Friday, July 19, 2013 - North Shore News - A5
Staffer cites fallout from local event From page 1
stay in touch and still work for Brian Bonney and Harry Bloy.” Sarrafpour stresses she did nothing wrong while working for the Liberals or afterwards. Sarrafpour wouldn’t say exactly why she resigned, but she told the North Shore News at least part of the reason she left the job was because of the fallout from an event she helped organize on the North Shore. In June 2012, then minister of state for multiculturalism John Yap announced the creation of a $750,000 multiculturalism grant available to aboriginal and ethnic nonproﬁt groups and communitybased organizations. Sarrafpour was put in charge of inviting members of 180 different cultural groups to an event at the Holiday Inn in Seymour to promote the grant on June 30. But when groups who applied for the grants never
heard back from the province, they came to Sarrafpour looking for answers. “They were calling me nonstop saying ‘Sepideh, we did support you. We did come out because of you but there is no grant. What happened to the money?’ and I had no answer for them,” she said. Sarrafpour said she is isn’t sure what’s going to happen next, but she blames Liberal insiders for ruining her reputation with community leaders after she resigned. “They defamed my character. They destroyed my reputation. They said to community leaders that I am under investigation. Basically, they ruined my life,” Sarrafpour said. After the ethnic outreach scandal went public in March, Premier Christy Clark apologized for the leaked plan, Yap resigned from cabinet and several political staffers including Bonney resigned. Particularly stinging for
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Sarrafpour is that she supported Clark from the beginning, including during her leadership campaign. The alleged offer from Bloy and Bonney was all hearsay, according to West VancouverCapilano MLA Ralph Sultan. Sultan, who was handed Yap’s portfolio, said he was not aware of what came of the grant program. “Let’s face it, Brian Bonney and Harry Bloy and whomever have all been thoroughly discredited and I wouldn’t attach a great deal to what any of them say, including the lady in question,” he said. B.C. Liberal spokesman Ben James said the party is only learning of Sarrafpour’s allegations through the media.
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Published on Aug 12, 2013