FOI and Documentation

Horgan in the BC Legislature

Hansard, October 28, 2015:

Yesterday I asked the Premier if she would apologize to Tim Duncan, the courageous whistle-blower who came forward when he was bullied by an official in the Minister of Transportation’s office and directed to delete e-mails that he felt needed to be retained to respond to an access-to-information investigation. She refused to offer an explanation or an apology to Mr. Duncan.

We asked her why it was that the person responsible for freedom of information in her office used a tracking system consisting of Post-it Notes, and she didn’t answer.

We asked the Premier why she had said in May, and then again as recently as this fall, that she wouldn’t tolerate anyone working in the government that wasn’t abiding by the rules. Yet Ms. Cadario and Mr. Facey, identified by the commissioner, continue to be in the employ of the province of British Columbia.

My question again, given 24 hours, is to the Premier. Will she do the right thing, apologize to Mr. Duncan and also follow through on her commitment to ensure that people working under her are not breaking the law?

…Well, they said they wouldn’t do it again in 2012. They said they wouldn’t do it again in 2013. Now here we are, two years later, and we’re still not going to do it again.

But it’s not just Ms. Cadario who has an absence of records. It’s not just the Premier who has an absence of records. We contacted, as I said yesterday and we raised here yesterday, the Premier’s office and asked if Mr. Dyble, her deputy minister, had any records, any documentation around litigation, around internal investigations, around the botched firing of seven health care workers. Now, one would think, with all of the activity around that file, that someone in the Premier’s office would have kept a scrap of paper, but that is not the case.

We then asked for another series of information from the Premier’s communications director, Ben Chin. We asked if he had kept any records or documents over a period of time. You can well imagine the response we got… But the communications director, the guy responsible for making some sense of the incoherence in the Premier’s office, did not keep one scrap of paper.

So my question, again, to the Premier is: if the Premier’s director of communications doesn’t write anything down — he doesn’t send any e-mails — how is it that he communicates her inexplicable vision to the people of British Columbia?

Categories: FOI and Documentation

20 replies »

  1. How fitting that the first thing I see to the left side of my screen as I scroll down from this article is this from you, Mr. Farrell:


    “If we remain silent, we kill freedom, justice and the possibility that a society armed with information may have power to change the situation that has brought us to this point.” – Anabel Hernández

    Do Not Remain Silent folks. We CAN bring about the change that is undeniably and urgently required in this province. Question, be informed and Vocal.

    Thanks for the valuable posts Mr Farrell


  2. Michael Smyth is having a great time on this scandal. From Wednesday's Province:

    “Clark was asked Wednesday if she would apologize to Tim Duncan, the former Liberal government whistleblower who revealed the whole document-destruction scandal to start with.

    Clark’s verbatim answer: “Well, I, you know, I don’t, uh, I don’t know, um, I think, let’s see what the ombudsman’s report comes out with and, um, let’s see, uh, let’s see what the results of that are.”


  3. Tom Fletcher, Victoria correspondent for Black Press seems to have an inside scoop on the Highway 16 e-mails.

    He writes, “I hope the infamous 36 pages of emails are eventually released, since they were not deleted but rather excluded from release. They may bring the discussion back to the actual public service issue, which is what realistic transportation options exist for these communities.”


  4. So Horgan asks the question in the House. The press doesn't say squat about it. Then the uninformed will bleat”so what's the Opposition doing?” I wouldn't want his position and the associated BS for any amount.


  5. People need to understand Christy Clark and her B.C. Lieberals don't care what the law is, what they promise. It is all about secrecy and staying in office/power.

    We have had children die in Care. There are reports. the B.C. Lieberals promise to do better and then another child dies. Nothing changes. So why would any one think they would do better in the secrecy department.

    The Constituency which Cadeaux and those involved with the deleted memos have done nothing about removing their either within the party or from the public at large. People simply do not care. Not until it bites them in the ass will there be any change, as we just saw in the federal election.

    It might be entertaining if some not too busy lawyer took the B.C. Liebeals to court. to bad we don't have a Rocco Gallati out here.
    Do not expect the MSM to say much about it, they are simply the lap dogs of the politicians. the MSM relies on the B.C. Lieberals for ads, they aren't going to bite the hand which feeds them.

