Sunday, August 17, 2008


The mysterious suspension and resignation of Police Chief Paul Battershill


The Province - August 17, 2008

Despite the opening up of society in so many ways in recent years, too many B.C. government agencies still seem to cling to the notion that, since they know best what is best for the public, they don't need to keep it informed as to what they are doing.

{Snip} ...

A classic case of this is the secrecy surrounding the mysterious suspension and resignation of Victoria's municipal police chief, Paul Battershill.

Battershill, once a highly regarded manager, was suspended last October -- with taxpayers still picking up the tab for his $167,000-a-year salary -- while the Mounties probed unknown allegations against him.

He has now stepped down following the RCMP's report -- which, according to Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe, found the chief had not committed any criminal acts or been involved in any financial impropriety.

Nevertheless, Lowe said that, as a result of the probe, the board had suffered a loss of confidence in Battershill and accepted his immediate resignation.

But as Victoria Times Colonist reporter Rob Shaw discovered, the RCMP probe into Battershill's conduct was never about criminal allegations, but about "Police Act matters," such as possible disciplinary breaches.

The difference between the two types of investigation appears to have been conveniently blurred when Lowe announced Battershill's resignation.

It also emerges that, with the exception of the mayor, the Victoria police board members approved the chief's resignation without seeing the full results of the RCMP probe. The attitude of one member, Ralston Alexander, appears all too typical.

"If we've lost public confidence, I guess they won't elect us next time -- oh, whoops, we're not elected," he was quoted in the Times Colonist as saying.

{Snip} ...

Perhaps Ralston Alexander spoke true words because "he" feels he acted as part of the "we" who does get elected in British Columbia. - BC Mary.

Letter to the Editor of Times Colonist:

Former chief guilty only by inference

Times Colonist - Sunday, August 17, 2008

The public demands disclosure of the allegations against former Victoria police chief Paul Battershill but is not entitled.

Victoria Police Board members are entitled and should demand all of the facts but they don't. Shame on them.

Add to this the possibly of a less-than-objective mayor who decides who needs to know what, and the seeds of injustice are sown. Only one thing is certain: The RCMP found no evidence of wrongdoing with respect to the unspecified allegations. Yet uncertainty prevails because a disciplinary hearing under the Police Act was slated next.

Could this be a case of if you can't eliminate your opponent with a sword, try poison?

Naturally, each side (Battershill in particular) is forbidden from disclosing the facts or discussing the matter. But apparently this does not apply to casting aspersions by Mayor Alan Lowe, stating that (because of the unspecified allegations) the police board has lost confidence in the chief.

So there you have it: Due process, absent the facts, Battershill is guilty by inference and discredited ad hominem.

Mark Frantzen

Question: What is preventing the original righteous complainer from disclosing his allegations? Remember him ... a lawyer named Mulroney or Mahoney or something, who was a losing candidate for the Campbell Liberals in the last B.C. election? Nobody seems to mention his part in this disaster anymore. Anybody know? - BC Mary.


North Van's Grumps has been posting some valuable research on this blog ...

I'm concerned that readers might miss his report because it's on another thread, very much on the central issue of BCRail.

So please scroll down, down, until you see a story headed Premium coal used in manufacture ...

or search in the August 2008 archives for it, or, my preferred method ...

use the Search Box (top of page, at left) and type in Premium coal and the story will pop up immediately.

Either way, have a look at what's been added to the comments there about the Campbell method of "selling" BC Rail.

Here's another bit, just received:

And many, many thanks, N.V.G.

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