Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

'Orchestrated campaign' delayed carbon offset report, says auditor general

The Crown corporation Pacific Carbon Trust was part of an "orchestrated campaign" that has delayed his report on carbon neutral government, said Auditor General John Doyle.

"We've had great difficulty getting this report to the publication stage," Doyle told The Tyee in an interview. "I'm talking about the number of letters and what I call the 'corporate immune system' pushing back on the audit team."

While working on the report, which was to examine the carbon offsets the PCT purchases to make the provincial government carbon neutral, Doyle's office received many letters on the subject, he said. The audit team took the letters into consideration and responded to them, but found nothing in them that would change the conclusions of the report, he said.

"We noticed a lot of the letters had similar themes within them," said Doyle. The team asked for certain files as part of the audit and discovered an "orchestrated campaign" to push back against the audit with the apparent strategy of trying to delay its publication, he said. "The longer they delay it, the less likely they have to face the consequences of what may be in the report."

The PCT was party to that campaign, he said, adding he could not share further details as the matter is touched on in the body of his report.

Calls to the PCT were not immediately returned.

Doyle said he delivered An Audit of Carbon Neutral Government on March 22 to Speaker Bill Barisoff who is required by law to release it as soon as possible.

Barisoff today announced he is delaying distribution of the report because concerns have been raised that it was prematurely disclosed.

Doyle said he followed the same procedure with this report that he has with every other report for six years and that his predecessors also followed.

The Canadian Press reported this morning that it had obtained three letters from carbon-reduction experts who raised concerns about the report.

Doyle said the letter writers were responding to a report they were yet to see, unless somebody has breached parliamentary privilege and shared it with them. That would be something for the speaker to investigate, but would be an argument for releasing the report immediately, he said.

Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson said during question period on March 7 that he had evidence from a freedom of information response of an "active letter-writing campaign" involving the PCT aimed at undermining Doyle's report.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus