MLA Kevin Krueger says he can no longer keep quiet about what he feels are glaring examples of a lack of integrity among his opponents.
Krueger took verbal swipes at former colleague John van Dongen and both opposition leaders in the Legislature hallway Wednesday.
“I think John van Dongen suffers from delusions of grandeur,” Krueger told reporters. “This guy stands up in the Legislature and yammers on about his integrity. So where’s the integrity when you’re the minister responsible for public safety and you rack up a string of speeding tickets as long as your arm?” he added, alluding to what happened to van Dongen during the 2009 election.
Van Dongen defected from the Liberals to the B.C. Conservatives in March.
Krueger also lashed out at Van Dongen’s boss, B.C. Conservative Leader John Cummins, labelling the former federal politician “ridiculous” because he knows he can’t win an election but declares he wants to destroy the Liberals.
As for NDP Leader Adrian Dix, he displays “a pattern of dishonesty,” the Liberal MLA said. He recalled the time when, as a senior staffer to then-premier Glen Clark in the 1990s, Dix forged a document to protect his boss. Krueger also raised the recent instance when Dix admitted he didn’t have a transit ticket.
Reached later for comment, Krueger said he was venting his frustration after reading of court documents filed by van Dongen on Wednesday.
“It’s time people understand some of the things going on,” he said.
Van Dongen is asking the B.C. Supreme Court for intervenor status in the suit by the provincial auditor general, who’s investigating the government’s decision to pay the legal fees of two former ministerial aides who pleaded guilty in the B.C. Rail affair. He cited unresolved questions over the affair as one reason he left the Liberals.
Krueger said van Dongen contacted him while trying to lead a revolt against then-premier Gordon Campbell in 2010.
“He was actually trying to recruit me into this little revolt he was trying to have,” Krueger said. “I said, ‘You’ve got to resign,’ because he was party whip.” That put van Dongen in a conflict of interest, but he did not resign.
Van Dongen’s executive assistant said the Conservative MLA would not respond to the comments.
Krueger questioned why Dix wouldn’t have simply purchased a transit pass with the travel allowance he’s provided.
“It doesn’t ring true,” he said.
Dix’s last-minute delivery of memberships and cash during the NDP leadership contest also raises questions of his integrity, he added.
NDP caucus chair Shane Simpson said Krueger’s remarks are unfortunate.
“Unfortunately for Mr. Krueger and the Liberal Party, they continue to get in the gutter and stay there with these attacks. I don’t think they have any credibility with the public.”
Simpson said Dix often takes transit on party and personal business, so it would be inappropriate to use taxpayer funds.
“Mr. Dix was very clear — he purchased (a ticket) but didn’t have it. He accepts responsibility,” Simpson said. Dix also apologized for falsifying the document after admitting to the wrongdoing.
“He’s never hidden it.”
Cummins said he wasn’t quite sure how to respond to Krueger’s remarks about him.
“Mr. Krueger seems fairly frustrated,” he said. “Maybe he should spend more time in Kamloops and less time in the legislature.
“I think that, really, the issue here is that the Liberals are under stress. They’re not doing well in the polls. It’s next to impossible for them to win the election, and I think Mr. Krueger knows that.”