Namely, an Oct. 8, 2003 lawyer-witnessed, memo-to-file by Dave Basi, a ministerial assistant who suddenly admitted guilt in the B.C. Rail corruption trial on Oct. 18, 2010. Remember that ugly chapter in British Columbia history? It surprised all of us citizens when police raided offices at the Legislature at Christmastime 2003. Bill Tieleman’s feature is a worthy primer.
Basi and co-accused Bob Virk had their legal bills paid by taxpayers under an extraordinary and potentially illegal $6 million settlement deal in October 2010. The deal included a gag order. The people of the province aren’t supposed to pay legal bills for guilty public employees. Auditor-General John Doyle is trying to investigate, but he has been met with resistance from your government. Your ex-caucus mate John van Dongen is an intervenor in the case. He cited this deal as a primary reason for quitting your caucus on March 26 in this speech. (That was the same day you had a mysterious phone call with ex-Premier Gordon Campbell.)
But you know all about the bungled B.C. Rail sale. A privatization that your party promised would not happen. You had a front-row seat. You were Deputy Premier. So I’ll cut to the chase.
Below are questions that the people of British Columbia need answered. Much is at stake. It is about democracy and the integrity of the government, an institution that will outlast you.
A) Do you remember taking the oath of confidentiality when you were sworn-in on June 5, 2001 as a member of Premier Gordon Campbell’s cabinet?
The oaths of allegiance, office and confidentiality, as delivered by Lt. Gov. Garde Gardom, are below for your reference. So is the news release that lists you as Deputy Premier and Minister of Education.
B) Is the Oct. 8, 2003 memo to file by Dave Basi accurate? Yes or no. Did you provide confidential cabinet information to a person other than a member of the Executive Council? Yes or no.
C) If yes, were you authorized or required to do so?
D) Who gave you the authority or issued the requirement?
E) Or, were you acting on your own volition?
F) How often did you do so?
G) Your supporter, Harry Bloy, resigned from cabinet on March 15 after breaching the oath of confidentiality. Will you respect the honour and traditions of the Legislature of B.C. and resign from cabinet?
The people of British Columbia eagerly await your answers. The people of British Columbia deserve a public inquiry, to prevent a repeat of the B.C. Rail scandal.
News and views on Vancouver 2010 (and beyond) from Bob Mackin.