The provincial New Democrat nomination race in Vancouver-Kensington seems to be headed down a dirty road, just five days before the constituency association's candidate selection meeting. An apparent whisper campaign against candidate Kelly Quinn is alleging the union organizer has a past criminal record. But, in a frank and admirably honest interview with Public Eye, Ms. Quinn put those rumours to rest, confirming she was convicted of assaulting a police officer 23 years ago.
Ms. Quinn explained that, when she was 21, she was caught in the middle of a barroom brawl in Edmonton. The police arrived and started hauling bar patrons outside, including her and a friend. Ms. Quinn says the friend, a troubled underage youth, was being harassed by the police for identification. She tried to intervene. Her friend ran away and a scuffle broke out, during which Ms. Quinn kneed one of the policemen in the groin. She pled guilty and was fined $500, plus community service.
"With a bad mix of youth and alcohol that was over 20 years ago, I've learned some valuable lessons from this," said Ms. Quinn. "I regret this incident. And I've worked hard to become a public servant and a role model for my daughter Catherine. If anything, these lessons learned will make me a more compassionate MLA for the people of Vancouver-Kensington."
Ms. Quinn added she disclosed her conviction to her riding's candidate search committee in August and informed the provincial executive about a month later. She applied for a pardon back in May, but it still waiting for the papers to be approved. A number of British Columbia politicians, both past and present, have had run-ins with the law, including the premier.