Today the Premier refused to provide any details about the incident involving her Chief of Staff.
Nothing can be revealed about Ken Boessenkool’s alleged offences because of privacy laws, the scrambling Premier told reporters today. “It’s important to respect the privacy of the individuals involved, and you know every employer is bound by those laws, not just government,” said Clark outlining her rapidly developing views about privacy.
Why call them rapidly developing? Because that wasn’t the story a few weeks ago when 4 BC Health employees were fired and 7 suspended without pay pending a police investigation of privacy breaches.
Three weeks ago, contrary to the “privacy laws” the Premier follows, the Health minister provided a significant amount of information about the fired and suspended staff in her ministry.
“What we believe has happened is that individuals have gone outside the rules around taking data and using data with respect to research in the area of drugs,” Health minister MacDairmid told reporters about the alleged offences.
MacDiarmid went on to provide detail about how the private information was alleged to have been used. “As far as we can understand it was used for research where it wasn’t initially given for that purpose.”
MacDiarmid then chose to raise a further undisclosed aspect of the investigation.
“It would appear that some of the people that were involved had relationships wit others that would put them into a conflict that wasn’t declared,” she told reporters. MacDiarmid went on to reveal that one of the conflicts involved a familial relationship.
That’s a lot of info about the allegations, you have to admit. But if the Premier is to be believed providing that info violates privacy laws.
But only if they aren’t your friends and allies it seems. In that case mums the word.
Another thing that struck me about today’s dive into the Premier’s Office cesspool: Global news had this story over a week ago and didn’t go with it? They held it so they could get comment from the Premier’s office and didn’t run it when the PO told them to hold off? Instead on Friday they ran as a serious story the planted one about the crazy as batshit John McMartin, just by the by helping to crush the hapless BCCP as they went into their crazy ass convention?
That’s just too helpful to be coincidental. Here’s the short version as I see it: Hold the much bigger bad story and run the lame, orchestrated good story – good in the sense that it’s the Premier’s office bidding.
But I’m just guessing.
Oh, and why did Jas Johal do the Boessenkool story and not Baldrey? Weird.
Update: A helpful comment from Ottawa clarifies the Global coverage and the Baldrey/Johal division of labour. I still think holding it over the weekend – given the BCCP convention – was awful convenient for the government message on the BCCP.
But here’s the real reason for the update. A commenter on Alexgtsakumis.com raises the very interesting point about the timing of the incident, it’s investigation and the government’s decision to call off the fall sitting.
The incident seems to have occurred Sept 7, in a drunken haze following the BC Liberal Annual Golf Tournament. The investigation began, according to the Premier, within a couple of days or pretty much the same day the government announced no fall session of the Legislature.
Was that announcement entirely coincidental? Or was the latest scandal just one too many things to answer for in QP? Vaughn Palmer has already raised a number of questions that go to the heart of the Premier’s competence, questions that would be entirely in order and appropriate in Question Period.