Citizen’s Services Minister Jinny Sims has resigned from cabinet following the appointment of a special prosecutor, Premier John Horgan announced last Friday.
Horgan said in a statement: “This afternoon, I was advised by the Attorney General of the appointment of a special prosecutor for an RCMP investigation related to MLA Jinny Sims.
“Jinny Sims has resigned from cabinet during the investigation. I accepted her resignation as appropriate under the circumstances. We take any such investigation very seriously.
“While we await the conclusion of the matter, I have asked Minister Selina Robinson to temporarily assume responsibility as Minister of Citizens’ Services.”
Sims said in a statement: “This afternoon I offered my resignation as Minister of Citizens’ Services upon learning of the appointment of a Special Prosecutor. I have not been given details of any allegations but there was no credibility to previous public allegations. I am confident that my name will be cleared but do not want to distract form the important work of government in the meantime.
“For that reason, I have decided to step away from my duties while the matter is resolved.
“On the advice of counsel, I will not be making any further statements.”
BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said in a statement that British Columbians should be appalled that Sims has resigned due to an RCMP investigation after months of Horgan insisting that she and his government have done nothing wrong.
He added: “The fault lies at the feet of John Horgan and he needs to immediately explain to British Columbians why a special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate an NDP minister.
“The BC Liberals have raised countless questions for months about Jinny Sims’ conduct in government and in her community. This ranges from breaking FOI rules as the minister responsible, to her decision to write letters of immigration support for people on terrorist watch lists.
“John Horgan continued to dismiss legitimate concerns and now he must answer for this complete failure of leadership on his part.”
Sims was accused of violating Freedom of Information laws — which the Ministry of Citizens’ Services oversees — by telling staff to communicate through personal channels rather than official email addresses.
The information and privacy commissioner declined to investigate the claims, saying the law doesn’t “explicitly prohibit” the use of personal emails.
A former employee in Sims’ Surrey-Panorama constituency office also alleged Sims wrote support letters for travel visas to 10 Pakistani individuals in exchange for promised campaign donations. -CINEWS