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There’s the old saw, “if a husband sends his wife flowers for no reason, there’s a reason.” So be it with the BC Rail scandal – if Christy Clark, Deputy Premier at the time of the “negotiations,” or “fix,” choose to suit, sees no reason for a full-fledged investigation into the mess, there’s a reason. The same applies to the other candidates for Liberal leader who were in cabinet at the time.

The reason an investigation must take place is to see if there was a crime, or more than one crime committed. I do not say that there was criminal activity, besides those of ministerial aides – but to discover the truth is critical so that if there was a crime it is disclosed and disposed of, and to remove the stain of suspicion that presently exists and may or may not be unfair.

Take for example this salient fact that arose out of the Basi-Virk case – two men close to a minister and reporting to him have admitted that they committed a crime. The logical question to arrive at is simple: if these aides committed crimes while doing work on a minister’s instruction, did that minister commit a crime?

The minister, of course, was Gary Collins, then Minister of Finance. Mr. Collins was not given the opportunity to clear his name because Crown Counsel, Bill Berardino, QC, settled the case on the eve of Mr. Collins’ appearance on the witness stand. Presumably Mr. Collins was on the list of ministers for a reason and one can assume that the Crown didn’t want him to demonstrate the innocence of the two accused.

You will remember the Sherlock Holmes story where he mentions to Watson about the dog barking at the scene and when Watson says, “but Holmes, no dog barked,” and Holmes replies, “Quite. Why didn’t the dog bark?” One can apply this to Gary Collins. For several years, whenever BC Rail was mentioned, Mr. Collins’ name came into the conversation as the minister responsible. Why did he never deal with the suggestions that he may have been up to no good? Isn’t that what you would do in his place?

And, when Mr. Collins was spared the witness box, why wouldn’t he then make it clear that he personally was clean, even though his employees weren’t. Isn’t that the natural thing to do? Isn’t that what you would do?

The same applies to the Premier, who was scheduled to give evidence after Mr. Collins. He might be forgiven for refusing to talk earlier – though I don’t see why – but surely he owes it to his colleagues, his supporters and, yes, the public to demonstrate that he’s not, well, a crook.

Cabinet has been silent. I don’t listen to kissy-ass radio so I’m not sure what Ms. Clark has said, but I’m advised that this has not been a big time topic on her show (though I am told her replacement Mike Smyth is taking up the issue and has given his predecessor a thorough grilling in her old time slot).

The media has a huge amount to answer for. People like me can do editorials based upon suspicions, but we have no large newspapers, TV, or radio stations to do investigations for us. I ask the columnists in this province if they applied the same standards of accountability to the Campbell government as they did to the NDP governments of the nineties. I don’t expect any answer much less an honest one.

The sale of BC Hydro in itself was a disgrace. The dream of WAC Bennett that we the citizens would get ferry service even though our community was too small to make a profit, rail service to open up the province, postponing profit, and a power company that would provide cheap power domestically and industrially has been shattered by this government.

The very least the public can expect is that these rotten decisions were made and administered honestly.

BC Rail simply doesn’t pass the smell test.

There must be a royal commission and one suspects that the politicians who resist the notion because there is no reason to, like the husband, don’t want us to put that decision to the test.

4 Responses to “Why Christy Clark Sees no Need for Railgate Inquiry”

  1. e.a.f. says:

    Of course no one involved or who knows some one involved wants an inquiry. There is much to be discovered and it would have a negative impact on those who were engaged in activities many would not appove of.
    The “deal” which ended it all resulted in Basi/Virk being paid to keep quiet. It ended the trail so no more questions would be asked because the answers where not what those involved wanted the public to know.
    Of course we need to have a deeper look at all of this. The railway was making money. It was developed during W.A.C. Bennet’s time and no one can say he was anti-business.
    The selling of B.C. Rail only benefited a few and certainly not the public of B.C. or those who relied upon the railway. The excuse, private enterprize can do it better, well it just translates, for me, the Liberals could not run a railway or a province. They do however, provide an easy method for money laundering.
    One of the things which has bothered me from the beginning is, if some one is guilty of taking a bribe, then there has to be some one offering the bribe. Now I always thought it was illegal to offer a bribe so what happened to those guys and where did they get the money to offer the bribe and why did they offer the bribe.
    I don’t know if I will live long enough to see the truth be told in public, but it would be nice.
    The main stream press does nothing to enlighten the public so it is fortunate we have blogs which do report on what is going on in the province.

  2. Scotty on Denman says:

    The BC Rail corruption trial is a perversion of justice that if not remedied will mean criminals can get away with anything.
    The first step is an inquiry into the workings of the BC justice system; the BC Rail corruption trial demands it.
    The second step is to resume prosecution; the law demands it.
    The very integrity of justice cannot be traded off for whatever it is somebody has to hide, no matter who they are.

  3. Jeff Taylor says:

    Until, and only until, the citizens of BC and indeed Canada start demanding investigations, prosecutions, and justice, there’s little or no hope for the “system” we all have to live by. All one has to do is look at all the incidents involving our various police depts and judge’s decisions to fully realize things are slowly, but surely heading towards some sort of brink. For years I didn’t realize that all these things are linked to each other. Corruption is everywhere – within our Govt’s (at all levels), our justice system (not just the lawyers, the judges too), the corporate part of our society (banks, stock brokers, corporations, etc) – EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I really wonder where one can put their trust these days. Very scary and depressing if you ask me.

  4. Donna says:

    The absolute worst problem in BC, is Campbell, and has been for years. He has thieved and sold this province to the point of, almost no return. Much of the damage Campbell has done, is permanent. His theft and sale of the BCR, is a crime, he is solely responsible for. His election lie, the BCR wasn’t for sale was, the dirtiest, most corrupt event in Canadian history. His theft and sale of our rivers….He should be run out of town on the BC rail, that is if we still had it. The ecological damage to our rivers, will disrupt, hundreds of wild life species. He has many more pollution plans for BC. He is still pushing, the Enbridge pipeline, and the dirty oil tankers, from China. How many burst pipelines have, polluted rivers, streams and land? How many mines, have dumped their toxic waste into our lakes? Hundreds!!! There is still oil gathering on the rocks, from the Valdez spill 21 years ago. He and Harper, are working to drill oil and gas wells, off the coast of BC. A scary rumor is, Harper will take Campbell to the east, to work for him. I can’t even bear the thought, of the damage they will do. I was furious with Harper, when he chastised the BC people for, forcing Campbell to resign. I think Campbell did that to himself.

    There was a 6.1 earthquake in the Queen Charlotte’s. AND, they will, still drill for oil??? One spill from any of these foolish ventures, we can kiss our beautiful coast good-bye.

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