When Christy Clark became premier of the B.C. “Liberal” Party a couple years ago — a term which probably makes her one of the longest-serving unelected heads of state in post-Confederation history — a gaggle of Harperites was despatched to help her organize her new office. These included Ken Boessenkool, a former senior Conservative advisor who also helped Harper write his infamous firewall letter back during Harper’s kooky Albertan separatist phase.
As of late 2012, most of the key Harperites have gone now, and Christy’s poll numbers have reached abysmal, even Mulroneyesque levels. (My paranoid readers may well conclude that the Conservatives left because they considered their job well done.) Boessenkool’s departure happened in September as a result of an unannounced indiscretion. Naturally rumours abounded, most of them having to do with some seedy behaviour with a female staff member at a bar.
More interesting than that, though, is what happed next. There was an investigation which confirmed Boessenkool’s dismissal. The press filed an access-to-information request. And that request came back: no records found. None! Nada! Not just no records that could be declassified: no records at all! When queried, the provincial government confirmed that such inquiries are now handled on a paperless basis. That is to say, all inquiries by the investigator are made verbally, and the report to the Premier is also delivered aurally. The B.C. government is deeply committed to saving our forests by not wasting paper.
But it gets even better. On a lark, Jonathan Fowlie of the Vancouver Sun filed a request for any emails, letters, and text messages from the premier, Boessenkool, Boessenkool’s deputy chief of staff, and the head of the provincial public service, for September 7-27, 2012. Not just relating to the Boessenkool resignation, but all correspondence, on any subject, including (presumably) the premier’s trip to the World Economic Forum, which occurred during that time period.
Fowlie got one document back for that entire time period: Boessenkool’s letter of resignation. That’s it! No other documents! The provincial government is claiming that its most senior people exchanged no written messages, at all, on any subject.
Hard at work, are they?Tweet