Despite the Ombudsman’s Misfire report, consistent inconsistencies & questions remain on health firings travesty.

The long awaited report in the health firings was released by the Ombudsman office yesterday, and having read through it, like many, I was left sickened.

For those needing to get up to speed, from Justine Hunter of the Globe and Mail :

In the fall of 2013, a year after B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s government made a public show of firing eight health researchers over a data breach, bureaucrats knew their case against the workers had fallen apart. It took until Thursday, and the release of a critical Ombudsperson report on the firings, before the head of the provincial public service offered an “unqualified and comprehensive” apology.

The apology, which was delivered at a news conference by Kim Henderson, deputy minister to the Premier, extends to the family of Roderick MacIsaac, a student researcher who killed himself after enduring “badgering” interrogations by government investigators, and then being fired just two days before the end of his student co-op term. Ms. Henderson said the province accepts all the recommendations in Ombudsperson Jay Chalke’s report, including a proposal to establish a $500,000 university scholarship in Mr. MacIsaac’s name.

In his report, Mr. Chalke concluded that the firings were driven by a flawed and needlessly rushed investigative process prompted by a whistle-blower’s complaints. He found there was no political interference in the decision to fire the researchers, but Mr. Chalke said the government misled the public about RCMP involvement, and then bungled the fallout as it slowly retreated from its initial allegations of wrongdoing.

You can read the full report here:https://www.bcombudsperson.ca/sites/default/files/OmbudsReport%202017%20533-web-sm.pdf

There is so much to say and after a long day I’ll try to keep it to the most salient points.

First, this statement from the lawyer representing three of the health care workers, that Shane Woodford posted to Facebook:

The lawyer representing three health researchers wrongfully fired by the provincial government in 2012 is not expecting much from the BC Ombudsperson’s investigation.

Gary Caroline says the report is already flawed.

“There was never any agreement to provide documents that our clients wanted to see before they were questioned. They were never provided with funding for legal advice. They were never questioned. We represent three of the health researchers and the sister of Roderick MacIsaac who killed himself as a result of this, at least in large measure. So the report will not reflect anything that our clients have said to them because they were never asked their opinion.”

As for the report itself.

“I suspect that Mr. Chalke will target the mid-ranked bureacrats, or government officials, and will not go after, or say anything negative, about the government itself.”

Caroline says the government needs to say sorry and reveal who made the decision to fire the eight researchers.

“This is a golden opportunity for the government, especially before an election, to clear up some of the mess they have created over the last five years by telling us exactly, telling the public and the researchers, exactly who decided to fire them.”

He says none of his clients have recieved a penny despite being wrongfully fired and enduring years of stress and misery.

“All the health researchers we represent got out of it was that their dismissals were turned into resignations. Ramsay Hamdi never received a cent of severance pay even though he had served 30 some odd years for the ministry. Nothing. Not a penny.”

An egregious oversight to not include their testimonies and now that the report is out, he is not far off. Chalke determined there was no political interference so Clark, De Jong and others are breathing sighs of relief.

But this should not be let go. Not just because the investigation was flawed, but because a man, a very good and kind man from all accounts, was needlessly bullied, harassed and made to feel his career prospects were over. And he took his own life.

He took his own life.  

And where exactly is the accountability here?

The investigators whose abusive behavior is documented in the ombudsman report is incredibly damaging. The lead investigators methods and demeanor during interviews was mentioned several times. Pages 145-147 of the report are clear.

So who was the lead investigator for the government at that time? None other than Wendy Taylor, as reported by Vaughn Palmer back in 2014: 

That led to the establishment of an internal investigation, headed by Wendy Taylor, director of privacy investigations for the ministry of citizens’ services. Seeking assistance on the allegations regarding contracts and procurement, she turned to the comptroller general. He gave the assignment to Dan Peck, director of the special investigations and forensic unit in his office.

Now let me make it clear, I don’t know if Ms. Taylor was the one who questioned Rod MacIssac in that room where he denied 14 times in two hours. But I do know as lead investigator her behavior and tactics were called into question as she appeared to go rogue and she would be responsible for the behavior of any other investigator on her team.

So when I read a statement yesterday from Rod’s sister stating some of the people involved in that had gotten promotions, raises…I had to see  at the very least where Ms. Taylor ended up.

Well. Looks like she did well for herself immediately following those investigations. Accountability? How is she, or any other abusive or heavy-handed… and wrong.. investigator still working? Why are the communication people who put forth the info an RCMP investigation was underway still employed?

Most interesting was the statement by Premier Clark under oath that she did not recall ever being briefed on the health firings.

That I found incredibly hard to believe, in fact it’s actually laughable considering everything that happened at the time. Even more-so considering she just did an interview with Nardwuar and had no issues recalling where even obscure bands played back in the day and who attended with her and that people were even spitting all over… http://nardwuar.com/rad/nardwuar-vs-premier-christy-clark/  Truly, the woman has an amazing memory. But I digress, only a little.

