B.C. Housing has been undergoing a forensic audit for months, premier says

Premier David Eby ordered the financial audit of B.C. Housing in July while he was still the minister of housing.  (Mike McArthur/CBC - image credit)
Premier David Eby ordered the financial audit of B.C. Housing in July while he was still the minister of housing. (Mike McArthur/CBC - image credit)

Premier David Eby revealed this week that the province ordered a forensic audit of B.C. Housing in July when Eby was the minister of housing — an investigation that was never made known to the public.

The forensic audit was the result of an independent, critical report on B.C. Housing that found problems at the Crown corporation, including inadequate oversight over decisions and spending and unclear roles and responsibilities, potentially impacting B.C. Housing's ability to manage risks. It ultimately led to Eby firing B.C. Housing's entire board.

Following Eby's revelation during Question Period this week that an audit has been underway for months, the province released the terms of reference.

The Ministry of Finance's comptroller general has ordered Ernst & Young, the company that wrote the original report, to handle the audit.

The terms of reference included a list of directives, some of which mentioned an unnamed society.

The directives that weren't redacted were to:

  • Undertake a risk-based analysis of cash outflows to selected housing providers.

  • Evaluate if the Society used grants or advances of public money, or the borrowings of which may be guaranteed by the Government of British Columbia, for their required purposes.

  • Evaluate B.C. Housing's record-keeping and decision-making for financial transactions entered into with the Society.

The terms also say the audit will aim to provide recommendations for improvement of B.C. Housing's "processes or procedures."

CBC News reached out for clarification about which society the terms were referring to, but the province said it could not release further details due to privacy laws.

Earlier this week, Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon called on Eby to launch an independent review of B.C. Housing and the Atira Women's Resources Society after alleging financial mismanagement at the society based on allegedly leaked reports from accounting firm BDO.

Eby said the audit will "ensure specific internal controls at B.C. Housing are in place and operating as described, including record retention and decision-making processes and procedures for funding service providers."

The results of the audit are expected to be released early next year, according to Eby.

"On receiving that, we will release all of the documents that we can, to the extent the law allows for the Opposition and the public," he said.


On Friday, former housing minister and current finance minister, Selina Robinson, was asked why her government never publicly shared that the province had ordered a forensic audit of B.C. Housing.

Robinson never directly answered, instead saying, "We wanted to make sure we understood what was going on so we could proceed with speed."

Meanwhile, during the final Question Period of the week, B.C. Liberal finance critic Peter Milobar stressed that the all-party public accounts committee be allowed to review the audit once it is finished.

"So we do look forward to the previously unannounced — no notice — forensic audit coming forward," said Milobar.