Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims is a former president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and NDP MP. (Hansard TV)

Vancouver lawyer named special prosecutor for investigation into Surrey MLA

Jinny Sims resigned from cabinet on Oct. 4

Premier John Horgan says he’s not aware of the details of the allegations facing former cabinet minister Jinny Sims, but he’s confident she can clear up the issue.

Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims, who was also the citizens services minister, resigned from cabinet Friday after allegations that she mishandled visa applications and misused emails.

Her former cabinet portfolio made her responsible for government information security and disclosure. Allegations have been made that she use private channels to communicate with her staff, thereby avoiding freedom of information laws.

A former constituency assistant from Sim’s time as an NDP MP has also accused her of writing reference letters for 10 Pakistani citizens, including some on U.S security risk lists. The former assistant made the allegations in a letter to B.C.’s conflict of interest commissioner.

On Friday, Sims said in a statement her name would be cleared and that the allegations against her — which haven’t been made public — have no credibility.

On Monday, Horgan said he watched Sims when she was leader of the BC Teachers’ Federation, then a federal member of Parliament and now a member of his government and he has every confidence in her.

Vancouver lawyer Richard Peck has been appointed as special prosecutor for the investigation, the BC Prosecution Service said Monday.

Horgan and Attorney General David Eby faced a series of questions in the B.C. legislature Monday, with opposition MLAs asking about an internal investigation conducted by Horgan’s chief of staff, Geoff Meggs, into the allegations regarding immigration letters.

Horgan and Eby both replied that they don’t know what is being investigated by the RCMP, as Sims herself has said since the issue became public.

READ MORE: B.C. cabinet minister resigns as special prosecutor appointed

– with files from The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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