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Former minister of state for resort development Patty Sahota may soon be working for the Fraser Health Authority. In an interview with Public Eye, authority new business development and facilities vice-president Mary Ackenhusen confirmed Ms. Sahota was contacted last month about the services she could provide to the regional organization. "And she has given us a high-level proposal or expression of interest on the kinds of things she could do for us strategically in terms of our contact with the Indo-Canadian community."

When asked why Ms. Sahota was contacted, Ms. Ackenhusen said the authority has "as part of our project initiative, a communications strategy to have some interactive dialogue with the Indo-Canadian community. So, with her background and contacts, it was felt she might be able to help us think how to do that."

The vice-president couldn't say, at this point whether there would be a competitive bid process to award that work - or even if the authority was interested in retaining Ms. Sahota. So far, though, the former Burnaby-Edmunds MLA is the only person who has been approached about the job. "I'm not sure how the name came up," said Ms. Ackenhusen. "Although she's obviously quite well known."

According to Ms. Sahota's biography, "before being elected to the Legislative Assembly, Ms. Sahota worked in various sectors of the forestry industry, including remanufacturing, lumber wholesale, and environmental systems. After earning her bachelor of arts degree in political science in 1993 from the University of Victoria, she worked for a commercial development realty firm and for the B.C. Liberal Party as a regional organizer and as an aide to then-Opposition Leader Gordon Campbell."

18 Comments

Doesn't the riding of Abbotsford-Mount Lehman falls into the Fraser Health Authority boundary.

What communication could she possibly do do for Fraser Health? In my opinion, she does not connect at all with the Indo Community. In fact, they threw her out of office in Burnaby-Edmonds in the last elections.

Just because she connects well with the B.C. Liberal leader does not mean that the tax payers of B.C. need to foot the bill for her.

Another political hack looking for an appointment. If she was so good, why was she thrown out of office in Burnaby. Fraser Health Authority already has a lot of dead wood in their organization, they don't need any more from the Forest industry.

It is no secret that the B.C. Liberal have totally lost touch with the Indo-Canadian voters. If she's connected, why don't they hire her to organize in the community?

The FHA would be well advised to utilize Patty Sahota. Too often, the experience of elected officials - from all parties - is undervalued after they leave office. They certainly aren't getting rich on those 'MLA Pensions'!

What happened to a merit based hiring that Campbell preaches about. Open up the application process to everyone, and hire the best person available, it could even be Peter Vinning.

"The FHA would be well advised to utilize Patty Sahota. Too often, the experience of elected officials - from all parties - is undervalued after they leave office. They certainly aren't getting rich on those 'MLA Pensions'"

Kind of insulting to those who have slogged their way through professionally in the public relations field.

Sean you should contact this Mary Ackenhusen at Fraser Health and ask why no one else was considered?

With all the funding problems, and bed shortages,and they want to go out and hire this political hack. Is Fraser Health Authority accountable to no one?

I would say email Premiers office, and make your feelings known.

Some people should get their "facts" straight. Working for the FHA doesn't qualify as a "political appointment". Furthermore, what does the riding of Abbotsford-Mount Lehman have to with working for the FHA.

I believe that the person most qualified to handle the job, especially if they are approached as the story indicates, should take it. I believe that Ms. Sahota is up to the task, and I wish her luck.

I guess that only NDP political hacks are allowed to get good jobs after they are either thrown out of office (Glen Clark working for Jimmy Patterson), or Dan Miller (currently working for the Liberal government).

As for being thrown out of office, I don't believe winning by less than 1,000 votes is exactly a landslide victory. Speaking of which, someone should remind NDP MLA Raj Chouhan for Burnaby-Edmonds that the Legislative Assembly in British Columbia is conducted in English.

Apparently he forgot one day and started speaking Punjabi, but the way he mumbles along in English one would hardly notice the difference. Now there's some dead wood for you.

Obviously EasyRider is not in possession of the facts. If he or she had made an attempt to review the HANSARDS they would know that it was Jagrup Brar who spoke in Punjabi, NOT Raj Chouhan. Its about time Patty Sahota's friends concede defeat and move on.

