B.C. auditor general considers probe of health firings

By on November 27, 2014

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VICTORIA — B.C.’s auditor general is considering launching a second probe into the firings of eight health researchers after a former deputy minister accused the Liberal government of attempting to make him a scapegoat.

Victoria labour lawyer Marcia McNeil is already reviewing the health researchers’ 2012 firings, which have led to out-of-court-settlements, reinstatements and were followed by the suicide of a student.

The auditor general’s office says it is looking into the potential of its own review and whether it could add anything beyond McNeil’s report.

Former deputy health minister Graham Whitmarsh says he contacted the auditor general’s office after refusing to participate in the current review, which has a reporting deadline of Dec. 19.

He says McNeil is independent, but the review is not and appears to be set up to make him take the fall for the firings.

Legal documents released last week from Whitmarsh’s lawyer to the provincial government say the unrealistic deadline and scope of the current review reflects the government’s intention of using Whitmarsh as a convenient scapegoat to blame.