Friday, July 14, 2017

The Front Man....Mount Polley's Pictures On His Mind


The following is just one of many extremely troubling bits of PR flack-hackery engineered by the wizards behind the Curtain of Clarklandia in the days after the Mount Polley mine disaster, as told to us by Jeremy Nuttall in the Tyee:

...In another brief email Clark’s then director of communications Ben Chin said he had spoken to “Jas” about impending TV news coverage of the spill. The reference, following earlier emails on Global TV’s coverage, appears to refer to Jas Johal, then a Global reporter.

“Just finished talking to Jas... it’s just a heads up, not an interview request. He tells me the pictures at 6 will be very graphic. Imperial (Metals, owned by big BCLiberal donor and fundraiser Murray Edwards) should get out in front,” Chin wrote...

As we have said many, many times 'round here*....

There is a Club.

And many of its most distinguished members definitely do not work for you and me.

Which is why the keepers of the Club should get absolutely none of our legacy media buyout money.


*Thanks to the opening of our eyes as to the depth and extent of Club membership goes to our old friend Ian Reid.



Anonymous said...


Will the Super Club member survive another election? Anyone familiar with the political flavour of his riding?...Would there be an appetite to recall him?

Lew said...

One principle of the Journalist’s Creed particularly comes to mind here.

“I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust.”

After an environmental disaster due to the worst mining spill in Canadian history, it would be in the public interest for a journalist to contact government public relations personnel to request and arrange interviews with oversight officials to determine the extent of damage, what was being done to mitigate the effects, and obtain any safety cautions applicable to the general public.

Whose interests were being journalistically served by contacting government officials, not with an interview request, but with a “heads up” designed to warn the offending mining company of impending news coverage?

Jas, were your actions worthy of public trust?

davemj said...

Why would a guy that was considered a good reporter chance his good name for WHAT????? or was he always tainted like John Daly also Lib favourite these guys should be embarresed but i guess they have no shame.

Scotty on Denman said...

Clubs have members and, if I remember correctly, one of this club's was also a Member of the Legislative Assembly who, as BC Liberal mines minister, stood at the breach of this giant mine disaster and absurdly proclaimed to the assembled news media that everything was okay, nothing to really see here except a scoured-out creek bed caked with mine tailings. Damn Bennett acted as if he was standing in front of the Bennett Dam just upstream of the Cite-Christy Dam project in a peaceful valley hundreds of miles away. The whole display was as nutty as LNG---except, of course, Mount Polly really did happen.

Another dual membership holder in news media and government was portrayed trying to sell memberships to her First Nations "sisters" who had gathered at the breach site to mourne this weeping wound upon Mother Earth. Her measure of success was a matter of PR point-of-view---effective in reaffirming existing memberships, yes, but failing to sell any new ones, even after deploying Christy's "shoulder-to-shoulder" soft-sell sorority.

Now, with the perquisites of membership about to be cut off as the last BC Liberal claw is scraped off the provincial tiller, I'm reminded of Gunter Grass' "Tim Drum" where the protagonist's father chokes to death on his Nazi Party lapel pin trying to avoid being identified by the liberating Red Army. Club membership does have its rewards.

Anonymous said...


$upper Club.?

Crankypants said...

This is just another example of political donations currying favour from the BC Liberal Party at the expense of the rest of us.

Lew said...

On May 08, 2013 Global News published key documents detailing the Basi/Virk BC Rail plea deal that had been leaked to Jas Johal. The government and the defendants had fiercely protected access to those documents in the courts and throughout a yearlong written inquiry process conducted by the Information and Privacy Commissioner. As one of the applicants in the written inquiry for access to those documents, I can attest to how intensely government and defence lawyers guarded them, and the resources they expended to do so.

Even a cursory look at those leaked documents revealed why. Provincial and federal statutes were violated. By the very provincial government ministry mandated to ensure the law is upheld. Jas had a major scoop that should have had him tying it up in a nice bow and waiting for the journalistic awards to roll in.

But instead of following up, Jas Johal conducted one interview with Mike de Jong and then dropped the file, never to pick it up again. What could possibly explain this astonishing turn of events? Does his current position explain it? Maybe.

Except that I contacted Vaughn Palmer at the time and he said he’d already seen the documents before Jas published them, but on “an embargoed basis”. Was he going to flesh them out for his readers now that they were public? Nope. Nothing to see here folks.

I’ve contacted many local media types about this since, and because not one of them can counter my assertions about laws being violated, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some who are afraid to take it on for some reason, and others who have proven they lack the capacity to understand the issues. Either way the public is done a great disservice.

