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Two-year transition on BC legislative clerks too long, says NDP's Horgan

The need for the retired clerk to the British Columbia legislature George MacMinn to stay for a two-year transition period is questionable, said New Democratic Party House Leader John Horgan.

"If we're moving on we should move on and it shouldn't require a two-year transition," said Horgan. "It strikes me as unusual that we would need a two year transition to a guy who's been here a decade from a guy who's been here four or five decades."

MacMinn has been a table officer of the legislature for over 50 years, is an Order of B.C. recipient and wrote the book Parliamentary Practice in British Columbia. His replacement is Craig James, who moved into the position from being clerk assistant and clerk of committees.

Horgan said it should also be noted that MacMinn is 81 years old. "Mr. MacMinn has provided long service to the Legislative Assembly," said Horgan. "He should be applauded for that."

As of Sept. 1 MacMinn retired, but has kept his office and remains on the public payroll, The Tyee reported today. MacMinn declined to say how much he is being paid during the transition, but said it was less than the $252,560 he received as clerk in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

Horgan said MacMinn's pay should be public knowledge, assuming it's more than the $75,000 a year that would make it necessary to report it with the public accounts. "If he's making less than that, all the better," he said.

In June NDP MLAs voted against the government's motion to appoint James and to keep MacMinn in a consulting role. Horgan and NDP Leader Adrian Dix argued there should have been an open competition for the clerk's job.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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