Friday, April 25, 2008


Hon. G. Campbell deserves 2nd chance

It was a Wednesday afternoon, March 3, 2004 in the B.C. Legislature (Douglas Fir Room). The Search Warrants had been partially opened revealing some of the reasons why police had raided the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transportation. The Leader of the Opposition is now grilling the Liberal government. Thanks to Hansard, we are there:


J. MacPhail: Will the government finally come clean today and tell us why David Basi got fired and Bob Virk got suspended with pay? What is the government not telling us about what they knew about the activities of David Basi that was not in the summary of the warrants released yesterday? Bob Virk is still on the public payroll, when his actions, according to the summary, are no different than Mr. Basi's. Can the Deputy Premier [Christy Clark] tell this House what the Premier and his chief of staff know about what was going on in the Finance minister's office that they aren't telling the public?

Hon. G. Collins: I answered that question yesterday in estimates. I answered it two months ago, and I answered it yesterday in the corridor.

Mr. Speaker: Leader of the Opposition has a supplementary question.

J. MacPhail: Well, maybe the Minister of Finance is having a conversation in his own mind. He has not answered that question at all.

When the police raided the Finance minister's office, that Finance minister assured British Columbians that David Basi had no role in the sale of B.C. Rail. The summary released yesterday directly contradicts the Minister of Finance. Mr. Basi was up to his eyeballs in the B.C. Rail deal, and it is inconceivable that the Finance minister did not know that.

In fact, we know that Mr. Basi was directly involved in lobbying stakeholders — Colin Kinsley, the mayor of Prince George, to name one, as well as others — to support the Premier's broken promise. Will the Minister of Finance now admit that his chief political aide was directly involved in the sale of B.C. Rail and had access to confidential information?

Hon. G. Collins: Mr. Speaker, if she checks the record from the end of December, she'll find the answers to those questions as well. As well, we talked about it yesterday in estimates for several hours, and I answered it
as well

Mr. Speaker: Leader of the Opposition has a further supplementary.

J. MacPhail: In fact, checking the record shows that this minister and this government said that Mr. Basi had nothing to do with the B.C. Rail deal. That's exactly what the Minister of Finance said.

Another incredible statement yesterday by the Premier. The Premier said yesterday that the investigation has nothing to do with his government. If the matter weren't so serious, that statement would be laughable. The Premier also said that he would gladly run for re-election on his broken promise [not] to sell B.C. Rail.

I can't wait. I wonder what part of the deal the Premier will feature in the ads — the broken promise, the criminal investigation, the stonewalling, the Finance minister.

Read more, laugh more, scream:

In the run-up to the May 5 hearing in Supreme Court, relevant segments from the Hansard will be posted here, beginning with a passionate debate between Joy MacPhail (the Griller) and The Hon. Gordon Campbell (the Grillee) about BCRail. Many of these old records are more revealing than anything being provided in today's media. - BC Mary.


Don't forget Mary there is supposed to be a hearing, or meeting of minds or whatever regarding the letter that McCullough wrote to Berardino regarding the Premiers answering specific questions posed to him. There are also three others that are on that list. This is supposed to take place on May 2nd.

It wasn't clear to me if it was to be in the courtroom or not. And the meeting is tentative. I beleive it will transpire if McCullough doesn't get a satisfactory answer from Berardino.

What McCullough wants is for the premier et al to answer questions without the spin of lawyers or anyone else. He just wants simple honest answers. Berardino doesn't want that to happen.
This is a good idea Mary. Most folks can't remember what was sais yesterday never mind 4 years ago. Many things discussed back then need re-visiting so someone can't say 'I never said that' and we can't remember if that is true or not. Wonderfull book that Hansard.
Hi Mary,

This is a very good idea you came up with Mary, to rehash these debates, as I was reading some of them the other day and was fascinated by them. The debates really do bring your mind back to the time of the raid and sell off. And nobody paints a picture like joy does. I remember watching the debates at the time, saying to my TV, get them joy, get them. There is a great deal of information in those debates and to read them again is very helpful.
Anon 11:12,

I hope you don't mind being 50% of what I referred to in today's posting as "by popular demand" ...

Thanks for your support for the idea of reviewing these old debates. And thank goodness for Dave Barrett who established Hansard in the B.C. Legislature for the first time. I sure wish we could look at old Hansard records for the 1950s when Robert Sommers was giving away the Clyoquot forests until Gordon Gibson Sr. finally blew the whistle on him.

I never saw Joy MacPhail in debates in person but I remember watching her on the TV channel as she grilled a Forestry rep. on some new legislation; I was so impressed by her mental range and energy ... the gentle, firm way she would take her adversary back to first principles, go through the statistics again, ask the question again ... "Just so I understand this clearly ..." until she had the poor guy skewered and trussed, ready for roasting.

And she performed that way, even when only she and Jenny Kwan were left as Opposition, expected to hold the 77-person government to account ... and without the usual research support which the premier denied them? Remember that?

Well, she did a stellar job.

If she would return to politics, I think she would be premier. Do you think so? Or have I simply gone a bit nutty with so many disappointing developments in B.C. lately?

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home