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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

HAPHAZARD HISTORY: Ox team freighters play important role in Cariboo Gold Rush

The Cariboo Wagon Road was to provide a direct and dependable route

Williams Lake-filmed ‘Because We Are Girls’ to be streamed free on NFB website

Acclaimed movie among seven documentaries to debut at in July

Traffic violators caught and charged by RCMP throughout June

Canim Lake the scene of many, thankfully, false alarms this month

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read