VICTORIA – New Democrat leader John Horgan released the following statement in response to the government’s request that the Standing Committee on Finance ask the Ombudsperson to conduct an investigation into the health firings scandal:
“After months of insisting there was nothing more to learn about the BC Liberals health firings scandal, Premier Christy Clark has finally conceded that the matter needs further investigation.
“The choice to ask the province’s Ombudsperson to conduct the investigation is a positive step, but the political games Premier Clark has been playing on this issue for three years lead me to believe she’s hoping the issue will disappear in obscure legislative procedures. We will not let that happen.
“New Democrat members on the committee, led by committee vice-chair Carole James, will fight to make sure the terms of any investigation undertaken by the Ombudsperson will cover everything that happened, not just the parts around the edges the premier is willing to let the public see.
“We will demand that questions around the new Ombudsperson’s connections to this issue in his past role at the Ministry of the Attorney General are dealt with so no perception of any conflict remains. We will ensure that the Ombudsperson’s terms of reference are as broad as they need to be, including answering the questions put forward by the fired workers themselves in a letter to the health minister.
“New Democrats will demand that the committee, not the government, drafts the referral to the Ombudsperson, ensuring this review is thorough, open, and finally answers the questions that the families, the opposition, and the premier’s hand picked reviewer said remained unanswered: Who ordered this firing, and why?”