Throwback Thursday: A bit of history on BC legislature accounting practices…or lack thereof

If you haven’t followed the latest #bcpoli scandal, there is quite a story brewing in Victoria….and I thought it might be a good time to look back at how the legislature has been operating for nearly a decade, and what they have done to fix it. 

This week, the story broke that two top BC Legislature officials were placed on paid administrative leave, following an investigation and subsequent request by RCMP for a special prosecutor. https://www.straight.com/news/1166786/top-legislature-officials-craig-james-and-gary-lenz-placed-administrative-leave-wake

But wait. It gets more interesting as time goes on. The National Post has since reported that sources indicated to them, the two were being investigated for possible fraud and theft, and that public taxpayers were the victims. https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/two-senior-officials-suspended-from-b-c-legislature-being-investigated-for-possible-fraud-and-theft-sources

An earlier report indicated this had nothing to do with expenses, that remains to be determined. What was interesting in all this, was that the investigation was initially undertaken by Daryll Plecas’ special advisor, Alan Mullen.  Who is Alan Mullen and why does Plecas have a special advisor? This recent story sheds some light on this: https://www.bclocalnews.com/news/ive-seen-a-lot-of-joy-and-a-lot-of-crying-life-as-a-politicians-assistant-can-be-eye-opening/

Few constituency offices have seen quite so much change as that of Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas, who became Speaker of the Legislature and left the BC Liberal party in one fell swoop.

As speaker, Plecas must be seen to be impartial. At the same time, though, he remains his constituent’s elected representative. So, in addition to his long-time CA, Amber Born, Plecas now employs Alan Mullen as a “special adviser.”

Mullen had previously volunteered on political campaigns, first on behalf of the NDP, then for Plecas after he decided to run in 2013.

The pair had come to know each other while Plecas was a prison judge and Mullen worked as a corrections manager at Kent Institution. So when Plecas decided to accept an offer from the NDP to become Speaker of the Legislature – a job in which he can’t directly advocate for policies – he tapped Mullen to perform some of the functions he could no longer do.

That includes things like meeting with groups and organizations seeking funding, and taking those requests to decision-makers in Victoria. And Mullen gushed at the results so far, saying he was surprised with the ability to be able to sit down with ministers – although he said Plecas’s decision to take the speakership wasn’t the reason for that accommodation.

Reports now indicate that Mullen conducted this initial investigation for nearly 7 months before handing over everything to the RCMP early this fall. That alone, has raised eyebrows, however today BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson and Mary Polak came forward with an affidavit, now saying that in a meeting with Plecas, he had asked for Mullen to given the position of acting Sergent  at Arms.  Polak and those in attendence said it was inappropriate and that was the end of it. 

However, in the context of asking Mullen to fill this position temporarily, Plecas is the chair of the LMA committee and his duties as speaker are listed at the end of this post. Part of those duties is provision of security, something many reporters seem to have missed. The issue here, if any, is the perception of conflict because Mullen is also a personal friend aside from working for Plecas as a ‘special advisor’.

(An initial thought that occurred to me after hearing of this position, was curiosity as to whether Linda Reid had a similar advisor, or is this unique to Plecas? I have yet to see any reporter ask this question. )

But lets move on, because I suspect this story will be occupying #bcpoli for some time. Let’s go back to the past to understand a bit more about how our Legislative Assemblys financial affairs have been handled for years… and how BC mla’s ignored warnings for years that conditions for … gasp.. fraud and theft were ripe in our most respected institution, before finally acting to fix things. 

In 2012, Craig James made the news for his lavish expenses, that Dermod Travis of Integrity BC discovered via FOI: 

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/forhttp://www.vancouversun.com/news/former+chief+electoral+officer+Craig+James+under+fire+travel+expenses/7158330/story.htmlmer+chief+electoral+officer+Craig+James+under+fire+travel+expenses/7158330/story.html

It was following that debacle that it was revealed by a scathing 2012 Auditor Generals audit, that legislative affairs were a mess. Lack of bank reconciliations. No receipts. Expenses from one year classed into another. The full details are here: https://lailayuile.com/2012/07/27/politics-without-principle-makes-hypocrisy-a-governing-force-in-the-legislative-assembly/

And ironically,  this wasn’t a new thing – the Auditor Generals office had
recommended way back in 2007, that the Legislature provide  publicly available audited financial reports, and improve internal controls to prevent fraud and misappropriation of public funds…. and it never happened. For 5 years after that, BC MLA’s did nothing to fix their own financial affairs. So, one would think the 2012 stories would have created change, yes?

