Maybe so. But it makes me uncomfortable when an independent public officer resists the government of the day, and in Mr. Ricard’s case, clearly and firmly, and then suddenly annouces his retirement. It raises the question of whether the government wanted Ricard out, so that they can replace him with someone who might be more willing.
Greg Juliano was another actor who’s truth embarrassed the Government of Manitoba was doing. As discussed in the Testimony of Dr. Mark Hudson, Juliano testified before the Labour Relations Board that the government had essentially forced the University of Manitoba to engage in a unfair labour practice in order to “not embarrass the Province” which was entering into its “let us limit all wages of all public employees” phase.
Juliano left the University a few months after the Labour Relations Board decision came out.
And now Aurel Tess is no longer the Provincial Comptroller. As of January 2020, he is the Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer at Manitoba Hydro. It is still in his wheelhouse, but I suspect that CFO at Hydro is a step down from the CFO for the whole province.
It makes me nervous, and enough to go on alert. And I think that if one more person gets punted, or, especially if the new Auditor-General suddenly magically finds that the Government of Manitoba can overstate the deficit in the way that they tried, then it is probably time for Manitobans to raise the red flag, and channel Emile Zola and start chanting J’accuse.
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There are deeper questions that arise from all this. If the Public Services Sustainability Act wasn’t actually necessary, because our finances aren’t anywhere nearly as bad as the government has been claiming, then is any of it necessary? The health cuts? The nickel and diming of social services for Manitoba’s most vulnerable people? Closing the Dauphin jail?