“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” ~Ronald Reagan

Doing my rounds this morning of the local papers online, it struck me as incredibly odd that this headline: ” Husband of ‘Real Housewives’ star acquitted in sensational Vancouver gangland murder trial ”  has received more attention on the front pages of both the Sun and Province online, than the incredibly troubling news of the premiers affiliation with Jaspal Atwal. 

What have we come to, when a pampered reality tv show character whose husband has a shady past, is more compelling news than a prominent political leader who utilized a man with a known criminal past in her leadership campaign?

 And even more telling is that Clarks denials of any knowledge or relationship with this man has met with outrage from many members of Surrey’s Sikh community, some of whom I know and who know well of Mr. Atwals involvement and support of her campaign.

Why would the premier so happily accept his help in getting memberships and votes from this community, and then claim ignorance and worse yet, absolute innocence?  It’s insulting to the community to see how a politician will consider someone persona non grata instead of owning up to the truth. She would have been better off admitting she knew him and that yes, he did support her and then  try to claim she had no knowledge of his criminal past, rather than placing herself in the embarrassing position of having outright denied it all.

This story is significant not only for what it reveals about Atwals support and involvement in Clarks campaign, but for also revealing how many in the blood sport of politics, knowingly turn a blind eye to things like a criminal past, or  even criminal associations,in the race to get votes.

What makes this so laughable to most politically inclined in Surrey, or anyone at all involved with the different sects within the Indo Canadian community, is that nearly everyone knows Mr. Atwals past, in particular since so much of it has been well covered by the media.

For Christy to say she doesn’t know him, nor did she know of his past, for Stephanie Cadieux, and even Falcon for that matter – both Surrey MLA’s with contacts in the desi community to claim the same – is incredibly laughable, and they know it. We all know it.

 This story must not be left to die as Clarks team desperately makes calls to stem the coverage – and I must point out I have seen nothing of this on CBC at all… where is Stephen Smart when you need him?

 Bill Tielman also has a number of questions that still have no answers... and now Radio India is talking about Clarks denials, confused as to why she would be doing this. Clearly there is more to be reported on this story and someone should be holding the premiers feet to the fire. To do anything less is condone unacceptable political conduct as the norm – a dangerous precedent by any standards.

From one leader in political tatters to another getting more attention from the press than he has in years – Adrian Dix.

Adrian Dix recently sat down for a one on one interview with BC’s greatest defender, Rafe Mair, to talk about a number of contentious issues that are important to many British Columbians, specifically to find out where he stands on each of them. It is posted on his site, The Commonsense Canadian, however I have it posted here for you with permission.

At this point, I ask that you take a moment to watch the video if you have not seen it yet, and in a moment I will share my thoughts on it. Enjoy.

I’ll be honest with you. I personally believe without a doubt, that the NDP must replace the BC Liberals in power to have any hope in hell of saving this province from what this lousy group of politicians has done to us. To me at this point, they are the only viable alternative. 

That being said, I had a  really weird, kind of sick feeling in my stomach when I was finished watching this interview. I really did.  Keep in mind,this video was done the day after Christy Clark announced that Site C was essential for LNG development in BC.  

 Senator Richard Neufeld has pimped Site C to necessary to supply the Horn River basin shale gas deposits and even the NDP’s own Michael Sather has talked about the connection between Site C and fracking, and yet Dix seems confused and claims there is no connection between Site C and fracking – that instead all the energy from site c would be for British Columbians and export….  Come on Dix, I know this stuff, where have you been?

In my opinion, the viewer is left wondering what his position is on any of those issues. It’s a wait and see attitude rather comparable to Christy Clarks wait and see attitude on Enbridge, and that alarms me for a couple of reasons.

One, the people of BC have been royally screwed over in a variety of manners by the Liberals. We are done. You hear me? Done. People have lost hope, become more apathetic in some areas than ever before. Politically castrated. But some of us are still fighting, and fighting hard.

Call me crazy, but when you take a stand out of a deep conviction, people know, they feel it and they respond to that. They might not agree with you, but they are going to ask themselves inside, “Is this is the kind of person who I can trust when the chips are down and know they are willing to take a hard stand?” I didn’t see that in this video.

What I did see shows me how much work it will be to keep the NDP in line too, especially with a majority. Some of you might not like hearing that, but it is the damned truth. It could be said that Dix is being strategic by not revealing where he stands so not to give the Liberals a target.