Celtic Pendragon must be a Moron to make the following statement:

Some people should get their "facts" straight. Working for the FHA doesn't qualify as a "political appointment". Furthermore, what does the riding of Abbotsford-Mount Lehman have to with working for the FHA.

He obviously does not know that Abbotsford-Mount Lehman is Mike Dejong's riding. If he does not think Patty Sahota getting appointed to FHA is a political appointment, then he must have some marbles lose.

A political appointment in my books is when someone gets a job based on their political association or connections.

Patty Sahota connected to the Indo Community!!!

Patty is very smart, she has patiently waited for two years for the term to expire. The only part I don't understand is why she is supporting NDPer king pins such as Ujjal and Bob Rae?

Does this mean Patty won't be able to Liberal Convention in Montreal?

Some people should get their "facts" straight. Working for the FHA doesn't qualify as a "political appointment". Furthermore, what does the riding of Abbotsford-Mount Lehman have to with working for the FHA.

I believe that the person most qualified to handle the job, ...

Posted by celtic pendragon on November 14, 2006

You couldn't be more correct, celtic pendragon. People should get their facts straight.

From employees in the Fraser Health Authority I have heard first hand accounts of political influence in actual, permanent staffing, not just in selecting contract employees.

Since the change of government in 2001, there have been many additional management grade staff added to the system. I believe many of these management grade staff are Liberal supporters with at least a modest degree of antipathy towards unions. In most cases they are not card carrying Liberals, but that is where their sympathies lie. They can be counted on to joyfully support the Liberal government's policies, whether it's a P3 for the Abbotsford Hospital or simply laying off cooks and cleaners and security guards so that they can be replaced with contractors.

The working level employees of those contractors will be paid far less than the public sector workers they replaced, but their supervisors in the private company will be paid more than the government section heads they replaced. It's all a politically motivated redistribution of the wage bill that directs income towards the higher pay grades and therefore intentionally increases income inequality.

These decisions are all clearly driven by gross electoral and partisan political considerations. Claims that some sort of economic efficiency is the issue are just pure rhetorical smokescreen. Elections and votes are what's on the Liberals's minds, not the amount of money it takes to deliver health services.

"These decisions are all clearly driven by gross electoral and partisan political considerations. Claims that some sort of economic efficiency is the issue are just pure rhetorical smokescreen. Elections and votes are what's on the Liberals's minds, not the amount of money it takes to deliver health services."

As much as I disagree with Budd on many points, I agree with him on this one.

This isn't a "hard coded" political appointment, as there is no physical seat to fill. But FHA should really look at the optics here and wonder why a former BC Liberal MLA who has no occuptional or extra-curricular detailed interest in health care has been able to submit a "proposal". In short, essentially writing out a job for herself.

The proposed position that Sahota has written for herself does not have much merit, since outreach can be done at the local clinic lvel through the existing PR department.

A better means would be for a PR professional to be able to do the work, since PR is essentially being able to connect. FHR has a PR department, and it would only take a few phone calls to the local community to find a liason, and work from there.

The PR people and Sahota would, eventually reach the same community.

Sahota is just looking for a job, and it's a bit odd that for some reason, she can go out and write an easy job for herself.

She should get out there and be working in a company filling out or invoice slips.

I completely agree with comments for Pattyontop, but comments by Hansard I would have to say that Patty is well connected not only in the Indo-Canadian community but also around the lower mainland, Fraser Valley, and right up to Merritt. Way to go Patty, your doing a good job.

Don't believe a word of any stuff your read from Burnaby to Merrit about Patty Sahota. I know I worked with her for 4 years .....and in that time she did NOTHING as an MLA for Burnaby Edmonds. NOTHING. I challenge any of her suppoters here to name ONE thing she personally did for Burnaby. All her meetings with community people were nothing but "photo ops."

And when she was DESERVEDLY NOT re-elected......I don't remember her thanking any of her hard working volunteers .....she went away to Merritt to feel sorry for HERSELF .....and to this day has had NO further contact with her staff OR her many volunteers.

Fraser Health .....given that it is pretty screwed up already ......Patty will be a star ..... at A) Doing nothing for a paycheque and B) Fouling up everything she touches.

Bob Morris

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