No.Two years later, in 2014, news broke that then speaker Linda Reid’s expenses were a bit like Imelda Marcos: Lavish expensed trips, excessive legislative spending.. you get the gist. And it wasn’t just Linda Reid…Raj Chouhan expensed a lavish trip as well, which he paid back. Full details on that,here: https://lailayuile.com/2014/03/26/politics-without-principle-2-0-just-because-you-candoesnt-mean-you-should/

Finally, following more than a decade of amateurish accounting practices, the BC Legislature and MLA’s within it had been embarrassed enough to move towards proper accounting practices and transparency, and published their first expense reports in 2015: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Legislature+releases+detailed+expenses/10926667/story.html

It’s now 2018 and the most recent LAMC Accountability report is available online to show you how and where the legislature spends its money and keeps track of it. Seems timely to show you: https://www.leg.bc.ca/content/CommitteeDocuments/41st-parliament/LAMC/LAMC_AccountabilityReport_2016-17.pdf

I can’t determine what safeguards they have in place now to prevent misappropriation of funds, but it’s clear that little attention has been paid to this in the past. 

Darryl Plecas, in addition to speaker, is also chair of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee, which would give him access to and insight into financial matters of the legislature, and certainly affords him a unique position to see things others may not…particularly with his background in criminology.

Incidentally, he is hated by most BC Liberals…and this post I wrote explains why: https://lailayuile.com/2017/09/10/educating-ryan/   Plecas was the only person to call out Clark when she tried to pass off the NDP platform as the Lib platform in a last ditch attempt to fool voters prior to the last election. And Randy Hawes said it so well. There isn’t a Liberal in that house who doesn’t want to see Plecas gone…and to see him removed as Speaker which would make it possible to try and topple the current government. Frankly this aspect alone, their contempt for Plecas, taints the situation greatly. 

The BC Liberals will make much noise over Mullen and Plecas, to distract #bcpoli watchers from the REAL story: what Plecas found, what evidence was handed to the RCMP and why it merited two special prosecutors.  That is the story here…not Mullen. What exactly prompted this investigation in the first place? 

A snapshot of current and past members of this committee are as follows: 

Other info that might be helpful to understand context of duties, during this evolving story , from the link above: 

Finance and Audit Committee
The Finance and Audit Committee is an advisory sub-committee reporting to the Legislative Assembly Management Committee on financial and administrative matters. It is comprised of the Speaker, the government and opposition Caucus Chairs, the Third Party House Leader, and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.


Speaker of the Legislative Assembly ( Darryl Plecas) 
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly is elected by its Members to serve as the Presiding Officer and Chair of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee. Under the Committee’s direction, the Speaker is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Assembly, the provision of security within the Legislative Precinct, and the management of the use of the Legislative Precinct.

( note: Plecas has a strong background in criminology- from his mla website: “Plecas was the RCMP Senior University Research Chair and Director for the Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research at the University of the Fraser Valley, where he worked for 34 years. He holds two degrees in criminology from Simon Fraser University and a doctorate in higher education from the University of British Columbia. He is the author or co-author of more than 200 books, international journal articles, and research reports addressing a broad range of public safety issues. His most recent book, which he co-authored in his current role as professor emeritus at the University of the Fraser Valley, focuses on how government professionals can make better decisions.”

Clerk of the Legislative Assembly ( Craig James)
The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly is the senior permanent officer and procedural advisor to the Speaker and all Members. The Clerk manages the provision of professional and procedural advice and support to the Legislative Assembly Management Committee and the Finance and Audit Committee, and is responsible for the Assembly’s administrative and financial operations.

And this link explains when and why special prosecutors are brought in. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/criminal-justice/bc-prosecution-service/about/special-prosecutors

So there you have it… and this is why people like Dermod Travis of Integrity BC and Bob Mackin matter so much. I would say both have been instrumental in bringing the legislature into a state of professionalism with respect to accounting, and transparency. I will post updates to this story as they develop, in the comments below. 



