Revealing that he was commissioning such a probe would have raised even more questions about how he oversaw his portfolio. So he sat on the news until he was safely installed as premier. Around the same time in November he divulged the forensic audit had been underway for months, Liberals leaked yet another audit of a B.C. Housing contractor agency. Atira Women’s Resource Centre, run by Ramsay’s wife, was heavily criticized in a review that was started by the previous government and ran through the change of power.
Sloppy accounting and questionable management were cited in numerous instances, but the agency got more than $100 million from the government even through the audit period.
So that’s two damning audits of agencies under Eby’s watch that were conducted on the down low.
All of which leads to Monday’s question period. After Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon disclosed on Friday that the forensic audit has been completed and submitted, opposition Liberals demanded that it be released.
Another game of dodge ball ensued.
Eby said it’s a serious issue — perhaps a clue there is more bad news coming — and he’s working on releasing “as much of the report as the law allows.”
The law cited is the freedom-of-information and privacy protection law that requires close scrutiny of all findings to do with individuals.
“We’ll do it as soon as possible,” he said.
Whatever version of the audit is finally released, it’s an open question whether it will address the fundamental concern:
Are taxpayers getting full value for the astronomical sums of money being poured into housing?
B.C. Housing’s annual reports — all of which were blessed by independent auditors, by the way — show it got $513 million in provincial funding in 2017-18.
This year it’s $1.9 billion. B.C. Housing is producing 3,000 to 4,000 new units a year, but some targets are not being met.