There are few things in politics that have left as big of an impression on me personally, as the continuing disgrace of the health firings scandal. To this day, it pains me to think of what Rod MacIsaac must have gone through leading to his tragic suicide. It’s not hard to believe this government would mislead the public- they do it usually several times a week-but that they would as far as to mislead the RCMP as well, was unfathomable. And in my opinion,posted here last year, unforgivable:
When it was revealed in June of this year, that the government had intentionally misled not only the public, but the RCMP, it further called into question the ability of this government to continue with authority to govern:
Despite claims from MacDiarmid’s ministry that its had “provided the RCMP with interim results of an internal investigation,” RCMP emails show the ministry simply gave “high level explanations of the allegations,” and that “the province’s investigation had not reached any conclusions that could support a criminal investigation.”
RCMP investigators tried five times over almost two years to get more information, but received none of the reports the Health Ministry had promised into what it had publicly billed as one of the biggest privacy breaches in B.C. history.
The Mounties closed the file on July 16, 2014, and informed the province. But it wasn’t until seven months later that the government publicly admitted it no longer expected police to pursue the matter.
The records, obtained by The Vancouver Sun through the federal Access to Information Act, show that the B.C. government repeatedly pointed to an RCMP investigation over several years, while at the same time doing virtually nothing to inform police about the case and failing to provide any evidence of a crime.
“Despite inferences in the media that the RCMP has undertaken an investigation or received information from the Province, this has not been the case,” wrote Const. Dean Miller from the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime section, in a late 2014 report. “No tangible evidence or reports related to the allegations have been handed over. As such, no investigation has been initiated.”
NDP critic Adrian Dix said the documents “show a government that not just misled the public but misled the police. And it’s a very serious thing.”
The government “smeared” the reputation of the researchers by repeatedly lying about a police probe it knew did not exist, said Dix.
One of the researchers, co-op student Roderick MacIsaac, committed suicide after he was fired and it was suggested he was under police investigation.
Think about that. The government deliberately misled the public, the 8 wrongly fired workers- one of whom is no longer with us – and the RCMP.
Who lies about an RCMP investigation that never happened? And then goes… whoops! Sorry about that! Sorry just doesn’t cut it. It is government malfeasance. A clear attempt to mitigate their own culpability in the entire issue.
Still hard to fathom. And the news this week that the implications of that scandal continue, was equally disconcerting to me:
Critical research required for a national study on birth defects caused by pregnant women taking an acne medication was delayed by at least one year because of the B.C. government’s botched firing of a group of pharmaceutical researchers, the study’s lead author says.
The warnings, contained in a medical report published Monday, would have been issued earlier, but researchers had to wait for the B.C. government to conclude an internal inquiry into its firing of eight workers over a breach of medical data.
David Henry of the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies said in an interview the study was sidelined by the B.C. health firings. The study found that one or two children are born in Canada every year with preventable birth defects as a result of isotretinoin treatment – a drug also known by the brand name Accutane – because some women of child-bearing age are not being properly warned about the dangers of the drug.
“We want to change practices, we want to make doctors and pharmacists and patients more aware. During that year, unquestionably there were women becoming pregnant while on the drug,” Dr. Henry said in an interview. “We would have liked to have got the warning out earlier.”
While the concerns and risks of using Accutane during pregnancy have been known, this study confirmed how critical it is for women to be properly warned by doctors & pharmacists. There was no need to block this data, researchers stated, because the patient data was anonymous.
This issue however was completely overshadowed by the news today that Premier Clark is getting a salary from the BC Liberal party for partisan work she does while sitting as premier….
Premier Christy Clark is paid tens of thousands of dollars each year by the BC Liberal Party – an income that is drawn from coffers infused by donor contributions and is in addition to the nearly $200,000 she earns annually as the head of government.
The Globe and Mail has learned that Ms. Clark is given between $30,000 and $50,000 a year from the BC Liberal Party for work she does for it throughout the year, including attending fundraising events. A spokesman with the Liberals of Ontario said that Premier Kathleen Wynne does not get a salary from the party. The BC NDP Party does not pay its leader anything, either. A spokesman for NDP Leader John Horgan said he has been reimbursed for a “couple of suits” during his time in the job.
The revelation about Ms. Clark’s extra payments follows Globe reports that she has been appearing at intimate donor get-togethers at which well-heeled patrons pay large amounts of cash for a chance to get rare, private face time with the most powerful politician in the province.
Cue the memes. Get some sweet photo-ops planned on a feel-good issue that warms the hearts of the herd. Call out the digital influencers to try and smooth it all over like organic peanut butter on gluten free bagel…
Sorry friends, this woman isn’t buying what you’re selling. It doesn’t matter if you declare it on the MLA disclosures that 99 % of voters in BC don’t even know exist. It’s still wrong. A premier, or any MLA for that matter of any party, should not be taking a salary from party coffers,based on the donations that party receives.I have to ask if any other MLA’s are receiving similar top-ups for party work!
It’s not just a perceived conflict of interest, it is a real one that every public official elected to office should strive to avoid at all costs.It’s about a not so little thing called integrity. How can voters have faith of impartiality and public trust,when the premier who is getting paid for partisan political party events with funds coming from corporate and other donations to her party? While she is making executive decisions for the future of BC?
Is it just me that finds this so damn appalling? This is a complete breach of public trust!
As Kashif points out so very well in his bang on tweet, BC went nuts over a home deck reno on Glen Clark – the deck that collapsed a premier. He resigned when police confirmed he was the subject of an investigation.
Yet skimming some money off corporate party donations? Misleading RCMP? Removing the Offence Act for document destruction? Deleting Emails requested under an FOI?
Just another day in BC politics these days…
“Honesty, integrity and accountability, the values which should be the hallmark of this government, have instead been thrown under the bus by an arrogant majority, casualties in a misguided campaign to shield from accountability those who abuse this house.”