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President of B.C. Liberal Party awarded Queen's counsel designation

Dec 23 2011

Premier Christy Clark's government has awarded the prestigious Queen's counsel designation to the president of the B.C. Liberal Party, Sharon White.

White, who co-chaired Clark's successful bid for party leader this year, was described by the government Thursday as a senior partner in a Vancouver law firm who practises corporate, commercial and securities law and has served on the B.C. securities bar.

But the government-provided biography did not mention any of White's ties to the Liberal party or the premier's office.

White was also named a member of Clark's transition team until the premier was sworn in in March. White was acclaimed as party president in May. She is responsible for overseeing party organization, membership and fundraising.

Clark also named White as co-chairwoman of the Liberal party's election readiness committee.

Attorney General Shirley Bond said in a statement to the Times Colonist that White "has a long and distinguished career," including past director of the Children's and Women's Health Centre and past chairwoman of the Sunny Hill Health Centre.

"Sharon White's long record of accomplishment speaks for itself," Bond said. Bond's statement also contained no reference to the Liberal party.

NDP attorney general critic Leonard Krog said White's Liberal connections should have been made public by the government.

"Being president of a political party in British Columbia is an obvious part of your resumé, and if you're being named Queen's counsel, why wouldn't that be part of the announcement to mention that particular aspect of her ability and talent?" said Krog.

"These kind of appointments, which have the appearance of being political, diminish the value of getting the QC in the first place."

White was one of 28 recipients of the QC designation announced by Bond Thursday.

Applicants are nominated by the public and then reviewed by an advisory committee.

The advisory committee makes recommendations to Bond and appointments are ultimately made by Clark's cabinet.

White could not be reached for comment.

rshaw@timescolonist.com

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