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mitchell conflict

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Tuesday morning David Mitchell was the MLA for West Vancouver-Garibaldi. By Tuesday afternoon he had resigned his seat in the legislature and was the acting Conflict of Interest Commissioner. Premier Glen Clark made the announcement Tuesday saying, "Like Ted Hughes before him, David Mitchell has earned the respect of all MLAs. I’m confident he brings the judgement and values required by the position of Commissioner, along with a wealth of knowledge about the B.C. legislature and government." However, the Liberal party, believes Mitchell is too biased for the position of conflict of interest commissioner. "Mr. Mitchell is in a conflict of interest himself, endorsing (NDP candidate) Brenda Broughton," said Ted Nebbeling, the Liberal candidate for West Vancouver-Garibaldi. MLA Gary Farrell-Collins said if the Liberals are elected they will not ratify Mitchell’s position as the commissioner. Mitchell told CBC he hopes cooler heads prevail in a few weeks. Mitchell is the interim commissioner right now. His position must be approved by two-thirds of the legislature. The NDP currently holds 50 of the 75 seats in the legislature. Mitchell was elected as a Liberal in 1991 but left the party to sit as an independent a year later. He and the Liberal party have had a hate-hate relationship since. He has said in the legislature he believes the conflict of interest guidelines are too broad. Mitchell announced last month that he would not seek re-election when the provincial election is called. However, the conflict of interest commissioner position is not what he had in mind following his term as MLA. He has taught history at UBC and SFU and has written two books on B.C.’s political history. He has also served as a media commentator on public affairs.

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