Thursday, May 06, 2010

Special Prosecutor Revisited.....Why Were The Horseman Asking Questions In The First Place?


Vaughn Palmer weighed in this morning with his latest bit of sophistry about how the Kash Heed Resignation/Reinstatement/Re-resignation is all just a bit of long distance Ledge-Kabuki gone wrong for Premier Gordon Campbell.

And, as per usual, Mr. Palmer had all his 'facts' in order when he made it clear that this unsightly business actually arose because the folks at the Criminal Justice Branch took (the now former) special prosecutor, Terrence Robertson, at his word.

Here is how Mr. Palmer, with his select 'facts' in tow, laid it all out:

...."I don't know how you get to a point where you appoint a special prosecutor and later ... someone discovers he may or may not have a conflict of interest," a clearly irate premier (Campbell) told my colleague Jonathan Fowlie (of the VSun) Wednesday. "We're going to review how this happened and all the details of it."

A valid concern. And by mid-afternoon, Attorney-General Mike de Jong had provided a partial answer, courtesy of the criminal justice branch, independent overseer of the appointment of special prosecutors.

"Back in January Mr. Robertson was appointed as a special prosecutor," de Jong advised the legislature. "At the time he was asked and confirmed that there were no circumstances or potential conflict issues that might compromise his ability to do his work."

De Jong suggested a review to determine whether appointment procedures need to be tightened up in future. "I don't mind saying in this chamber that the process failed," he continued. "The process failed, most importantly, the public; it failed the government; and it failed [Heed]."....

After that Mr. Palmer threw a few jabs during the ensuing paragraphs in which he detailed what the Premier should'a/could'a done if he were still a real contender.

Then he, Mr. Palmer, reared back and, as he has done so often in the past, only pretended to throw a phantom haymaker in the end:

...John Les, John van Dongen and Rich Coleman (who filled in briefly) make three. But should de Jong and Heed be counted twice or only once apiece?

A reminder that apart from all of the well-justified indignation, people are these days laughing at the Gordon Campbell government, for reasons mostly of the boss's own making.

But here's the real thing.

The thing that has the potential to pack a real whallop......

What if this isn't all about the Kabuki and the fauxian Kung-Fu Fighting that goes on daily between the Press Gallery and the Pols?

I mean, what if there really was something to the concerns about a conflict of interest potentially facilitating a foregone conclusion with respect to the actions, words, or deeds of Mr. Heed?

Which brings up something that everybody seems to have forgotten.....

And that is the fact that it wasn't just the fine folks from the Criminal Justice Branch that asked Mr. Robertson questions.

Because, as Mr. Robertson made clear in his carefully-crafted resignation letter just after the fact, a pair of Horsemen also came calling and they too asked questions.

And, importantly, when they asked Mr. Robertson about the potential 'conflictyness', the RCMP constables had specifics to back up their queries.

Specifics about money and donations to the BC Liberal Party generally, and to Mr. Heed's campaign specifically which Mr. Robertson dismissed as not-important.

Which, as we all know were most definitely not.

Not important, I mean.


So, again, it would appear to once again ask the following question:

Why, exactly, were the Horsemen so concerned that they started sniffing around a Special Prosecutor while he was going about his business investigating issues that could very much affect a high profile BC Liberal, anyway?

And, as a follow-up, why was Mr. Robertson so quick to dismiss those concerns BEFORE he made his ruling that let the high profile BC Liberal concerned down gently, but not AFTER?

And thanks to reader, and fellow Bloggodome Basher, Gary E for the tip/prod about the involvement of the Horsemen....More on the specifics of that, and the actual constables involved, to follow....
Regarding the real answer to the question at the top of this post...Can't help but wonder if it just might have had something to do with a previous decline from Mr. Robertson involving a self-professed man of many.........Hats?
Update: Lots of good stuff going on in the Comments on this one....



G West said...

