Unlike James Comey, none of us gets the chance to become TV stars when we are fired from a job in the public sector. On the Canadian prairies, consider the case of 51 year old Carolyne Buck of Winnipeg. Until a few days ago, she was manager of the Kildonan Medical Centre which is located at Seven Oaks Hospital. I know it well because my own doctor practiced there until he retired. Carolyne had a career in health care in Manitoba for 32 years, until one day she didn’t.
In an effort to find savings of $10 million a year, the PC government of Brian Pallister ordered the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to terminate 15% of the management positions in the system. In the Winnipeg area, it amounted to 132 people, and Carolyne Buck ended up being one of them.
How humanely and respectfully was it done? Not at all really. She was told at noon that she was finished, and she was escorted out of the building without even being allowed to gather up any personal belongings. There was no farewell celebration where her co-workers could give her funny cards.
It’s a bit of a time-honoured procedure that probably dates back to the folks who ran things in France after the Storming of the Bastille in 1789. It’s only slightly less brutal than those historic events to turn someone’s life upside down, and blow away their identity.
Will Premier Pallister and company actually save $10 million dollars? Certainly not this year because the WRHA will be paying out about five million in severance packages. Carolyne Buck’s severance cheque will be one of the smallest because she had only been a manager for 12 months.
Now this is not meant to minimize what James Comey must have felt when he read about his firing on social media.
Life in the public sector is truly grand, is it not?
I’m Roger Currie