Premier Clark is deliberately hiding the truth in health firings scandal: Horgan


John Horgan
John Horgan

NDP Leader John Horgan says Premier Christy Clark cannot continue to ignore calls for an independent public inquiry in the health firings scandal.

“This is a cover-up, plain and simple,” Horgan said on Wednesday. “Premier Clark is deliberately hiding the truth from the people of British Columbia. The very people whose privacy the premier claims to be suddenly concerned with are the ones calling for the inquiry.”

Eight health researchers were abruptly fired by the Christy Clark government in 2012, and the government misled the public for nearly three years that the fired employees were under police investigation. All of the surviving researchers released an open letter to Health Minister Terry Lake on Wednesday calling for an independent public inquiry. The letter is also signed by Linda Kayfish, sister of Roderick MacIsaac, who took his own life shortly after he was fired.

“All of these people continue to suffer greatly at the hands of the Christy Clark government,” Horgan said. “Some of them have returned to work, some have not. Some of them are still fighting to clear their names in court. One of them, Ms. Kayfish, will never see her brother again. All of them demand and deserve an independent public inquiry.”

Another key figure in the scandal, former deputy health minister Graham Whitmarsh, has also called for an inquiry, as has the union representing some of the workers and nearly every major media outlet.

The researchers’ open letter was published a day after Clark said privacy concerns limited what the government could say about the issue and former health minister Mike de Jong claimed that he did not know what question an inquiry would answer.

“It’s time to answer even the most basic questions,” said Horgan. “Premier Clark needs to stop covering up the truth.”