Seems to me this is a problem for the Law Society; that the ministry officials relied upon the 'word' of a lawyer who's taken an oath of office to behave truthfully and ethically is a problem for the LAWYER involved and not the civil servants who RELIED UPON HIS undertakings.

De Jong is spinning and deflecting - what else is new?

RossK said...


Clearly, Mr. Campbell et al. are willing to throw absolutely anybody under the bus in the name of expediency.

I agree that the folks from the CJB appear to have unwarranted tire tracks all over them.


RossK said...

This just in....While I had remembered that Mr. Robertson was the SP in the Bountiful thing, I had forgotten he was also the SP in the Dobell-decline.



Anonymous said...

De Jong from the article "I don't mind saying in this chamber that the process failed,"

And my response to that is they just plain old got caught, it leads one to wonder if the liberals were appointing special prosecutors to cook up stories favourable to whom ever the SP was investigating.

And possibly some of these investigation's could lead to bribes or other corrupt deeds who knows.

kootcoot said...

"This just in....While I had remembered that Mr. Robertson was the SP in the Bountiful thing, I had forgotten he was also the SP in the Dobell-decline."

Not only was Mr. Robertson the SP in the Bountiful thing but he was THE, or the THIRD, SP who finally came up with the conclusion that Wally "Shop 'til You Drop for Prosecutors" Oppal wanted after both Peck and Daoust declined to go along to get along.

RossK said...

Anon-Above and Koot--

You are getting to the heart of the matter, I think, that Mr. Palmer most assiduously avoided by playing up the Kabuki angle this morning.


Norm Farrell said...

There are many layers to this stinking onion. Don't assume this is a simple story of one law firm, one special prosecutor and one politician. The political corruption demonstrated by financial contributions to the Liberals is long standing and wide spread. Why is it news to some this week but was not news last week?

The part being talked up in the media now is the visible part of the iceberg of financial corruption in politics. It is raised now only because there is an agenda pursued by the old guard in policing intending destruction of Kash Heed's influence. He aims to revolutionize the procedures for civilian control and oversight of all community policing and had gained support from other western provinces. It was moving forward. The RCMP and old style police such as Victoria's Chief Jamie Graham tremble at the prospect. Just consider the two most recent discipline stories involving Vancouver and Victoria police. Jim Chu acted promptly, Jamie Graham followed the old duck and dodge scenario.

The issues are intertwined but must be examined separately. One involves corrupt political financing, another is justice administration needing reform and the third is independent civilian control of police.

RossK said...


Regarding your first point....When I went fishing around last night in the Elections-BC databases between periods of the hockey game (i.e. just like the VSun's Chad Skelton!), it was astonishing to me how many big law firms had given really big money essentially exclusively to the BC Liberal Party, just like the Developers and Purveyors of Pavement...And it all comes in big chunks too....which is quite astoninshing when viewed in juxtaposition to all those individual folks that donate what ever they can, sometimes even 5 or 10 dollars a month to the NDP that pop-up when you punch in a wide-open search term like, say, this.....

Regarding your second point...Are you actually suggesting that the Horsemen may have had an ulterior motive when they tried to scare Mr. Robertson straight before he made his ruling?


Norm Farrell said...

The RCMP set out to have Paul Kennedy removed from his position. He was making his agency worthwhile after years of faux investigations. The brass refused to cooperate with him in any more than a sham fashion. Harper installed an aging bureaucrat as the first civilian commissioner and it was not long before he was victim of the Stockholm syndrome. As one insider related to me, "Elliott now has two buffaloes tattooed on his a$$."

They took years to make tiny moves after Bush, Dziekanski and the other in-custody deaths. They didn't suddenly become sincere; they did the minimum possible, hoping the pressure would go away. And, after getting rid of Paul Kennedy, much of it will. The new regime at CPC is focused on public relations, not oversight.

Heed was causing trouble in the west so the dirty tricks boys began looking for smears. I say that is why we must consider Harper Grey's $1,000 in context. As you know, it is one piece drawn out of a large sewer. I don't excuse it, I just question the signficance.

spartikus said...

