Foster’s can of worms

Eric Foster in the dark

MLA and Chair of the Committee to select a (now new) Auditor General Eric Foster is hiding behind a lie.  Foster claims that the information about his personal conflict with the Auditor – the conflict that may have provided the animus for his vote against reappointment – was illegally leaked.

That’s just not true. And that leads to a whole new can of worms for the BC Liberals.

From over on the Gazetteer’s site:

“Foster defends the expense and says Doyle’s concerns have since been resolved – he won’t release documents to back that up saying that would break the law, and he wants to know who leaked the Auditor’s letter to the media in the first place.

“This is priveleged, this is a management document that’s inside lamc, and that’s priveleged information, it’s not to be published. Whoever leaked that document to the times-colonist is breaking the law.”…

The only “law” that I can find that says anything about the disclosure of the Auditor’s finding of serious irregularities in Mr. Foster’s accounting of tax dollars spent renovating his constituency office is the Auditor General Act, which has this to say about disclosure:

Confidentiality

9  The Auditor General, or a person appointed or engaged under section 8, must keep in confidence all information obtained in the exercise of a power or in the performance of a duty of the Auditor General and must not communicate this information to any person except

(a) in the course of the administration of an enactment, or

(b) in court proceedings.

So the Auditor can’t reveal what he learned about the way Foster did or did not account for his $76,000 in renovations on the public dime.  But anyone else can.

The only rules here are parliamentary conventions of secrecy.  And those can and should change.  That’s what happened in Britain when similar scandals erupted three years back.

Maybe, if the veil is lifted, we’ll find out that, like some of the Brit MPs who flaunted accountability, Mr Foster built himself a moat.

P.S. the British scandal came to light when someone – maybe an auditor – leaked MP expense claims.

P.S.S.  Something I find funny:  Foster wants the person who leaked his expense problem investigated and even charged with breaking the (non-existent) law.  But if you look at the Auditor General Act, one of two exceptions to Auditor confidentiality is in the case of a court proceeding.  In that case the Auditor’s free to reveal all.

Methinks no Liberal is going to take up Mr. Foster’s call.

 

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8 Responses to Foster’s can of worms

  1. brad s. says:

    Bravo for getting this bs out to the public!

    “So the Auditor can’t reveal what he learned about the way Foster did or did not account for his $76,000 in renovations on the public dime. But anyone else can.

    The only rules here are parliamentary conventions of secrecy. And those can and should change. ”

    We just need to keep busting the lies and half-truths (mis-truths) being foisted on the public by government… and by bureaucrats.

    I remember reading a Times Colonist editorial a couple months back that mentioned a “top BC Justice Ministry official” who the Auditor General exposed for having collected over $250,000 in expenses (in a single year), and providing NO RECEIPTS FOR ALMOST HALF of that money!

    It took the Auditor General to discover this gaping hole. Exactly what was Shirley Bond doing? Who’s minding the store?

    It must be nice being a top civil “servant” in BC. The name of the kleptocrat was not revealed, and no efforts have been made to recover the money. He/she got clean away with it.

    Some Justice Ministry. Probably was a lawyer too.

  2. RossK says:

    Thanks for that clarification Ian (both here, and over at my place).

    Now, moving to the real politick of the thing for a moment…

    Do you think it means anything that Mr. Foster is being left to twist in the wind cranking the wurlitzer on this story all by his lonesome?

    Why do I ask?

    Because I’m not entirely sure, but I think I’m catching the faintest whiff of deflector spin-type odour in the air.

    .

    .

  3. Bill says:

    When you have been caught doing things nefarious, the honourab thing to do would be to admit it and resign.

    With the LINOs continual corruptions they have never done that-not even with the bumbling incompetent Mr Bloy. All they can do is spin and deflect. I think their defense strategy is to spin on the lesser scandal in hope that attention will be diverted from other more embarrassing issues. The Main Screen Media can then do their “job” and limit the overall damage. For more and more tuning in it is not working.

  4. Wayne Clark says:

    The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that’s also a hypocrite!

  5. Julie says:

    Britain is totally the opposite of Canada. In Canada, Politicians are rewarded for their, lies, corruption, thefts, dirty tactics, dirty politics and cheating to win. That is not permitted in England. Politicians caught in lies, deceit, corruption and thieving from the people go to prison. Even two Lords of the House of Lords, didn’t get away with that. If Gordon Campbell was a British Politician, he would be thrown in the brig. Campbell twice lied and cheated to win his elections too. The BCR wasn’t for sale. The HST wasn’t on Campbell’s radar either.

    Christy has kept the faith with Campbell. Anyone opposing her loses their job, as they did in Campbell’s reign of terror.

    In BC all Politicians and the elite need is, a Special Prosecutor to get away with their crimes and corruption.

    BC is a huge can of corrupt worms. Nothing will be done about Foster’s theft. You can thieve an entire railroad in BC and, get away with that too. That has something to do with, our BC judicial system.

  6. islandcynic says:

    Corruption should not be able to hide behind priveledge and private. Nothing that involves employees paid by taxpayers should hide behind closed doors. I am so sick of BC Liberal corruption in this province….Fire Foster!

  7. Oaken Noggin says:

    It may not be much to Mr.Foster, but $76,000 is a life-changing amount of money for most people. To throw that many tax dollars away on renovations to an office he’ll hopefully have to vacate (keeping fingers, toes and eyes crossed) in a few months is a huge insult all by itself, never mind the possibly corrupt aspects of it.

  8. Jimmy grammar says:

    Flouted. Not flaunted.

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