Tomorrow, the Jack Webster Foundation will be handing out the top journalism awards in British Columbia at the Westin Bayshore Resort and Marina. Public Eye and a team of Times Colonist staffers, including Lindsay Kines, Les Leyne, Judith Lavoie, Jody Paterson and Jeff Rud, are finalists in the best news reporting of the year category for our coverage of the Doug Walls affair. Public Eye's attendance at the Webster awards means we won't be posting stories until Friday.
Following a five month investigation, Public Eye revealed Mr. Walls, a Liberal insider, had been put in charge of a multi-million dollar government agency - even though senior staff were aware serious allegations of fraud had been made against the former Prince George car dealer. The investigation also revealed government wrote off a $484,939 bill owed by a consulting group run by Mr. Walls, Premier Gordon Campbell's cousin-in-law. It resulted in the resignation of Children and Family Development Minister Gordon Hogg and the firing of his deputy Chris Haynes. Mr. Walls also resigned.