British Columbia

Premier's hacking allegations hit close to home for sister of Roderick MacIsaac

Linda Kayfish, whose brother was unfairly fired in 2012 by the provincial government, says watching Premier Christy Clark make unsubstantiated accusations of illegal hacking only to play contrite and apologize later hits too close to home.

'It's similar to what happened 4 years ago...She's making accusations without evidence,' says Linda Kayfish

Linda Kayfish, sister of deceased health researcher Roderick MacIsaac, is calling on Premier Christy Clark to provide answers "for what your government did to my brother." MacIsaac was unfairly fired by the government in 2012 and committed suicide in 2013. (CBC)

Linda Kayfish says watching Premier Christy Clark make unsubstantiated claims of hacking, only to play contrite and apologize later, hits too close to home.

"It's very similar to what happened four-and-half years ago," said Kayfish. "The premier holds the highest office and she's making accusations without evidence? She can't do that."

In 2012, Kayfish's brother, Roderick MacIsaac, was one of eight health researchers fired by the province over alleged privacy breaches. 

Harold Roderick MacIsaac was a UVic PhD candidate and drug researcher. (CBC)

No evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the researchers has ever been found. MacIsaac committed suicide in 2013.

Last week, Clark accused the B.C. NDP of illegal hacking. On Friday she issued an apology.

'I lose hope'

It was too much for Kayfish.

Today she released a letter addressed to Clark asking for answers.

"I open my browsers and read the news showing that you have learned nothing from the destruction your government has wrought on my family," she wrote.

"I am tired of waiting. You have worn me down. I lose hope. I understand how Roderick must have felt towards the end."

Premier Christy Clark promised Linda Kayfish "she would get to the bottom" of why Kayfish's brother Roderick MacIsaac was fired by the government in 2012. Clark later said the firings were heavy-handed and unfair. Kayfish is still waiting for answers. (Darryl Dick/The Canadian Press)

In an interview with CBC News, Kayfish said she hopes the premier responds to her letter with real information.

"I expected that when she got up and said she would get to the bottom of this for me. That was 2014. I'm still hanging," she said.

"I really hope they will come forward and give some answers. Who's responsible? Who's accountable?"

In 2014, the government apologized to MacIsaac's family for his firing. Later the government apologized for misleading the public.

Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request showed the RCMP was never given evidence by the government to investigate the alleged wrongdoings, which were used to justify the firings. 

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

In 2015, B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake sent the matter to the provincial ombudsman for an investigation after rejecting calls for a public inquiry. No report has been issued.

Kayfish says British Columbians have a right to expect better from their government.

"The [accusations against the researchers] were made public at first by their representative. Why don't they want to clear the air?" she asked in the interview.

"Why can't they stand up and tell us what went on?"

CBC News has reached out to the premier's office for comment.

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