Former BC LIberals communications director Brian Bonney. (File photo)

Update: B.C. government aide gets conditional sentence in vote-getting scandal

Brian Bonney has been given a nine-month conditional sentence for using his public job to woo ethnic votes

A former government communications director has been given a nine-month conditional sentence for using his public job to woo ethnic votes for British Columbia’s Liberal party.

Provincial court Judge David St. Pierre said Brian Bonney made “certain choices” that landed him in court.

Bonney’s lawyer told a sentencing hearing earlier this month that his client was an instrument of others in the scandal, including senior officials in former premier Christy Clark’s office.

St. Pierre told Bonney on Wednesday that citizens expect public servants to work for everyone, not a particular political party.

“The message in this case, at least to be passed on to other public servants in similar situations, is there might well be unfair and undeserved consequences for saying ‘No’ to the minister but those consequences, I’m sure I hope you agree, pale in comparison to what you’re having to go through,” the judge said.

The conditional sentence will be served in the community and Bonney will live under a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. He must also do 60 hours of community service work.

READ MORE: Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

READ MORE: Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Bonney pleaded guilty to breach of trust last October in the so-called quick wins scandal for the partisan use of taxpayer money in an attempt to attract support from minority groups.

Special prosecutor David Butcher presented a series of emails during the sentencing hearing showing Bonney used a private account to communicate with liaison workers who were tasked with gaining support from various ethnic organizations before the 2013 election.

Butcher said the plan to win ethnic votes involved a “cynical purpose” that had no aim to legitimately engage minority groups. He had asked the court to impose a 12 to 23 month community sentence.

Bonney’s lawyer, Ian Donaldson, called for a suspended sentence, saying his client crossed a line but was directed to do so.

After the scandal broke, Clark appointed her deputy minister to conduct a review and it concluded public officials misused government resources. It said Bonney was among those who spent a considerable amount of time during his workday on party activities and used private emails.

Clark apologized and the Liberals returned $70,000 of taxpayers’ money.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Homeless campers of Namegans Nation head to Oak Bay

Roughly 30 members of roving tent city settle at Cattle Point in Uplands Wednesday

Legalization at the legislature: Victoria celebrates with free cannabis

Longtime cannabis activist Dana Larsen hands out free joints, seeds, plants

B.C. moves ahead with speculation tax despite mayors calling for changes

Oak Bay mayor says he was hoping for a different outcome

UPDATE: Pat Bay Highway traffic moving again after motorcyclist rear-ended

Three vehicle collision stalled traffic in southbound lane Wednesday shortly before 4 p.m.

MP calls federal government’s cannabis pardon ‘half-baked’

Murray Rankin introduced bill to expunge criminal possession records for free

Watch: Saanich responds to mock emergency for ammonia Leak

Hazmat suits, emergency centre respond to mock ammonia leak

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

VIDEO: Courtenay marks legalization by passing out free joints

Leaf Compassion celebrates new marijuana law in Courtenay

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Jusu adds hemp extract to the menu in Greater Victoria

Food and beverage product to be enhanced with hemp extract

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Most Read