Friday, March 12, 2010
BC Rail: more to remember from 2004 debates
Picking up where Joy MacPhail, Leader of the BC Opposition, was questioning Rich Coleman, BC Solicitor General, about the Legislature Raids of December 28, 2003 ...
J. MacPhail: I would really appreciate all of the information that leads the Solicitor General to have the legal powers to do what he does.
From BC Hansard Record of Debates for March 29, 2004, afternoon sitting.
Before the Solicitor General and the Speaker would allow the police into the Offices of the Legislature in a warranted search there must be evidence of a crime having been committed.... no fishing trips permitted
"J. MacPhail: We have a right to expect that the Solicitor General and the Speaker didn't allow the police to raid the Finance minister's office on what Maingot cites as "fishing trips." They're specifically precluded in the Legislature. Indeed, partially based upon direct evidence of Mr. Maingot, a 1980 report on wiretapping in this precinct concluded that there must be evidence that the conduct in the precincts is "directly implicated in the commission of a crime" before the police are allowed in.
Will the Solicitor General please confirm for this House that evidence that someone was directly involved in criminal activity was the test he used to justify allowing a police raid on the Finance minister's office? If he didn't use the standard test, what test did he use to allow the police in the Finance minister's office?"
Indexes to Debates
5th Session, 37th Parliament (2004)
Debates (Prior to 2010 and as far back as 1970)
I also keep thinking that Mr. Coleman, our kinder and gentler Housing Minister was involved in one of his previous roles, but I could be wrong.
They don't call it the Liberal Stronghold for nothing. I really don't see any change in the future either...totally incredible to my way of thinking, but true. Considering Kamloops is home to large numbers of union employees...it rather puts the lie to the incessant bitching about how the NDP own the unions doesn't it?
Joy McPhail and Jenny Kwan were remarkable in attempting to hold a contemptuous Campbell government accountable given the (reduced) 15 minutes of question period that the BC Liberals allowed. It cannot be stated enough that these were 2 brave souls forced into the far back corner of a house that held 77demons hell-bent on the total annihilation of public ownership, and public stewardship. Jenny and Joy had hardly a resource nor a friendly eye available to them while they valiantly lunged and parried for truth and accountability in the Legislature.
Though bumped back up to 30 minutes 4 afternoons per week, BC's question period continues to be a bad joke on the citizenry. We must never forget the directive from Campbell's office, "It's question period, not answer period." This order from on high seems to have continued to be the norm.
If only the Campbell-friendly press would re-release the questions that Joy McPhail and Jenny Kwan brought forward the long-ago Legislature Raids, they may find some readers returning. If only they would publish what is in the public record before the trial.
I think an 8-page pullout section, "A Short History of The Sale of BC Rail and the Legislature Raids", would look great in a Monday Morning edition of the Vancouver Sun.
Joy MacPhail also frilled Coleman on that trip as well. She couldn't believe that Coleman sat on that flight and didn't confer with the police. Neither could I.
You are such a big help ... yes, those two women were magnificent in Opposition ...
and it's hard to believe that they were given such abject, horrid offices and also
denied the full resources available to all Oppositions because ... and remember how they deliberated on this tricky point ...
because there weren't enough of them to be legitimately called an Opposition?
77 bullies vs 2 Opposition.
That's the era I call Gordo's Wild West Term of office. A term in which such things as losing BC Rail could happen.
A term in which police would almost inevitably be needed to look into things.
The cruel black hearted gordo Liberals thought differently.
The people of BC deserve what they have for voting this vile corrupt group into office not once but three times.
Our system is broken and a systemic rot has set in.
This Province and Country is supposed to be governed from the bottom up but we are being destroyed from the top down.
Blogs like this one and change starting at the bottom will change the status quo but a lot of damage has and will be done in the meantime.
MacPhail: "We're in an emergency session of the Legislature. I know the minister doesn't care about what that means, either the abuse of it or the expense, but we're in the middle of an emergency session of the Legislature. We've all been recalled because of the absolute urgency of this legislation, according to the government, and the government has no idea of the effect this is going to have negatively or positively. That's what the minister just admitted. He has no idea what mills are going back to work or when. He has no commitment from the employer — none. There's nothing in the legislation to enforce the employer putting people back to work......
Did the minister not get any commitment from the employer whatsoever on this? Why are we here on December 16 with such great urgency if the minister doesn't even know what mills are going back to work? What is the urgency here if he can't even tell us the effect of this legislation?"
Then in a Victoria Times Colonist article by Jeff Rudd, published on Dec. 31, 2003, just a few days after the raid, Paul Nettleton, clearly on the outside of the BCLiberal party by that time is quoted in the article as saying:
"However, I guess what makes this case somewhat more interesting and what distinguishes it from a ordinary criminal proceeding and investigation is the fact that it has to be looked at within the context in conducting the business of the province,'' he said. "The dynamics are different.
"Certainly some of the conversations I've had in recent weeks with members inside caucus suggest to me that, in fact, this is the beginning of the end of the Campbell administration,'' Nettleton said.
"And I believe we will see it unravel over the course of the next few weeks and months.''
