandalEdit

In an effort to revitalize a shipbuilding industry, Clark undertook the B.C. fast ferries initiative, which was designed to upgrade the existing BC Ferries fleet as well as jump start the shipbuilding industry in Vancouver. Although the ferries were eventually produced, the project had massive cost overruns and long delays, and the ferries were never able to function up to expectations.[4] The ferries were later sold by the incoming Liberal government, for a fraction of their original price, to the American owned Washington Marine Group.[4]

CasinogateEdit

In March 1999, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police executed a search warrant and searched the Clark household.[5] The media was tipped off about the raid and television news showed live, primetime coverage of the premier pacing inside his house while the search was conducted. Two weeks later the RCMP conducted a search of the Premier's Office.[6]

The subsequent investigation spawned intense coverage by the media.[7] However, subsequent coverage also exposed numerous inaccuracies in the way the story was initially portrayed, with some critics alleging a media or RCMP conspiracy to smear him for ideological reasons.[8]

Clark resigned suddenly on the night of August 21, 1999, following allegations that he had accepted favours (in the form of free renovations worth $10,000, which he had actually paid for) from Dimitrios Pilarinos in return for approving a casino application.[9] He was later formally charged with committing breach of trust, a criminal offence.[10]

Conflict of interest commissioner H.A.D. Oliver concluded in 2001 that Clark had violated conflict of interest laws in British Columbia.[7] However, Clark was acquitted of all criminal charges by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on August 29, 2002,[10] with Justice Elizabeth Bennett ruling that while Clark had unwisely left himself open to a perception of unethical behaviour, there was no solid evidence that he had actually done anything illegal.[11]

After political lifeEdit

Upon Clark's resignation, Deputy Premier Dan Miller acceded to the interim leadership of the New Democratic Party, and the premiership, until a leadership convention selected Ujjal Dosanjh. Due in part to the scandals surrounding Clark, the NDP was heavily defeated by the BC Liberals under Gordon Campbell in the 2001 provincial election, winning just two seats provincewide.

Clark is currently president and chief operating officer of the Jim Pattison Group.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Funny things happen when Glen Clark meets Jimmy Pattison". Vancouver Sun. January 31, 2009. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  2. ^ a b "Mr. Glen Clark | Members at dissolution of 36th Parliament | Legislative Assembly of British Columbia". Leg.bc.ca. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  3. ^ "Vancouver Sun recalls BC NDP record on welfare rate cuts - A Socialist in Canada". A Socialist in Canada. 2011-12-06. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  4. ^ a b "B.C. fast ferries' voyage to oblivion leads to Middle East" Archived 2012-11-10 at the Wayback Machine. Vancouver Sun, July 30, 2009.
  5. ^ "RCMP Raid BC Premier's House". Maclean's. The Canadian Encyclopedia. March 15, 1999. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  6. ^ Beatty, Jim (March 20, 1999). "Clark's aides now reveal police searched his office: The 90-minute search Tuesday was not disclosed until Friday by the premier's press secretary, who called the visit "routine."". The Vancouver Sun. p. A4.
  7. ^ a b Judi Tyabji Wilson, Daggers Unsheathed: The Political Assassination of Glen Clark. Heritage House Publishing Co., 2002.
  8. ^ "The conspiracy to get Glen Clark, or not". National Post, August 31, 2002.
  9. ^ "Glen Clark steps down under pressure". CBC News, August 21, 1999.
  10. ^ a b Glen Clark at The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  11. ^ "Glen Clark not guilty in breach of trust case". CBC News, August 29, 2002.

External linksEdit