Reasonable people today are reading “The Real Story”
, Ian Reid’s blog, and they’re reading “The Straight Goods”
blog by the Powell River Persuader (posted Feb 17, 2012). That’s where the big, important B.C. news is today. News about the looting of BC Hydro, with details; and the lying of the premier, Christy Clark, about the budget of the B.C. Court System. As well, in those reports, there is news of the painful and corrosive failure of the Mainstream Press and Media to do its job in British Columbia.
Ian Reid and the Powell River Persuader are dealing with the important news because they are talking about the real collapse of democracy and the rule of law in British Columbia. Primary issues.
The stories today spread out and take in the apparently well-meaning and apparently seriously pursued “Inquiry” into the Missing (murdered) Women of Vancouver’s Downtown East End. The multiple murders were overlooked for years and years by the RCMP and the Vancouver police.
I say the “apparently well-meaning” Inquiry because I don’t – for a tenth of a second - believe the Inquiry is well-meaning. I believe it is a huge whitewash and snow-job, a huge public relations boondoggle … costing British Columbians millions of dollars.
Begin at the beginning. The Commissioner of the Inquiry is Wally Oppal. Wally Oppal was a Supreme Court judge and an Appeals Court judge in British Columbia. He did a large Inquiry into policing in British Columbia. He jumped from the court into the Liberal Party of Gordon Campbell and became the Attorney General of the Province. Obviously he was one of the best informed law officers in the Province.
As Attorney General he spent much time – in my judgement -preventing the legislature from having reasonable information through answers to questions asked in session and in the foyers of the legislature– about the B.C. Rail Scandal and the connected criminal case against government aides Dave Basi, Bobby Virk, and Aneal Basi. In my opinion Oppal disgraced the position of Attorney General, made it a clown’s role and a ridiculously partisan charade. In my opinion he refused to answer perfectly acceptable questions – which he had an obligation to answer as Attorney General.
But he got caught. And so we can move beyond political analysis and my opinion to fact … undoubted fact.
Wanting to make a case against the alleged bigamists in the Bountiful settlement in B.C., Oppal set to work to have a case taken against them. [I happen to believe he did so to garner approval for the Campbell government, deteriorating in public regard. Playing a political game with justice.]
The process for taking such a case is for the Attorney General to go to a distinguished private lawyer and to place the matter in his/her hands. In that way, government is saying “we think there is grounds here for action, but to make sure it is not seen as a political move, we place it in the hands of reputable counsel who will make the decision to proceed or not to proceed – ON THE BASIS OF LAW. The Special Prosecutor we appoint will make the decision.”
Wally Oppal went to lawyer (Special Prosecutor) number one. The lawyer said don’t take a case. First Canada has to know if the Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that bigamy - as an expression of Religious Faith - is acceptable. No case can be fought until that matter has been decided. So Wally Oppal went to another lawyer. Wally Oppal wanted a case. The second lawyer said exactly what the first lawyer said: don’t take a case until Canada knows what the Charter of Rights and Freedoms says about bigamy as an expression of Religious Faith.
And so Wally Oppal went to another lawyer appointed as Special Prosecutor. And – third time good luck for Oppal! That lawyer said that he’d take a case, now, against the Bountiful bigamists. Wally Oppal wanted action, we may believe, for political reasons - not for reasons of the administration of justice.
The case against the bigamists of Bountiful began in B.C. Supreme Court. Counsel for the Defence pointed out to the judge that Wally Oppal, Attorney General of the Province, the highest law officer of the Crown, had refused the decision of two appointed Special Prosecutors, had gone around them to a third, until he had a case before her.
The judge on the case didn’t waste any time. She referred to Wally Oppal’s Special Prosecutor shopping – to what was, in fact, the misuse of the whole process. And she threw the case out of court right then and there. Done.
The accused took a case against Mr. Oppal and his government and won it. The wrong done in the Wally Oppal-attempted Bountiful bigamy case was underscored.
It doesn’t matter what you or I think about the bigamy of the Bountiful community. What matters is that the Attorney General of the province, Wally Oppal, (a former judge of the Supreme Court and the Appeals Court of B.C.) was found to be attempting to have a case in the Supreme Court of B.C. that may fairly, I think, be called a rigged trial. The judge thought so, too, apparently, and threw it out, without a moment’s delay.
