Burnaby-Lougheed MLA Harry Bloy is stepping down from his post as minister of state for multiculturalism, following his admission that he leaked a reporter's email to a company at the heart of an investigative series in The Province newspaper.
Bloy apparently will not run for re-election, either, the NOW has learned.
"Today I offered my resignation as a member of executive council to Premier (Christy) Clark, and she accepted," Bloy said in a statement issued in Victoria Thursday. "It has been my honour to serve in cabinet for the last year, but I felt it important to accept my responsibility for my actions in regards to sharing an email with a third party. It was my decision, and I accept that. It is important that the focus be on the government agenda, to defend and create jobs, and not on my actions."
After Bloy issued the statement, Clark made the announcement in the legislature that he was stepping down. Bloy has not resigned from his post as MLA; he's just backing off from the executive council.
The email Bloy leaked is tied to an investigative series in The Province newspaper. Reporter Cassidy Olivier has been covering Eminata Group, following complaints from students who attended some of the conglomerate's for-profit schools.
Olivier was initially asking the Advanced Education Ministry for comment. Bloy, then minister of state for multiculturalism, was somehow privy to Olivier's media request and alerted Eminata Group. Randy Cox, Eminata's CEO and president, was spotted with a printed copy of the media request during a Province interview. On Wednesday, Bloy apologized to the newspaper in a written statement.
"On Feb. 20, I was made aware of a media request to the Advanced Education Minister regarding the Eminata Group. I shared that information with the Eminata Group. Looking back on this, I now realize that it was an error in judgment, and I apologize for that," he wrote.
Calls to Bloy's cell phone in Victoria were not returned by press time. In a subsequent statement emailed to the NOW, Bloy said:
"I was concerned when I learned of the issues raised by students about private career training. I wanted to know the background on the issues, so I shared the media request. I have acknowledged that this was an error in judgment, and I have apologized."
The Ministry of Advanced Education was asked to comment, but the NOW did not get a response by press time. Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto revealed in the legislature Thursday that her ministerial assistant sent the email to Bloy.
"(Yamamoto) has to resign," said Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Raj Chouhan. "Mr. Bloy was nowhere to be found. He disappeared."