What's That Stench in B.C.?
Thanks to the Canned Waste virtual monopoly on Tee Vee and print news in British Columbia and their apparent policy of "see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil" regarding the Campbell Cabal that passes for "government" in our fair province, I've long been immune to being surprised by better coverage of Corruption in Victoria appearing from time to time in media from Central Canada. I must admit though that today I was surprised to find "What's that smell in BC?" in that flagship national paper, started by the convicted felon now doing time in the US Federal Prison System, the National
In the pages of the Post,
Bruce(thanks anon - kc) Brian
Hutchinson demonstrates how the stench from Victoria is so strong it apparently can drift across the Rockies, the Prairies and Northern Ontario and still irritate the nostrils of those located in the Center of the Universe. The bolding in the following excerpts from the Post is mine!
Something smells in British Columbia and for once, local pulp, paper, and lumber producers are not to blame. Most of their malodourous mills have been mothballed, putting thousands on the dole and forcing industry executives to find new sources of revenue.
The real source of stink is Gordon Campbell's B. C. government, now seven years old and showing serious signs of rot.
The latest evidence is in an eye-popping report delivered on Wednesday by the province's Auditor-General.
John Doyle criticizes a Cabinet Minister's decision to give lumber and wood chip player Western Forest Products Inc. the right to pull thousands of hectares of private land on Vancouver Island from the protection of a tree farm licence arrangement.
The decision, made last year by former minister of forests and range Rich Coleman, represented a $150-million windfall to WFP. Mr. Coleman's brother, Stan, is WFP's manager of strategic planning.
A similiar scam is happening locally here in the Kootenays as Pope and Talbot in the midst of going bankrupt, is trying to also sell waterfront property from their TFL. This scam might be more acceptable if the company wasn't also trying to get out of town (Nakusp) without paying over three million dollars owing to their logging contractors (now unemployed in many cases) FOR LOGS DELIVERED last year
Mr. Hutchinson tabulates a few of the other ongoing scandals, but not a complete listing by any stretch of the imagination.
British Columbians are still waiting for answers on a number of other suspect fronts. It's been more than four years, remember, since the RCMP raided government offices in the legislature buildings, looking for evidence of alleged misdeeds related to the government's sale of B. C. Rail......./snip
That's not all: British Columbians are waiting to learn what charges, if any, will result from a police probe into the business affairs of former solicitor-general John Les.
He resigned from Cabinet in March when news emerged of an investigation into decade-old municipal land dealings in Chilliwack, east of Vancouver. Mr. Les was mayor of Chilliwack from 1987 to 1999.
Mr. Hutchinson's accounting fails to even mention another Agricultural Land Reserve removal outside of Victoria involving Ministerial Aides and bribery charges. Then there is the ongoing ICBC corruption, the expansion of gambling and the resulting money laundering investigations. Then there is Premier Campbell's recently disclosed sympathy for the poor, poor RCMP, who actually kill more people in British Columbia than the rest of Canada, during in custody or tasering incidents, thanks to an FOI by the CBC. Of course every killing by the RCMP proves to be completely justified and we aren't supposed to suspect that this is because the RCMP itself investigates these incidents.
It isn't difficult for me to imagine why the Premier would be so sympathetic to the RCMP, they've certainly given the impression of being HIGHLY considerate of his interests. They've stonewalled as much as possible in disclosing evidence siezed during the Legislature Raids. They don't seem in any hurry to finish any of the myriad investigations currently underway (well, theoretically) such as ICBC, John Les' land dealings, or the ongoing money laundering at BC Casinos. They were especially considerate in NOT bothering to interview Mr. Campbell and Finance Minister "Ferret" Collins in the immediate aftermath of the Legislature Raids and issuing statements clearing ALL ELECTED officials of any possible crimes - this just days after having some of those same (now resigned) elected officials under surveillance.
If I was premier though, I guess it would comfort me to know that the brother-in-law of the chairman of my political party was in charge of investigating possible criminal activity by my government (and party). It's difficult to imagine anything cozier than that!
This week at the Law Courts
Robin Mathews has been attending this week's pre-trial hearings concerning just who will get to know what is in the infamous e-mails that may actually finally be produced to the defense after ONLY 4 1/2 years. It's not looking likely that the public, the people whose interests are at issue, will be allowed to know the contents of these e-mails. It is difficult to not wonder "What does Gordon Campbell and his cohorts want to keep hidden so desperately?" Robin's first two days this week are reported on over at BC Mary's Blog and tonight or tomorrow we should be able to learn what he observes there today.