110 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: A bit of history on BC legislature accounting practices…or lack thereof

    1. Laila Yuile

      Thanks Mike. Might help people understand some history and as well, the duties these positions hold. And that for many many years it was the wild west of accounting in the legislature. Still not sure what safeguards they have in place to prevent misappropriation of funds, if any.

      Here is the latest update. Plecas will be doing a press conference this afternoon I believe. Should be interesting…

      https://www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/canada/british-columbia/article-bc-liberals-accuse-speaker-of-trying-to-appoint-aide-as-sergeant-at/?__twitter_impression=true

  1. nonconfidencevote

    My God Wally Oppal comes crawling from under a rock back into the limelight.
    Do these people ever go away and die?

    When I saw the TV scrum the other night one thing that caught my eye was the unbelievable salaries and tax free expense accounts these trough snuffing hogs rake in.

    Clerk of the Legislature $357,000 per year with an additional $55,000 in expenses
    Sargeant at Arms : $245.000 per year and $40,000 in expenses.

    Christy Clark only hauled in$197,000 plus her $5ok topup from the Libs…..

    Fired them all.
    Hire monkeys with darts and put the entire legislative agenda up for them to fling darts at.
    Pay them in bananas and cigars.

    We’d have uncorrupted decisions rendered by far more intelligent simians than the IDIOTS in charge now.

    1. Laila Yuile

      The amount of spending is an issue for me and always has been. There is still an air of entitlement with those public funds. Helicopter charters, dry cleaning…come on.
      Mla’s make excellent salaries, have excellent per diem while in Victoria, and many still choose the no receipts required sums for housing instead of submitting receipts for an allowance. Those lump sum housing payments have allowed many to buy second homes, vacation homes or whatever. They also get additional pay for committees if they are on them . So , totally feeling you on that aspect.
      Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

      Not sure what I think of Stonewall Oppal entering the scene. This entire thing is really bizarre. As with most, I can’t wait to hear what the investigation results in. Call me silly but I do hope this triggers a full inquiry…..( yes I know. Dreaming…)

  2. nonconfidencevote

    My expectation?
    The NDP will pull a “Liberal”. a la Basi / Virk ( BC Rail) and make this all go away with non disclosure agreements. It worked for the Fiberals right? Right? .

    And that other piece of s**t Plecas trying to get his “friend” inserted at the 11th hour as the new $250k per year Sgt at arms…….Fired. No severance..
    His investigation may have turned up corruption, fraud, etc and then he RUINS the moment by doing the exact same thing! IDIOT!

    He should get two choices.
    Removed as speaker,, banished to the back bench or Have the Title “Honorable” removed from his appointed position while he continues to spit in the face of hard working taxpayers of this Province.
    I’ll take one guess as to which choice his Right “Honorable” Speaker would take after realizing his obscene salary and perks might be in jeapordy…….

    Who ARE these people that suck taxpayers blood like leeches and then want more?
    Fire them all and start over..

    To hell with the smoke and mirrors of the referendum.
    Its been two years of a minority govt that appears to be starting down the same corruption road as the Liberals.
    Lets have another election.
    Kick them all out . Start over

    1. Laila Yuile

      Yes, suggesting Mullen be put in as ACTING sergent at arms temporarily- which is what occurred and was denied- was a stupid move on his part even for a temp position.

      The whole aspect of Mullen being hired to assist as a special advisor in the constituency is strange. Linda Reid did not have a similar advisor so his presence is not the norm of prior Speakers.

      This all sadly is still being used as a distraction from whatever RCMP are investigating that was significant enough to require not one but two special prosecutors.

      Very little attention is being paid on this in the media. I wonder why?

  3. nonconfidencevote

    Gee.
    The Speaker of the House “only” pulls in $150 grand plus perks.
    I’m amazed Plecas didn’t nominate himself for a $250 grand job….. I mean what the hell. right? Right?

      1. Laila Yuile

        First, it’s lailayuile.com, not leilayuile.com 😉 One is my name…the other is not.

        And if it didn’t have a reply button…how did you reply? I’m not sure what you are referring to. There is also a contact page should you wish to get in touch.

