Friday, April 08, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Conflicty Business?



Update: Please see mama mea culpa at bottom of the post.

Remember when John van Dongen went rogue(ish) way back in 2012 and asked British Columbia's Conflict of Interest Commissioner, Paul Fraser, to look into then GordCo Inc. minister Christy Clark's role in RailGate.

And remember when said Conflict Commissioner had to recuse himself and bring in an outside arbiter.



You know, the following as reported at the time by Justine Hunter of the Globe:

A conflict-of-interest probe into allegations against Premier Christy Clark will now be handled by an out-of-province lawyer, giving Independent MLA John van Dongen fresh hope that some of his questions about the long-running BC Rail case will be answered before the next provincial election...


...Last week, Mr. van Dongen questioned (Conflict Commissioner) Mr. (Paul) Fraser’s impartiality, saying there was a “reasonable apprehension of bias” because the conflict commissioner’s son is connected to Ms. Clark’s government.

In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Fraser maintained that his son’s career did not inhibit his ability to handle the matter, but said the perception of bias could not be ignored...


Now we have this, as reported by Mark Hume in the Globe today:

B.C. Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser has launched an investigation into complaints about politicians raising funds by selling access to exclusive events.

New Democrat MLA David Eby and Democracy Watch co-founder Duff Conacher recently filed separate complaints after media reports that Premier Christy Clark attended fundraising events at which people paid thousands of dollars for exclusive access to her.

Mr. Fraser told the complainants he will issue one opinion on the two complaints...


Here's a question we can't help asking, in the here and now (i.e. 2016)...

Why, exactly, is the Conflict Commissioner himself now ignoring the perception of bias in a matter pertaining to Ms. Clark given the fact that the Commissioner's son is still, it would appear, in the employ of Ms. Clark's government as an OIC-appointed Deputy Minister?

And, just in case you were also wondering, being a deputy minister in Ms. Clark's government is not the younger Mr. Fraser's only connection to Ms. Clark. 
Update: In the original postscript to this post I incorrectly indicated that both the 2012 and 2016 Globe and Mail stories quoted here were under Justine Hunter's byline, which was incorrect (Mark Hume wrote the more recent 2016 story)....As a result, I said that I found it curious that the 'conflicty' aspect of the first story had not made its way into the second story...The implication was that  Ms. Hunter (and/or her editor) may have either forgotten about the conflictyness or decided not to include it...That, clearly, was unfair to Ms. Hunter and for that I apologize.



North Van's Grumps said...

Slightly off topic RossK, but using your writings today as an example of how to catch a thief in an FOI or a confidential document that went missing from Vancouver Council Chambers ... Meggs ... and was mysteriously returned ... 2010.

... the first report, quoted above, is from a piece by Ms. Justine Hunter in the Globe and Mail....Interesting, don't you think, that none of this made it into Mr. Hunter's copy that was published today in the Globe.

To catch a thief within a group of 12 individuals, more or less, requires each document to contain a singular or more, typing error, that is tagged to whomever the document was sent to, handed out to.

If the document surfaces online then all that the powers to be have to do is compare the document to ....... the 'official versions'

So, is there a Ms. Justine Hunter adn a Mr. Hunter??? or are they one and the same .. gender.

Unknown said...

RossK: I think you meant to refer to Mark Hume of the Globe.

I suppose we should be envious of Mr Paul Fraser. What Dad in the world wouldn't want to be paid handsomely to keep their son gainfully employed by a vindictive employer, and all you had to do was occasionally waffle on a decision that might make that employer (Premier) rightful look bad.

RossK said...

Awwww darn...

I messed up twice. I had a bunch of Ms. Hunter's other recent stuff open at the same time.

Will fix and apologize.



Lew said...

The NDP thinks Paul Fraser is just fine for the job. They confirmed his appointment twice and wouldn’t support independent MLA John van Dongen, Green Party leader Sterk, or Integrity BC when they expressed doubts about his appearance of impartiality to rule on van Dongen’s 2012 complaint about Christy Clark in the BC Rail affair. Even Fraser himself finally saw the light; but not the NDP.

"We think Mr. Fraser has a high level of integrity over the past years and we support his judgement -- we think he will do the right thing," NDP MLA Shane Simpson told The Tyee at the time.

How can they do anything about the perceived conflict now when he’s ruling on their complaint?

No wonder Christy openly laughs at them.

Anonymous said...

Paul Fraser....looking more and more like Christi Clark's go to get out of jail card. In fact, it his claimed "high integrity" that provides the permanent ink that makes the card so so so ...indestructible and conversation ending.

Anonymous said...

Unless the NDP and John Horgan, seriously up their "game" against Christy and her "enterprise", nothing will change in this province.
Hi-jacking a political party and using for a "perverse form" of corporate governance, with little or no regard for the taxpayer or the electorate, is "criminal".
My belief in the "democratic system" is fading fast. The capitalist ideology, is too easily manipulated, by greed and corruption by the sociopaths, that wish to "pervert the system", for their own ends.
"Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose"...J.Joplin

RossK said...

Actually, the 'Sunday Mornin' Goin Down' guy...