Friday, July 17, 2009


BC Rail: Campbell can also block probes

Gordon Campbell, Richard Nixon, and the B.C. Rail case
By Charlie Smith
The Straight - July 16, 2009

In early May, someone in the B.C. Liberal government ordered the destruction of backup tapes of government e-mails prior to May 2004.

This decision, made during a provincial election campaign, prevents the disclosure of e-mails from the premier and cabinet ministers in the B.C. Rail corruption trial of former ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk, and former communications staffer Aneal Basi.

{Snip} ...

Several years ago, the publisher of the Georgia Straight, Dan McLeod, wrote a front-page editorial comparing Campbell to former U.S. president Richard Nixon.

Nixon resigned in 1974 after his secretary Rosemary Woods erased 18 minutes of taped conversations. That came after the Watergate break-in triggered a criminal case and various Congressional and Senate actions.

The sale of B.C. Rail assets to CN Rail occurred after the premier promised not to privatize the government-owned railway. Now, the government has erased any possible e-mail trail that might account for this abrupt policy reversal.

But that might be where the similarity with Nixon ends. In B.C., unlike in the United States, there's no real separation in the legislative and executive branches of government. The premier calls the shots.

Campbell can also block probes by legislative committees, which decreases the likelihood that his government's act of erasure will force him out of office.


just the fact that it's before the courts is enough of a reason to step down and that's the law!
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