Friday, January 09, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...The Dean Weighs In On The McNeil Report.


Well, well, well whaddy'a know.

It looks like the pre-Christmas document dump of the McNeil report by the Clarklandians didn't quite work as planned.

Because it would appear (perhaps because Adrian Dix is still kicking up a bit of a fuss) that it is finally, three weeks after the fact, starting to get a little proMedia play.

Heckfire - even Mr. Palmer of the VSun has written a column about it.

And Mr. Palmer, unlike at least one other media outlet, actually got both parts of the kicker from the report right:

...“This report is not intended to, and does not, answer questions regarding the specific allegations against the employees,” wrote McNeil in a covering message. “Nor does it answer any lingering questions regarding whether any decision made about the employees was legally or factually sound.”...

Mr. Palmer also zoomed in another aspect of report that we, the great unwashed amongst the idiots in the bloggodome already discussed weeks ago (see comments) which is the following:

...One of the more disturbing lapses in due process was disclosed in a footnote to the report: “At no time before the termination decisions were made was (legal) advice with respect to whether there was just cause to dismiss the six ministry employees either sought or provided.”

That passage drew a rebuttal from former deputy minister of health Graham Whitmarsh, who’d signed off on the dismissals back in 2012. “The statement was very surprising to him,” wrote his lawyer in an open letter to government. “Mr. Whitmarsh’s understanding at the time was that legal advice had been sought and was being provided with respect to whether there was just cause for the dismissal of the employees.”

Whitmarsh declined to cooperate in the McNeil review, suspecting that the narrow terms of reference were crafted in part to make him the scapegoat. For her part, McNeil says in the report that she “reviewed records from counsel with the ministry of justice which are confidential and/or privileged in nature.”

So it would appear that if the legal advice cited by Whitmarsh exists in written form, it was not included in the records shared with McNeil. One more loose end in a report that, for all of McNeil’s effort to do her best within the government-imposed limitations, contains far too many them...

Of course there is another possibility about the actual 'existence' of that legal advice, which Mr. Palmer declined to suggest.

All in all, it's a pretty thorough hard-hitting column until (surprise!) the Dean pulls his final punch so that, one can only presume that he can live on to hedge his bets, as required, in the next round:

...Highlighting two more gaps in the record Wednesday, Opposition MLA Adrian Dix called on the Liberals to release details from the redacted-by-government appendices to the report.

The whited-out passages excluded key details of the flawed internal review that led to the firings as well as a chronology of the legal advice provided to government in the affair. Dix also repeated Opposition calls for a full-blown public inquiry with the power to call witnesses, compel testimony, secure all documents, and offer full legal protection to any whistleblowers.

Not likely will either the details or the inquiry be forthcoming. As the record to date suggests, the last thing the Clark government really wants is to get to the bottom of this affair...

Mr. Palmer does realize that lives were ruined here, right?

In an interesting sidebar, Merv Adey wonders why, on the Twitmachine, it is that Mr. Palmer's column is so heckfire hard to actually find on the VSun's website...Editor responds that it is all because of 'refreshments'...Or some such thing.



Anonymous said...

Grant G said...

You are correct, Merv Adey is correct...Vaughn Palmer`s article on the health firings has virtually vanished..

Want proof?

That above link..

I just went to the Vancouver Sun, scrolled down to a little area where is says.."Columnists"

I clicked that link, then clicked columnist Vaughn Palmer...

And guess what, it has Palmer`s electoral boundaries article..His article on BC`s mega-project list and his last 8 other columns he wrote..but lo n behold there is no mention or link to the health firing article..

Here is what is there, cut n pasted..


Vaughn Palmer
Vaughn Palmer

Vaughn Palmer: Electoral boundary commission can’t hope to please everyone

VICTORIA — When a provincial commission held public hearings last fall on redrawing B.C.’s constituency boundaries before the next election, it heard some pretty strong expressions of opinion from the locals. From Clearwater on the North Thompson River: “DO NOT change the boundary of our riding. We are uniquely different and should not be intermixed with that of a different socio-geographical-biological-climatic area. Please do not be so short sighted that you arbitrarily do what’s so obviously wrong that it should never have been considered in the first place. Forget this potential disaster.”

Recent Columns

Vaughn Palmer: B.C.’s ‘whopping’ capital project list is a bit of a whopper

Vaughn Palmer: Mixed messages from B.C. Liberals on transit vote? ‘Yes’

Vaughn Palmer: A ‘last of its kind’ power play

Vaughn Palmer: For the latest on Site C dam, call New York

Vaughn Palmer: Process needed to determine if government advertising is partisan

Vaughn Palmer: Genesis of LNG was more big bang than evolution

Vaughn Palmer: With his support for LNG industry, Horgan’s no hero to some on NDP’s left

Vaughn Palmer: BC Ferries pushes for new online booking system, and about time


Ross K..Merv Adey...

It really must just be a little media slip...No collusion there..

Right ?

Anonymous said...

I'm told Palmer's column now shows up under the "columnists" tab on the VAN SUN website. - Merv

sd said...

I just looked and can't find it.

Anonymous said...

SD, you're right. I can't find it either - Merv (10:31) January 9th

sd said...

Just found it, above where his picture is. It's a pen in the picture.

Eleanor Gregory said...

I googled the words:

mcneil palmer health

and got this:

Of course, that might be gone tomorrow and in a few minutes.

Grant G said...

I just re-checked this link,

no, the health article isn`t there, and it`s not on their web edition paper..

Regular readers here know I recently reported in a comment on an earlier thread, a BC Liberal Government produced report claims a million jobs were coming by 2022..

That story on the Government report sat on The Province newspaper`s front page for 6 days..

Why does one need to search away for Palmer`s slightly scathing article..

It should have been online for at least 18 to 24 hours..

Yea yea, I know it CAN be found, one shouldn`t have to search..

I hear nothing on radio news about the health firings..

The media isn`t interested in playing the story..

Just like Global News, they did that John Horgan piece at on the 6:00 pm news...They played it at 6:58 pm...The very last item before 7:00 pm

RossK said...

Thanks everyone--

Coincidental or not, I found it most interesting that Merv got the good Mr. Munro to respond.

That is, most definitely, a good thing.