Loyalty matters

Trust, communication and cooperation are vital elements in a workplace, particularly when staff is small, financial stakes high, and tasks important.

But, what happens when trust is broken and wrongdoing discovered? Well, that depends.

If an officer finds serious fault with a junior, there may be an immediate resolution that involves an inglorious exit.

If a junior finds serious fault with a senior official, there is seldom a simple outcome. It is no easy task to rat out the boss.

A Forbes article offered advice:

Do you want to navigate this rocky terrain with the goal “Above all, I must keep my job!” or from the perspective “I have to follow my personal ethics — how can I accomplish that?”

If your bosses are so misguided that they would learn about misdeeds and punish you for speaking up, you don’t want to work there anyway.

With years of odd financial practices at the BC Legislature, it surprises that Craig James’ underlings and associates stayed loyal to him. Except for warnings from Auditor General John Doyle — the guy Liberals worked hard to discredit — negative information did not surface until Darryl Plecas took the Speaker’s Chair.

In 2018, Plecas forced the Legislative Assembly Management Committee to confront financial mismanagement at the Legislature and that provoked wrath of the Official Opposition and their media lapdogs.

Writing for the New York Times, Paul Downs noted that loyalty is a challenge when the boss of an organization has feet of clay. He states:

We’re going to have to think of loyalty differently. We’re going to have to buy it — by which I mean providing a package of pay, benefits, and workplace atmosphere that’s good enough that our employees can’t easily find better pastures. 

I suspect Clerk of the Legislature Craig James understood the concept perfectly.

Most provincial employees were subject to restraints, which generally limited annual wage increases to 2% or less. These were the policies:

  • 2010 Net Zero Mandate
  • 2012 Cooperative Gain Mandate
  • 2014 Economic Stability Mandate
  • 2019 Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate

But those limiting rules did not apply at the BC Legislature. Loyalty was too important.

Categories: Ethics

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17 replies »

  1. It seems that the egos that drive Leaders to the top are also the same egos that lack business and moral ethics. The taxpayers pick up the tab while they party. Taxpayers are the ones who are stuck with cleaning up the mess. The code of secrecy and oath of loyalty allows the swamp creatures to propagate. As the swamp is drained and there is no place to hide, the fattest survive by eating their young.

    There is a lot of corruption in the organized crime gangs known as the provincial and federal Government. They play the same games: attack, lie and cheat to win. The only thing that changes are the colour of their t-Shirts. Will they be blue, orange or red? … Conservatives, Liberals or NDP? The skins (Independents) are naked and are at a disadvantage when it comes to transparency. They have nowhere to hide and the voter gets to judge their appearance.

    Let’s see how the candidates explain the latest corruption that may rat-out their Leaders. Christy Clark, (Rich Coleman, Mary Pollack, Andrew Wilkinson), Gordon Campbell, John Horgan, Justin Trudeau should be taken to task and held accountable.
    Trump is so corrupt where does one begin.

    Money laundering, lack of forensic audits, offshore tax cheats, real estate transactions using Numbered companies, high-end vehicle purchased with cash, no bid construction contract awards or polluting without prosecution.

    Unfortunately, after $50 million is spent on the next elections … the most crooked politicians will get in.


  2. And lets not forget the other liars and cheats in this whole game is the mass-media. Where were Smyth, Baldrey, Palmer, Leyne, Fletcher and other members of the press core when the Liberals and their backers were milking the system?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s a difference between political decision making based on evidence even if it supports a less than stellar outcome, and corrupt decisions made solely in the interest of personal gain veiled in slim public benefit. To slide Horgan or even Trudeau into the corrupt group is, to be polite; manipulative in my view.


    • Trudeau and his slimy little pack did the the dirty backroom deferred prosecution deal for SNC Lavalin behind Canadians backs, shortly after the election thus trying to set up their future for the next election in their ridings. Talk about corruption. Skirting our Justice system and law, by introducing special legislation and favour, for big dirty corporations Look at what him and his people did to Jody Wilson Raybould. The dirt, the lying, the hypocrisy. Everything a big lie on his campaign trail about transparency from a morally corrupt and bankrupt politician. I honestly don’t even think he believe’s in a soveriegn Canada for god’s sake. He’s a messed up fake of the most dangerous kind for the security of the nation. I totally question his loyalty to the nation. I hope more people wake up to this, and i think they are.


  4. loyalty, to who pays your salary? the money these people were paid came from the taxpayers and their first loyalty ought to have been to them. However, given it was their superiors who hired and fired, people will usually do what they think benefits them first.

    In terms of dishonesty, you can always let “the cat out of the bag” one way or another. Most people just don’t want to do it because its hard work and it needs hard choices.

    For some integrity becomes a luxury they feel they can’t afford because they have families to raise, mortgages to pay, etc.

    they all forgot why they were there and who they were to serve, the taxpayers of this province. they become so “entitled”. Its why I am of the opinion none of those working in Victoria ought to be able to take the helicopters back and forth, take the ferry. Keeps them in touch with reality. Can actually remember when they assigned priority loading passes on the ferries for the MLAs. the out cry was quite load.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pretty much everyone plays ball with SNC lavalin in this country. Now try as they may have, SNC didn’t get what they wanted and they are going to trial, so one could say the system worked. A judge has ruled the case goes to court. What the “dispute” between JWR/JP and the rest of the Liberals demonstrated, things still work.

