Shooting the messenger

This week British Columbians found out that our Auditor General, John Doyle, will not be reappointed.

This week British Columbians found out that our Auditor General, John Doyle, will not be reappointed. The problem is that only five MLAs, members of the Special Committee to Appoint an Auditor General, know why Doyle wasn’t re-appointed to a second term.

From the start of his first six-year term, Doyle has done an outstanding job. His very first report, which reviewed the release of private lands from Tree Farm Licenses, proved he was not going to mince his words. So much so, in fact, that then-Forests Minister Pat Bell said the Government was “offended” by the report.

Doyle was correct in his assessment of the government’s actions, and his scathing reviews of BC Hydro, oil and gas activity in the Peace, the sorry state of our forest inventory, and the under-reporting of B.C.’s deficit and debt were also on point.

If protecting the public interest were the only criteria for re-appointment, then it should have been a slam-dunk, but re-appointment requires unanimous agreement between the Liberal and NDP MLAs on the Committee. The problem with all of this is that whoever decided against re-appointment isn’t publicly accountable for their actions: their vote isn’t recorded publicly, and they don’t have to give any public explanation for their decision.

At the very least, the vote to not re-appoint an Auditor General must be made public so we know how MLAs on the Committee voted. An even better solution would be to require the Committee to publicize the rationale for its re-appointment decisions. Leaving it open to speculation is patently unfair to Mr. Doyle, who has been an outstanding public servant and protector of the public interest.

In the coming weeks, a series of reports will be released from the Auditor General’s office on such things as the Pacific Carbon Trust, the justice system, and the government’s decision to cover the legal costs of Basi and Virk’s defense during the BC Rail trial. Now that the Liberals have shot the messenger, watch for them to dismiss what will likely be more damning reports as sour grapes from someone they decided not to re-appoint.

Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.

Just Posted

Language of the Land Fundraiser raises $6,520 for TNG

Tickets were sold out and the venue was at capacity of 160 people.

New museum staff undertakes new cataloguing project

The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin has had an incredibly exciting and busy year ahead

Williams Lake ranked ninth on ‘Canada’s Most Dangerous Places’ list by Maclean’s Magazine

Williams Lake has once again cracked the top 10 of Maclean’s Magazine’s… Continue reading

Dave Dickson granted Award of Distinction from B.C. government

This comes in recognition of decades of tireless work on Dickson’s part to benefit the lakecity

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Most Read