NDP Leader John Horgan on Thursday slammed Premier Christy Clark following the release of the report by B.C. Ombudsperson that showed that flawed investigations and rushed decision making resulted in key government officials taking action that had far-reaching and harmful consequences in the 2012 firing of health researchers.
Horgan said: “On days like this, British Columbians expect leadership from their Premier. Instead, in the wake of a report showing her government completely at fault for this tragic series of events, Christy Clark refused to speak out or apologize. Yet again, she has flatly refused to take responsibility for the real damage her government has done to people. The researchers, their families, and British Columbians deserve better.”
The NDP pointed out key facts of the case:
* The report completely vindicates the fired researchers and puts responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the government.
* We learned that the government communications branch, headed by Athana Mentzelopolous, ignored the advice of lawyers and civil servants by wrongfully claiming publicly there was RCMP investigation into the actions of the researchers. This statement put the now-vindicated researchers under a false cloud of police investigation for months. The government provided no evidence of wrongdoing to the RCMP and no investigation was ever launched.
* We learned that Christy Clark’s senior staff met in December 2013 to discuss whether an independent review was needed – and decided to do nothing until after pressure from John Horgan, Linda Kayfish, journalists and the public.