Wednesday, March 10, 2010
BC Rail: moments to remember
Read more, click HERE.
Hon. R. Coleman: As I understand it, I am responsible for the superintendence of policing in the province as the Solicitor General. The police brief me on investigations as they see fit on a regular basis.
J. MacPhail [Leader of the Opposition]: What makes the Solicitor General understand that he's responsible for that? Up until this government was sworn in, there was no such thing as Solicitor General. So please, what is the…? Can I ask the minister right now to tell me all of the orders-in-council and/or legislative changes that make him legitimate in legal matters such as the one he just said?
Hon. R. Coleman: I will tell the member this, and then what I will do is undertake to get you all the orders-in-council, if you don't mind. I'll get you copies of them so you can be clear about it.
Under the Constitution Act ministers are assigned responsibility by OIC. According to my discussions here, I was assigned the responsibility with regard to policing, etc., in British Columbia at the time I became the minister. The coroner was done separately, on legal advice from leg. counsel, on another OIC. Then the police complaint commissioner, which is a section under the Police Act, was clarified by OIC on March 11.
I will get the detailed explanation for the member as soon as possible and get you the copies of the OICs.
Hon. R. Coleman: I don't want to, off the top of my head, pick the section and the responsibility, etc., so what I've done is to ask for somebody who'll immediately go get the copy of the March 11 OIC so that I can share it with the member.
J. MacPhail: Okay. I'll take the minister up on his offer of all and every OIC that gives him reason for existence.
I am curious. Why didn't the minister then contact the…? Why didn't his office notify the police complaint commissioner that this change had been made?
Hon. R. Coleman: It was an oversight, and I've apologized to the police complaint commissioner for that. It was during the week that the House didn't sit. It should have been done more expeditiously, and it wasn't. I've already told him about that.
J. MacPhail: I'm not sure what difference the sitting of the Legislature makes. You'd think you'd have more time to actually do administration — but whatever. The minister says he apologized.
In terms of the change for superintendent of police being…. The minister is now in charge of, the head of, the superintendent of police, or the superintendent of police reports to him. That, I gather, hasn't been done by OIC, and that's the reason why police report to the Solicitor General on investigations. How does that link to special prosecutors, then? Who's in charge of special prosecutors? To whom does that department report?
Hon. R. Coleman: My understanding is that special prosecutors are in the realm of the Assistant Deputy Attorney General. It's in the Attorney General's ministry. As I understand it, the selection and the decision is over there, and I have no involvement in that whatsoever.
J. MacPhail: The police give the Solicitor General information about ongoing investigations that may impact — what? Let's just use the example of what happened at the end of December. I don't want any details. I don't want any…. That's going to happen later on — perhaps this week. Why was the Solicitor General contacted by the police? Why was it the Solicitor General who informed the Premier? I don't even want…. Mr. Chair, I don't want to go into any details. I swear to the minister that I'm not going to go into any details.
Under what authority did the police contact the Solicitor General on the eve of the raids on the Legislature? That's question number one. How did a special prosecutor get appointed before the raids on the Legislature?
Hon. R. Coleman: As the member knows, I'm not going to get into the details of the investigation either. I will tell the member this. The police from time to time brief me on investigations that have either issues around resources or concerns that they have — issues in and around organized crime, complex investigations that may require us to find additional funding or resources with regard to them — and give me the details.
The issue of the one at the Legislature was strictly a case where they asked me to travel to do the protocol and the introduction to the Speaker. They then informed the Speaker of the information. The Speaker then signed a document allowing them to access the Legislature. They had processed that absent of me through protocol both provincially and federally and with legal counsel, etc., and the courts. I had no knowledge, and did not until it was actually disclosed, that there had been a special prosecutor appointed with regard to that particular case.
Nobody was informed of the searches at the Legislature until after the searches were already started, so there was no breach of protocol. I only informed people what the police advised me I could inform with regard to what they were going to be saying when they went with their public presentation the following day.
[To be continued tomorrow!]
If interested in the topic of how much the government might have known, prior to the police raids on the Legislature, see also:
Before police raided the B.C. Legislature, there was time to destroy evidence.
By Three Concerned Canadians
During the month of December 2003, key people in the B.C. legislature knew that an unprecedented police raid was coming. The public ever since has been asked to assume that the Campbell government and staff sat meekly for 28 days, doing nothing to protect themselves. We question that assumption ...
This full editorial is in the archives of The Legislature Raids for January 16, 2008.
See also: Premier's top advisor had access to key evidence
The Vancouver Province - May 15, 2008
Here we are six years later, and still the details are being avoided, evidence has apparently gone missing and now just in case Kirk LaPointe or Lucinda Chodan woke up with the unfamiliar feeling of having a conscience and sense of resposibility some morning we even have an official Publication Ban on a trial where information has be un-officially banned for years for all practical purposes.
My impression of those boxes and boxes of files being carted down the steps of the Legislature has definitely changed over the years. At the time it appeared that the police were gathering evidence to be used in the prosecution of major criminal activity that was corrupting the seat of our provincial government.
Lo after all these years it seems more like the police were carting away the boxes of files to protect them from ever being seen by anyone with an interest in holding those responsible for betraying the public trust accountable.
