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HomeBusinessCOVID Exclusive: While pandemic grips B.C., health ministry bureaucrats play shark games

COVID Exclusive: While pandemic grips B.C., health ministry bureaucrats play shark games


Bob Mackin

On April 2, at the Legislature, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and NDP Health Minister Adrian Dix announced six more British Columbians died of the novel coronavirus.

The province’s death toll reached 31.

Public employees appearing in Pandemic: a shark’s story (B.C. Ministry of Health)

Meanwhile, behind the scenes at the Ministry of Health headquarters, shark shenanigans during business hours on the day after April Fool’s Day. exclusively obtained a copy of a five-slide presentation titled “Pandemic: a shark’s story,” which was produced in the Ministry of Health and circulated by employees on April 2.

It tells the story of a shark that came to Victoria to help humans deal with the pandemic.

A bureaucrat dressed-up in a shark suit was photographed walking across Blanshard Street in downtown Victoria, in a hallway with a senior bureaucrat and beside the 2018-erected Crossing Cultures and Healing totem pole outside the ministry headquarters at the Richard Blanshard Building.

The penultimate slide of Pandemic: a shark’s story (B.C. Ministry of Health)

In the penultimate slide, the shark character has an epiphany beside the shark-less totem pole: “Shark realizes that sharks are not appreciated by humans,” reads the thought balloon.

So the shark character changes plans and “decides to eat last human in Victoria.”

The last slide shows the shark-suited bureaucrat chasing a female employee on a downtown sidewalk.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the province, a state of emergency continues.

Offices, stores, restaurants and schools are shut indefinitely. Layoffs are multiplying.

Five million citizens are warned to stay home. Dix did not respond to a text message seeking his comment. Ministry communications staff did not call to ask a question during the teleconference on April 3. Prior to taking limited questions, Dix lauded staff “who everyday are working their guts out.” He did not refer to Pandemic: a shark’s story.

“The people who work here in the Ministry of Health in Victoria, on Blanshard Street and across B.C., have been doing unbelievable amounts of overtime everyday working hard,” Dix said. “Sometimes from home, sometimes in office, but are doing exemplary and extraordinary work,  I’m very proud of them. I think they’re an exceptional group of people, they provide enormous support to Dr. Henry and to our deputy minister Steve Brown, and I’m very, very proud of the work that they do.”

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