Saturday, October 13, 2007

 

Heenan Blaikie law office break-in, Victoria

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Little by little by little, the story comes out.

BREAK-IN AT LAW OFFICE THAT WORKED WITH VICTORIA POLICE CHIEF (who worked on the 28 Dec 03 raid on the Legislature)


Louise Dickson
Times Colonist - Saturday, October 13, 2007


Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe has asked Saanich police to investigate a burglary Thursday night at the corporate law offices of Heenan Blaikie, even though it's in Victoria's jurisdiction.

Heenan Blaikie is the law firm hired by Victoria police Chief Paul Battershill to challenge Freedom of Information requests about his expense accounts and employees dismissed without cause, which Lowe called "a really weird coincidence."

The break-in occurred one day after Battershill was placed on administrative leave with pay while his police board reviews allegations against him. Lowe has refused to say what the allegations are, other than indicating it is a personnel issue.

"I don't know if the break-in is related to whatever has happened in the past few days," Lowe said yesterday. "I can't read anything into it."

The Victoria law offices of Heenan Blaikie are located on the fifth floor of St. Andrew's Square in downtown Victoria.

Lowe, who is also chairman of the police board, said he believed there are very few break-ins at law firms in Class A buildings. {Snip} ...

Citing solicitor-client privilege, [Murray]Rankin said he would not discuss the case.

Rankin did, however, confirm there had been a break-in -- the first ever -- at his office. He refused to say if any sensitive files had been stolen. Heenan Blaikie is one of the leading law firms in the country. Its members include former Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien.

Since he became chief in 1999, Battershill's department has handled some high-profile investigations, including the 2003 raid on the legislature.

On Oct. 1, Battershill announced that Ravinder (Rob) Dosanjh had resigned from the department. Dosanjh was convicted of obstructing justice in a case linked to the 2003 raids on the legislature. He was given a three-month conditional sentence for obstruction of justice.

Lowe defended the police board's handling of the situation in Battershill's absence, saying it had to act because the media were on it. They couldn't wait until Battershill returned to Victoria to face the allegations.

"I think we were very fair," said Lowe. "We obviously didn't take our decision lightly. It was a long board meeting. I think Paul probably thinks we have been as fair to him as we could."

B.C.'s Police Complaint Commissioner Dirk Ryneveld was contacted by Lowe Thursday, but his office has not received a formal complaint about Battershill.

"In certain situations, I can order, on my own accord, an investigation if I think it's merited in the public interest," said Ryneveld. "But, of course, I need information and I need to make a decision as to whether the public interest requires an investigation."

http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=8d602543-b3cd-4c19-9f92-a4ad35175196&k=91267

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Memo to Dirk Ryneveld: Make the decision. The public interest does indeed require an investigation. Go for it. Thanks. - BC Mary.

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Someone mentioned Watergate. I said "Watergate? Heck, remember Bruce Torrie?" Then I looked it up. I'll search farther but here's a start which may be of interest:


Bruce Torrie
, a Victoria lawyer and a former legal counsel to the Liberals who has been briefing high mucky mucks in that party about the possible infiltration of the Liberal Party of Canada by organized crime. It would seem someone got nervous and did a professional burglary job of his home. What does Torrie think? "I think organized crime was trying to find out what I know about their activities within the Liberal Party of Canada."

- from Reflections on Canadian Politics, 13 February 2004.

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More to follow, if I can find it. - BC Mary.

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Comments:
Very few break-ins of Class A law firms....hmmm

Something like those rare full-dress raids on the Legislature eh Mr Mayor?

I wonder what dl will have to say about this little kerfuffle over a 'personnel' issue.

I wonder what we could uncover if the media would get interested in more affairs like Graham Bruce's lobbying activities Mary.

I especially like this little quote from the Mayor:

Lowe defended the police board's handling of the situation in Battershill's absence, saying it had to act because the media were on it. They couldn't wait until Battershill returned to Victoria to face the allegations.

Interesting
 
Heenan Blaikie is the firm where current lpcbc president Craig Munroe works. It' also the firm former BC attorney general Geoff Plant works for.
 
Would that be the same Geoff Plant who allegedly swore an affidavit about how the cabinet - during his time as attorney-general - had chosen not to follow his advice (as the top legal officer of the crown) with respect to a certain report and instead passed the Crown Counsel Agreement Continuation Act (Bill 21) on March 3, 2005?

For which, the loyal subject will remember, the said Crown Counsel Association filed a law suit against the BC Government, the Minister of Laour and the Attorney General for Bad Faith and Abuse of Public Office.

I believe that, somewhere in the records of the Crown Counsel Association, there is probably extant evidence about that affidavit even though the suit has since been dropped.

It would be interesting to question Michael Van Klaveren on that affidavit. The writ and statement of claim are still available at the crown counsel website:
http://www.bccrowncounselassociation.bc.ca/HTML/mainMenuSet.HTM
 
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