Monday, February 11, 2008

Let The Real Stonewalling Begin!


"I want you all to stonewall it, let them plead the Fifth Amendment, cover up, or anything else,"


A Lotuslandian pro-media outlet came right out and said it.

We're talking about the Victoria Times Colonist's recent editorial accusing Mr. Gordon Campbell's British Columbia government of 'stonewalling' when it comes to withholding legitimate evidence that is being sought by the defense in the BasiVirk Railgate proceedings:

Justice Elizabeth Bennett, who has reviewed some of the potential evidence, says it has "significant relevance" to the trial that she is supposed to preside over next month. One e-mail could affect the finding of guilt or innocence, she said last week.

Yet the government is arguing that it has the right to keep this evidence -- almost 100 e-mails -- secret. It is claiming lawyer-client privilege, a legal principle intended to ensure that people can communicate freely with their lawyers without fear that any conversations or letters will later be used against them.

The principle is important to protect the rights of the parties in a legal case. But there is no requirement that solicitor-client privilege be maintained; it is not law. The government is not a defendant in these proceedings.

It could choose to be open, transparent and co-operative and provide the evidence.

Instead, it is seeking to withhold the evidence."

To which we say, "Good on ya!" to Editor-In-Chief Lucinda Chodan and the folks at the Times Colonist.*

But we also figure this is only the first brick in the wall.


Because as we've pointed out in the past, 'lawyer/solicitor-client privilege' is likely only the first in a series of limited hangouts by Mr. Campbell, his deputies, and his flack of 'Order-In-Cabinet' public (dis)information officer seagulls.

Which, I suppose, is to be expected

After all, transparency often goes the way of the Dodo when it's buried under a mountain of seagull dung.**


*And here is the place where we would hope that Ms. Chodan would consider making good on her promise of sending somebody over to cover the trial for real now that there does appear to be a real there there, at least as far as real 'news' is concerned.
**Luckily for us (ie. the people of British Columbia, if not pundits with a purported predilection for the dung of the flack-hackery), our good friend Mary and her Anon-O-Mice are always willing to drill through he muck towards the light of the clear.


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