HEALTH Minister Terry Lake on Friday sent a letter to Scott Hamilton, MLA, Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services to ask for the Ombudsperson to investigate the controversial 2012 health ministry firings.
Last week the NDP had noted in a press release: “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.”
Lake’s letter to Hamilton states: “As you are aware, there has been ongoing public interest and concern with respect to the decision to terminate a number of employees in the Ministry of Health in 2012. I share this concern.
“On June 22, 2015, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police advised the government that they had reviewed the report of the Office of the Comptroller General with respect to this matter and had declined to undertake any further investigation.
“As has previously been acknowledged by me and identified by Marcia McNeil in her review of the matter, the decisions surrounding the 2012 terminations weren’t handled as well as they should have been.
“In my opinion, a further review of this matter is appropriate and I believe that the Ombudsperson Act makes clear that an investigation led by the Ombudsperson is the proper venue for such an investigation.”
He added: “In particular, I would ask the Committee to have the Ombudsperson investigate the events leading up to the decision to terminate the employees, the decision to terminate itself, and the actions taken by government following the terminations, in addition to any other matters he may deem worthy of investigation.”