MLA Report: Auditor General critical to protecting public interest

MLA Norm Macdonald
MLA Norm Macdonald

The public depends on institutional watchdogs to keep government accountable.  Offices like the Ombudsperson or Auditor General are critical to ensuring that government behaves in the public interest regardless of the political cost.

When government actively weakens or undermines these institutional checks and balances, you can be sure that the public interest is being compromised.

One of the biggest provincial news stories of 2013 has been the removal, by the BC Liberals, of the current Auditor General.  Instead of choosing to have John Doyle stay on as Auditor General, the government has taken this opportunity to get rid of him.

John Doyle has provided very effective and determined oversight of government.  The Auditor General is responsible for conducting independent audits and advising on how well government is managing its responsibilities and resources.

And in the course of doing his job, John Doyle has exposed a record of incompetence and deceit.  Here are just a few examples.

The Auditor General has reported on the state of British Columbia’s forest lands declaring that based on his assessment the BC Liberal government failed to halt the drop in timber supply and the loss of species diversity.

The Auditor General has reported on the record of BC’s Environmental Assessment Office stating that based on his investigation it is clear that the office is not properly monitoring the compliance with mitigation standards required in environmental assessment certificates.

The Auditor General has reported on the excessive use of deferral accounts at BC Hydro which, according to Doyle, create an illusion of profitability where there is none.

But instead of addressing these shortfalls, the BC Liberals first tried to discredit John Doyle.  And now they’ve taken the final step:  they’ve gotten rid of him.

As a caucus, the Opposition has full confidence in John Doyle and we want to see him continue his work.  If you believe that firing an effective critic of government is the wrong thing to do, I would encourage you to send a message to the Premier at