B.C. Liberal Environment Minister Mary Polak admitted British Columbians don’t trust her government to investigate itself, which raises questions about many other recent internal investigations.
On Friday, Polak said, “That’s the reason why an independent investigation is so important. People don’t trust the government to be investigating itself.”
But here are recent cases where the premier did exactly what her environment minister acknowledged is wrong – government investigating itself:
- Quick Wins Scandal in the premier’s office: Even though the election “quick wins” scandal reached right into the premier’s office, Premier Christy Clark had her Deputy Minister lead the investigation.
- Advanced Education Minister and Kwantlen University compensation: Even though the Kwantlen University executive compensation scandal directly involved a Liberal Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk, the government did their own investigation of the minister’s involvement. As a result, no penalties or discipline came about for the minister, who remains in his cabinet post.
- Failure of government agencies to ensure charges laid for worker deaths: Despite the government’s responsibility to ensure government agencies coordinate properly when investigating worker’s deaths or serious injuries, the B.C. Liberals refused to hold an independent public inquiry following the Babine and Lakeland mill explosions. These explosions resulted in four deaths and 42 people injured, and a complete breakdown of the following investigations. Once again, the premier had her deputy minister look at the matter. Not surprisingly, he failed to find any government responsibility in the breakdown.