Yesterday Vancouver NDP MLA Jenny Kwan announced her intention to run for Libby Davies’ soon to be vacant seat in Parliament. Kwan has a long history in the neighbourhood and was once a member of the Downtown Eastside Resident’s association- a now defunct housing organization partially founded by Davies that died after a financial scandal involving misappropriation of resources.
DERA’s death marked the beginning of a new disaster called the Portland Housing Society. Kwan’s ex-husband Dan Small was an executive at PHS who got caught misusing the non-profit’s funds for luxury travel and hotels in Vienna, London, and Disneyland. Kwan was put in the spotlight when it was discovered she was with her husband on these trips. Claiming she was unaware he was using PHS funds to pay for her accommodations (and not questioning his choices to stay in $800+ per night hotel rooms) Kwan slipped away from the controversy after paying back $35,000 to PHS.
Kwan’s supporters tell us we should forgive her and accept the fact she was clueless of her surroundings. The problem is, if Kwan’s story is true, how is someone so clueless qualified for such an important job?