Monday, March 11, 2013

No records no longer a surprise

I hate to tell you a "dog bites man" story, but this one is too important to ignore.

On Nov. 18, 2012, The Province's Cassidy Olivier revealed how workers in the Office of Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberal caucus worked on government time, for the public dime to devise attack advertising against NDP leader Adrian Dix. Specifically, the website (which redirects to, which doesn't appear to be online anymore).

The government's own Standards of Conduct are clear: "employees must not engage in political activities during working hours or use government facilities, equipment or resources in support of these activities." 

I asked the Public Service Agency, via Freedom of Information, if the misconduct described in Olivier's story had been investigated. No surprise -- the PSA claims no records exist. See the letter below.

I say no surprise, because this non-response was delivered to me a week after Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham released a report on the disturbing trend toward an "oral government," in which important government information is not recorded. The government, particularly the Office of the Premier, is escaping public scrutiny.

Denham's report was in response to a complaint from the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association of B.C., but focusses on the "no records" claims surrounding the departure of Clark's chief of staff Ken Boessenkool.

Some of the characters in Olivier's story are involved in the Multicultural Outreach Strategy saga, such as Liberal caucus executive director Primrose "You Can't Be Doing Party Work Here. For Sure, I Would Agree With That" Carson.

John Dyble, Clark's deputy minister and chief of the public service, is working on an internal review of the Quick Wins ethnic vote-wooing conspiracy, despite calls from the NDP and Conservatives for an independent investigation. Dyble was hired to his $310,000-a-year gig by Clark and serves at her pleasure.

Here is some essential reading at this link for Mr. Dyble: copies of Pamela Martin and Kim Haakstad's agendas, showing that they discussed the Multicultural Outreach plan during government working hours. 

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