Former B.C. cabinet minister accuses Mike de Jong of lying about Liberal budget surplus

By Global News
January 25, 2018 - 12:49pm

KAMLOOPS — It’s a big accusation to make.

A former B.C. cabinet minister said ex-B.C. finance minister Mike de Jong lied about the province’s surplus, when the Liberals were in power.

In an email obtained by Global News, Bill Bennett said de Jong misled the cabinet and caucus on the amount of the BC Liberals’ last surplus.

Bennett said de Jong either knew about an extra $2 billion, or he actually messed up the finances.

Bennett said if he lied, then the former finance minister isn’t trustworthy, but he went on to say that de Jong isn’t the incompetent type, and he believes that he simply didn’t tell anyone about the extra money.

He said if that money was used towards social supports, there wouldn’t be a BC Liberal leadership campaign today.

He pinned the 2017 election loss on de Jong, and said his vote goes to Andrew Wilkinson.

Bennett is co-chairing Wilkinson’s campaign.

The comments from Bennett came days after the Wilkinson campaign struck a deal with the de Jong leadership bid to support each other as a second choice on the ranked ballot.

In comments made on social media, de Jong campaign strategist Stephen Carter dismissed Bennett, saying the former cabinet minister sold just 24 memberships in his old Kootenay East riding.

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