She was masterful. and immediately afterwards every one BUT Coleman answered her questions.
"Last year's Premier crime story was just a trailer, a mere prologue, a tease on what was to come. The news-breaker that overshadowed the 2003 throne speech was a high-profiled DUI in paradise. Now it has escalated to allegations of organized crime, money laundering, drug smuggling, police corruption and political intrigue, leading right into the corridors of [Page 8474] power here in Victoria. When is enough enough?"
February 11, 2004 Hansard Afternoon Sitting
Guess Who is the speaker?
The Premier's annual Maui saga and consequent fallout has almost all the requisites of a good movie, even while awaiting the rest of the story — except for the romantic element. Who knows what's next? Only in Victoria, they say. The plot thickens.
Funny how that "romantic element" is always kicking around in the background huh?
And then there's this:
The government has circled the wagons and has put the word out: "No unauthorized comments from the back bench. Continue to get the sanctioned message out that all is well, and stick with it. No division in the ranks."
He's followed up by Barisoff, in denial mode....I had to chuckle when I saw him brag about the jobs created in his riding. I'm familiar with them - minimum-wage jobs in communities where rents require upper middle class income to survive. i.e. slave jobs, not "real jobs". The luxury "sophistication" of the South Okanagan is built on the backs of workers who have to live in tents outside of town (French Canadian and Mexican vinyard/orchard workers). "Culture" is only provided so swells on holiday can fool themselves they'er in the Abruzzi or Provence while sipping over-priced and over-reviewed wine....
Speech from the Throne
Hon. I. Campagnolo (Lieutenant-Governor): Pray be seated.
"Legislation will be introduced to create a $15 million B.C. Rail–first nations benefit trust that will support initiatives for the 25 first nations along the B.C. Rail corridor. The trust will be run by first nations and used as they see fit to support economic development, educational advancement and cultural renewal.
Bringing out the best in transportation and northern development. Our transportation infrastructure was neglected and allowed to deteriorate over the past decade. Your government has acted to focus investments on critical transportation improvements throughout the province. The $1 billion B.C. Rail investment partnership with CN Rail will create an economic boom in the north and the interior. It is a partnership that responds to the challenges and recommendations identified by northern communities for the benefit of the north and of the province.
B.C. Rail's tracks, railbed and right-of-way remain protected in public ownership through legislation. The B.C. Railway Company, a provincial Crown corporation, will own these assets. CN Rail will pay the province $1 billion for the rolling stock and the right to operate the line for the term of its lease. This enables your government to pay off B.C. Rail's $500 million debt and save $30 million a year in interest costs.
CN will assume all maintenance costs, capital costs, risks and profits from running the railway to its full potential. That will mean hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment in B.C. as well as faster, cheaper, better rail service. It will create a truly integrated continental rail service that will better connect B.C. companies to their customers within our province and beyond.
"In rural British Columbia there are roads that you cannot drive on because they are in such bad shape. Resource industries face increasing costs and complications because our transportation system simply does not meet their needs. Cities and suburbs are choked by traffic and are in desperate need of public transit. Coastal communities need improved ferry services to meet not just their economic needs but their social needs as well. Goods must flow freely to our customers on the continent and around the world if our economy is to prosper. Ports need to be opened to new levels of access, and our airports need to be recognized as critical social and economic infrastructure. When our transportation system is failing, we cannot work together as we should or reach our full potential as a province.
Your government has completed the first stage of a comprehensive transportation plan. It is a vision that opens up the north with major improvements to rural roads, new access to gas and oil fields, and the completion of the new Nisga'a Highway. The heartlands of our province will be opened up through an integrated rail network that improves service and protects public ownership of the B.C. Rail lines, beds and rights-of-way."
When, when was this "comprehensive transportation plan" completed or when was it started, who participated in it, was made public at any time, was there any public participation in this plan??????
It's always good to have the testimony of someone who has seen the nature of the beast from the inside out, so to speak.
Of course, with the media in this country, readers always need to be mindful of what the 'real' motivation for journalism actually is.
Unfortunately, too many reporters and pseudo columnists are not really interested in reporting the news - instead, they spend a large chunk of their time inserting themselves into their writing.
YouTube - BC Rail Freight at Field, B.C.
This is a video of a BC Rail Freight Train at Field. A B39-8E and a M420W lead.
There are lots more, if you look for them. Nice, eh?
Perhaps you should do a bit of research before you continue mouthing off and flaunting your ignorance over here. Unless Gordon Campbell, Gary Farrel-Collins and Judith Reid were entirely derelict in their responsibilities, a not unimaginable theory, BVB were likely merely conducting dirty tricks to advance their masters' agenda.
Of course you realize too Mary, that heading east from Field, you're not even in BC anymore when you get to the next station. I've only seen BC Rail trains on the line from PG and have actually ridden it through Seton Portage, arriving at North Van - in the days of the old Bud Cars.
Plus I have another mystery for today: what "other police departments" were involved in the Legislature raids of Dec 28, 2003? [See today's posting.] I thought there was only one, namely, Victoria Police Department led by Chief Constable Paul Battershill.