BC’s Health Minister says he now is not ruling out holding a public inquiry into the 2012 health firings scandal.
Terry Lake says he shares the public’s frustration, but is required to adhere to laws protecting people’s privacy.
But, he says a decision on an inquiry could be reached in a few days.
“I am hoping that we will get to that point in a few days, as I said people are working hard on this, we are trying to satisfy the public’s desire for that information, at the same time making sure we don’t make the same mistakes that we made in the past, and I’m hopeful we can do that in a timely way.”
However Lake says people’s privacy needs to be protected.
Sean Leslie “Whose privacy would you be protecting? Because a lot of these fired researchers, including the family of Roderick MacIsaac themselves want a public inquiry Minister.”
Terry Lake “I understand that, but of course there was lots of people involved in the investigation, in the decisions, and they have rights as well.”
The Health minister has also suggested that BC’s Auditor General might be the best office to lead an inquiry.
The Auditor General’s office says it would take a request from the legislative assembly, or a committtee of, for it to take action.
NDP Leader John Horgan says only an inquiry will get answers.
“I don’t know how you can fire eight people and not have a scrap of paper to tell you why they were fired or who made the decision. Clearly there has been something oing on here. You don’t drag something like this on for two and half years unless there is something to hide. The only way to get to the answer of why the government abused their power, wrecked the lives of eight individuals, and led to the tragic loss of one of those lives. The only way we are going to get to that is a fully independent public inquiry.”
Horgan says not doing a public inquiry is no longer an option.
“I don’t believe so. NW particularily Jon McComb has been driving this issue hard since the revelations of the RCMP investigation that never was. No government has the right to withhold information from the citizens that elect it. That is the key to this whole thing. The media gets it, the public gets it, the only people who apparently need to think about it a bit longer are BC Liberals.”
In 2012 eight researchers were wrongfully fired, some have been re-instated, others have settled lawsuits, others are still in court, and one Roderick MacIsaac took his own life.