  4. Plecas bio from the BC Legislature Website: focuses on how government professionals can make better decisions. Lenz and James are professionals. Has Plecas conducted his investigation via a double blind study?

    https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members/41st-Parliament/Plecas-Darryl

    Prior to his election as MLA, Dr. Plecas was the RCMP Senior University Research Chair and Director for the Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research at the University of the Fraser Valley, where he worked for 34 years. He holds two degrees in criminology from Simon Fraser University and a doctorate in higher education from the University of British Columbia. He is the author or co-author of more than 200 books, international journal articles, and research reports addressing a broad range of public safety issues. His most recent book, which he co-authored in his current role as professor emeritus at the University of the Fraser Valley, focuses on how government professionals can make better decisions.

    1. Laila Yuile

      🤣🤣🤣🤣

      Hmmm. I’m still holding judgement on his actions until we know more. If Oppal said he acted on advice, one wonders who advised him. And what exactly was found.

      Either way, this lawyers letter from Lenz and James will speed things up.

      Or not?

  5. nonconfidencevote

    ….and Wally Oppal feigns outrage at anyone questioning his client’s motives….

    I recall Attorney General Wally’s sputtering outrage when a reporter dared to question him about a Judges’ comments during a trial sentencing and asked if the sentence handed down might have been too light due to the seriousness of the crime ( 2 years for sexually assaulting a minor).
    “How dare you question the judiciary! I wont listen to any criticism of our Judicial system! etc etc etc….”

    Any publicity’s good publicity in Wally World

  6. Tim.

    I have an audio loop playing in my head;

    “…fired amid allegations of inappropriate and potentially criminal conduct…”
    “…fired because of a flawed and rushed investigation…”
    “…most of the grounds relied on were unsupported by the evidence and not true..”
    “…charges were never laid and the RCMP never investigated the claims…”

    Graham Whitmarsh, a former deputy health minister, made the decision to fire the workers, and even though Premier Christy Clark and officials in her office were aware of the investigation, they did not direct Whitmarsh to dismiss the employees.

    NDP Leader John Horgan said pleas by Linda Kayfish, MacIsaac’s grieving sister, forced the government to shine a light on the firings.

    1. Laila Yuile

      Yep. Totally agree. It’s not unexpected to have an escort out- this happens in the private sector in certain situations when employees are fired or laid off. But in such a public manner like this? And mlas were mouthing to the press…not yet. Cant recall where I read that but I did see it from a reporter somewhere.

      It’s still quite unreal they havent even been told what they are being investigated for..how is that even legal?

    2. Tim.

      This could all prove to be very embarrassing for MR. Horgan.
      The other thing I keep coming back to is how many law enforcement people have gone to politics and lost all sense of what’s right…if they ever had it.

    3. kennylad

      I wonder how much added stress was put on Rod McIssac because of former Health Minister Margret McDirmad’s continually alluding to the line that there was an ongoing police investigation. Where did she get that from. She took over from Mike de Jong. But she continued with that shameful shit about a police investigation right up to the time of the poor guys passing. Blood boiling point gets reached with this.

    4. I would think that there is no legal requirement to inform the people being investigated. If the police had to inform a suspect in advance of charges the suspect would be likely to disappear. Even though these two would find it hard to do a duster, they are possibly trying their best to remove evidence anyway.

    1. nonconfidencevote

      We wont even talk about the $6,000,000 pay out to Robert Dziekanski’s Mother for his unecessary tasering and avoidable death at the Van airport and the police perjury at the trial….
      The RCMP should be having a major rethink about their hiring practices AND their training.
      Small wonder Surrey has had enough with the daily shootings and daily excuses.

      1. Laila Yuile

        Agreed.
        I know some great rcmp…and I have met some really bad ones too( mostly management, I’ll let you guess who)

        A former cop said nothings going to happen on this case.

    2. kennylad

      And what about the revelations from ex mountie Fred Pinnock and what he said about the senior RCMP management that knew and turned the cheek to the money laundering issues along with the previous BC Liberal leadership. Now that’s sick, and just made my jaw drop with anger when when i watched that news interview with him. The guys a hero for doing that interview. And does anyone wonder where the hell we’re those former BC Liberal Justice Ministers and Attorney Generals. It just burns me up that the whole filthy works were complicit in screwing over British Columbians instead of serving justice in the interest of the the people. Makes one want to yell out this. WTF !!

