Pubdate: Wed, 14 Jan 2004
Source: Duncan News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Duncan News Leader
Author: Patrick Hrushowy


View From The Right

Memo: Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm. Re: Legislature Search Warrants.

If it pleases your Worship, we would like to petition you from this
corner on the matter of unsealing the search warrants that were the
basis of police raids on offices in our provincial

As you are no doubt aware the raids themselves have been the subject
of intense media interest. A number of excellent and experienced
reporters have been following up leads, and published stories have
begun to fill in some of the details of what may be involved. It has
been fascinating sitting here in quiet Cobble Hill watching as a story
of such provincial and national interest unfolds.

While I've been troubled that there has been a privacy seal placed on
all police information about the raids, and the level of pure
speculation that has developed, it was only when the story hit me
where I live - literally around the corner - that I am moved to seek
some relief from your Court.

Your Worship, there are entirely too many loose threads of wild
speculation arising from this issue. While the RCMP has repeated
publicly that no politicians or political parties are under
investigation, the tangled web of connections between politically
active individuals, a suspended police officer and drug raids is now
threatening confidence in government, both provincially and federally.

It is becoming increasingly detrimental to the public interest for the
seal to remain on the search warrants. The public's right to know the
basis of this investigation and raids is now superseding any potential
risk to the integrity of the police investigation.

If anything, it's statements from the RCMP itself that should set the
stage for unsealing search warrants.

RCMP spokesman Sgt. John Ward was quoted as saying at a news
conference: "I can say that in general, the spread of organized crime
just in the past two years has been like a cancer on the social and
economic well-being of all British Columbians." By inference you could
be forgiven for thinking this cancer may have spread to the

Ward went on: "Today, the value of the illegal marijuana trade alone
is estimated to be worth in excess of $6 billion. We are seeing major
increases in organized-crime related murders, beatings, extortion,
money laundering and other activity which touches many innocent
lives." Ward said because of the huge revenues generated by the
illicit drug trade it "shouldn't surprise anyone that many people are
susceptible to being corrupted."

Your Worship, Sgt. Ward speaks for the RCMP and those words quoted
above cannot but lead one to suspect that the RCMP believes that this
corruption has made its way into the legislature.

Our system of government, that relies so heavily on trust in the
individuals who work in the public service on our behalf, cannot long
tolerate such suspicion. Several years ago your Court considered a
similar request to unseal the contents of a search warrant that was
used in the search of the home of former premier Glen Clark. Those
proceedings dragged on for months, doing untold damage to Clark and
his family, and literally brought the process of government to a halt.

Your Worship, we request you meet the public interest and inform
voters in B.C. of the details of how far the RCMP suspects corruption
has crept into government, for clearly, any interested member of the
public cannot draw any other conclusion.

To allow speculation to continue will only further undermine
confidence in government.
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