That from the RCMP to the provincial government as far as any possible investigation into the 2012 wrongful firings of eight health researchers.
The Ministry of Finance has confirmed the RCMP have taken a look at the findings of a Comptroller General investigation into the wrongful firings of the eight health researchers.
The Mounties have told the province they have found no evidence of wrongdoing by any of the researchers and it is case closed as far as any potential investigation into the health firings.
The Comptroller begin the investigation in October of 2012 and sent its findings to the RCMP when it wrapped up its probe.
Finance minister Mike de Jong has advised the legislature to release the Comptroller General’s findings to the public, but there are still some hurdles to clear before that might happen.
The provincial government had long claimed there was an RCMP investigation into the firings but police never launched an investigation because the province never handed over any evidence of illegal activity.
Health minister Terry Lake said BC’s Ombudsperson could investigate the wrongful firings.
The provincial government could request the office investigate in writing or table the matter in the legislature, which would require debate.
A BC Green Party MLA not only wants a full public inquiry into the health firings scandal but wants the responsibility for even setting up such a probe taken out of the hands of the provincial government.
“The story is changing as we speak. We have a Comptroller General’s report expected any day soon to be made public. It is critical at this juncture for this government to actually regain public trust, if that is possible on this file, by ensuring that there is an open and transparent process where the terms of reference for this process are put together and set in motion by an independent third party.”
Andrew Weaver says people want answers.
“Government has lost trust on this. It said in fact that there was an ongoing RCMP investigation. It is pretty clear there wasn’t. Now it is pretty clear there won’t be in light of information as it is developing.”
Weaver says every step of any inquiry must be truly independent of government.
“This can only be done by having a third party outside of government actually set the stage for a formal public inquiry.”
As for who should be assigned to set up the inquiry to keep it truly independent.
“We don’t want the government to actually control what is looked at by an independent investigation. That must be determined by an impartial second body. A Supreme Court judge, either retired or presently serving, would be an ideal person to actually look at this.”
The NDP, seven wrongfully fired researchers, and the family of Roderick MacIsaac are calling for a public inquiry, a call the provincial government has so far resisted.
Since the wrongful firings some of the researchers have been reinstated into their old jobs, some have settled in court, others are still in court, and Roderick MacIsaac took his own life.