  7. kennylad

    It would be interesting to see where the tenticles reach in this case, but sadly i concur that it will most likelyburn out fast and the people will be left with the bill as always because of yet another scandal brought on by clowns, wasters, and crooks. I wonder who’s going to have the most egg on their faces or faces, scapegoated possibly, tarred, feathered and dragged through the street of public opinion, and put on the political cross for crucifiction and ruin. Fallout possibilities, or will it all just wash away.
    Anyways I hope we get to a public inquiry to expose the big and the bad who have really caused a lot of harm to British Columbian’s. I think we’ve all heard some of those big names many times over that have worked, and still work with the BC governing empire.

  8. kennylad

    One more thing that boils my blood is when former Justice Minister Suzanne Anton told CBC Early Edition’s Michele Eliot that it was an “unintentional failure” when asked about the BC Liberal government ‘s response to money laundering. More like it was all intentional F……g failure ! Where was this Justice Minister. Mind blowing, stomach turning and outrage is all i can come up with as a citizen of BC.
    We must have an inquiry. Must must must.

  9. Laila Yuile

    The entire legislature is unaccountable, Sean Holman says, because its largely exempt from FOI.

    The state of it truly is embarrassing for mlas on both sides of the house. The LAMC is bipartisan. Mla’s have known for years how bad of a state it’s been. And there is no excuse for it not to be accountable , but then again the ndp has, as Bob Mackin has also pointed out, failed to keep their election promise on Freedom of Information reform. Frankly I have little hope for that with Jinny Sims….https://thebreaker.news/business/legislature-management/

    1. Laila Yuile

      See this really pisses me off.

      Remember the Sidewinder report? It talked in detail about how the triads, associates and Chinese business had bought up a big portion of Vancouver…in the 1990’s, and that many of these people were buying visas to get into Canada. And the RCMP and the federal government of the time killed the report as conjecture.

      One should be taking a hard look at this past report for a full understanding of how we got to where we are right now in BC.

      This is my piece from 2012. Still and always will be, highly relevant https://lailayuile.com/2012/04/12/playing-with-the-dragon-who-is-looking-after-canadian-interests-while-china-outwits-our-governments/

    1. Laila Yuile

      Yes I see too Horgans backtracking on how the suspensions were handled.

      I do not agree with them not being told what they are under investigation for. But the Libs are working overtime to discredit both Plecas and Mullen( send Mullen back to Abbotsford)

      Why are they more concerned about Plecas and Mullen..than whatever it is RCMP are investigating and have been for 3 months? I do believe the Libs are scared…question is…what are they scared of?

  10. nonconfidencevote

    @ Laila
    “Which makes me question what China got in return for cooperating on that investigation….”
    *************

    Perhaps, the US Trade Tariffs delayed for a few more months?
    Communist China wants to rule the world and if it takes any means necessary….so be it.

  11. Tim.

    So, Mr. Horgan “regets” how this saga unfolded.
    Does he see the impending embarrassment?
    Is he trying to circle back before it becomes a major political blow?
    Is he now starting to see who the real DR. Plecas is?

    Speaking of the speaker, how can one give him any slack when he tried to slide his friend, Mr. Mullen, into a cushy job?

    Speaking of the speaker, how could he not have known of his friend’s history and what does this say about the credibility of either of them?
    https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/alan-mullen-adviser-to-speaker-fired-from-casino-security-job-court-papers-1.23511736

    An aside to all of this; the Greens are making a big effort in the Nanaimo bielection.
    Is a nice split vote a liberal dream come true?

    Speaking of the liberals, can we agree the backrooms are full of big spenders, plotting the sinking of the NDP over the Plecas affair? The $$$ pledges, and pro bono offerings, must be staggering.

    1. Laila Yuile

      Of course they are which is why I blogged about how they were deliberately trying to change channels on the rcmp investigation and two special prosecutors. Mullens past is shitty. Plecas asking to have him as temporary acting sergent at arms is a stupid move too. But it doesn’t negate the fact rcmp ARE investigating. If there was nothing to investigate, pretty sure they wouldn’t be asking for those special prosecutors…

      This aspect is all just noise to distract from the reality I blogged above. Dermod has written extensively on the failures and expenditures in the legislature. See the Integrity BC Facebook page

      Most of the issues happened under the BC Libs and ignored by the LAMC. At one point while in opposition when these stories came out,even Horgan said it was embarrassing that the legislature couldn’t even keep it’s own affairs in order.

