Friday, December 21, 2007

Is There A Plumber In The House?


Apparently, according to information obtained by RailGate Reporter extraordinare, Bill Tieleman, the answer is yes*:

A Public Affairs Bureau officer reported to the B.C. government about media questions and the attendance of NDP MLAs and a lawyer representing former B.C. Liberal Finance Minister Gary Collins at pre-trial hearings in the B.C. Legislature raid case, a 24 hours Freedom Of Information request shows.

24 hours first disclosed Stuart Chase's attendance in May 14 and it became the topic of an entire question period in the B.C. Legislature, with Attorney-General Wally Oppal wrongly insisting Chase's duties were to assist the media and public but refusing to release his reports.

In fact, the 100-page FOI of Chase's reports and notes shows that he told the government who attended court and what questions media asked prosecutors and defence, as well as extensively detailing the case, in which former provincial aides David Basi and Bob Virk face breach of trust charges related to the 2003 privatization of B.C. Rail.

Which may not seem so bad, on the surface of it, until you read stuff like this, apparently directly from the official House* plumberman's notes:

"The Canucks/GM Place ownership trial has started today, and it's creating a media frenzy that's dividing attentions away from the Basi trial. Bill Tielman, [sic] even, has barely been in the court room," reads Chase's April 30th report.

Don't know about you, but that's the kind of thing that gets our Tex Colson-assisted anti-hatchet/jujitsu defenses up PDQ.

All of which would be worthy of little more than a good laugh or two if this wasn't such a serious matter (ie. because it indicates that the government of Mr. Gordon Campbell feels that this IS important enough to send a minion to report on everything that everyone, including un-official media/opposition members/ citizen-spectators, is up to in the Railgate courtroom).

Oh, and there is one other thing that is not funny in the least that also has the whiff of the 'plumber' about it here.

And that would be this.

Not that we are suggesting that any actual bonafide, official 'House'* plumbermen and/or plumberwomen were involved in the latter action.

In any way whatsoever.


*On second thought, perhaps we should have asked if there is a plumber in the 'Ledge'.
Who plumbs the plumbers?......Mr. T. has a lot of interesting extra material up at his place about all the stuff that was 'whited out' of the Freedom Of Interest Information because it went 'beyond the scope' of his original request, which is bizarre enough all on it's own. But here are two other things that are also pretty darn weird. First, the official House/Ledge plumberman is actually a 'public affairs bureau' officer hired by 'order-in-council '(ie. by the Cabinet/Mr. Campbell). Second, apparently, according to Mr. T., it is that very same 'public affairs bureau' that decides what can and will be 'disappeared' from FOI's. How's that for circling them there wagons?


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