Alright, if we are to theorize Terrence Robertson is an extra special Special Prosecutor who massages legal cases on the behalf of the BC Liberal Party...what's, er, in it for him?

I don't suppose Mr. Robertson's bill will be ever be made public...

RossK said...

Thanks very much for the erudite explanation Norm - now I really and truly understand what you are suggesting. And, based on the evidence so far, it is hard to argue with it.


RossK said...


I would imagine that billing for the SP gigs is likely quite standardized...

However, I think this stuff really comes down to track record and which way the ideological wind is blowing....In this case it is my opinion, based on both those criteria, that the fine folks from the BC ConParty (note, NOT the Dippers, alas) have a point re: the revisiting of the Dobell decision by Mr. Robertson.


Norm Farrell said...

" was astonishing to me how many big law firms had given really big money essentially exclusively to the BC Liberal Party..."

Looking over the 2009 list of donations, I'm up to $140,000 from law firms and that only the letter A to H.

But, here are some others that might do business with the Liberal government:
BC Milk Marketing Board, BC Chicken Growers Assoc., Catalyst Paper (looking for a few million in prop tax reductions), Coast Forest Products Association, Cloudworks Energy, Conair, Encana, Finning, Goldcorp, Highland Copper...

Look at their money sources and you quickly understand why HST is the best thing they can do for business.

I want to know where the real money goes. The Liberals don't give away $2 billion and only take back $20 million.

BC Mary said...

Wow. Real Politik 401. Thanks.

Gary E said...

Thanks for the link Ross K. Fellow Bloggodome Basher, gotta love that one. You are correct it was both a tip and a prod. I've been pretty busy with the Fight HST Campaign. And with Mr Faaaaantastic coming here ant noon tomorrow, things just kicked into a higher gear if that was at all possible.

When I first read the wording of Robertsons' resignation and the timing (an hour after the Campbell forces spun this as an exoneration)
I couldn't help but think Robertson was pissed at the spin. So he just quit citing a conflict, however small it may have been.
But I don't think he realized the avalanche he caused. ie. Berardinos contribution AFTER being appointed.
Those thoughts go along I think at least in part of what Norman is saying. Of course I could be wrong.

RossK said...

Thanks Mary!


RossK said...


I think you and Norman are in agreement.

I do, however, now very much his take his point about multiple agendas likely being at work here.

Hey....Good luck tomorrow!

(and don't get blinded by either the teeth or the headband)


Sleepless said...

Sleep well everyone!

Sleepless said...

Sleep well everyone!

kootcoot said...

"I do, however, now very much his take his point about multiple agendas likely being at work here.

That's what I've been trying to say for years - the whole Campbell attack on British Columbia is like a 360 degree Blitzkreig - they have so many scams going on all at once that the CIA couldn't keep track and the citizens of BC, having to operate without a media doesn't have a chance.

Enbridge, subsidized gas exploration, the HST, the carbon tax, the sham of the Health Authorities, Kevin's re-invention of Medicine, starving public education, CasinoGate, ICBCgate, Basigate, Site C, Jumbo, TimberWest Realty, Accenture, Maximus, what used to be BC Gas, Naikun Power, Bullfrog, IPPs, Salmon Farms and oh yeah drill baby drill - and I've missed many, I don't have time to type all day.

RossK said...


You most definitely have-thanks.

Interesting how, dont'cha think, something so obvious as the fact that all the big lawfirms send all their money to GordCo, could trigger such a proMedia feeding frenzy right now, eh?

The power of the herd, I suppose...

If only they dug with the same diligence into the dealings of, say, Vegas Casino Developers, the sons of Deep south Pols and, dare I suggest it, a couple of fine fellows named Abramoff and Reed.....

(of course, the connections between all of those folks and some up here in Lotusland with 'connections' would take more than a couple of visits to a single central database to figure out, so the possibility of it happening is essentially slim to none)