Incidentally, in the interview Jas did with de Jong, who was Attorney General at the time of the deal, de Jong revealed that he saw it as a delicate balance between justice and fiscal accountability. Nice. An Attorney General who sees Lady Justice holding scales that balance money on one side and justice on the other. How silly of the public to think those scales are supposed to weigh only the evidence.

It’s clear who the local media thinks should wear Justitia’s blindfold.

Anonymous said...

o/t - 2017 IIFA Awards in NYC tonight

Hands up from everybody who thinks Bill de Blasio and/or Andrew Cuomo dished out $11,000,000.oo to bring the good citizens of New York a little entertainment tonight?


e.a.f. said...

The local media, if they came across a B.C. Lieberal holding up a bank, with gun in hand, pass it off as the B.C. Lieberal out for a walk with a toy gun meant for their grandchild's birthday gift. They would suggest the RCMP swat team had it all wrong, this was after all a B.C. Lieberal.

Now that we will have a new government next week expect the local media to become 'first rate" investigative reporters. We can expect extensive coverage regarding anyone who works for the NDP, i.e, a former Union member/officer; environmentalist, etc. We can expect anyone working for the Transport Minister to have their driving record gone over with a fine tooth comb; and all those fires currently spreading across B.C., that will be the fault of the NDP and it will be the NDP's fault that services haven't been delivered. Expect great and extensive interviews with all sorts of fire victim. Its all the NDP fault their barn burnt down, they can't get back to their homes. Nothing about the 16 years of forestry neglect from the B.C. Lieberals.

The MSM in B.C. hasn't done their job. if they had the B.C. Lieberals would have been gone a long time ago. the B.C. msm in my opinion hide the truth as only they can.

el gordo "gave away" a government railway and nothing really happened. Glen Clark had a deck built and he was charged and found not guilty. of course el gordo has always been at the public trough. Glen Clark is the President of the Pattison group. Would conclude Pattison didn't think much of el gordo's skills.

Anonymous said...

If laws and regulation are broken, are there statutes of limitations on them? Could Basi Virk be reopened in light of the law being broken by the party in power? I have always wondered about the " deal" brokered between the government and Basi and Vick. No one pays someone to plead guilty, unless of course the continuation of the hearing would present far greater legal and political problems. This is an incredible miscarriage of justice, as well as gross political manipulation in a judicial process.
It's now time for this nonsense to be reopened and the consequences handed out by a judiciary that is untainted by political interference.

Lew said...


There are two main documents at issue here. One is the October 14, 2010 secret agreement between the Crown and the defendants, and the other the October 20, 2010 release that the October 14, 2010 agreement obligated the government to sign only if and after the defendants pleaded guilty, were convicted, and remained silent about the deal.

Signing of the $6.4 million waiver without authority contravenes the provincial Financial Administration Act (FAA) regulations. That falls under the Offence Act, which in the main has a 6-month limitation. Because it was signed without authority however, the government appears to have the option of recovering the $6.4 million under section 87 of the FAA. Not likely to happen, but would make an interesting case.

Actions around the October 14, 2010 agreement however appear to contravene the federal Criminal Code, and no time limitations apply. I am convinced section 139(2) (Obstruction) and section 465(1)(c) (Conspiracy) have been violated at the very least.

Perhaps a legal opinion by the Attorney General in office at the time the original charges were laid would help. Geoff Plant has been called one of the sharpest legal minds around by none other than the Premier of British Columbia who left office just today. On March 28, 2012 Mr. Plant had this to say in an open letter to former BC Solicitor General John van Dongen:
“…The defendants pleaded guilty. What is clear is that there was no legally binding deal. There couldn’t be. The waiver of recovery of fees was not and could not be an inducement to plead guilty. As a matter of law they were not connected…”

But he has been proven wrong by the leak of the actual legally binding deal he said couldn’t exist. The October 14, 2010 agreement clearly and directly connects the guilty pleas to the waiver, and the offer was made by the government for acceptance by the defendants. There are many other pieces of evidence supporting the existence of an illegal inducement in this case, in addition to other probable illegalities, but if we are to accept Mr. Plant’s opinion on this one point alone, an illegal inducement has occurred.

Over to you, Attorney General Eby.

RossK said...

For more on Mr. Plant's statements at the time, and his engagement of lowly bloggers on the matter of whether or not there was a prior inducement, please see...



Anonymous said...

Remember what Eisenhower said

e.a.f. said...