She said under oath that she couldn’t recall even being briefed on the decision to terminate those workers…

Which is why her statements today in the press as reported by a station in Kamloops are all that more interesting…

Screenshot 2017-04-07 at 3.18.05 PMScreenshot 2017-04-07 at 3.19.09 PM

At 12:33 in this media scrum today start listening to hear her exact words regarding her actions and responsibility at the time of the firings:

https://soundcloud.com/shane-woodford/premier-christy-clark-scrum-on-softwood-health-firings-and-daycare

It’s quite clear. Under oath she said she didn’t recall being briefed.( Chapter 8 , pages 134-135)

To reporters, she said, twice, she did ask questions at the time, she asked a lot of questions and they were assured that the firing was the right thing to do. Who was assured besides her? Who was she talking to about whether or not those workers should be fired? Who assured her it was the right thing to do? Did she just admit to political interference? Who actually made the call on firing these researchers?

So did Premier Clark lie under oath? Or did she lie to the reporter asking the question?

Shane Woodford has posted this portion on his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1510233658989652&id=680043878675305&substory_index=0

What responsibility does she take for this situation?

“That is why government has apologized more than once and offered our deepest condolences. That is why government will be supporting the reparations fund.”

Clark was asked if at the time she asked questions about the health firings investigation.

“Well I did ask a lot of questions at the time and, as I said before, the assurances that we all received were that these were absolutely justified and the right thing to do. Again as Premier I know that it is wrong, absolutely wrong, for politicians to interfere in hiring or firing decisions in the civil service.”

Clark was also asked is misled the Legislature when she said the Mary McNeil review had the powers to get to the bottom of the health firings scandal.

“No I didn’t.”

Either way, she’s not telling the truth somewhere. And this is not over because despite her reference to the health firings and Rod’s suicide as a tragedy, it’s not.

Having a heart attack is a tragedy.  Being systematically bullied, harassed, wrongfully accused and fired in the public light to a point of despair and suicide  is not a tragedy, it’s a heinous and reprehensible travesty.  There has been no accountability when people responsible for this are still working. There is no path to healing and closure until a true acknowledgement of the grievous nature of this wrongdoing is acknowledged face to face, until reparations are made.

The premier giving shockingly contradictory statements to the press that oppose a sworn statement under oath, only tells me there is far more to be learned here. At least one complaint has been made to the Ombudsman, by pundit David Schreck.

More next week.

Today I made an appearance downtown
I am an expert witness because I say I am
And I said gentlemen, and I use that world loosely
I will testify for you, I’m a gun for hire,I’m a saint, I’m a liar
Because there are no facts, there is no truth
Just data to be manipulated
I can get you any result you like
What’s it worth to you?
Because there is no wrong, there is no right
And I sleep very well at night
No shame, no solution, no remorse, no retribution
Just opportunity to participate in the pathetic little circus
And winning, winning, winning
It was pretty big year for predators
The marketplace was on a roll
And the land of opportunity
Spawned a whole new breed of men without souls
This year notoriety got all confused with fame
And the devil is downhearted babe, cause
There’s nothing left for him to claim

(Don Henley, Garden of Allah lyrics) 

28 thoughts on “Despite the Ombudsman’s Misfire report, consistent inconsistencies & questions remain on health firings travesty.

  1. Sadly, the ‘upper bureaucratic level’ is riddled with vicious career-builders. Especially at the Asst. Deputy Minister and Deputy Minister level. They are almost-all Lt. Calley-types willing to do the ‘dirty work’. Usually, but not always, the dirty work is directed by the minister but often and maybe even the majority of the times, the dirty work is an ‘interpretation’ of what the ADM and DM thinks the minister would want. Typically, the minister just ‘sets the tone’ and expects the ambitious sycophants to execute ‘in accordance’ with his or her ‘known inclinations’. That weird dynamic allows for plausible deniability for the minister. Lower heads can roll. If you are really good at it, you get promoted. If you are the best, you get to be Premier. Why would anyone willingly be that kind of sociopathic puppet? Because if your head doesn’t roll, you get to roll into the next government. You want to know who is ugly? Amost all ADMs and DMs. AND many of the managers (next level down). Why? Because they are NOT dedicated civil servants-bureaucrats, they are really ambitious psuedo-politicians in camouflaged sheep’s clothing hiding in closets and shadows poisoning the food. Yeah, I admit to a bias……

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Salal

    Christy was interviewed on CKNW today. I’d call her comments leaning towards defiance over this matter. Very sad…but not unexpected.

    Buck stops with civil service on health firings scandal: Clark
    Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver’s News. Vancouver’s Talk
    Simon Little
    Posted: April 07, 2017 03:34 pm
    http://www.cknw.com/2017/04/07/293370/

    Like

    1. Laila Yuile

      Even more questions…..she looked into it…she asked a lot of questions…yet in all that she couldnt recall being briefed on it when under oath?

      My goodness. Complicit or incompetent?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Lew

    The report on page 133 describes Graham Whitmarsh writing to brief Minister Michael de Jong; “This is further to our discussion on August 3, 2012 when I briefed you on an investigation that was actively under way under my direction…”

    But on page 132 the report says, “Mr. Whitmarsh told us that he was not directing the investigation, but only overseeing it at a weekly meeting. “

    And in correspondence from Mr. Whitmarsh and his lawyer to the government expressing concern that the government was going to blame him for the debacle, Mr. Whitmarsh says the Public Service Agency led the investigation.

