29 March 2008

When did they know?

Then-health minister John Ottenheimer knew in July 2005.

Ottenheimer had a briefing note in his legislature briefing books for the fall sitting of 2005.

His successor claims he only got a full briefing six months after he took over the job.

That's a full briefing.

He knew about the problem the day he took over as health minister and inherited all Ottenheimer's briefing books.

The opposition leaders are wondering when the Premier knew about the problems with breast cancer screening at Eastern Health.

July 2005.

That's the most likely time, maybe even five minutes - give or take - after John Ottenheimer knew.

It's a big issue and you wouldn't want to keep The Big Guy out of the loop for any reason. 

Imagine if he was asked a question by a reporter sometime before the story leaked to The Independent in September 2005 and had to shrug saying he didn't know a thing about it.

That would not be good.

[Incidentally, people are talking about the story breaking in the media as if this is some sort of magical process.  The Indy got wind of the problem somewhere.  One question people should be asking is how did they get wind of the story.  That would be the question right after "where is the communications plan for this issue"? That would not be the thing Joan Dawe referred to in her testimony.  That sounds like a revamped policy on communications.  We are talking about the detailed communications plan for this specific issue, detailing who is responsible for what and who says what to whom. It doesn't look like there was one.]

We'll know soon enough who knew what and when, though since next week the parade of current and former cabinet ministers starts at the Cameron Inquiry.