Senior provincial New Democrat officials were told about party president Moe Sihota's controversial stipend within weeks of him winning that office. But Public Eye has exclusively learned that disclosure was never written down. The stipend - which is being paid using a "generous, earmarked gift from the labour movement" - became controversial because of secrecy, contributing to the downfall of party leader Carole James.
New Democrat legislators waited almost a year before being officially informed about that arrangement - even though, according to dissident MLA Jenny Kwan, Ms. James knew about it much earlier.
Such "back room deals should have no place in today's politics," Ms. Kwan charged in a statement released last month to the media, adding the arrangements for the stipend were "not done in a transparent manner."
But Gerard Janssen, the chair of the New Democrats' oversight committee, has told Public Eye Mr. Sihota and the party's provincial secretary Jan O'Brien did advise senior officials about the $76,500 presidential pay arrangement in January 2010.
"Unfortunately, Jan just thought it was a discussion" rather than a meeting, explained Mr. Janssen - who is responsible for examining the party's financial records.
So the disclosure wasn't minuted "and then it was just forgotten for meeting after meeting."
Mr. Janssen said he didn't personally attend the meeting in question.
The former cabinet minister and caucus whip couldn't say whether that meeting was limited to the party's table officers or included members of its larger provincial executive.
New Democrat spokesperson Michael Roy refused to comment on this story.
Mr. Janssen also said Mr. Sihota has not submitted any receipts for reimbursement since being elected president in November 2009.