Debate during Question Period in the B.C. Legislature on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, between Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone and Premier John Horgan.
T. Stone:Again, last week the Canadian Association of Journalists recognized the NDP for being the most secretive government in Canada. The award is called the Code of Silence, and it’s for outstanding achievement in government secrecy.
Sadly, it’s not just the Minister of Citizens’ Services who appears to be deeply committed to a culture of secrecy in government. The Minister of Municipal Affairs is getting in on the action, wanting a member of this Legislature to sign a non-disclosure agreement to find out what the government is actually doing, planning to do, to rebuild the village of Lytton.
My question to the Premier is this. Can the Premier tell this Legislature why his government is requiring NDAs from local MLAs who are seeking answers on behalf of their constituents?
Hon. J. Horgan: I appreciate the question from the member. I’m not aware of the context of which he’s bringing this forward. I’m happy to speak to anyone offline about that to get to the heart of the matter.
But if it’s theatrics you’re looking for, then again, it’s odd to have this member talking about freedom of information and access to information when he was the architect of the triple-delete scandal. They didn’t give out awards from the journalists at that time, because he was good copy. He was good copy in the last government.
Mr. Speaker: Opposition House Leader, supplemental.
T. Stone:I think that the Premier…. It’s time for the Premier to look in the mirror. What he’ll see is the head of a government that has just been acknowledged in this country by the Canadian Association of Journalists as the most secretive government in Canada. That’s this Premier’s record: the most secretive government in Canada.
The B.C. NDP are notorious for requiring non-disclosure agreements to hide information and keep people from speaking out on everything from labour policy to front-line health care workers. This government even forced their own attendees at their own convention to sign an NDA.
Now the NDP want to pull the member for Fraser-Nicola into their secret society of non-action with respect to Lytton. All the member and the people of Lytton want to know is: what is the plan to rebuild their community, if there actually is one?
Again, the question to the Premier is very simple, very straightforward. Will the Premier stop the obstruction, remove this ridiculous requirement for a non-disclosure agreement and actually share with the Fraser-Nicola MLA, this Legislature and, most importantly, the people of Lytton the information they’re looking for with respect to the rebuild of their community?
Hon. J. Horgan: As the member, I’m sure, will know as the newly minted Opposition House Leader, there is a bill before this House to assist in the rebuild of the village of Lytton. That is being debated right now.
I travelled with the member for Fraser-Nicola….
Mr. Speaker: Members, listen to the answer, please.
Hon. J. Horgan: …personally, as did the Government House Leader and the minister responsible for emergency preparedness. We have been reaching out repeatedly.
Again, people who have been in government…. I’m surprised they’re not aware of this. In some instances, there are issues that may well be adversarial to the outcomes that we’re looking for, and that’s why one would use a non-disclosure agreement.
But I can say categorically to the member for Fraser-Nicola that she has my number. She’s always had my number. Anything she needs…. She just has to call.
Source: BC Hansard