B.C.’s citizens services minister Jinny Sims has resigned from cabinet after a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate undisclosed accusations.
Premier John Horgan issued a statement late Friday afternoon confirming he has accepted the resignation.
“This afternoon, I was advised by the Attorney General [David Eby] of the appointment of a special prosecutor for an RCMP investigation related to Jinny Sims,” Horgan said.
Horgan appointed Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson to take on Sims’ cabinet responsibilities while the investigation unfolds. Neither Horgan nor Sims identified the nature of the investigation, with Sims saying she has legal advice to say nothing publicly.
Since being named to the NDP cabinet in the portfolio responsible for government information security and disclosure, Sims has been caught up in two controversies. One involved allegations that she used private channels to communicate with her staff, avoiding the freedom of information law her ministry is mandated to enforce.
The other stems from her previous role as an NDP MP. A former constituency assistant alleged that Sims wrote reference letters for 10 Pakistani citizens, some of whom were on lists of U.S. security risks. The former assistant made the allegations in a letter to B.C.’s conflict of interest commissioner.
Sims issued a statement immediately after the premier’s announcement.
“I have not been given details of any allegations but there was no credibility to previous public allegations,” Sims said. “I am confident that my name will be cleared but do not want to distract from the important work of government in the meantime.”