 It could be said that we aren’t in an election period so he doesn’t need to give a platform but I disagree with both if either is the case.  

The Liberals have been in power for 10 years and every day is a day not to be lost or wasted by the opposition in setting a firm position for the future of BC. 

You don’t need to wait until your party is in power to take a stand on what you believe in. You need to show the people you are going to show up at the battle with your armour on, ready to fight.

28 Comments on ““Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” ~Ronald Reagan

  1. Jaspal Singh Atwal had more or less disappeared from the Press’ own headlines but, but, our local public library, online, via the Digital Canadian newstand has Mr. Atwal covered, from head to toe.

    A man convicted of attempted murder, admitting to have pulled the trigger, twice, once wasn’t enough it seems, sentenced to twenty years in prison, is out in six. The documents in our public libraries go on and on with the facts of his past deeds, including crossing “swords” with ICBC.

    He has been before the Judge so many times, in his one life thus far, that it makes one really ask how did the current BC Liberal handlers for the Premier be so blind to his past, or more so, those that supported Christy Clark for her bid to be the leader of their Party. Why, at any point in time, hasn’t the Ministry of the Attorney General of BC not taken her aside and apprised her of the possible consequences?

  2. Yep, very Rick Mercer! Read this on your facebook link and wanted to say thanks for giving a well-deserved shot across the bow to both in my opinion.I don’t know where Dix stands on a lot of issues and the emails I get back are non-commital. Everyone said the Liberals wouldnt win last time and they did,I’m not leaving anything out as a possibility. Dix and the NDP need to be on their game since they dont have the money like the libbers do. Enjoy your work greatly, your conviction certainly shows!

  3. Laila:

    I agree with you. The Jaspal Atwal case is extremely troubling.
    And even though I disagree in the strongest terms with Christy Clark and am committed to defeating her party in the next election, I want that win to be based on a battle of policies and ideas, not scandal. (I’m a member of the BC Conservative Party.)
    Honestly? I don’t want to believe Tsakumis’ allegations.. and I know enough about media law to know that much of the stuff he wrote, not just in the “open letter” linked in your piece above, but even more so in his completely acerbic post on Wednesday.. would be legally actionable.
    Believe it is not, I want Clark’s people to throw the book at him. If they don’t, in my mind, it’s a sad, sad admission of guilt, and then she’s gotta go. And sooner rather than later. The media “crickets” treatment of this won’t last forever, and this will quickly spin out of control, and turn into a repeat of the final days of Bill VanderZalm, Mike Harcourt, and Glen Clark.
    It is absolutely incumbent on the Lib’s to find a way to get their leader to grow a pair and take this on with more than simply lame statements of denial issued by her flunkies.
    Unless, as I said above, it’s all true.

  4. A MUST READ comment by North Van Grumps… why didn’t any of her handlers apprise her for that matter? Of yes, Ghuman was friends with Atwal… hmmm.. someone should be looking at Ghumans other friends is what I reccomend, because I understand that there is more to be heard on that story.

    Jim B.- thank you for the kind words! I had to laugh after I re-read this, yes a bit Rick Mercer at the end there..lol.. but what can I say? I feel passionate about this province and the people who call it home. Only the best is what I want for all. And I agree, I was surprised the Liberals won again in the last election, in particular in areas where their actions caused so much harm. You can never count on what the voters will do, and if a new leader were found for the liberals before the next election, the NDP might be second best yet again. In that spirit this post comes. Foolhardy to not take opportunities to set yourself above the rest. Dix is more than welcome to comment here as to where he is coming from and where he stands on a personal level, in particular on Site C.

    Al, in some ways you might compare the Christy/Atwal scandal to the Robocall one. No one wants to believe that someone would stoop so low, no one wants to believe the worst, even of their foe, but politics in Surrey has always been interesting to say the least. Considering Christy was a talk show host and allegedly in touch with whats going on in the communities around here, it becomes even more laughable.Frankly, I am surprised Mr. Atwal decline comment when contacted by the press. He could have put the entire matter to rest right then and there…

  5. With the greatest of respect to Mr. Siebring, he demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding (my charity is on display here) of the law.