    “Early in the investigation process [that led to the firings], it was decided, as is the norm in such serious human resource matters, to have the Public Service Agency (PSA) lead the investigation,” Whitmarsh wrote on Oct. 6 to McNeil, adding that the Public Service Agency had support from the province’s Chief Information Officer to investigate the handling of government data.

    https://thetyee.ca/News/2014/11/20/Blame-Fears-for-Health-Ministry-Firings/

    Misfire, or mislead?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. samantha raftery

    this woman did not even have the decency to apologize to the health workers or the people of bc for demonizing these health workers and causing Mr. MacIsaac so much grief he took his own life. She instead sent in a minion to do her dirty work. I would like to extend my abject apologies to these people and especially to the family of Mr. MacIsaac. Heads should roll but nothing and I mean nothing seems to stick to the Teflon queen. She smiles her smarmy smile and keeps on picking our pockets.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. G. Barry Stewart

    A spine and leadership skills are two things sorely lacking in Christy. She knows this, which is why she tried to offload those attributes on John Horgan a few weeks ago.

    More “Look over there, not here!” from the Queen of deflection,

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: CHRISTY CLARK INDUCED SUICIDE OF STUDENT RESEARCHER - NORTON SPEAKS

  7. Lew

    “Again as Premier I know that it is wrong, absolutely wrong, for politicians to interfere in hiring or firing decisions in the civil service.”

    “They will be fired immediately and any further action that needs to be taken against them will be taken immediately,” Ms. Clark told reporters in Victoria on Thursday.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-investigating-unusual-activity-in-pharmanet-system/article34051936/

    Christy Clark is consistently inconsistent.

    Like

  8. Lew

    September 05, 2012 10:35am
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/stories/premier-christy-clark-announces-cabinet-renewal

    September 06, 2012 2:30pm.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-health-officials-fired-over-access-to-medical-records-1.1134494

    A confidential briefing note was prepared for Margaret MacDiarmid on August 31st with key details of investigation and firings and advice on how to respond at press conference. That was almost a week before it was announced she would be Minister. How likely is it that a press conference would be held to publicly announce the firings, data breaches, and an RCMP investigation the day after Christy announces a new cabinet without her being fully briefed? A premier would find out about a shocking development like this from watching the news like the general public?

    Really Mr. Chalke?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hawgwash

    From the wooden stake that holds a BCL sign, through the party and on up to the Kelowna Bennett’s, the Aquilini’s, to Najib Razak and Mr. Rennie himself one word comes to mind; incestuous.

    AK! The mental image of a Coleman, Anton romp is…aw geeze, never mind, my filthy mind takes me off topic.

    So, aside from not being surprised at the Ombud’s report OR revelations of a Sociopathic Liar in our midst, there are a couple of other things I cannot reconcile in my cement mixer mind.

    How can it be, that not one, of the dozens upon dozens of Government workers, over the five year period of the Health firing scandal, who had a minimal to full on role in it, has not had the moral, right minded, class, to say something? I have to believe that anyone, who openly or anonymously spilled the beans, or even just dropped a well pointed hint, would get the full backing of all decent people.

    Ma’am, sir, you are there, aren’t you? You are reading this as well, aren’t you?
    For goodness sake, do the right thing. You shouldn’t wear this to your grave.

    Mr. Whitmarsh? Sir?

    Secondly, I am so sorely disappointed in members of our national police force, who only whisper “embarrassment” at their retired brother members being enmeshed with the current Liberals. Grow some boys! Stop fiddling with the thread on your yellow stripe and do something to earn the better wage you are whining about. Is this the level of cophood you aspired to as a child? Are you really ok with what’s going on?

    There should be not one Liberal left standing on May 9th.
    Not one.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. e.a.f.

    What a post!!!!

    Don Henley must have had a crystal ball there when he wrote those lyrics.

    Turns out Christy might be lying again. this needs clarification.

    What might be helpful is some one reminded us of what the researchers were working on at the time they were all fired. Then some of us could decide how involved politicians might have been regardless of how well or not well their memories were working.

    Was their project about the cost of drugs and where they were purchased? I honestly can’t remember all the details and am too lazy to look it up. It might be helpful to others to know exactly what the reseachers were working on.

    C.C. not recalling being briefed on some thing. that is the standard phrase of people who don’t want to remember because if they admit to remembering they are in very deep shit. its just like the B.C. Rail trial. Everybody developed early on set of dementia and recovered immediately after it was over, from their perspective.

    C.C. not recalling is right up their with B.C. will have a 100K jobs and a trillion $s from LNG. Tell us another one Christy.

    Like

  11. e.a.f.

    A suggestion: given the inconsistencies with C.C.’s remarks and not seeing it on the MSM news perhaps some of us ought to be sending letters to the editors of our local papers so others might have a better view of what really went on. You’d be surprised what some local papers will print.

    Like

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