John Yap is staying put.
The Richmond-Steveston Liberal MLA who has been embroiled in the controversy over the provincial government's ethnic outreach strategy apologized for his role, but stopped at taking himself out of the running for the May 14 provincial election.
"It doesn't change the fact that I'm the MLA for Richmond-Steveston. I look forward to the coming election, which I fully intend to run in," said Yap who was reached Thursday afternoon in Victoria. "I am running in the coming election as a B.C. Liberal and my colleagues on the team and the premier have encouraged me to run. So, I'm full steam ahead in running for re-election on May 14."
Yap's comments followed the release of a report by Deputy Premier John Dyble who investigated the government's proposed ethnic outreach plan which found serious misconduct by B.C. public officials, the misuse of government funds and the deliberate use of private email to hide what was going on.
Yap said he sincerely believed at the time that allowing staff to use their private emails to conduct matters was appropriate.
"But now I realize it was a breach of the public service code," he said. "That, of course, I regret and accept without reservation my responsibility and own up to it.
"This investigation done by Mr. Dyble is very thorough and came out with a number of findings and recommendations," he added. "One of the findings was that I crossed the line when I as minister (of Multiculturalism) and allowed and encouraged my staff to assist potential contractors with their applications to apply to be contractors as outreach workers."
Yap emphasized that at not time did anyone attempt to influence his staff making the contract decisions.
"They were completely at arms length," he said.
"Ever since I became an MLA, we work and support and help constituents, people, all the time to navigate government services, look for opportunities," he said. "But there's a higher standard expected of ministers and I breached that. I admit it was wrong.
"I let myself, and British Columbians, down when I mistakenly thought I was still within bounds and allowed my staff to assist people to apply for contract positions."
Last week, Yap resigned his post as minister and has been informed by Premier Christy Clark he would not be returning to cabinet-a situation that has not dulled his ambition to run for re-election. In fact, being excluded from current and potentially future responsibilities as a cabinet member has a positive side, he said.
It allows him not to be encumbered as a sitting minister, freeing him up to focus on his campaign.
He is also confident he has the support of his riding association's executive after speaking with many of them.
"So far, the response has been very positive and understanding," he said. "And I fully expect the riding association will stand with me."
Yap also received the support of fellow B.C. Liberal candidate Teresa Wat who is running in the Richmond-Centre riding.
"I think he is a good MLA for Richmond-Stevston and has done a lot of work for the constituency," Wat said following a press conference with supporters from the local Asian community. "He's well liked by his constituents and I think he is a good candidate."