Tuesday, July 21, 2009

 

BC Rail: Premier, officials ordered to produce e-mail records

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'Critical' ruling limits confidentiality

MARK HUME

The Globe and Mail - July 21, 2009

VANCOUVER In a ruling that places limits on the principle of cabinet confidentiality and is expected to prove pivotal in a long-running political corruption trial, Premier Gordon Campbell and his inner circle have been ordered to turn over their e-mail records to the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett said yesterday she wants to review the e-mails of Mr. Campbell; his chief of staff, Martyn Brown; his executive assistant, Lara Dauphinee; his former deputy minister, Brenda Eaton; his former chief adviser, Ken Dobell; and several other key elected and appointed officials.

The government is also required to produce the e-mails of former finance minister Gary Collins and former deputy premier Christy Clark, both of whom left politics in 2004.

In a ruling described by defence lawyers as unprecedented in its impact on the principle that the confidence of cabinet discussions is absolute, Judge Bennett has determined that communications that took place at the highest level of the B.C. government between 2002 and 2004 could contain evidence relevant to the case she is hearing concerning the $1-billion sale of BC Rail, a provincial Crown corporation, in 2003.

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Read more HERE.

Note: There is an astounding comment following this column (online). I am surprised that The Globe and Mail allowed it. That comment about organized crime may be removed anytime, but it does offer a particular view of the unmentioned elephant in the room. - BC Mary.

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