Tuesday, April 01, 2008

 

John van Dongen is interim replacement for John Les as BC Solicitor General

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From The Tyee, April 1, 2008:

The land, which had been in the Agricultural Land Reserve, was subdivided into 11 lots. Les owned them through a numbered company, 601721 B.C. Ltd. He owned 100 per cent of the company.

- Andrew MacLeod

Solicitor General John Les was asked whether he benefited from land being removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve, and he, the top cop for B.C., said "No".

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After John Les resigned, John van Dongen was appointed the interim Solicitor General.

Many will remember Omega, a Norwegian fish farming company in a scandal that led to the resignation from cabinet of John van Dongen as former agriculture, food and fisheries minister.

Van Dongen said at the time he was stepping aside after he revealed he was under RCMP investigation for his handling of a salmon farming file.

Documents obtained by CBC television show provincial Fisheries Ministry staff battling efforts by the province's Water, Land and Air Protection Ministry to charge Stolt Sea Farm Inc., under the federal Fisheries Act, in connection with the escape of up to 55,000 Atlantic salmon in August 2000.

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Mark Leiren-Young, The Tyee, April 2, 2008:

B.C. Premier Gordon "arms-length" Campbell, claims he knew absolutely nothing about the criminal investigation of the province's top law enforcement officer, Solicitor General John Les. Campbell plans to continue knowing nothing about the investigation for as long as possible and if it goes badly he'll claim he never knew Les either.

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Comments:
Does anybody else find it curious that this government thinks the appropriate replacement for a minister under possibly criminal investigation is another former minister who had to be removed for being under investigation? Of course maybe it's difficult within the Campbell Cabal to actually come up with a candidate who isn't either under investigation or likely to be.

Maybe the party motto is:

If you ain't a convicted offender (hi-Soup Nazi, I hear the Hawaiian guitars in the background) or under investigation or related to somebody that is "YOU AIN"T NOBODY!"

Anyone not pushing the legal envelope to maximize personal profit, just ain't a believer in the Campbell free-boot, free-market, pirate style of economics - taught at fine universities everywhere as how to EXPLOIT people, resources, situations and connections with the utmost of efficiency!
 
Wow, Campbell really had to scrape the bottom of the barrel here. I was not impressed by Van Dongen before and every time I see him, I just have to laugh. Hello?? Hello?? Are there any good politicians out there??? Any MLA's with an independant thought??
 
Mary

Is there anyone over at the courthouse this morning?
There is an Application in case #23299-1.

I was searching for something else and decided to take a look. With all the secrecy going on it never hurts to look.

I thought the next appearance wasn't until the fourth.
 
Express Collision Shop Said,

Thank you Mary for the kind words. All is well. The reason for all the ICBC info is the connections to this trial. Concerned bloggers have heard me rant at times regarding ICBC and some of the shenanegans. You all have read about leaked emails and sketchy lobbyist's, MLA's, insurance types and political dirty tricks. When and if this trial gets going, as I have said before, the ---- will not just be in the corn fields. The ongoing mess at ICBC and these high end cars is only the beginning. Some of the problems at ICBC have been under investigation(s) for three and four years.

When this recent salvage mess broke 6 weeks ago, authorities did not know that these are criminal allegations. No kidding! Then of course nobody wants to rock the boat at the corporation. I mean nobody. One large media outlet refused to get involved. There has been incredible help from the media on this story from the others as far as way as Toronto. ICBC has most of the top lawyers in town all wrapped up. Some of the employees allegedly involved, are hiring lawyers that we all have heard of. Some of the employees allegedly have worked in ICBC's SIU department(special investigations unit). This is the same department helping out with this investigation, hmmm? that sounds familiar. Conflict of interest maybe?

Heads should roll! ICBC already admitted to most of the shenanegans. I wonder how that will play out in the courts?

There is a meeting this week in the industry with evidence of some of the serious fall out from improper and no inspections on certain vehicles. These recent allegations have serious safety concerns that involve life or death ramifications for innocent victims. The corporation in their words have spent 1.7 million dollars buying back most of these vehicles, let alone inspection fees, legal fee's, vendor delay's, employee downtime, overtime, repairs, hiring new employees and on and on and on. Paul Taylor say's don't worry policy holders, this will not raise your rate's. Whew, thank you. An apology to the individuals who bought these vehicles from Paul. He apologised to his own employee's, since quite a few cars went to them. Mr. Taylor should have to apologise to all of BC(policy holders or not) for our crown corporation. The cost of this mess will be in the millions of dollars, all funded by you and me.

Mr. Van Dongen should have said Thanks but no thanks Gordon. He be advised to step down now before the cornfield matter hits the ledge.
 
Hi Mary,

Maybe the reason that Campbell choose van dongen is to be able to say to the press and the public, see, look at van dongen here he was looked into for wrong doing and that doesn’t mean anything because he come out the other side squeaky clean.
 
"look at van dongen here he was looked into for wrong doing and that doesn’t mean anything because he come out the other side squeaky clean."

I'm betting there's a bunch of folks at ICBC right now looking to use that car wash that Van Dongen went through and "come out the other side squeaky clean."

Of course being cleared under the Campbell government is kinda like denying the evidence of your own lying eyes and accepting the original story from the RCMP regarding the tasering of immigrants at YVR. That extra special car wash gets rid of dirt, grime and even (especially) things like pesky facts or truth.

BTW, DPL has a fantastic comment up over at the Mild One concerning peoples' possible anger over too much of these special deals, special prosecutors and special people. Better rush on over, just in case it isn't mild enough for the Mild One on the line! I'm reminded of old cigarette commercials, full flavored, yet totally mild and artfully spun. It certainly wouldn't do to upset anyone and interrupt the pillaging.
 
