Monday, April 13, 2009


Open Letter to Clark Roberts

5xx Sxxxxxxx Drive,
Vancouver, B.C., Vxx 3xx,
April 9, 2009.

An Open Letter to Clark Roberts:

Mr. Clark Roberts,
Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson,
Ste. 2300, 550 Burrard Street,
Vancouver, B.C., V6C 2B5

Dear Mr. Roberts:

To ask two questions - I am writing to you today in your capacity as a partner of Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson LLP in the employ of Gary Farrell Collins, a.k.a. Gary Collins, until 2005 the minister of finance in the Gordon Campbell government. My first question is: how much were you paid to appear at the Vancouver Supreme Court hearings (presided over by Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett) over the several days you were there? You can, I know, direct me to make a Freedom of Information Request but - to save time - I'm sure you will tell me the sum since it was so generously paid to you by the Gordon Campbell government with the taxes paid by me and other British Columbians.

There is no need for me to ask you why on earth Gordon Campbell would pay you to attend court hearings to serve the interests of Gary Farrell Collins, a.k.a. Gary Collins. Gordon Campbell is richly famous for his fidelity to old friends and I am told there is an indemnity clause somewhere in legislation which permits Gordon Campbell to care for old political hacks (might one say jokingly 'old fellow conspirators'?) once in his service - such as Gary Farrell Collins, a.k.a. Gary Collins.

The news that the Campbell forces have announced a cut of nine million dollars from the court budgets will not, I'm sure, have any bearing on payments of the kind made to you. The people of British Columbia are fortunate that Gordon Campbell knows the best strategic places to use (the taxpayers') money - to get the biggest bang for our buck.

I feel I may ask you questions freely because we met during your time in the court. You were kind enough to approach me, shake my hand, and introduce yourself. I thought, at first, that you recognized me from somewhere, but I was wrong. For you then asked me who I am and what I do at the court and for whom I report. There are those who might say you were spying for Gary Farrell Collins, a.k.a. Gary Collins, and Gordon Campbell. But I think such a suggestion is both crude and ill-mannered. I reject it out-of-hand.

In fact, you and I have something in common. You ran, I understand, for the leadership of a national political party - the Reform Party, a reactionary party of evangelical Capitalist fundamentalists in the style of the U.S.A. That explains, I would think, your fidelity to the party of Gordon Campbell. I became the leader of a national party - the National Party of Canada, a Canadian independence party. That may explain my rather different relation to the party of Gordon Campbell.

I know that you were paid rather handsomely for your attendance at court. Was it - as with Patrick Kinsella - about $6000.00 per month? Whatever, I am sure the reason you were there - first and foremost - was to assure yourself that justice was being done in the interests of the people of British Columbia. I am equally certain that if you believed your attendance had to be undertaken pro bono, you would have been there just as steadfastly as you were for a large reward.

Whatever the case, you appear to have developed over the years a special psychological proximity to Gordon Campbell. And so I have a favour to ask of you.

Like you, wishing to assure myself that justice is being done in the interests of the people of British Columbia in the cases arising out of the BC Rail Scandal, I have been attending the hearings conducted under the presidence of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett. My interest, like yours, is wholly uncontaminated by friendship with principals or desire for personal enrichment. Proof is that I have been attending, wholly voluntarily - and reporting - without remuneration for many, many months. I am certain that such faithfulness to principle - when known to him - will move Gordon Campbell's heart, since he is known to be moved most by principle and his devotion to the people of British Columbia.

In that spirit, then, and purely as someone who shares feelings in common with you, I wonder if you would make a representation to Gordon Campbell for me? Pro Bono. I would like you to ask him if he might look upon my selfless gesture of being at the court as he has looked upon yours. Will you do that? Pro Bono?

When Gordon Campbell agrees, (which he is almost sure to do) I will - of course - have to work out the chronology of my appearances at court in order to determine a fair payment for my services. But for the moment I would say it would come to about $297,000. That, coincidentally, is the sum paid by Gordon Campbell through BC Rail for the services of his friend, Patrick Kinsella. I don't think my estimate is out of order, especially since it is alleged that Mr. Kinsella was also being paid at the same time for his services to CN Rail. Whether Mr. Kinsella was given, for his work, an additional bonus or bonuses or rewards of other kinds by Gordon Campbell I cannot say. I suppose that has to be left to our imaginations. And, besides, it is surely a matter that would be quickly covered by some kind of privilege, wouldn't it (there are so many kinds of privilege).

I want you to know that I still bask in the warm glow of our meeting in the courtroom of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett - which would never have come about without your generous and selfless desire to make contact. You may think yourself lucky to be a partner in the firm of Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson, a firm of the highest prestige in Canada. But be assured that I think the firm is the luckier - to have someone of your undoubted caliber and integrity numbered among its partners.

With the greatest pleasure I look forward to your reply and to the answers you will make to my two questions set out here.

Yours truly,

Robin Mathews


Great letter Robin. Ooozes cynicism. Exactly the feeling of many, many BCer's today.
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