SFU official expensed over $2,000 to attend BC Liberal fundraisers

April 4, 2012

The Vancouver Sun reports that a former BC Liberal MLA now working as Simon Fraser University's director of government relations has used his SFU expense account to attendĀ  Liberal events. Documents obtained by the paper show that in just over one month earlier this year, Hurd expensed $2,045 to attend 7 party fundraisers. An SFU spokesman says the university had no official policy but has allowed the practice for years. He says the institution will no longer allow such donations. "For many years we have attended events of both parties, NDP and Liberal, to further the university's interests," the spokesman says, adding that questions from the Sun have sparked an abrupt revision of policy. The BC Liberal Party's executive director says the party will return all funds to the SFU employee in 2012. BC's Elections Act does not specifically prohibit donations from public-sector organizations; however, the province says it clearly bars such activities. Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto calls the matter "serious" and says she will be talking to all provincial PSE institutions to ensure they have proper policies in place. A CBC investigation revealed last month that some Alberta PSE institutions also expensed attendance at political events for the province's Progressive Conservatives. Vancouver Sun