British Columbia

Basia Ruta, fired as B.C. local government auditor general, plans to fight dismissal

Basia Ruta, B.C.'s auditor general for local government who was fired from her job Monday and accused of 'obstruction,' plans to fight her dismissal.

Ruta's office came under scrutiny for slow pace of work, leadership concerns

B.C. Auditor General for local government Basia Ruta has been fired from her post. (B.C. Government)

Basia Ruta, B.C.'s auditor general for local government who was fired from her job Monday and accused of "obstruction" by the minister responsible, plans to fight her dismissal, according to a statement delivered through her lawyer.

"The manner of removing me from office occurred without adherence to basic principles of procedural fairness," said Ruta in a statement issued by employment law firm Hamilton Howell Bain & Gould.

"I will be seeking judicial review of the decision," she said.

Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes announced Ruta's removal Monday morning, saying her "obstruction of an intended review of her office has created an intolerable situation."

Fired after criticism of government review

The firing comes a few days after Ruta lashed out against the government for reviewing her work.

Ruta questioned the person picked to do the review — former deputy minister Chris Trumpy — saying he was appointed by a body that didn't have authority.

The government characterized her response as "obstruction," but in her statement Ruta said she was merely insisting on compliance with the law, and had proposed alternatives.

"Neither the minister nor the audit council chose to work collaboratively in a manner that preserved the independence of the office or in a manner that complied with the Act," she wrote.

Her office was under scrutiny following a workplace review that found employees had concerns about leadership and productivity.

She had only completed two local government audits during the three years the office was in place, and the premier said she was disappointed with the slow pace of work.

With files from Richard Zussman

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