BC Health Minister Terry Lake is asking the new Ombudsman to get to the bottom of the health researcher firing scandal.
Lake notes there has been “ongoing public interest and concern with respect to the decision to terminate” the eight employees.
He now says a further review of this matter is appropriate, and the Ombudsman is the best person to get to the bottom of what happened.
Lake wants the investigation to cover off events leading up to the decision to terminate the employees, the decision to terminate itself, and the actions taken by government following the terminations.
NDP leader John Horgan says a public inquiry would be better, but he is welcoming news the provincial Ombudsman may be asked to investigate the botched firings of eight health workers.
But Horgan says Jay Chalke must be given the power to examine the role of politicians, not just bureaucrats.
“I’m concerned that the terms of reference that the committee determines be broad enough to include political operatives as well. If it’s just going to be administrative functions than I think we’ll fall well short of what the public has been asking for, certainly we’ll fall well short of what the Kayfish family and the individuals who’ve been smeared by the government have been asking for.”
A legislative committee will consider the issue as early as next week.
Health Minister Terry Lake says this is right approach to take.
And he has no issues around Chalke getting involved.
“Mr. Chalke was working in the A-G Ministry, but he was unanimously endorsed by the Legislature and the all-party committee that recommended him talked about his professionalism, his objectivity, and it is about the office, not about the person.”