A political operative on the provincial Liberal payroll appears to be campaigning on behalf of right-wing candidates running in the University of Victoria Students' Society elections. But a representative from the starboard-leaning Coalition of Independent Students slate is denying those reports, saying Dallas Henault, the party's Lower Vancouver Island field organizer, is simply "supporting" those candidates.
In an interview with Public Eye, student newspaper editor Bryna Hallam told us she spotted Mr. Henault hanging pro-coalition posters earlier this week. Ms. Hallam then added, "I've seen him a few times," during the election "but on different days."
And, when Public Eye contacted outgoing student society chairperson Joanna Groves, a member of the left-wing slate, she told us, "He's been around a lot. He's been sitting with them at all-candidate forums. He's also been in the (the independent students') candidate for chairperson's office a lot...I don't really know exactly what he's doing. But he's always in (Agata Lis's) office."
But, in an interview with Public Eye, Ms. Lis, who is currently the society's finance director, said, "Dallas Henault isn't really a student at UVic. So he's not helping us out with the campaign. I mean obviously he supports us and he used to run with us in the past. So he's with us from time to time - watching the speeches and whatnot. But the campaign is something I'm heading."
She then said he isn't helping out aside from, "supporting the candidates. And showing up to some of the candidates' forums to support them."
Mr. Henault, who previously ran as the right-wing candidate for chairperson last year, did not return repeated phone calls from Public Eye. Nor have the Liberals responded to our questions about whether Mr. Henault's alleged involvement in the student society elections was authorized by the party. The University of Victoria is in Advanced Education Minister Ida Chong's riding.