      I still think James and Lenz might be a part of a much bigger net designed to catch bigger fish. One can hope although Horgans lack of interest in a corruption inquiry is insane.

  12. e.a.f.

    Until we know what is being investigated we are all just taking stabs in the dark. Perhaps Plecas really did feel he needed advisors because he was heading into unchartered territory. However, relying on a friend, does not look good. He would have been better off to check across Canada quickly and see who else was available. As to bringing Wally Opal in, that just stinks. its not that he is all that good. Not a great job on the missing women/pickton thing. He could have found some one else from another province. There are way to many insiders involved right now.

    We as the taxpayer/voters have a right to know what is going on, perhaps not all the details, but are they looking into some one fixing the books, using the assets of the leg. for private gain,etc., running a betting parlour, etc. We have the right to know the subject.

    Now it maybe that Plecas ha an idea of what has happened under the Liberals and decided to have a look and decided to bring in some one he trusted and had personal loyalty to him, but he really would have been better off to have brought in some one from another province.

    Now speaking of money, it was with some interest I noted various oil/gas companies making charitable donations in and around Fort St. John, yes, just check the Alaska Highway news. They also have an article up about Petronas and electrification, how to win the heats of the neighbours. computers to a school………..

    1. Laila Yuile

      Petronas and corruption go hand in hand like SNC lavalin and corruption. Dirty money floods this province, tainting even the BCLC gaming funds that provide gaming grants to community organizations , schools and charities.

      The govts seem to really be naive as to how corruption gets this embedded. It certainly didn’t flourish without the help of individuals in strategic positions.

      Agreed on Plecas. But it’s still just noise. The more attention paid to him and Mullen, the happier the libs are.

  13. e.a.f.

    went back and re read your article from 2014, yikes! Yes, I suspect Plecas knew something and went back to look. No wonder the BC Lieberals are playing deflect, deflect, deflect.
    doesn’t matter how much they deflect what Mullen may have done or not done in the past, its about what went on while the B.C.. Lieberals were the ruling party.

    Lovely Linda certainly knew how to live it up. All the while Christy was waxing on about how the government needed to deduct nickel for nickel the child support money children were receiving from their non custodial parents. the government needed the money was her line. they were grabbing $14M a year from kids when all they had to do was reign in the MLAs and their expense accounts.

    What I’d like to see is an oversight committee made up of tax paying voting citizens, who are living on the money provided by the government each month you know about $1,300. They ought to have a book keeping back ground, but they might have a totally different attitude towards the spending the MLAs do. Their housing allowances are bigger than a single persons whole disability pension. Talk about income inequity. They have expense accounts which run into the tens of thousands of dollars a year and people on disability are living on money less than the poverty line.

    /boys and girls in Victoria, pay attention, you are out of touch and if you keep it up, you may all find you’ve been replaced by a milleniual Green wearing jeans and riding a bike because they can’t afford anything else. They will be more in touch with the average voter in the province. we may have a lot of jobs, but a lot don’t pay enough to pay rent on a one bedroom apartment.

  14. Tim.

    Maybe, just maybe…

    Sam Cooper turns up the heat;
    https://twitter.com/scoopercooper?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
    “After that stunning news today, with Canada’s largest ever casino laundering case falling apart, watch for another BC-focused story Thursday. It involves VIPs at the centre of RCMP’s investigations since 2015, and for me this next story includes some shocking findings.”

    And POCO Mayor Brad West steps up:

    “Gov of BC must call Charbonneau style commission working with police & a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute all involved in the #fentanyl #vanre connection. The integrity of our systems, the future of our province and the faith of our ppl is at stake. #bcpoli”

    Regular L.Y. readers, I’m sure.

    1. Laila Yuile

      Haha. Gee I have been calling for one for how long? 10 years? ” Oh Laila, don’t be silly. There is no corruption in BC ”

      Me: 🙄

      Here is the thing. Sam’s covering casinos, money laundering, real estate….

      No ones even touched government yet…or the many public projects I’ve written about….please. let’s start on the sea to sky highway, ok😉

      https://lailayuile.com/2010/10/20/corruption-is-complete-authority-plus-total-monopoly-minus-transparency/

      https://www.google.ca/amp/s/lailayuile.com/2012/06/19/money-and-corruption-are-ruining-the-land/amp/

      1. Laila Yuile

        I got excited….

