Sunday, October 14, 2007
Graham Bruce in the news, then and now
Someone left a comment, wondering what Michael Van Klaveren would say about Graham Bruce "not thinking" about the need to register as a lobbyist prior to lobbying his former B.C. government colleagues. Who is Michael V.K., I wondered. Wow. Thanks once again to the wonderful commentors who leave such good information on this web-site. M.V.K. is/was President of the B.C. Crown Counsel Association and his comments on the duties of both Crown Counsels and the B.C. Government of Gordon Campbell are a joy to behold. Examples below:
- BC Mary.
B.C. Crown Counsel Office
500-865 Hornby St.
Telephone (604) 775-0987
Fax (604) 660-1097
May 12, 2005
SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF CLAIM
The Defendants: The Government of B.C. The Honourable Geoff Plant in his capacity as the Attorney General of British Columbia. The Honourable Graham Bruce in his capacity as the Minister of Skills Development and Labour and Government House Leader.
The Causes of Action
Bill 21 violates the Independence of the Crown.
Bill 21 infringes the Rule of Law.
Bill 21 offends the constitutional principle of the Honour of the Crown.
Bill 21 unjustifiably infringes the constitutional principle of Freedom of Association guaranteed by section 2(d) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Bill 21 violates the contract between the BCCCA and the Government.
The Honourable Graham Bruce committed the tort of Misfeasance in Public Office.
The Honourable Geoff Plant committed the tort of Misfeasance in Public Office.
The Government has been unjustly enriched.
The conduct of the Defendants was wrong, in bad faith and an abuse of power and as a result constitutes a constitutional tort.
Declaration that Bill 21, the Crown Counsel Agreement Continuation Act, is unconstitutional.
The arbitral award of David Jones, Q.C. issued on February 18, 2005 remains in full force.
Legal fees and all costs expended before the Taylor Panel and the Jones Panel.
Damages, compensation or restitution for breach of contract, Misfeasance in Public Office and unjust enrichment.
Exemplary and punitive damages.
Details of Causes of Action
Independence of the Crown: The Independence of the Crown Counsel is a fundamental constitutional principle, the purpose of which is to maintain public confidence in the fair and proper functioning of the prosecutorial system. It also guarantees the rule of law by protecting individual citizens from abuses of executive power.
Crown Counsel have an obligation to, and do, conduct themselves neutrally as Ministers of Justice, in the course of their prosecutorial work. They have an obligation to, and do, proceed fairly and cautiously, even in the face of threats and attempts at intimidation whatever the source.
The Defendants’ actions in passing Bill 21 curtail the independence of the Crown Counsel in a manner that is inconsistent with the Constitution of Canada.
The Rule of Law: The Rule of Law protects citizens against arbitrary and bad faith state action and vouchsafes a stable, predictable and ordered society, and one where the state is bound by ordinary law. By enacting Bill 21, the Defendants have perverted the Legislature to a bad faith, arbitrary, and improper purpose: namely, to divest the BCCCA and its members of the benefit of its agreement with Government by voiding the Taylor and Jones arbitration awards and by giving effect to Government action that was not made in a rational, legitimate or good faith basis.
The Honour of the Crown: The Honour of the Crown requires the Government to exercise its functions with integrity and fairness and good faith. The special relationship between the Crown Counsel and the Government is one in which the Honour of the Crown is particularly at stake. Bill 21 gives effect to the dishonourable conduct on the part of the Defendants.
Freedom of Association: Bill 21 targets the associational conduct of the BCCCA and its members and prejudices their core labour freedoms.
Breach of Contract: The Government has failed to comply with the Jones Award and this constitutes a breach of the agreement between the Government and the BCCCA.
Misfeasance in a Public Office: The Honourable Graham Bruce’s conduct in supporting Bill 21 was actuated by wrongful or improper purposes. His conduct in introducing and supporting Bill 21 was unlawful.
The conduct of the Honourable Plant in relation to overseeing and directing the Government’s participation in the Jones Arbitration was actuated by wrongful or improper purposes. His conduct in relation to overseeing and directing the Government’s participation in the Jones Arbitration was unlawful. His conduct in relation to his support of Bill 21 was actuated by wrongful or improper purposes. His conduct in relation to the introduction and support of Bill 21 was unlawful.
Unjust Enrichment: The Government has been unjustly enriched in that it has not paid the Plaintiffs for monies owed under the Jones award covering the period April 1, 2003 to March 3, 2005.
Constitutional Tort: The conduct of the Defendants throughout the dispute resolution and grievance procedures, and in introducing Bill 21 was wrong, in bad faith and an abuse of power and as a result breached the Plaintiffs’ rights and freedoms pursuant to s. 2(d) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Complete copy of the Writ (PDF Caution large file! 3.95mb)
Even more frank is Mr Van Kleveren's letter of March 1, 2005 to Premier Campbell denouncing the government as it "continues bad faith conduct". Mr Van Kleveren demands that the Campbell government withdraw the legislation (Bill 21) introduced on 28 Feb 2005 designed to abrogate the agreement with Crown Counsel, and permitted the government "to do whatever it wished". This is a letter well worth reading even today. This is the government which appears to be blocking and thwarting the proceedings of the B.C. Rail Case. Van Kleveren's letter concludes "This [legislation] cannot be allowed to stand. Such legislation is unprecedented. How can Crown counsel trust your government's contractual commitments?" Copies were sent to the Legislative Press Gallery.
