Glen David Clark (born November 22, 1957 in Nanaimo, British Columbia) is a politician in British Columbia, Canada who served as the 31st Premier of British Columbia from 1996 to 1999.
1 Early life and education,
2.1.1 Fast ferry scandal,
3 After political life,
5 External links,
Early life and education:
Clark holds a Bachelor's degree from Simon Fraser University and a Master's Degree from the University of British Columbia. Before entering politics he worked in the labour movement.
Clark was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the 1986 provincial election. He served as the Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations and then as the Minister of Employment and Investment in the government of Mike Harcourt. When Harcourt resigned as a result of the Bingogate scandal, Clark stood for and won the leadership of the BC NDP and therefore became BC's 31st Premier. Clark called an election in 1996 in which his party narrowly held onto its majority. Although it received fewer votes across the province than the second-place BC Liberal Party, the NDP was able to hold onto power by winning all but eight seats in Vancouver.
Fast ferry scandal:
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_Ferry_Scandal
In an effort to revitalize a shipbuilding industry, Clark undertook the B.C. fast ferries initiative, which was designed to upgrade the existing BC Ferries fleet as well as jump start the shipbuilding industry in Vancouver. Although the ferries were eventually produced, the project had massive cost overruns and long delays, and the ferries were never able to function up to expectations. The ferries were later sold by the incoming Liberal government, for a fraction of their original price, to the American owned Washington Marine Group.
In March 1999, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police executed a search warrant and searched the Clark household. The media was tipped off about the raid and television news showed live, primetime coverage of the Premier pacing inside his house while the search was conducted. Two weeks later the RCMP conducted a search of the Premier's office.
The subsequent investigation spawned intense coverage by the media. However, subsequent coverage also exposed numerous inaccuracies in the way the story was initially portrayed, with some critics alleging a media or RCMP conspiracy to smear him for ideological reasons.
Clark resigned suddenly on the night of August 21, 1999, following allegations that he had accepted favours (in the form of free renovations worth $10,000, which he had actually paid for) from Dimitrios Pilarinos in return for approving a casino application. He was later formally charged with committing breach of trust, a criminal offence.
Conflict of interest commissioner H.A.D. Oliver concluded in 2001 that Clark had violated conflict of interest laws in British Columbia. However, Clark was acquitted of all criminal charges by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on August 29, 2002, with Justice Elizabeth Bennett ruling that while Clark had unwisely left himself open to a perception of unethical behaviour, there was no solid evidence that he had actually done anything illegal.
After political life:
Upon Clark's resignation, Deputy Premier Dan Miller acceded to the interim leadership of the New Democratic Party, and the premiership, until a leadership convention selected Ujjal Dosanjh. Due in part to the scandals surrounding Clark, the NDP was heavily defeated by the BC Liberals under Gordon Campbell in the 2001 provincial election, winning just two seats provincewide.
Clark is currently employed as president of the Jim Pattison Group and president of The News Group North America.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license