We hate to say we told you so - except when we're saying it to the premier's office. A few months back, we reported the office refused to disclose the salary for one of the provincial government's top bureaucrats - energy, mines and petroleum resources deputy minister Robin Junger. It claimed that would violate the province's privacy law because such information could, in the future, be used to figure out Mr. Junger's bonus payments - providing an indication of his job performance. The office refused to back down even when provided with documents showing it was likely wrongly interpreting that law.
As a result, we filed a freedom of information request for all of the employment contracts for the government's deputy ministers - using a legal mechanism to force the Liberals to release Mr. Junger's compensation package where a simple phone call had failed.
And guess what: we've now got a copy of all those contracts, which includes the deputies' salaries.
So it seems the premier's office was, at the very least, misinformed about its own laws.
In response, BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association policy and communications director Vincent Gogolek said, "If you want to appear obstructive, this would have been a really good way of doing it because they didn't have a leg to stand on - at least none that I could see."
"They appeared to be hovering in mid-air. And, if Warner Bros. cartoons have taught us anything, if you're hovering in mid-air you're going to be headed down to a big thump at the end of it."
Noting the Campbell administration has a "well-deserved" reputation for secrecy, Mr. Gogolek stated this was clearly a case of "justice delayed."