Auditor General

See what happens when you split the vote

On today’s Trailing Edge from the Ledge, BC Liberal press officer Sean Leslie disclosed strategy to be followed after the party’s candidate, federal Conservative wonk Laurie Throness, fails to win the once friendly riding of Chilliwack-Hope.

“If the NDP actually pulls a win out there because the Conservatives and the Liberals are split, then I think the Liberals can salvage something…”

On the same show, Keith Baldrey continued providing misinformation on BC Rail, an issue that has dogged the government for years:

“… It [payments of Basi/Virk legal fees] is stuck in a process. In court, the Auditor General is trying to get information on it.. A third party seems to be blocking it… I assume it’s the defence lawyers who say this is none of your business, it’s our money…we were paid it, it wasn’t paid to our defendants…”

No Keith, your Liberal pals are blocking the Auditor General’s access to documents. They’ve been doing it steadily for more than a year, acting contrary to promises they made in Supreme Court when John Doyle last dragged their sorry asses before the bench.

Baldrey demonstrates either ignorance or partisan willingness to misrepresent the spotlighted issue. These remarks are from Mr. Justice Greyell’s reasons for judgment dated June 30, 2011:

[39] Mr. [Richard M.] Butler [acting for the Attorney General] advised that the government would provide any other information and documents, even if they were subject to its solicitor/client privilege on the understanding that by doing so it would not constitute a waiver of the privilege and that the Auditor General would keep the information and documents strictly confidential.

[46] …Mr. Butler further indicated that he had instructions to waive any solicitor/client privilege of the Crown surrounding the requested information and would provide the information and records in the event Messrs. Basi and Virk consented to a waiver of confidentiality and solicitor/client privilege.

[66] The privilege and arising confidentiality belongs to the client: that is, the privilege belongs to Messrs. Basi and Virk. It is only client who can choose to waive such privilege…

I reported on this matter in November 2011 and I continue to be amazed that pundits such as Baldrey prefer to offer political spin rather than reporting on judicial findings that are easily accessed.

The following is from a Keith Fraser article in The Province, dated November 15, 2011. It appears to have been removed from the online archives of The Province but I found it in Google cache:

B.C. Auditor-General John Doyle is heading back to court in a bid to get access to documents related to the government’s controversial $6 million legal payments in the Basi-Virk case.

In July, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Greyell ordered the B.C. attorney-general’s ministry to turn over all records related to the deal.

But in a second petition filed in court this week, Doyle claims that some key documents haven’t been released.

And he seeks to have two Victoria lawyers who were appointed to vet the legal bills in the Basi-Virk case provide their records to him.

The petition says that Doyle is completing the planning stage of an audit of the indemnity policy by which Dave Basi and Bobby Virk got their legal fees paid as government employees.

But Doyle claims that access to many documents over which the attorney-general’s ministry claims either cabinet or solicitor-client privilege has been restricted.

Documents have either been delayed, edited or not released at all, slowing and hampering the audit process, he says.

“Full and unfettered access is fundamental to an auditor’s role in scrutinizing the management of programs, services and resources he or she is auditing.”

In particular, the missing documents include complete indemnity files for “special” indemnities such as those given to Basi and Virk, copies of invoices from private legal counsel and briefing notes and e-mails…

11 replies »

  1. Keith Baldrey will be shilling for Christy and the BC Libeals right til the bitter end. The other day in his newspaper column Baldrey was portraying Cummins as frail, elderly and confused. Basically saying that Cummins is not up for the job of Conservative leader.


  2. Baldrey can't be so dumb as to have his facts wrong. I suspect he is doing it on purpose. he is giving incorrect information to the public. Perhaps they should make announcement before he “reports” so viewers will know they are watching something which may well be untrue.

    I am not a Conservative & don't support them but to attach Cummins as “frail, elderly & confused” is just a bit much. If pundits want to attack him do it on his politics, not his age. Baldry should remember he is reaching that “old age” point also.


  3. The media, are a disgrace to their professions. There is no good honest journalism and reporting anymore. The media is the last place to go, for the truth. The media's attack ads, are just as childish as Christy's, and beneath contempt.

    I automatically deem anything from the media, to be untrue.


  4. Isn't that throwing out the good with the bad? Instead, let's identify the people who fail to meet professional standards and applaud the rest.

    There are many good people working for the corporate media. Let us demand more of them and expose the conflicted shills and the bosses that serve the aims of corporations not the objectives of good journalism.


  5. The Province might have removed Keith Fraser's article from the archives because it makes clear the Liberals are blocking the Auditor General from getting more of the story.

    MSM will continue telling Liberal lies without challenge even when the facts are clear.


  6. This kind of thing from Baldry/Leslie while unfortunate, it is after all, expected.

    But there is something wrong with this part of the delay.

    Ms. Romeo Beehler who I believe is the Auditor General’s assistant stated this in a recent affidavit:

    “The Attorney General’s office has withheld seven binders containing hundreds of documents by over-reaching claims of solicitor client privilege.”

    Now I am not a lawyer but the crown does not have solicitor/client privileges over the defendants.


  7. Yes and Justice Greyell dealt with the issue. The Liberals are playing for time. What else they are doing is not clear but the RCMP has already admitted that in due course, they will destroy all the evidence still in their possession.

    Time is clearly on the side of the criminals in this matter. They're hoping their problems disappear.


  8. Thanks Norm. I wonder if there is a time line on the records destruction that anyone is aware of; further can an application be made to prevent that?


  9. Baldrey as recently as yesterday maintains that the proof people don’t care about BC Rail and it’s a non-issue is that there have been two elections since, and the Liberals were elected.

    He has continually been reminded but refuses to acknowledge that all through the intervening period and the election campaigns the BC Liberals refused to discuss the issue because it was “before the courts”, and told us we would get the facts at trial. We all know what happened there, and what answers they’ve provided now that it is no longer “before the courts”. This will be the first general election the lies and cover-ups come home to roost, and we’ll see how much a non-issue BC Rail turns out to be.

    In the meantime, there is an issue that is not debatable. Baldrey did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on our behalf to get at the truth behind the sale and continuing scandalous cover-up of BC Rail; instead actively trying to bury it. Some journalist


  10. You say “I continue to be amazed that pundits such as Baldrey prefer to offer political spin rather than reporting on judicial findings that are easily accessed.”

    But it is so much easier to reword the government's backgrounders and report that as fact. Digging for the truth is so, so much harder.

    It seems like citizen journalists do more examination that the MSM. Maybe that's because you guys don't have political monkeys handing you prepared versions of the stories they want told.


Leave a reply but be on topic and civil.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s