      Now what you write, even if we accept it as truth, who is the alternative? Come on now Kennylad, it is not enough to dump on people you don’t like or believe in, there has to be an alternative. Do you suggest we vote “Conservative? You do remember the Mulroney years don’t you. If not, check out Stevie Cameron’s book, On the take, the Mulroney years. Then there is Harper who promised deficient reduction and ran up more debts, and passed legislation 8 times, which violated our constitution and took money out of the RCMP budget to fight child prostitution, and more military people died at home from lack of services than in the war. Want them back?

      We have the Bernier ego party–how will they do better than Trudeau? The greens simply aren’t up to running the country. The NDP isn’t a strong enough force politically right now, the Bloc is only in Quebec, so in reality the we get to decide on the Liberals or the Conservatives or their farm teams. My riding its easy, we vote NDP, but if I weren’t in this riding, or things changed, I’d hold my nose and vote federal Liberal because another few terms of Conservatives, women would be back fighting to have control over their own medical care. Do you want to give the Conservatives or Bernier run over the Indigenous lands in this country? We know what Harper tried.

      In the up coming election, in my opinion, you vote strategically. The name of the game in my opinion is keep the Cons and Bernier out.


      • Who say’s i would vote for the ultra right wack job cons. Their all swamp crap in their own right . All three main party’s are as far as i’m concerned. How the heck does one actually vote strategically these days. Please explain. The Green party maybe. The NDP maybe. Split votes and have minority governments for better transparency and accountability. Don’t know. Maybe the status qou is pushing more people to go and vote independent. What’s the answer. I sure as heck don’t know given breed of politicians hatching from under the rocks these days.
        What i think of Trudeau is my truth of opinion from my vantage point. What others think about him is their right. I try not to hold my nose though when voting because eventually i’ll have to let go of my nose and smell the rot. Strategic voting for the best of the bottom of the barrel. No thanks.


      • It looks like i missed a part of your reply. Kennylad it is not enough too dump on people that you dislike or don’t believe in. Those people are the people we pay to run the country and governnment for the people. Not anyone thankyou. Do you think for a split second that i should believe in them or not dump on them when they have dumped on the people by making new laws and legislation for the corrupt rich and powerful buddies. Then the 9000 jobs bull was too much. Deliberately making a two tier justice system for the elite clique and one for the people. Using JWR, our first real truly good independent thinking AG as a political pawn for his own political ambitions and then stabbing her and our justice system square in the back. Using First Nations reconciliation as if it is just a political play game for his own self. So disgusting and insincere.
        No problem which way people want to vote. That’s the freedom to do so. But jeez, the Prime Minister and his big team players doing this sick stuff. Forget it. That’s my line in the sand. I would rather give a newer party a try than vote for that. Give them a blank cheque to continue and make them feel more brazen. Nope. Do we know for sure that a Green party can’t run the country or a coalition of Green NDP. Green Liberal. NDP Liberal, without Trudeau and some of his people of course, that were all for thwarting our justice system and crapping on Canadians for corporate elites. The cons and Harper are the same for their big buddies and not Canadians interests either. Another wacky idea. Have a new rule. Hey i’m giving alternatives and willing to give someone or something new. Why not.


  5. Plecus did,and is doing what the timid wouldn’t do. And the guilty wanted to hide and keep doing what they were doing. To hell with them all. Plecus is the man !! I guess what the people in the legislature keep forgetting or even don’t care about, is that this is the people’s house and it is our business and our rightful place to be a part of this business. What do these moron’s not get.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The figures certainly illustrate a dramatic and unexplained escalation of salaries for those closer in rank and favour with Mr. James and former Speaker Reid than the rest of the Legislative staff not subject to government restraint policies affecting other civil servants.

    How did other Legislative staff not subject to government restraint but not so closely related to the Clerk make out? Not remotely as well. Some examples comparing fiscal 2015/16 with 2017/18 tell the tale.

    Karen Aitken, Director Parliamentary Education Office 103,994 vs 108,072
    Graeme Brown, Director Information Technology Branch 112,935 vs 113,691
    Peter Gourlay, Director, Legislative Library 103,994 vs 108,072
    Robert Sutherland, Director, Hansard Services 107,996 vs 113,117
    Hilary Woodward, Executive Financial Officer 196,202 vs 198,380

    In the absence of any other rational explanation I believe we can take Norm’s thesis as accurate.


  7. Politicians buy loyalty. If your Premier and government is so corrupt so dishonest, you must buy loyalty to stay in power, it is simple as that.


  8. Pray tell.
    What DO these govt assistant lick spittles do for their $250k salaries?
    Are they on call 24/7 like a Dr?
    Are they involved in life threatening work like Police or Firemen?
    Do they tuck their Ministers in at night and dress them in the morning?
    Oh no.
    They answer phones and arrange meetings….anything a machine could do.
    My God!
    You could hire two private sector contractors as butlers and hand maids to accomplish the same job for less.
    Fire them all and start from scratch.


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