    Yes, my posts about this shameless harridan that is occupying the Premier’s chair, are acerbic, but certainly no more than dozens of others in the media, mainstream and otherwise. Nothing I have written is actionable. Not a word. “Truth” isn’t an absolute defence for defamation, as if it’s used to thoroughly ridicule, above the facts as they exist, is not acceptable under the law. I wrote just below that bar, being fully conscious of the broad-sweeping ramifications of this extremely important story.

    Nonetheless, the invitation to have me sued is pedestrian at best, in light of the limitations of the ‘truth defence.’

    What Mr. Siebring and others might want to concentrate on is that at $3 billion dollar investment announcement by Telus, the Premier was absent, sent no Cabinet Minister. The only govt member present was Colin Hansen.

    Perhaps nudges like this will help the cobblestone lawyers among you recognize what’s about to happen.

    Nevermind taking the offensive (which would be very stupid): She’s hiding to avoid taking questions on the Atwal Affair. Now go ask yourselves why…

    I hope this helps.

    Thanks Laila.

    • No thanks needed.The publics interest must come above personal or professional differences. As you point out in your update, Les Leyne caught her – or her stupidity- off guard with this exchange:
      “Meanwhile, Premier Christy Clark repeated Thursday that there will be more scrutiny of the guest list for special functions, like budgets, because Atwal should not have been allowed in.

      Asked if she knew him, she said: “I have met thousands and thousands and thousands of people, so I can’t say I know him.

      If I had recognized his name and seen him on the list, he wouldn’t have been here.”

      Hmmm. If she didnt know who he was, hadn’t met him and didnt know about his past…. why in the world would she say that?

      Busted. In a big way. Thank you Les Leyne for a diamond quote if I ever heard one. And look to Alex’s site for updates, he has one now.

  6. Crunch is done like Paris Hilton.This can only get worse.Atwal has been at several Liberal functions in Surrey welcomed by open arms not just by Clark though, being friends with Ghuman he atteneded lots of events, with Falcon and Steph too!

    As for this Dix commentary, right on! Keep em on the straight and narrow, someone has to. Best to you girl!

  7. One would hope some of the BC Liberal MLAs (Or should I say BC Christy Party MLAs) that previously propped her up may be working behind the scenes to dump her, or walk away. So their silence right now is possibly excusable. But the main stream “journalists” who are silent on this deserve our enduring contempt.

    As for the kind of person who I can trust when the chips are down and know they are willing to take a hard stand, I did see that in this video. The guy in the yellow shirt….

  8. This guy was just showing that the Liebrel Government has and was bought and paid for by sleaze bags like him.
    He was just washing the people of BC’s face in it.
    Chrispy ditzy Clark and the rest of the criminals running BC know the jigs up and will pillage whats left for the next year.
    Funny how you can’t find any Liebrel supports who will admit it to ones face.

    As far as Dix goes, I would think that in his position, and with the MSM is in this province being what it is, he needs to have an ass a mile wide and be able to sit on a picket fence and not get that sliver that they ( our so called media) would blow out of all proportion.

    We can weep and wail all we want but until we are prepared to go to the Provincial Legislature with pitch forks and shovels, like the people in Syria, Egypt and Libya, we had better be prepared to bend over and take it with a smile.

  9. In July of 2006, and reported by Kim Bolan of the Vancouver sun, the: “……..president of Surrey’s Guru Nanak temple, said politicians of all stripes should think twice before supporting those with criminal or terrorist links.” http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=9c10a989-ed52-4fa7-a27a-24c99b87fe1a&k=97662&p=2

    Obviously, in this particular instance, those who didn’t exercise their vetting duties responsibly in regards to the safety and security of our Legislature for Budget 2012, the BC Liberal staff have done exactly what their former Premier promised would not happen under his watch, and announced his resignation by saying this in 2010: “…. when public debate becomes focused on one person as opposed to what’s in the best interest of the province of British Columbia, we’ve lost sight of what’s important.”

    So here’s some free 2012 advice: Criminals and terrorists links should think twice before supporting politicians of any stripe.

    And who can forget RCMP Sgt. Ward where he said in the dieing days of December 2003, after the Raid on the Legislature regarding the BC Rail trial:

    “Organized crime has stretched into every corner of B.C. and onto most city streets. It is not an exaggeration to say that organized crime is a cancer eating away at the social and moral fabric of British Columbia.”