That event, and the case taken by the accused … and won … should have been the basis upon which all authorities in British Columbia determined that Wally Oppal had disgraced his position and his status and must never again receive an appointment of significance from the British Columbia government.
Instead, he was named to be the Commissioner to head the Inquiry into the whole history and ‘policing’ of the Downtown Eastside Missing Women. Why?
Begin at the beginning. An RCMP investigating officer told the Missing Women Inquiry on February 15 that Robert Pickton was murdering in 1991. He went on murdering until arrested more than ten years later. Dozens of women (and how many victims of Organized Crime?) were disposed of at the Pickton farm. Fed to the pigs.
And the only person who knew anything about it was Robert Pickton. Police officers allegedly drove women to the Pickton Farm parties. There were many, apparently raunchy parties. Many “respectable” people attended. Some of the Downtown Eastside women disappeared – and the police officers never put two and two together? Only Robert Pickton knew.
Tips were given to police. Witnesses reported seeing evidence of violence and murder – to police. Over years. Nothing was ever done. Only Robert Pickton was ever charged.
Only he knew anything about the murderous activities there.
I don’t believe it.
Questions have to rear up. Were the RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department using the Pickton Farm – the Pickton Death Camp – as a way of cleaning the Downtown East Side of unwanted women? Did the RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department, at highest levels, know all about the activity at Pickton Farm? Did they know about and approve of Organized Crime disposing of victims at the Pickton Farm?
Those are questions that should be a major focus of any Inquiry into the history of the Missing (murdered) Downtown Eastside women.
Questions. Questions. What were the police connections with Robert Pickton? What were the connections of the police with the Pickton Farm Party Goers? The names of all the people who attended there? The connections of police to criminal elements wishing to use the farm for criminal purposes? Their names? The names of people (police officers and others) who transported women to the farm and to its parties? Bring forward the names of officers who were given information and who rejected search and inquiry – with the thoroughly investigated names of all their non-police connections? What are the names of people guilty of failing to do their duty? What is the full story of DNA on the farm not connected to missing women but connected to victims of organized crime?
Certainly the Commissioner should be preparing to recommend further criminal investigation, charges, and heavy disciplinary actions.
Don’t be silly. That is not what Wally Oppal wants to do. As Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun columnist (Feb 16, 2012, p. A5) tells us: “The former justice wants to write a report that addresses the problems created by B.C.’s patchwork policing structure, the structural cracks that hampered homicide and missing-women cases and the need to build better relationships between the police and the community, especially with the minority aboriginal population.”
The former justice, in effect, wants to write a report that will cost millions of dollars and that will (we may predict) be put aside and have absolutely no effect on policing in the province. But it will have served to get those who want justice done off the backs of the government and its friends.
Mulgrew (as if taking dictation from some of the people who appointed Wally Oppal) goes on to tell his readers that – “Granted, it [will not be] the kind of self-righteous report denouncing the cops and prosecutors so many, many critics would like….”
Why – suddenly – is a strong desire for justice and fairness on the part of British Columbians “self-righteous”? I believe it is called self-righteous by Ian Mulgrew because I believe his aim in the column is to get people in the Inquiry away from asking really pertinent questions and on to asking, instead, empty, vapid, useless questions that can be answered in an empty, vapid, useless Report written by the Commissioner - who never should have been appointed in the first place.
Ian Mulgrew has never, to my knowledge, questioned (as he should have) the appointment of Wally Oppal as Commissioner. When he refers to legitimate demands participants are making to know about culpability, to hear important witnesses, to get full police disclosure, to see the apparently, suddenly non-existent police notes of meetings and activities, to hold real individuals to account for failures of professionalism, he brushes them aside as irrelevant to the Inquiry as it has been set up.
Ian Mulgrew should be asking why the Inquiry wasn’t set up to do a real job. He should be asking what is going on with a multi-million dollar Inquiry that is bent on avoiding the most important questions and (apparently) covering up for police forces and others connected to police who failed dramatically, demonstrably, and shamefully to do their fundamental duty to society.
He is showing himself a perfect member of the Mainstream Press and Media in British Columbia, in my judgement – failing monumentally in the task a law reporter should undertake. That task is to see through all the smoke and mirrors, all the fake and frivolous appointments, all the prepared cover-ups – and to report the facts to the readers without fear or favour.
But that kind of work is rarely done by any Mainstream journalist in British Columbia.
