Editorial: A reason to be afraid

Ombudsperson Jay Chalke’s report into the 2012 firings in the Ministry of Health has opened a window into the way employees were treated during the scandal — and it is not a pretty sight.

Take, for example, the firing of Ron Mattson.

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First, a bit of balanced perspective, something that Mattson had every right to have, and that he was denied in the despicable rush to judgment that led to his removal.

“Based on a review of all of the evidence, we have determined that there is no evidence that Mr. Mattson engaged in any misconduct,” the Chalke report says.

“We have also determined that the Ministry of Health had no evidence of any wrongdoing by Mr. Mattson at the time of his termination.

“Moreover, the decision to dismiss Mr. Mattson with just cause was arrived at through an unfair process. Mr. Mattson should not have been dismissed from his employment.”

In other words, there is no doubt about Mattson. There is no reason for any rational person to believe that Mattson did something wrong. And better yet, the person who made the decision to fire Mattson had been told that there was not enough evidence against him.

With that in mind, consider how the firing was handled.

When the day came to sever Mattson’s employment, he was at a conference in Vancouver. His boss was sent to get him, take him to his hotel to collect his belongings, and deliver him to Harbour Air. On his arrival in Victoria, Mattson was terminated.

Did the powers behind this pathetic firing believe that Mattson was a flight risk? That he would sell USB sticks filled with names in an alley in downtown Vancouver? Honestly, what were they thinking? Where were the limits of their delusional line of thought?

Having trampled over due process and basic fairness, they then apparently lost all sense of proportion when it came time to terminate Mattson’s employment.

Please note: The person who led the biased, incompetent investigation into Mattson and the others, who threw innocent people to the wolves, still works for the province. Government employees, be afraid.

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