A while ago I checked the CBC news on line and there it was in all its glory, the first story regarding Horgan's "missed opertunity. they weren't happy he hadn't gone to the meeting in Alberta. You gotta wonder how those articles are going to look tomorrow from the rest of the msm . I thought Global or the sun would have up the first negative story.......

Lew said...


In the link you provide, Mr. Plant is quoted thusly:

“There was no "prior inducement". The offer of pleas was made first and entirely independently. The discussion about the fee waiver happened afterwards, and involved government, not the special prosecutor.”

His statement is contradicted by much evidence, including the fact that the defendants’ counsel told the Auditor General (as relayed by the Auditor General’s Manager of Legal Services to the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts) that the defendants were not even told about the Special Prosecutor offering reduced sentence recommendations in exchange for guilty pleas until after the waiver negotiations had been completed. How and why would they offer guilty pleas “first” in that circumstance?

Also, John van Dongen filed a Supreme Court affidavit testifying that Bob Virk told him he did not agree to plead guilty until twenty minutes before start of court proceedings on October 18, 2010 and did so extremely reluctantly.

When all the evidence is lined up, including statements by virtually all concerned (including Mr. Plant and the defendants’ counsel) that there is no way Basi or Virk would have pleaded guilty unless the fees were waived, and they weren’t presented with the Special Prosecutor’s offer of a plea deal until the waiver sweetener was concurrently also on the table, the inducement denial is hollow.

And let us not forget; defence counsel can also be guilty of inducement in certain situations.

e.a.f. said...

but does any of it truly matter in the grand scheme of things? some of us have come to our own conclusions some time ago. In my personal opinion Basi/Virk would not have pled guilty unless they knew what they would get out of it and that they were the "fall guys" for the whole thing, letting the "white boys" walk on all of it. In my opinion letting two persona of colour "take the fall" for all of it worked for the line the B.C. Government wanted to take on all of this.

Does any of it matter? Only if the current government is going to re open any of this. Would the NDP go after Basi/Virk to get the money back? Too much work and too big a mess and there are other things to deal with. If the new government went after the whole deal would we the taxpayers of B.C. get our rail way back? If we aren't going to get our railway back what is the point? Sending some people to jail? We don't know any of the players would go to jail. Most of them would get a suspended sentence or probation. They know all the judges in B.C. There has always been one law for the rich and one for the poor. We saw it play out with Basi/Virk. They weren't the powerful ones, those got to walk away.

I've always wanted to live long enough to see el gordo come back in handcuffs but after all these years and the mess this province is in, I'd settle for better seniors care, health care, education, some game rules around the selling off of our real estate to over seas buyers and NO MORE CHILDREN DYING IN CARE.

Anonymous said...

SH @ e.a.f.

If an inquiry is not held, the BC Liberals can say: "See?... they had nuttin"…and all the gains made on behalf of the beaten-down, will be lost as the BC Corporate media spiders come out from under their rocks, and win re-election for the next incarnation of the BC Liberals.

The BC Liberals spent untold millions on paid PR, whereas, an Independent Inquiry (or?) will necessarily be covered by the media. For free. Day. After. Day. After. Day.

Won't cost a fortune, and may help us locate the proceeds of crime. Who knows? Perhaps there will be some forfeitures on some happy horizon…Oh, and I'd love to see some media and contract slurpers up on the stand...

Lew said...


I've seen a lot of your comments and opinions and am convinced you're better than your last post. So all I'll say is I disagree with you on whether it matters or being brown had anything to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Proceeds of crime...hmmm. How does one identify the said proceeds, with those who benefitted directly or indirectly with the scandal. Perhaps those companies and individuals that acquired the land or other assets. Perhaps those whose donations " greased the wheels" so to speak, to allow the sale to be put forward in the first place. Or perhaps the indirect manipulation of a judicial proceeding, by preventing the premier, minister of finance, transportation minister, and or others from taking the stand and placing the crown into disrepute. The career's that have been allowed to flourish after this miscarriage of justice was "allowed" to occur, is perhaps another proceed of the crime.
All in all, this criminal case needs to see the light of day, again. The manipulation and collusion of those involved to prevent the crown from testifying into the involvement of governance, in what can only be perceived to be a gross dereliction of the attorney generals office at the time, along with political obfuscation of the truth by the senior party officials and ministers in government.
This needs to go before the Supreme Court in Ottawa as the case seems tainted by government interference, during the past 5 years.
A Corruption Inquiry will identify key players and provide the new Attorney General with sufficient information and evidence, to open up a case to prosecute the individuals and government ministers and others, who were involved in a brokered guilty plea, with payout, to shut down a judicial proceeding, to prevent serving government ministers from testifying.