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LETTER – Thoughts on Roderick MacIsaac after Ombudsperson’s report on health researcher firings

As a father and an opa I couldn’t help but think of Roderick MacIsaac and his family when reading Mr. Rothenburger’s summary of the Ombudsperson Jay Chalk’s investigation into Ministry of Health employee firings. Particular upsetting was the government’s non-response.

For those of you who may not recall the name Roderick MacIsaac, Cindy Harnett of the Victoria times Colonist wrote a piece on Jan. 8, 2017 entitled “Why did Roderick MacIsaac have to die – Health researcher committed suicide; found four years ago today.” Worth your time for a Google.

Briefly Mr. MacIsaac was a U of Vic PhD co-op student and one of the eight Health Ministry researchers thrown under the Liberal bus. Mr. MacIsaac wasn’t able to crawl out from underneath the wreckage. As Ms. Harnett reported, “he was the victim of a Health Ministry investigation into health data breaches and contract irregularities in which the government said the RCMP was involved….”

At the time B.C. premier Clark was citing a supposed email between the RCMP and finance ministry as evidence the Mounties had opened a file on the health ministry probe.

The government announced serious allegations were being examined at a news conference in September 2012.

“The information that came out confirms that what the Opposition has been saying about this is absolutely not true,” Clark said at an unrelated news conference at a Nanaimo, B.C. sawmill.

“The RCMP confirmed that there is an open file, and in their letter this referred to an ‘investigation.”’

She added that police specifically requested the government not release all details under Freedom of Information legislation, saying their work needed to be respected.

(The Canadian Press June 11, 2015)

As we know now it was all lies; there was no RCMP involvement and no improprieties. Unfortunately, Mr. MacIsaac had taken his life before the truth became known.

How does the government respond to the report into such a tragic event? By having a statement issued by a bureaucrat no one has ever heard of. And as to the lives destroyed, not a word. Some recognition of the loss of Roderick MacIsaac, not a chance.

Aneurin Bevan, a Welsh politician, observed, “I have never regarded politics as the arena of morals. It is the arena of interest.” Some days it’s hard to disagree.

BOB GAMBLE

Kamloops

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About Mel Rothenburger (5007 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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