Did you know the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority's new chair Kip Woodward has a stake in a private hospital? Were you aware T. Richard Turner put money into an Alberta casino development when he was chair of the British Columbia Lottery Corp. Well, I didn't until I did some digging into their backgrounds. But British Columbians deserve better from what's supposed to be the most open and accountable government in Canada.
Let me explain: right now, elected officials are required to publicly disclose their investments in annual statements filed with the conflict of interest commissioner. That way, voters can judge for themselves whether their politicians are acting in the public interest or their own private interest.
But the government's senior bureaucrats and board appointees are under no such obligations - even though some of them have more power than many cabinet ministers. And that just doesn't seem right.
So here's what I propose: require those senior bureaucrats and board appointees to also file annual disclosure statements. And that way it won't take the skills of an investigative journalist to find out about whatever perceived or possible conflicts might be in their backgrounds.