Monday, August 14, 2006
Ignorance is no excuse
J. MacPhail: When his office was raided, the Minister of Finance told the public that Mr. Basi was not involved in government business, including the B.C. Rail deal. We now know that isn't true. Indeed, according to the police, the alleged corruption in the Finance minister's office is tied directly to the sale of B.C. Rail and other government business. This went on right under the nose of the Minister of Finance, and he claims to know nothing.
Will he do the right thing today? Instead of just saying, "Oh, we didn't give it to the bid that was influence peddling," will he do the right thing and resign?
Hon. G. Collins: Mr. Speaker, I think there you've just seen a shameful exhibition of allegations on the floor of this House for which there's no basis in fact, and the member should be ashamed. She has taken, I think, a five- or six-page document and created a house of cards.
The reality is that the investigation is ongoing. It will continue until it reaches a conclusion. I think it's important for the member to refer to page 5 of the summary that was printed today. It says: "Further review of documents seized and further investigation may demonstrate no persons have committed a criminal offence." She should keep that in mind when she makes her comments in this House as well as outside.
Mr. Speaker: Leader of the Opposition has a supplementary question.
J. MacPhail: It was the Solicitor General that stood in this Legislature and said it's not surprising that organized crime has penetrated the Legislature. Did the Minister of Finance berate the Solicitor General for saying that? Absolutely not, because he knows that the Solicitor General had full knowledge of what was in the search warrants when he made that statement. The Solicitor General said that statement with full knowledge of what's in the search warrants, and now the Minister of Finance is trying to pooh-pooh the summary of information based on those warrants.
In opposition, that Minister of Finance called for the resignation of countless ministers on matters of much less significance. On a regular basis he did do that.
The Minister of Finance still claims to be ignorant of what was going on in his office with his chief political aide, an aide he personally hired. Mr. Speaker, ignorance is not a defence. The minister needs to take responsibility for the corruption that took place right under his nose.
Kootcoot: Members of the B.C. Legislature seemed much more willing to speak about the police raid 2 years ago ... whereas the topic has become virtually forbidden now.
Hope you can find a few more of these Hansard quotes."
Well, you're doing a good job, especially considering the lack of action or information forthcoming about this disgrace. I wish you would include the dates of Hansard excerpts though.
I'm in remission with the House at present, partly a summer thing, and partly the lack of activity. I do appreciate your digging, especially your valiant efforts to track down information by actually going to courthouses down on the coast. I can hardly get to downtown Nelson these days, and I wouldn't find any more info there than I could find sitting here at my keyboard and googling. Thanks for carrying the torch, we have to make sure these crooks don't succeed in making this whole thing just go away.
By the way, did you hear about Joy and her hubby acquiring Out TV, the GLBTG cable channel?
Yes, I did hear the
CBC Radio One interview with Joy MacPhail and her husband in which they made their new TV channel sound positive and progressive. Should be fascinating.