New BC Liberal leader linked to corruption in China

Andrew Wilkinson with Istuary CEO Ethan Sun, who's facing legal action for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme Province of British Columbia

By ThinkPol Staff

Andrew Wilkinson, who has just been elected the new leader of the BC Liberal Party, has faced difficult questions in the past about his links to corruption in China.

Wilkinson once acted for corrupt Chinese tycoon Ni Ritao’s company Sun Wave Forest Products, which breached an agreement to resurrect an abandoned pulp mill costing the City of Prince Rupert millions of dollars.

An SCMP investigation into case revealed that the businessman lied to a Vancouver court about his convictions for graft and forgery, falsely claiming he had been fully exonerated[1]

Wilkinson acted as a lawyer on the matter until March 27, 2012, when Bill Belsey, the then vice-president of the B.C. Liberal Party, took over the case[2]

British Columbians appear to neither forgive nor forget Wilkinson’s role in the scandal.

Conrad Lewis, 56, remembers the broken promises of the Chinese firm that lined Wilkinson’s pockets.

“They had a sign on there for almost 20 years saying opening soon, but they never did,” he said, thinking about the disappearance of traditional industries he’s seen first hand in the Prince Rupert area. “It’s a frickin’ horror show.”

He’s worked in the fishing industry most of his life and has seen the world flip upside down.

“I never believed I’d see the day when fish would be exported,” he said, explaining raw fish exports mean fewer BC jobs. “It’s all being shipped out.”

In fact, he says, the word around town is that the only thing Sun Wave Forest Products was after was the dock access – so they could siphon more of BC’s resources (and jobs along with it) off to China.

Wilkinson also appears to be a strong supporter of disgraced businessmen Ethan Sun, who is accused of running a Ponzi scheme in the guise of a tech incubator, according to court documents.

“It’s a pleasure to acknowledge Istuary Innovation Group as a creator of business and job opportunities for British Columbians, particularly those in the high-tech industry,” Wilkinson wrote in a letter while serving as the Minister of Advanced education.

“I would also like to recognize the work of Istuary Innovation Group for helping with the exchange of British Columbian technological resources with Asia,” Wilkinson added.

Istuary’s owners fled to China after stealing millions of dollars in wages from hundreds of employees[3]

Investors have filed claims alleging that Istuary Investment Group CEO Yi An “Ethan” Sun and his wife Yulan “Amy” Hu have defrauded them of $4.2 million, most of which was allegedly used by Sun and Hu for speculating in real estate in the lower mainland[4][5]

The new BC Liberal leader was not available for comment.

Wilkinson defeated former Surrey Mayor and federal Conservative MP Dianne Watts in the fifth round, taking 53% of the vote.

[Cover photo: Andrew Wilkinson with Istuary CEO Ethan Sun, who’s facing legal action for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme. Credit: Province of British Columbia]

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