Just days after the raid he is saying:
" some of the conversations I've had 'in recent weeks" with members inside caucus suggest to me that, in fact, this is the beginning of the end of the Campbell administration"
So this seems to suggest that even those on the "outside" knew something disastrous was up weeks before the raid happened, something that was "the beginning of the end" for the Campbell government,
So if those on the outside were discussing "the beginning of the end" , predicting an "unravelling" weeks before the raid, what did those on the "inside" know... and when did they know it?
This reminds me of Stephen Harper's manual for his caucus which gave them tips on how to obstruct the work of committees and not answer questions. After all, it isn't answer period. After all, the goal isn't good governance but the grip on power!
If anybody notices a government that thinks policy is something relevant to beyond the next election, tell me, and I'll know that I must have died and gone to heaven.
JBL, thank you for this comment.
Tears blurred my eyes, to see this example of a good man (a good cop) being vindicated despite the terrible treatment ladled out as if good men and good cops had no place in BC society.
I wouldn't have realized that Paul Battershill, as Victoria Police Chief, had also led that murder investigation too. (There are those tears again ...)
Thanks so much for your memo.
Well ... OK ... JBL said...
Chief Battershill also led the triple murder investigation in the papers today, I doubt we'll see this level of investigations ever again in BC.
March 13, 2010 6:17 AM
and I'm now challenging "JBL" to provide a source for this comment.
Fast. Because, in the meantime, it looks as if you've contributed only a hurtful bit of nonsense which I definitely don't appreciate.
Perhaps you'd be kind enough to either quote a bit more from the article you mention ... or provide the URL ... because
I definitely cannot find an article like that in Times Colonist archives ...
and b.t.w., didn't you quite clearly say it was an item "in the papers today" (i.e., March 13, 2010) ... ??
Front page story was in TC on March 13.
Thanks ... and I think I begin to understand why you've presented things this way.
Sorry for the grouchiness. And here's back-up from a major sleuth who answered my request for help this way:
My guess was that it was related to this investigation.
You added the rest. Thanks again. And all the best to you.
A year-long police investigation by a secret Greater Victoria homicide unit has led to 42 charges against four men, encompassing two homicides, an arson, and a high-profile break-in at a B.C. Vital Statistics
By Times Colonist (Victoria) - August 3, 2006
Two men from Victoria and two from Saanich were arrested after tactical squads raided five houses on the weekend, Victoria police and West Shore RCMP announced Monday.
One of those arrested has been charged with murder in the shooting deaths of Alex Mclean in the fall of 2003 and Adan Merino at the end of 2004.
Mclean's body was found in an Esquimalt park Oct. 29, 2003.
Merino was gunned down outside a Victoria highrise on View Street on Dec. 28, 2004. Police had previously released a security video which showed the 29-year-old coming down to the lobby and being ambushed outside the building. The dead men were known to police, who said at the times of the killings that they believed the shootings were not random.
Victoria police and RCMP investigators worked separately at first to solve the deaths, but about a year ago they formed the Integrated Homicide Enforcement Action Team (IHEAT). Existence of the 11-officer special unit was made public for the first time Monday.
IHEAT's work led to officers armed with machine-guns smashing their way into an apartment building at 2751 Shelbourne St. Friday.
Inside, police arrested Daniel Aitken of Victoria and Matthew Poole of Saanich. Aitken has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Merino and Mclean.
Aitken and Poole face charges stemming from a break-and-enter at the B.C. Vital Statistics Office Sept. 14, 2005. The case garnered national attention and spawned fears of identity theft after more than 1,000 blank documents, including provincial birth, marriage and death certificates, went missing.
Erin Swales, of Victoria, was also charged in connection with the incident at the B.C. Vital Statistics Office. He was arrested on the Lower Mainland and was being transported to Victoria by Vancouver police Monday. His brother, Malakias Swales, is listed as one of Surrey RCMP's most-wanted criminals. Police allege Malakias Swales, who is facing more than two dozen charges in Surrey, is a drug wholesaler.
Erin Swales, Poole and Aitken also have firearms and property-related charges. Poole alone has 33 charges, said his lawyer Brad Hickford.
Michael Povajnuk, of Saanich, was charged with arson and fraud related to a beach-house fire in Chemainus March 9 of this year. Aitken was also charged in that case.
The four men are acquaintances but police will not call them a gang, said Victoria police acting Insp. Les Sylven.
West Shore RCMP Cpl. Gord Bedingfield said the men were either friends or accomplices. "These weren't random acts that happened in the streets," he said.
However, police would not say how two homicides, a theft and an arson were related. Investigators would not comment on motive for fear of influencing the cases now before the courts. "We're anticipating more charges in the future in relation to this," said Sylven.
The news of the arrests came as relief for Merino's family, said his father Luis.
"We all have mixed emotions of happiness, sorrow and sadness and fear and everything, all kinds of emotions," he said.
But he added he was relieved and "very happy to hear that something has been done."
Aitken and Poole were remanded into custody Monday until a court appearance Sept. 5. Swales is expected to appear in court later this week on 10 charges. Povajnuk has been charged and released on a promise to appear in court Oct. 26.
I'm suggesting you be barred from using a keyboard until you demonstrate that you can both spell and make sense!