Ministry files response to View Royal councillor’s law suit

Mattson announced in early December he is suing the province, claiming the ministry had no reason to fire him

 

B.C.’s Ministry of Health and Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid filed their response to View Royal Coun. Ron Mattson’s claim of wrongful dismissal and defamation following his firing from the ministry in September.

Mattson announced in early December he is suing the province, claiming the ministry had no reason to fire him and that comments made by the ministry to the public were defamatory and false.

Mattson, was first suspended without pay on July 17, then fired by the ministry for allegedly passing confidential data to a University of Victoria researcher, an allegation Mattson denies.

In documents filed on Christmas Eve the ministry claims it had just cause to fire Mattson. The documents allege Mattson discussed with the researcher ways to get around the province’s policies in order to get data.

“On or about June 28, 2012 the Plaintiff agreed to provide confidential data belonging to the Ministry of Health, including personal identifiable linked data, to the Contrator,” reads the document. “The Plaintiff knew or ought to have known (he) did not have authorization at that time to receive such data.”

In response to Mattson’s claims of defamation on the part of the ministry, the reply states the ministry never referred to Mattson by name and that what it did say to the public about the firings was true and therefore not slander.

“The alleged comments were made on a privileged occasion in which the electorate of British Columbia had a bona fide interest in learning information about the investigation,” reads the document. “Further and in the alternative, the alleged defamatory comments were true in substance and in fact.”

The ministry’s internal investigation into the alleged privacy breach is ongoing.

Six employees were fired and another suspended in relation to the alleged breach of privacy. The ministry investigation began in May after an anonymous tip to B.C. Auditor General John Doyle’s office. Two research contracts with the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia, worth about $4 million, were suspended as a result of the allegations.

Mattson has stated unequivocally that claims by the ministry of any wrongdoing are false.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrest man attempting to break into Colwood homes naked

Suspect entered one home, broke two front door glass panels

Tenessa Nikirk found guilty in Saanich crash involving Leila Bui

Nikirk was charged with one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Greater Victoria man killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce on display at Victoria’s Royal BC Museum

The classic car has been a favourite for Beatles fans from Victoria and internationally

Canada Post aware of ongoing email, text phishing scams

Scammers pretending to be Canada Post will ask for personal and payment information

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Furstenau flays NDP as she launches B.C. Green Party leadership bid

LNG, Site C dam wrong for environment, Cowichan MLA says

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Most Read