By some kind of journalistic accident (for B.C.) Sam Cooper revealed in the Feb 10 Victoria Times Colonist how a major question in the Inquiry was squashed and pushed aside by Commissioner Wally Oppal. It had to do with an RCMP corporal admitting he was tipped off that a Hells Angels associate “was chopped up in a meat grinder on the [Pickton] farm and fed to the pigs.”(page A9). That tip was not investigated.
Equally as strangely, Sam Cooper writes in his story, “lawyer Jason Gratl was shut down by Commissioner Wally Oppal”, and “Oppal cut in, telling Gratl he did not see the relevance of the Hell’s Angels questioning, and asked the government lawyer if she would like to rise to object”.
When the presiding officer asks someone if he or she wants to rise to protest … you know what’s happening. The presiding officer is determined to stop the questioning one way or another. Why would Inquiry Commissioner Wally Oppal want to cut off very serious questions about the relation of Organized Crime to the Pickton Farm murders?
Bill Hiscox, who tipped police off early in the troubles said – as Sam Cooper reports it in the Times Colonist - “investigating officers like Conner ‘had their hands tied’ by ‘higher ups’”.
Okay. British Columbians want to know all about that. Which higher ups? And why didn’t investigating officers like Conner refuse to have their hands tied? And why aren’t those people going to be recommended for serious discipline or criminal charges?
British Columbians may be assured, I believe, that those people will not be dealt with, and British Columbians will not be told anything about those things if Wally Oppal can help it. And they may be assured, I believe, that Ian Mulgrew will do everything he can to support Wally Oppal in not telling anything important.
British Columbians may be almost perfectly sure that Ian Mulgrew will go on writing columns like the one he wrote on February 16, a column that legitimizes a know-nothing, do-nothing Inquiry.
Look at the larger picture. Look at it.
Millions upon millions of your dollars are being spent to cover up, I insist, the real events and the people, beside Robert Pickton, responsible in the Pickton Farm murders.
Millions and millions of your dollars were spent, many believe, to cover up the people really guilty of Criminal Breach of Trust in the BC Rail Scandal and in the connected trial of the three accused, lower-order aides in the Basi, Virk, and Basi trial. The RCMP formally refused to investigate Gordon Campbell and others responsible for the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR (which happened when Premier Christy Clark was deputy premier of the province).
The Auditor General of B.C. had to go to court to get information that should have been handed him without delay on the spending in the BC Rail Scandal case – and he is still investigating.
Millions and millions of dollars of your money have been looted from B.C. Hydro in “accounting” shifts that almost certainly would eventuate in charges, at least, of Criminal Breach of Trust, I believe. The Auditor General of B.C. has – in fact – condemned, for years, the so-called book-keeping of B.C Hydro.
Nothing is being investigated in BC Hydro by any police forces in British Columbia.
BC Ferries has been “privatized”. The word to describe what has been done might better be “criminalized”. Millions of your dollars have been looted, misspent, otherwise “relocated” – and no police force in British Columbia is investigating.
But all is not lost! Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu – spurred on by an apparently revenge-seeking Christy Clark who wants an on-going movie made of the trials – is spending millions and millions of your dollars to try dumb, reckless, stupid ‘rioters’ after the Stanley Cup game. Those people are not ‘criminal’ in anything like the serious way almost all the others being protected are, who are almost certainly criminals, hard at their work.
Almost all the people Jim Chu is spending millions of your dollars to squeeze through the over-crowded and failing court system would never break the law again in their lives if left alone. That one dumb night of folly would be their “criminal” history.
What we are seeing, I’m afraid, is the 1% and their servants beating up on the 99% to make it look as if Law and Justice are being served in British Columbia. Instead Law and Justice are being fouled, distorted, suborned, erased, trampled upon and made to serve the very kinds of criminal they were set up to apprehend and remove from society.
The big news today is about the looting of B.C. Hydro, on the blog of the Powell River Persuader. And it’s about the lying of Premier Christy Clark regarding the funding to the courts of British Columbia, on the blog of Ian Reid.
The real story about the Inquiry into the Missing (murdered) Women of the Vancouver Downtown East Side is interesting. But it’s a secondary story today.
Or is it…?Robin Mathewqs is a regular freelance reporter covering various acts of corruption and misdeeds in British Columbian Politics The original of this post can be found here at the Radical Press
Vancouver’s finest. Collusion or simply inept?