Local MLA Kathy Corrigan is disappointed that auditor general John Doyle has accepted a post in Australia, and she blames the Liberal government for his departure.
"He probably decided that he could no longer work in British Columbia because the atmosphere had become so toxic," Corrigan said. "He was doing work that was fairly critical of the government, and I think it had become apparent to him that the Liberal government no longer wanted him here, didn't want him checking so carefully into government, and he was finding it difficult to get cooperation from government."
News that Doyle was accepted for an auditor general's position in the Australian state of Victoria surfaced Monday, after a legislative and Liberal-dominated committee did not unanimously vote to reappoint Doyle for a second six-year term. The Liberals were widely criticized for the move. Premier Christy Clark suggested the committee reconsider its decision, and Doyle was offered a two-year term, instead.
Doyle had originally wanted the job and applied for a second term, Corrigan pointed out.
"I'm terribly disappointed that this has happened. He's been driven out of British Columbia. He was doing really important work uncovering very serious Liberal mismanagement, and the bottom line, is they didn't like it, and he's been driven out of British Columbia. He wanted to stay. He applied to stay," she said.
Corrigan said a new committee will have to be struck to choose another candidate for the job, but the remaining question is when Doyle's term ends. Doyle was appointed in May 2007 but didn't start until October, 2007. Corrigan suspects Doyle wants to stay for a few more months to finish some projects, including reviewing the fiscal books for 2012/13.
The auditor general's office did not return calls from the NOW by press time, but Doyle told the Times Colonist that he would have preferred to stay in B.C. for another six-year term.
"I would have been happy to do so. But all this occurred. What do you think, how much cooperation do you think somebody in my position is going to get, going forward? It's not good for the office, and not good for the province," he told the Times Colonist.
According to the Times Colonist, Doyle said he plans to clear his desk in June and is expected to start in Australia on or before July 1.
- With files from the Times Colonist
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