Columbia River-Revelstoke Liberal candidate defends auditor-general decision

Doug Clovechok says it's the best decision for the province of British Columbia.

The decision by an all-party legislative committee not to reappoint B.C.’s current auditor general John Doyle for another term is being defended by BC Liberal candidate for Columbia-Revelstoke Doug Clovechok as the best decision for the province.

“I think it’s important  that people understand first of all the auditor general’s position is not going anywhere,” Clovechok said. “It isn’t getting eliminated.”

The move to deny Doyle a second term has drawn widespread criticism. During his term as financial watchdog, Doyle had shaken up the B.C. government’s financial affairs, criticizing BC Hydro’s debt and the state of B.C.’s forest inventory following the pine beetle epidemic. He is also currently investigating the legal fees paid to two convicted BC Liberal insiders in the BC Rail scandal and has exposed lack of monitoring by the BC Environmental Assessment Office of mitigation requirements on holders of environmental certificates.

Doyle is getting his walking papers from the BC Liberals, simply for doing his job, Columbia River–Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald said in a release.

“Auditor General John Doyle has been relentless in his scrutiny of government, fulfilling the role that he was hired to do,” said Macdonald.  “In the course of his work he shone a light on many examples of BC Liberal mismanagement, and for that, he is losing his job.

“The Opposition has complete confidence in the work that John Doyle has done and we believe that he should continue in his role as Auditor General.”

The five-member committee is comprised of three Liberal and two MLAs, and Doyle’s reappointment required unanimous support, a fact that cannot be overlooked, according to Clovechok.

“In terms of the NDP caucus, they wanted him to stay, but in terms of the committee, it had to be unanimous to reappoint, and it wasn’t,” he said. “It’s a situation where the NDP are going to blow this completely out of perspective and try to leverage it to their best advantage.”

The BC Conservatives have also lambasted the termination of Doyle’s appointment, singling out the all-party committee’s chair — BC Liberal MLA for Vernon-Monashee Eric Foster — claiming the Auditor General’s office had reported a lack of documentation for $67,000 in taxpayer-funded renovations to his constituency office.

“I don’t know of the discrepancy first hand,” said Clovechok. “What I do know is that Eric Foster is one of the most ethical individuals I’ve met so my guess would be oversight.

“At the end of the day, that committee has to do what they  think, unanimously so, is best for the province of British Columbia.”