VANCOUVER (CUP) — The B.C. Liberal minister of advanced education, John Yap, has stepped aside from cabinet over the fallout from a leaked internal party memo.
Yap has been the Minister of Advanced Education since September 2012, and has also served as the Minister of State for Multiculturalism since March 2012.
His removal from cabinet comes as a response to a Liberal document that described the use of government resources to reach out to ethnic voters in the lead-up to this spring’s provincial election. The document indicated that apologies for historical wrongs upon certain ethnic groups should be issued in the run-up to the election to achieve “quick wins” on the campaign trail.
Although Yap was not the minister of state for multiculturalism in January 2012, which is when the memo is dated, he will step aside from both of his cabinet positions until the Liberals conclude an investigation into their ethnic-votes strategy.
“When mistakes occur, and they do, we must confront them and take responsibility for them. I’ve talked to [John Yap], and he has agreed that he is going to step aside from cabinet,” said Premier Christy Clark in question period on Monday afternoon.
NDP leader Adrian Dix spoke in question period to say he supported Yap’s decision to step aside during the investigation.
Ralph Sultan, MLA for West Vancouver–Capilano and current minister of state for seniors, has been temporarily appointed to take over the ministry of advanced education. Staff at Sultan’s legislature office said that they learned Sultan would be taking over the ministry on the day the announcement was made.
—This is a breaking story, and will be updated as more information becomes available.