MLA Bob Simpson calls for release of auditor general's report on carbon neutrality

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      The independent MLA for Cariboo North, Bob Simpson, has claimed that the Pacific Carbon Trust is using public funds to condemn an independent officer of the legislature.

      Simpson made the allegation after Speaker Bill Barisoff's decision to withhold release of auditor general John Doyle's report on carbon neutrality.

      Barisoff made the decision after Canadian Press obtained letters from legal, business, and environmental experts criticizing Doyle's findings.

      Simpson, however, claimed in a news release that "the report is being subjected to an attack by vested interests using  public relations firm before the public has been able to see the Auditor General's findings".

      Moreover, Simpson maintained that it's "fiction" that B.C.'s public sector is carbon neutral—and predicted that this will be confirmed by the auditor general's report.

      “I also suspect that the auditor general will raise serious questions about the credibility of the carbon offset projects the Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) is involved with, and that’s why third party ‘validators’ of these projects are mounting such a strenuous attack on the report in an attempt to get it squashed,” the MLA claimed.

      One of the critics of Doyle's findings is Prof. James Tansey, executive director of the ISIS Research Centre at UBC's Sauder School of Business.

      A letter from Justice Minister Shirley Bond to Tansey reportedly noted the professor's concerns about Doyle's conclusion. According to the correspondence obtained by Canadian Press, Tansey requested that it be amended before it was released.

      Another letter from University of Ottawa professor Stewart Elgie, which was also obtained by Canadian Press, maintained that Doyle's findings were "inconsistent with the expert advice I provided in several major areas".

      Simpson claimed that Tansey is not a disinterested academic and that his companies have received financial benefits working with Pacific Carbon Trust.

      "We have third parties with a clear stake in diminishing this report speaking out against it before we've seen it," Simpson declared.