HST information office staff remains a mystery

The ministry of finance claims to have no records listing who is working at the government's harmonized sales tax information office. That office - which was setup to sell the tax - is being headed by Tom Syer, who worked as premier Gordon Campbell deputy chief of staff. But the government's online directory includes no mention of Mr. Syer or any of his subordinates. As a result, Public Eye filed a freedom of information request for that information. In response, the ministry provided us with a single sheet of paper listing six positions in that office but no names associated with them. Those positions include an unidentified "special advisor." The following is a complete copy of that record.

HST Information Office staff listing


Our so called "open and accountable "government is neither open or accountable. Time for a bit change in the Legislature.

Considering some of the dirty tricks the pro HST folks have been engaging in, this secrecy does not surprise me. It is a bit like a C.I.A. special ops. assignment.

I'd send another FOI request asking how much the taxpayer is forking out to pay these guys to do the governments dirty work.

I wonder if at least some of the staff for this office are "regular" staff (aka bureaucrats) who were asked or responded to a call (job posting) to take a temporary position to work in this office, i.e. they are not "political" appointees or something similar. If this is the case (and I am simply "what ifing" that they may be), I could see that given the "sensitivity" of this issue that their names are being kept confidential.

Personally, I would have no problem working on such a politically sensitive project if I thought it would be a good career development opportunity. (I have done so in the past; although, nothing nearly as sensitive as the HST.) I would also be appreciative that my employer was keeping my name confidential to reduce the risk that I might be subject to harassment or threats if my name was public knowledge. (I do think this is a very real risk in this case because some folks are pretty worked up about this issue.)

Reid, your suppositions make no sense. This information office was created by the government and is being funded by the taxpayers of BC. We have every right to know who is involved.

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