Lies and cover-ups are the tools of Premier Christy Clark

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John Horgan Leader of the B.C. New Democrats
John Horgan Leader of the B.C. New Democrats
John Horgan
Leader of the B.C. New Democrats

Along a lonely stretch of provincial highway between Prince George and Prince Rupert, at least 23 women have been murdered or gone missing. Many of the women, like 22-year-old Tamara Chipman, 16-year-old Ramona Wilson, or 14-year-old Monica Ignas, were last seen hitchhiking along the road now widely known as the Highway of Tears.
Imagine fearing for the life of your sister, your daughter or your mother every time she needed to travel to the next town. For years now, communities along the Highway of Tears have called out for some kind of safe transportation for women travelling to work, to school or to visit their families. These calls for a safe bus service have been echoed by the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and even the United Nations.
Astonishingly, Premier Christy Clark’s government has refused to provide this bus service. The premier’s excuse is based on a series of meetings in which members of these communities apparently agreed with the Ministry of Transportation that the bus service idea wasn’t practical after all.
New Democrats found this excuse very hard to believe, so we asked to see all the records of these meetings. And we were told these records simply didn’t exist.
They did exist. But as soon as we asked to see them, they were deliberately destroyed by a B.C. Liberal staff person working at the Ministry of Transportation. This Liberal staffer recently admitted to destroying these documents and then lying about it under oath. The RCMP is investigating whether he committed perjury.
We only know about all this because another person working at the ministry was so appalled at this behavior that he turned whistleblower, resigned, and went public, calling Christy Clark’s government “a cesspool.” Before he broke ranks, the whistleblower went to his supervisor, another member of the B.C. Liberal political staff, who allegedly told him that “It’s like The West Wing – you do whatever it takes to win.”
Members of Premier Clark’s government broke the law, destroyed public documents and lied about it under oath. This is how Premier Clark responds to the brutal murders and disappearances of two dozen women in British Columbia.
The Minister of Transportation has even bragged about his “triple-deleting” habit, a practice that has one purpose only – to prevent anyone from ever recovering his email and learning the truth.
This was not one rogue employee. This is an ongoing pattern of dishonesty. Breaking the law and destroying public documents are standard procedures under Premier Clark, even in the face of tragedy.
In 2012, health researcher Roderick MacIsaac took his own life after Premier Clark’s government wrongfully fired him and viciously smeared his reputation. Premier Clark herself continued to mislead the public about a fictional police investigation into Mr. MacIsaac even after his death. Not a single person has ever been held responsible, because the documents surrounding his dismissal and the smear campaign have been destroyed.
In November of 2014, the chief of staff for the Minister of Natural Gas deliberately destroyed 797 public documents, including numerous emails to Petronas, Shell Canada, and Alta Gas. Why was this top Liberal political advisor so determined that the public would never learn the truth? What was in those emails?
Appropriately enough, the man Premier Clark put in charge of safeguarding and releasing public records is Amrik Virk, who was himself caught lying to the public in 2014 after leaked emails foiled his attempt to cover up some shady deals on the board of Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Last week, the information and privacy commissioner reported that she has uncovered the same illegal destruction of records in yet another ministry, and worst of all, by the most senior advisors in the premier’s own office.
Premier Christy Clark is now fixated on staying in power, whatever the cost, whatever laws need to be broken, and whatever horrific outcomes need to be covered up. She directs a government based on deception, deceit, and delete-delete-delete. It starts at the top.
A premier whose first instinct is to lie cannot be trusted.