04 Jun The strange case of the NDP vs. the AG – ctd.
Graham Steele and I had a further email exchange. I suggested he had not answered the question at the heart of my original query:
Why didn’t you (or, if you wish, why didn’t [Cabinet Clerk Greg] Keefe) simply waive solicitor client privilege in these cases?
A second question that I didn’t ask, but which still hovers over this: Is this a sign that the NDP government, with its very small cabinet, is falling prey to a classic malady of new governments, especially new governments whose ministers have no experience in government: that of being unduly led by the canny Mandarins?
The answer is that the issue on this specific audit was supposed to be resolved by the broader discussions on revisions to the Auditor General Act. At the time the AG wrote to the Premier in October, everyone expected amendments to be introduced in the spring sitting.
The answer to the second question is “no.” That’s not a fair characterization of what went on here. I think people want to see some dark conspiracy on this issue. The reality is, as usual, much duller. A process to revise the Auditor General Act was underway, and this was one of the issues on the table; the process took longer than expected; the government was busy with other priorities. We’ll deal with the issue in the fall. Within six months, it will be a non-issue.