  10. As weary as the BC citizens are of the lies and deceit from the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals…After over ten years, we are still fuming about Campbell’s theft and sale of the BCR. We have BC Mary to thank for this resolve. This was the out and out sleaziest crime in Canadian history. The BC ministers all backed Campbell and his theft of the BCR right to the nth degree. Never, ever will I vote for the BC Liberals for the rest of my life. That is my resolve, because of BC Mary’s extensive work. We should not let Mary down. Besides Campbell’s theft of our heritage BCR, is a total piss-off to me.

    If pitch forks and shovels are needed at the Legislature, so be it. That may be exactly what will be needed, for the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty oil tanker atrocities upon our province. Enbridge, Alberta and Harper, I would love to poke them in their butts with a pitch fork.

    • Gloria, you are absolutely correct we can never forget BC Mary’s extensive work. It is a legacy to all British Columbians and has been the base for many a reporter, writer and blogger to pursue further explorations. I credit BC Mary for being a continual inspiration to myself (and others) to expose truths in this province. You’ve made me smile too, with your ending remark ; ) What a visual!!

      North Van – solemn words.Indeed,we havent been able to focus on anything but the person and her issues that never seem to go away.What else is there that we don’t know?

      Your advice is gold. Organized crime is everywhere,in companies, in contracts and in more places than most would think.In fact,the department for public safety conducted an investigation into organized crime,corruption and construction in BC and had a hard time getting anywhere because very few wanted to participate. Now, why would that be?

      Oh, and SNC lavelin, which has been involved in many a BC project, including the Canada line and the Sea to sky highway, is being sued today. A class action lawsuit for allegedly misleading investors and engaging in unlawful activities in Libya…. http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/03/02/250-million-class-action-suit-launched-against-snc-lavalin/ Now…guess that spells bad news for Christy’s advisor Gwyn Morgan now, doesn’t it?

      CGHZD – great comment. I think most people arent far off the pitchforks!
      LEW – yes I saw that same man.. lol… would be lovely though to hear him on air again regularly. Miss hearing someone blast the hell out of everyone. And I would definately trust my life in his hands, as well as the province.

  11. If Dix doesn’t get his act together he will meet the same fate Carol did. Now is not the time to be wishy washy.

  12. I just heard from Alex- I asked him if it was too many visitors at once or something else, here is his reply:

    ” Sure, bloody hell, that’s exactly what happened.

    48,000 people across Canada trying to get on at once. So it crashed. Up shortly. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Thanks Laila! “

  13. Hey Laila

    It appears Alex Tsakumis’s website has been taken out – one has to assume by the forces of evil otherwise known as Christy and her merry band of terrorists – has there been any thought of what to do in such a cyber-war? I was thinking that the blog world could pull a replicant thing by re-posting AGT’s stuff everywhere…that would be payback no one could miss…and one they couldn’t defend against…what do you say?

    Warren White
    Gordon Head, Victoria

  14. Good for you Laila on another effective report.
    NDP appears to be in the same rut as when Ms. James was the leader, all critizism and no constructive policies. Added to this, I wonder why Horgan is so quiet.

  15. Thank you North Van, I hope AGT gets it up and running soon, but knowing how much goes into all this, patience is a virtue. The info he had posted before he went down was provocative to say the least- it looked like a scanned copy of something from RedFM, that showed a date and time, and talked about Christy and this get together that was held where it specifically states she was greeted by organizers…. then goes on to name them, including Jaspal Atwal.

    It ended with a quote from her asking them to go get her memberships….

    Jack, great to see you as always! Thank you, very kind words! Myself,I like to know what I am dealing with, don’t want any surprises down the road from having thought one thing, only to find out that is not how it really is after all. You either support Site C, or you don’t, based on what we do know, not what the environmental assessment will tell us. I dont care if that assessment says everything is fine and wonderful and superb, go ahead and flood away some of the best farm land in this country. Take away the recreational areas people use to play, hunt, relax…. I am not for it. I think there is enough to indicate this plan was cooked up entirely for the resource sector and nothing else that someone like Dix should be able to say what he thinks right out there, without all the circle talk.

    • Alex is back up and running this morning Maryanne, and if you havent read his post from last night, its certainly fueling the fire!

  16. Given the daily revelations of the VoterScam, incorrectly labelled Robocall,the reason Alex’s blog crashed due to 45,000 “calls” trying to access it at one time may have come from one, or many, of the call centres used by the Conservatives during the last questionable election. RackNine, one of these call centres used bragged that it is capable of making 10 million calls at once.