    Norm I truly appreciate the writing you are doing on this subject. We can only hope others do the same until the citizens of this province wake up to what is really going on.


  6. What bothers me more than the acts themselves, is the hundreds of civil servants and political hacks who are demonstrating a huge lack of morals, ethics and just plain “do the right thing” mentality by staying silent.

    How can they smile at the end of the day?


  7. One has to look at all of the sitting lieberal MLAs. There have been some who have been around a long, long time and continue to play the dumb game. DeJong, Coleman, Barnett, Bennett, Bond, Hogg, Fassbender, and those in their second term. Don't tell me they don't know what's going on, that's would be a lie imo. They all know what is going on, don't be fooled. They all need to be taken to task and dealt with. Christy must go as well as quite a few others. Absolute shameful the way these people CYA each others. And I like the comment about a lawyer, but then again, that would cost us TONS of money cause they're all protected at this time. I think in the future though, many of these people including some for the not so distant past, need to be held to account be it legally or civilly. Take back what was stolen. My opinion.


  8. Obfuscation, a BC Liberal mantra! I recall something about open government in the last campaign, I suppose no one in the Liberal coven will address that promise either.


  9. As a retired senior manager (2006) it was clear the government elected in 2001 had a goal of secrecy. It was difficult to accomplish Ministry objectives when many senior managers refused to use email, and some wouldn't even discuss anything on the phone.

    When dealing with privatization issues it often meant a trip to their office so all discussions were verbal. That way if anything went wrong (as it often did) the blame would end up on the desks of any manager under the ADM level.

    No wonder it didn't take long for most managers to figure out that giving the appearance of working hard, while doing nothing, was the best way to advance their career.


  10. Laila Yuile has a lengthy piece that is well worth the time to read.
    What the hell can we do about this?
    Waiting until 2017 should not be an option.


  11. Horgan would be a great Premier but he lacks depth around him.
    I've been saying for years that the entire NDP structure needs to be torn down and rebuilt. Waaaay too many hangers-on, entitled second generation-ers, labour payoff jobs etc etc.
    I truly believe that most of them don't want to win….they collect an above average salary with great benefits for life and have a really easy job.


  12. If the NDP were in power and this had happened under their watch, there would be lynchings on the lawn of the legislature and the MSM would be holding the rope


  13. Ah, the truth. Contempt of the legislature, contempt of the people of BC and now, contempt for the law. This bunch of malfeasants's known as the BC Liberals have long been involved in the greatest “white collar” scam, in this province. These deceptive individuals, at the top of the leadership of the party, will stop at nothing, to ensure their hidden agenda is met, regardless of the cost to the taxpayers of this province.
    This obviously includes deception, and manipulation of the law, to suit their own ends.
    Most people in the province, have no use for this form of governance. A means must be found to remove these people from office, and begin an investigation into what will be found to be one of the largest organized corruption crime, ever perpetraited in this country. This is organized crime, no matter what it looks like.


  14. “Horgan would be a great Premier but he lacks depth around him.”

    I disagree. Sure; he appears to be a bit more likable and human than those he is surrounded by – – but that's just relativism at play which can be as misleading as a funhouse mirror. The problem is he is complicit, just like the rest of them. A spirited series of question periods does not change that. This is a man who cannot even lead his own party (who you claim merely lack depth), and yet we should think that he can run out the snakes and lead this badly damaged Provence? St. Horgan he is not.

    I will not even consider someone worthy of leading until they start divulging truths about how we got where we are, until they start taking it to the streets instead of just acting tough during question period and during occasional interviews, and basically UNTIL THEY STOP FIGHTING AGAINST A RUTHLESS MONSTER USING SELF-IMPOSED MARQUESS OF QUEENSBURY RULES. We need a leader who actually wants to lead and isn't afraid. Nevertheless, if you take an honest look at the damage done, it might be too late.


  15. John Horgan is charming, smart, funny and hardworking. As he is also principled and cares about regular British Columbians, he would be a good premier.

    The NDP, both federally and provincially, need better communications people though. Ed Deak was absolutely right, the NDP communications strategy needs a major tune up. Being successful at fund-raising is one thing, connecting with voters and party supporters is another.



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