Two strong media pieces today, following up on Cindy Harnett's piece from yesterday.
First Andrew MacLeod checks in with those actually affected. They are not happy about the document-dump driven delay to a 'toothless' investigation in the Tyee:
People wrongly fired from the health ministry in 2012 shouldn’t have to learn about major developments in Ombudsperson Jay Chalke’s investigation through media reports, say lawyers for some of the former employees in a letter sent to Chalke Thursday.
“Given the legitimate concerns they already had about the government’s decision to refer this matter to your office for a toothless closed-door investigation, our clients should not be expected to monitor Committee proceedings to find out about key developments,” wrote Gary Caroline and Joanna Gislason...
Next, a strong OpEd in the VTC:
In the wake of the firings of several Health Ministry researchers four years ago, the B.C. government had no answers, no explanation. The Opposition and those affected by the firings have encountered nothing but roadblocks in their quest for answers. A lawyer asked to review the incident reported she couldn’t get to the bottom of it because she couldn’t find the documentation that would normally accompany such actions.
Now B.C. ombudsperson Jay Chalke’s investigation has been handed nearly four million documents apparently related to the review.
This scandal has gone from the ridiculous to the absurd. But it is no comedy — careers were put on hold or ended, reputations were besmirched and one person took his own life. The controversy has dragged on far too long, and still no end is in sight...
...The issue is not what alleged transgressions led to the firings, but the process involved. To call it flawed is too gentle a description. This is one of the worst human-resources blunders in the history of Canadian public service, and yet no one has been called to account; no one has explained what really happened and why...
The thing is, now is not the time to stop with the digging and the prodding. And it is most certainly not the time for bob-and-weave, protect-the-insider-access-pipeline-at-all costs, wet-noodle "columnizing".
Otherwise it will soon by March, Mr. Chalke will announce he can't possibly release his report so close to the election, and everyone will shrug their shoulders and walk away.