I want to apologize to lynn (commentor over at the Mild One) for attributing her gem, namely

"Now isn't that special?.... as Dana Carvey's Church Lady would say.

Special interests, special treatment, special prosecutors......I wonder what's so special about certain people in this province?"


to DPL, both of their comments are worth shouting out BINGO!

I would advise people to also make sure their browser hasn't defaulted to the "best comments" view or you definitely won't see DPL's recent excellent contribution. I think "best" is Tyee speak for "least likely to offend."
 
Express Collision Shop Said,

NEW SOLICITOR GENERAL J. VAN DONGEN APOLOGIZES TO ALL BRITISH COLUMBIANS OVER ICBC FIASCO

WOW! That's a good start. On that note, earlier today more shenanagans unfolded at ICBC. Brand new and you will not believe this corporation is so dumb. I did say corporation. More to come over the next few days.
 
Express Collision Shop Said,

Giddy Up!

I can't keep up with the media stories on this ICBC scandal and Solicitor General Cornucopia. All of the tv stations did stories on both scandals tonight. The radio stations were also busy all day. The CKNW show was a mess for ICBC. The spokesman for ICBC has a short career after that one.

Mary, last night in the above message I told of new shenagens with ICBC. I do not mean to tease everyone and will be careful in the future. The new shenagens went off to the RCMP and I will let all know ASAP. I will however fill you in a little on the ICBC mess. ICBC has two investigative teams for fraud. One of those is the Special Investigation Unit(SIU). This unit has many ex RCMP and police that have been hired for good reasons. These officers have Peace Officer Status and are designated by the Attorney General as Special Provincial Constables. These officers often work with the police in BC in joint operations on suspected fraud operations. This is from ICBC's website under auto crime and fraud. Many of these officers transfer out of the SIU into other divisions of ICBC for all sorts of good reasons. Many have ended up in mid to senior management of various departments including material damage.

The initial investigation in this scandal was investigated by SIU. Do you remember when this scandal first broke it was only about non disclosure issues with far fewer numbers of vehicles than we know of this past week. The numbers and allegations about rigging auctions and repairs for family and friends etc has shocked us all. This scandal is growing every day. Kind of makes you wonder about what ICBC is hiding. The reporters are livid with ICBC because unless they ask a very specific question, they are getting no answers.

Well anyways, it seems that allegedly some of these 22 vehicles in the hands of ICBC managers are possibly ex SIU members. The industry has been screaming about criminal charges for six weeks and the RCMP even yesterday were not sure if they had enough information. Today the RCMP said it would take a request from ICBC to start an investigation. How about that? Well, I can assure you all that there is an investigation taking place finally. ICBC's spokesman said today that there has been no criminal activities that they have uncovered in this scandal. I beg to differ and we shall all have to wait and see. Conflict of interest maybe? The independent investigation is a joke and paid for by ICBC. The price tag for this will be into the tens of millions of our dollars.

I will ask concerned bloggers-Should more heads roll over this scandal?
 
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Hello, Express Collision Shop:

Just wondered if you saw the Les Leyne column today in Victoria Times Colonist?

It described the events of February 13 when I.C.B.C. management, Coopers & Lybrand, and security personnel stormed the Burnaby repair shop, seized its documents, and turned away each employee with a definite appointment to be interrogated.

The TC story amounts to a summary of a crackerjack Take-Charge action in which loads of evidence would have been taken and possibly charges laid.

Please read it -- it's available online -- and tell us what you think.

What really puzzled me is that if this fast-action clean-up was undertaken on February 13, 2008 what happened? That was 6 weeks ago and nothing was heard of it until today ... and in the unimpressive column of Les Leyne.

Could you tell us if that clean-up action actually did happen? Because comparing it with what you say, it didn't bring any visible results.

It just seems so strange that the Feb. 13 story would be overlooked until today.

I hope you'll have a look at it.

Many thanks indeed for all your reports.

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Express Collision Shop Said,

Yes, I did read Les L.s article today. A collision shop in Victoria phoned me bright and early. ICBC has released three press releases since February,I believe. Each of these releases has come after the media made phonecalls. I actually thought that the media hardly dug deep any more. How wrong I was, in this mess anyways. One large media outlet immediatly put a top notch researcher on the story due to the fact the reporter was spending to much time with the story. Yes, one large one did refuse to run the story and they missed the boat. Sources have told us and the media that they(many)told ICBC and others about allegations in the first few days what was going on. We all know that investigations take a long time. In this case I can assure all that ICBC knew almost all in the first few days. Only after phone calls from reporters did ICBC release more info, little by little. These reporters have done some amazing work. Did you see Coxford track down one fired employee on his daily run? Wow! Don't ask.

There are many issues that ICBC can not do as quickly as the media for legal and privacy issues etc. In this case there were some allegations that have come up in the past few days, however most have been known since day three. There were many meetings in the beginning of this mess and there is one common thread from ICBC employees-they were afraid for their jobs and in many cases, their safety.

Les's article was very good. He was one of the only ones over the past 6 weeks that got into Paul Taylor's history. Believe me, I have almost all press articles. The NDP also brought up Mr. Taylor's interesting history in question period today. They also asked for his head. There have been three firings and one resignation in the past six weeks. There was one very important planned resignation a few months ago that no one has heard about. The party for this individual was cancelled when this fiasco broke. More on this one later.

Think about the consequences of a firing of Paul Taylor over this mess. If this Trial ever gets going in the next 5-7 months, I think some lawyers would love to have Paul singing down on Smythe street. Then think about any ministers that should maybe be fired. Pretty interesting events under this one SOLICITOR GENERAL and liberal government and many interesting days ahead.
 
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