MLA Eric Foster under fire

A local politician is in the spotlight after B.C.’s financial watchdog was given his walking papers.

A local politician is in the spotlight after B.C.’s  financial watchdog was given his walking papers.

Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA, is chairperson of the legislative committee that recently decided to not renew auditor general John Doyle’s contract after his six-year term concludes in May.

“Auditor general John Doyle has been a great watchdog for the people of B.C. Now it appears that the Liberal government is trying to silence him.” said Mark Olsen, Vernon-Monashee NDP candidate.

“It’s time for Mr. Foster to stand up for his constituents, and for the people of B.C., by reconvening the committee and renewing Mr. Doyle’s appointment.”

Foster would not get into specifics about not providing Doyle with a second term.

“It’s in-camera because it’s a personnel issue so I can’t discuss the matter,” he said.

“Mr. Olsen doesn’t know how the rules work. There was a lot of discussion and this is the decision that was made. There is no precedent for the committee to reconvene once a decision is made.”

The committee that considers appointments of auditor generals has five members — three Liberals and two NDP. Appointment requires unanimity and it’s been suggested that at least one Liberal MLA voted against Doyle.

Foster would not divulge voting patterns and or comment on whether he believes Doyle was doing an acceptable job.

Foster insists the decision was not rushed.

“His term ends in May and six months prior to that, you start this process. The process is being followed per the legislation,” he said.

Scott Anderson, Vernon-Monashee B.C. Conservative candidate, has also taken aim at Foster.

“I’ve heard many people suggest that the Liberals are punishing the auditor general because he has been critical of the B.C. Liberal government’s lack of financial accountability and transparency,” said Anderson.

“Perhaps the committee chair, Mr. Foster, can explain why this move is in the best interests of British Columbians?”

When asked if there is a link between not reappointing Doyle and him raising concerns about government policies, Foster’s only comment was, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”