IntegrityBC releases 2011 Broomstick awards

(Victoria, 24 February 2012) – IntegrityBC has awarded seven broomsticks in the first of its annual Broomstick awards signifying the most egregious examples of ineptitude on B.C.’s political landscape from the past year.

“Our choice of a broomstick is meant to symbolize that it’s time to clean up a mess,” said IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis. “Yet it’s easy to criticize, so to make our list we wanted to be able to propose viable solutions to prevent similar events from happening again.”

For 2011, the seven awards are shared between nine recipients, including Community Living BC, the BC NDP, the BC Liberals, VIHA, BC Ferries, BC Hydro and the 2009 Kash Heed campaign.

Broomsticks were awarded for and to:

• You call this living? – Community Living BC

• But I swore an oath… - Ministry of Energy and Mines

• Does your cat prefer party communications by post or email? - BC Liberal/NDP leadership races

• Sometimes it’s not just what you know, but who you know – VIHA

• Don’t forget to cash the cheque on the way out the door – Public sector severance packages

• The Marie Antoinette approach to governing – BC Ferries and BC Hydro

• Paying heed – Kash Heed campaign

“What’s most remarkable about each of these cases is that the award could have been avoided by following the law, existing government policies or just using a modicum of common sense,” said Travis. “Ironically, most are actually the result of friendly fire representing the very stories about government that feed public cynicism.”

IntegrityBC noted that simple measures would have likely prevented the events which led to the Broomstick award, such as: greater transparency in the disclosure of public sector pay and compensation packages; assigning oversight of party membership lists during leadership races to Elections BC; enforcing existing government hiring policies; and truly listening to the public when input is sought.

Two issues that didn’t make IntegrityBC’s list were the HST and BC Rail. The organization felt that there was little that could be added to the HST debacle that has not already been said and that while criticism can be levelled at Premier Christy Clark for not revisiting the Dave Basi and Bob Virk payout this and other issues related to the “lease” of BC Rail would be better left to a public inquiry.

Late last year, IntegrityBC polled its Facebook fans to help develop the list for the 2011 awards and while not every suggestion met this year’s award criteria, if the organization’s Facebook fans are at all reflective of British Columbians, there’s no shortage of anger out there among voters.

Runners-up included: the Fish Lake mining proposal, inadequate access to information, public education cuts, Labour Board regulations for non-union workers, the Run of River projects, and as one fan simply said: “Hard to Choose… I’m choked about all of them!”

IntegrityBC is a non-partisan organization championing accountability and integrity in BC politics. By empowering British Columbians, IntegrityBC hopes to change politics in BC letting citizens regain their trust in government.

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For more information:

Dermod Travis

250-590-5126 /

IntegrityBC has posted its Broomsticks Awards report as a PDF to its website hereand at