British Columbia

Health ministry firing investigation stonewalled by B.C. government, documents show

The provincial government stonewalled an RCMP investigation into the firing of health researchers three years ago, according to documents released on Thursday.

Documents show RCMP were not given evidence to investigate the firings

The B.C. Ministry of Health said that its decision to fire seven employees, including Ron Mattson, had been "a regrettable mistake." New documents now show the B.C. government stonewalled an RCMP investigation into the firings.

The B.C. government stonewalled an RCMP investigation into the firing of health researchers three years ago, according to documents released Thursday.

Seven employees were fired in 2012, in what the government has since admitted was a "regrettable mistake." It has already settled out of court with most of them. One of the researchers, UVic co-op student Harold Roderick MacIsaac, was found to have committed suicide.

The RCMP documents, obtained by the Vancouver Sun through a Freedom of Information request, show Mounties were never given evidence by the government to investigate the wrongdoing which was used to justify the firings, despite the government telling the public an investigation was ongoing.

"They claimed an RCMP investigation that simply didn't exist," the NDP's Adrian Dix said Thursday.

"They failed to provide any information, even though they led their press conference announcing the dismissal of these workers saying there was an ongoing RCMP investigation.

"Those words came from a cabinet minister, they were written by one of the Premier's closest aides, and it shows a government that frankly, intentionally — from the beginning — misled the public about this issue and continued to do so for years."

The RCMP say they tried repeatedly to get information from the province, but it never came, officially closing their file on the case in July 2014.

Health Minister Terry Lake told CBC he was not available for an interview today. 


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