Saturday, April 21, 2007

 

Vaughn Palmer explains: April 20 legal proceedings veer into political waters

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Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
Saturday, April 21, 2007

VICTORIA - The day after the raid on the legislature, a police representative addressed the question of involvement by politicians and political parties.

"I want to make this very clear," RCMP Staff Sgt. John Ward said on Dec. 29, 2003.

"The search warrants that police executed at the B.C. legislature did not involve any elected provincial politicians in B.C."

He also said this: "No political parties are under investigation."

And this: "There are no municipal, provincial or federal elected politicians involved in this investigation. I can tell you that right off the bat."

Those statements need to be re-read in the wake of this week's allegation that then finance minister Gary Collins was under investigation. {Snip} ...


Presuming the case goes ahead, the defence story will be tested against one told by the prosecution.

But judging from what was said this week, the three aides are not the only ones on trial in this proceeding.

The police and the government will be under the spotlight as well.


Read this interesting column in full at:
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=b597d296-1448-4385-a719-e7d3348f94e0&p=2
or just click here
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Robin Mathews was also in Courtroom 54 on Friday and promises a report when he catches his breath. - BC Mary.

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Here's Michael Smyth trying to make us laugh, and succeeding:

LOBBY RACKET HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR LONG TIME
Michael Smyth
The Province
Friday, April 20, 2007

Oh, to be a lobbyist in Victoria in the springtime. The economy is booming, a business-friendly, free-spending government is in power and every political hustler in town is looking to butter up a cabinet minister like a freshly baked tea scone.

Just check out the government's online lobbyist registry -- Google it and click on "public reports" -- and you'll get a hint of just how big an orgy it is. The current reports say there are over 2,300 individual lobbying files. And those are just the ones we know about.

As has become increasingly clear at the legislature this week, this is one racket where it's not always clear who's zoomin' who.

Consider the case of Premier Gordon Campbell's old city-hall buddy Ken Dobell. As I told you in an earlier column, this guy has his thumbs in more pies than Sara Lee at a Sunday bake-off.

Not only is Dobell Campbell's $250-an-hour "personal adviser," he's also the financial chairman of the 2010 Olympics and -- until just a few days ago -- chairman of the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project. Yes, that's the project that's now more than $300 million overbudget. Nice job, Ken! (Campbell replaced Dobell as project chair Friday, but gave him a soft landing by keeping him on the board, presumably so he can tell the new chair what not to do.)

Anyway, back to that lobbyist registry. Go online and look up Dobell's name and you'll see he's got his sticky fingers in that honey pot, too.

Dobell is registered as an official lobbyist for the City of Vancouver on housing and cultural issues. And guess who he's kissing up to? Why, Campbell, of course.

How sweet is that? The guy has a desk right in Campbell's office as his adviser at the same time he's getting paid to lobby Campbell by Vancouver City Hall. Would you like some sprinkles with that double dip?

The Opposition NDP smell a rat, of course. They say Dobell only registered as a lobbyist last fall, months after he had started greasing the rails for city hall.

The Liberal government has now asked Freedom of Information commissioner David Loukidelis to conduct a "fact-finding review" of Dobell's lobbying activities. (Can't you just hear them in the smoky back rooms right now: "Quick! Somebody hire a lobbyist to lean on Loukidelis!" Just kidding.)

Then there's my dear old friend Brian Kieran. Regular Province readers will remember he wrote in this exact space before I succeeded him 10 years ago.

The government has called for a probe into Kieran's lobbying activities, too, after someone leaked e-mails showing he was fishing for more than salmon on a recent boating trip with ICBC president Paul Taylor.

Ah, the lobby racket. It's sort of like fishing, actually. You bait your hook and boat your catch. It may smell a little bad sometimes, but it's been going on for a long, long time.

- - -

Listen to Nightline B.C. with Michael Smyth every weekday at 7 p.m. on CKNW, AM 980.

E-mail: msmyth@direct.ca.

http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=370b56c1-6b9e-4b00-9b1d-5ee859a0c384
© The Vancouver Province 2007
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Comments:
"The police and the government will be under the spotlight as well."

As well they should, especially in the case of the government. I've said all along that Basi and Virk didn't have enough influence or decision making power to be worth buying, all they had was access to the Campbell Crime Family who along with the province are clearly for sale.

These guys with the apparent ability to control the police, by having relatives run the investigation and avoid them, and the courts by making trials go away or pretend to happen would make Al Capone jealous.
 
Of course you are right on the money (no pun intended) kootcoot. It is about time the media started doing their jobs & putting some elbow grease & truth into their reporting.

Smyth misses another political posting that Dobell holds: a lay 'Bencher' on the B.C. Law Society LOL.

Isn't it interesting that the former Ombudsman Howard Kushner - who did not get reappointed last year as the independent, govt. watchdog for the people also landed a cushy position with the B.C. Law Society last Fall 2006. Hmmmmmm

There were complaints about Kushner's lack of diligence re: sensitive political files he was supposed to be handling - independently.

They were registered with the Select Standing Legislative Committtee on Finance & Government Services that provided the funding for Kushner's Office. Of course, the Premier's Office (Ken Dobell/Martyn Brown controlled this Committee through their appointed 'Chair'. Long arms . . .

Interesting to see where Kushner landed. Could this be an IOU?
 
. . . here's the rub: reliable sources know that this Premier's Office controlled Leg. Committee as a whole, never actually heard about these serious complaints; just the Chairman . . . & perhaps the Premier's Office?????

Cover, cover, cover . . . then reward the key players for stonewalling.
 
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