    Stephen Harper’s closest friends and once his senior policy advisor and strategist is now Christy Clark’s Chief of Staff: Ken Boessenkool. What can we expect here in BC during our next election? Boessenkool became the lobbyist for Taser International after the repeated tasering of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport.

    The following is from “Sixth Estate” March 24, 2011:

    “When H2o Water Pros and convicted Conservative fraudster Bruce Carson decided to try hawking their gimmicky Simple H2o water filtration units to the Department of Indian Affairs, they created a front company to handle the transactions, H2O Global Group. When APTN broke the story, H2o Pros‘s website vanished. Oddly, H2o Global’s website didn’t, and can still be found here. That’s particularly odd given that while it’s website is still up, it’s surprisingly difficult to find the company itself.

    H2o Global’s website says it is based in Suite 1150 at the World Exchange Plaza, an office building in downtown Ottawa, just a couple of blocks away from Bruce’s old digs in Langevin Block, which houses the Harper Government™ Prime Minister’s Office. That same office suite is also currently claimed by (among other tenants) GCI Canada, home of Harper’s former senior strategist Ken Boessenkool. And by SecDev, the Canadian partner of Palantir, recently and dramatically outed by Anonymous as part of a conspiracy by the American Chamber of Commerce to stalk and hack political opponents. You can rent it too, if you have a couple hundred bucks a month. If you actually need to use the office, say for a meeting, you have to pay extra, generally by the hour.”

    A virtual business office with virtual receptionists.

    Another of Christy’s favourite sons is Roger Harris, former defeated northern Liberal MLA who went to work for Enbridge as their VP of Communications and Aboriginal Partnerships in November 2008 and who became part of Christy’s three person transition team from one disingenuous Premier to another while he was still employed by Enbridge.

    Of course, everyone should know by now Christy’s main advisor is none other than Gwyn Morgan, Encanad oil multi-millionaire and $300,000 a year Chair of SNC Lavalin’s Board of Directors.

    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” Edward Bernays, USA 1920’s – father of modern “public” relations and mentor to Joseph Goebbels.

    Bernays and Walter Lippman developed the technique of polling manipulation in order to “create” public opinion for political parties and private corporations.

  17. It wouldn’t really matter how many new members Mr. Atwal helped in signing up for the BC Liberals. The leadership contest created each riding equally when it came to votes for the leader. Christy Clark’s campaign was masterful at targeting strong NDP ridings with low BC Liberal membership. The BC Liberals never released the actual votes from members only the votes as they pertained to the equalized ridings.

  18. Keep an eye on Christy’s new Chief of Staff, Ken Boessenkool. Check him out…
    Is Harper’s close friend, strategist, senior policy advisor, lobbyist for Taser International, and now emissary running the BC Government? Can we expect the same voter manipulation during the 2013 campaign here in BC?

    It would be easy to shut down any blog or website with the technology RackNine, one of the call centres used by those who tainted the 2011 federal election and was used by several Conservative candidates in 2011 including Harper’s campaign in Calgary, currently has. RackNine boasts that their technology can reach 10 million phones simultaneous.

    And if anyone was still wondering where Christy Clark stands on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline:

    Roger Harris, former Liberal MLA, at the same time employed by Enbridge as VP Communications and Aboriginal Partnerships in 2008 was also one of Christy’s three person transition team, transitioning it appears from one disingenuous Premier to another.

  19. I do hope that Elections Canada and the RCMP will be able to come up with enough evidence of electoral fraud by the Harper government before we go to the polls again here in B.C. I also hope that our new Governor General is not in the ‘Crime Minister’s’ pocket, as many seem to believe.

    If Harper gets away with this, can you imagine what’s going to become of us, provincially as well as federally?

  20. The angst expressed by those regarding DIx, not being more forthright regarding Site C, IPP’s, fracking, and tar sands power is understandable. Dix is correct though when he emphasizes that the NDP and the public must be privy to what is in the contracts and understand their impacts before he can be more definitive. Only insiders (including former BC Hydro executives working for private power) know if and what nefarious commitments the BC Liberals have made regarding any of these agreements. We’ve all seen these corporate games before, especially related to confidentiality and potential liabilities, that are designed to handicap government. SNC, Enbridge, Big Oil, etc certainly know how to play the game to their advantage, not for the public.

    It is also unfortunate main stream media no longer has interviewers with the dogged skills of Rafe Mair.