Pubdate: Sat, 17 Jan 2004
Source: Duncan News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Duncan News Leader
Author: Chris Foulds


Where exactly is this open, honest and transparent government promised by 
Gordon Campbell following a reign of error by the NDP administration?

The premier returned from Maui and decided to answer questions about the 
recent police raids at the legislature.

Well, at least he returned from sunny Hawaii.

Campbell showed why he is the master of the non-answer, repeatedly 
insisting that Dave Basi was fired, and Bob Virk merely suspended with pay, 
based on information he, as premier, has. If Campbell is to be believed, 
that information consists of essentially what the public knows about the 
police raids that apparently have links to organized crime, international 
drug smuggling and money laundering - which is to say, Campbell knows next 
to nothing.

If the premier of this province knows little more about this story than 
does Joe Sixpack, why then was Basi fired?

"We have acted appropriately," Campbell repeated again and again. What does 
that mean? He refused to answer the question, as he refused to explain why 
dismissal was proper in the case of Basi - who has not been charged with a 
crime, or accused of any wrongdoing.

Campbell claimed to not know what the police carted from the offices of 
Basi and Virk, or what information was contained in the search warrants.

Solicitor General Rich Coleman was involved in dealing with the police as 
they sought information in the legislature. One would assume that Campbell 
would have been briefed on the matter, in detail a tad more intricate than 
that afforded the unwashed masses. If that's the case, then the premier 
should simply say as much. However, if he is truly as clueless everybody 
else, then he needs to explain why Basi was fired (with a $54,000 severance 
payment) and why Virk was not.

After all, such reasons could not possibly hinder a police investigation, 
considering Campbell knows nothing about the police investigation. And 
standing like a robot, repeating that the moves were "appropriate," without 
offering anything else, is hardly the mark of the open, honest and 
transparent government Campbell promised when asking for your vote in 2001. 
But what's one more in an already impressive string of broken pledges?

* Chris Foulds writes for our sister paper, the Abbotsford News.
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