Another letter on the web-site of the B.C. Crown Counsel Association is addressed to Graham Bruce by Mr Van Kleveren. It demands an apology to Crown counsel and their families for "false ... disrespectful ... ill-informed" statements attempting to justify the rejection of the Arbitration ruling favouring Crown Counsels. The letter concludes: "Your misunderstanding of this issue is consistent with your Government's general misunderstanding of the legal obligations to comply with [the Arbitrator's] ruling." With copies to the Legislative Press Gallery.
The years 2001 - 2005 still hold the clues to what started out in bad faith and has continued in that vein to this day.
For anyone who suggests that the Campbell government has changed its stripes a good place to start would be that lawsuit and the circumstances, which surrounded its filing.
Moreover, attitudes and actions of the same debased character - attenuated and drawn out all the way to Ottawa in the case of Bill 29 - have since been repudiated by the highest court in the land. Even in that case they are still dragging their feet and dissembling.
These people do not embarrass easily - they will, I fear, only respond to something far stronger. This is not an esoteric question – it is the most important element of what will be either the saving…or the ruin of this place. The Graham Bruces of the province have been collecting cheques under questionable pretenses far too long.
I think Mr. Van Klaveren will think that this. is. very. interesting.
It's amazing the way one question leads to other questions, isn't it?
Graham Bruce (who seems such an OLD segment of provincial history) was elected as part of the Gordon Campbell government in June 2001 as the M.L.A. for Cowichan-Ladysmith.
Campbell immediately appointed him Minister of Skills Development and Labour.
15 December 2004, Graham Bruce was still there and was also appointed Government House Leader.
But when did he leave government? And why? I'll keep looking when I get some spare time.
Anybody remember why?
It didn't hamper Graham Bruce for long, and I think Meaghan can confirm this, he was soon pulling down a monthly stipend in excess of what he would have received (at the time) as a cabinet minister.
Funny thing too, and again, Meaghan can give us the details - the cheques were still coming (albeit circuitously) from the same exchequer....Mr. Bruce is fond of those monthly cheques…no matter who he’s nominally working for.
Oh please ... help me up off the floor where I was rolling around howling with laughter ...
You mean, by using the democratic process and a modicum of analysis, the citizens actually VOTED this guy off their island and out of their lives?
Sheesh ... why didn't I think of that?
Thanks, 11:09 ... Meaghan, too.
One day as she is hard at work doing the accounting for the treaty office, an invoice lands on her desk. It's for a very large amount. It's for something that is not written up in the Treaty Group working plan or treaty budget which was what was submitted to the BC Treaty Commission in order for the Borrowed Treaty Negotiation funds to be released to her office.
She refuses to sign. The cheque takes a circuitious route. Money disapears from the Treaty Group budget in the ammount of the invoice she had recieved even though she didn't sign off on it.
This happens a few times. At one point an administrator for the band shows up, after she has made several complaints about these mysterious invoices which she will not sign off on, and trys very hard to convince her to sign. She still refuses. The administator says "Well... sign and write :under duress:" if you have to. She says she will do NO such thing. That if they are going to disapear money from her budget they are not going to have her complicity in it, in any way shape or form.
Meanwhile, she is told over the months that the money is only temporarily being removed from her budget and will eventually be returned - Promise - pinky swear and all.
Finally the money is returned... just not all of it. She is now told there will be some difficulty with getting all the money returned since the money that was never supposed to have left her budget for these "initiatives" which were not in the work plan, and which she would not sign off on, had overspent... and there would be a problem with reconciling their accounts... The lawyer for the band is hopping mad, as well as another worker who did not get paid, because the manager of the funds in question overspent his $10,000 a month allotment.
Yes... imagine that this happened somewhere....
And even though you knew all about it -- you couldn't do a thing to stop it... and until very recently, nobody wanted to touch it because it might *taint* certain "initiatives* and grandiose ideas by the Great White Hope of recent years of this band office.
yes indeed... some people certainly do enjoy getting those big fat montly cheques...
Add another Conflict of Interest to the long list. Sue I. Paish(director of ICBC) still tops my list as the chairperson for the Conflict of Interest Hall of Shame. Sue was on the INDEPENDENT COMMITTEE to recommend that MLA'S recieve a massive pay raise, including her direct boss John Les(minister in charge of ICBC). Conflict of Interest Commissioner H.A.D. Oliver has been very week in his position and has not done a thing to remedy all the sleaze in and out of the government.
I'm picturing it Meaghan, and it ain't a very pretty picture. Unfortunately, I doubt that it is imaginary..............
Gary E, thanks for this report.
Surely to gosh Leonard Krog, a lawyer himself, would know who the "higher authorities" are ... and would call out the Attorney-General for saying such a stupid, stupid thing!
Sheesh, usually the stonewallers say "Oh, dear! Well, I'll certainly look into that." And then they don't.
There surely are records if Stonewally wants to look into this. He could start with the Cowichan Band Office, if he really cares. Ya think he does?
I'm going to bookmark HANSARD and try to keep track of what these "higher authorities" are saying in the Legislature.
Not only does the media pay no attention to what the "higher authorities say in the House of Shame, but they hardly mention that it is even sitting. Pedophiles in Southeast Asia, funerals in Ottawa and Robert Pickton's SAT scores are all MUCH more relevant and impotent. (spelling error intentional)
Links to this post: