Editor’s note: The headline on this piece has been updated to better reflect the timing of the alleged offer.
Just days before the provincial election on Tuesday, it was alleged that NDP candidate Colleen Ross offered Independent candidate Dr. Peter Entwistle an advisory position should he decide not to run as a candidate in the Boundary Similkameen riding.
The allegation was first made over the weekend in the Penticton Herald. Entwistle said that Ross made the offer of a “position”should he decide not to run in the election early on in the campaign. The Herald later issued a clarification on that allegation, saying a review of the taperevealed the “position” Entwistle described was of an unpaid advisor.
Entwistle confirmed this claim to the Gazette on Monday afternoon, stating the offer was made after he had announced that hewould be running but before his formal papers were filed with BC Elections.
“There is no doubt I was offered a position. It’s unclear what position that would have been, because I rejected it. That was withthe expectation that I would step down,” he said. “I’d announced that I’d would run but had not actually filed the paperwork.”
Ross issued the following comment via her campaign on Monday evening, stating there was no offer of employment made.
“Peter and I met back on March 30 to discuss how best to improve public health care. There was no offer of employment made,”Ross said via email from her campaign. “Peter and I agreed on a shared vision when it comes to stopping the cuts to our health-care system, which is urgently needed, so I asked him to consider uniting forces in order to defeat Christy Clark. He optedinstead to file his official paperwork to run in the race here, which is fine.”
Entwistle said he cannot definitely say what the position might have entailed.
On Saturday the BC Liberals posted a press release stating they had asked the RCMP in writing to investigate Ross’ offer underthe Criminal Code as “inducement.”
The release does not mention the riding’s Liberal candidate Linda Larson by name, but does mention Andrew Wilkinson, anotherLiberal candidate, asking John Horgan to remove Ross as a candidate. Ross’ campaign dismissed the allegation as a “desperate”move. Entwistle said he has done nothing wrong, and considered Ross’ offer to be “ill-conceived” rather than a wrongdoing.
“It wasn’t, I don’t think, anything malicious, it was just ill-conceived, rather than bad people doing bad things,” he said.