        Then went onto read hes not ruling out a public inquiry into money laundering and casinos……🙄

        If they limited the scope to just casinos and real estate it would be a monumental mistake.

        We need, and many agree, a full, sweeping Chabonneau commission. One that leaves no stone unturned, one that has power to compell testimony with subpoena powers.

        https://globalnews.ca/news/4710067/david-eby-public-inquiry-collapse-casino-money-laundering-case/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

  15. Tim.

    Absolutely agree.

    These Eby words caught my eye as well; “a public inquiry on the role of money laundering in B.C. casinos.”

    No, Mr. Eby, NO. Any inquiry should encompass all facets of the money laundering industry; casinos, real estate, luxury cars, politicians, law enforcement and anything a drug dollar flows to or from.

    Any inquiry should be a full judicial one, with subpoena powers and should be conducted by someone from outside BC.

    Mr. Eby cannot hide behind the “stay of proceedings” can be reactivated within a year, either. Get on with it.

    Gee, I wonder if France Charbonneau is looking for work?

    I will be dropping a note to Mayor West asking that he stay in the camera lights on this one.

    1. Laila Yuile

      Good idea. There is a lot of evidence to indicate this is deep and widespread. And I believe people with direct knowledge will come forward, under the protection of an inquiry. The reason so many dont speak now is because it’s not safe to. Whistleblower protection does nothing when organized crime is involved.

  16. Tim.

    The never ending Diary of BC has more twists than a slinky.

    This whole mess is so contorted and the liberals have so much power behind them, one wonders if Mr. P isn’t just some willing, well rewarded, Coleman goat, put in place with feigned contempt from the likes of Wilkinson; whatever it takes to keep the skeletons stashed behind the 3 piece suits.

    Might James and Lenz have been onto something rather than up to something?

  17. Holy Cow! I go away for a week and all hell breaks out. Maybe I should go away for another week and see if it sorts itself out.
    Verrry interestink Laila, and you are doing a very commendable job, as usual.
    I remember suggesting many years ago that BC should take the Award for the most Corrupt Province in Canada, and that was before these shenanigans took place. This was about the time of the Charbonneau Inquiry and I was upset that they were getting all the accolades while I felt we were more deserving.
    An inquiry would surely vindicate me!

  18. kennylad

    Sounds like Horgan is sitting on the fence as of today. My god. Another gutless politician. He was really good at spewing out the spin though. It’s laughable. He just doesn’t clue in. Eby seems to be, but unfortunately his dense master doesn’t.

    1. e.a.f.

      It always gives me a good laugh. Gordon Campbell is still at the public trough and is advisor to Dougie Ford in Ontario. All the while the “socialist” former NDP Premier of B.C., Glen Clark is President of the Pattison Group. Always gives me a good feeling.

  19. kennylad

    Laila could David Eby not order an inquiry even if Horgan is to chicken shit to want one. After all Eby is the head of justice, and Horgan isn’t. Yeah i know Eby wouldn’t want to have a falling out, or maybe it’s not legally possible and politically possible. It’s to bad there’s no one with the will to break rank do and what’s right, and threaten to bring down Horgan if he’s to timid. I wonder if Eby would be that one in a million rarity with that willpower, since he sounded way more positive than his pussycat leader. The guy would be a true Canadian hero. Horgan should just go and crawl under his warm fuzzy little blanket.
    John McComb’s interview with Horgan yesterday was a cannot miss listen. McComb is a pleasure to listen to. One of the best of his trade. Horgan came off as a complete insult to the public’s intelligence in his explaining about the down side of an inquiry. Horgan came off as an out of touch dithering meathead. An inquiry can be as heavy duty as it needs to be, only if the will is there to make it so, but with that clowns superficial gobbledy goop sputtering one track talk it’s no wonder things dont’ get fixed.

  20. As to whether Speaker Linda Reid had an advisor as has the current Speaker: YES

    “After the work was done in January 2014, Reid commissioned her own security assessment by retired Richmond RCMP officer Larry Litke, who wrote an email backing up the security work she had already completed.”

    https://www.richmond-news.com/news/probe-into-linda-reid-s-renos-under-review-1.1390063

    Going back to an earlier Post of yours Laila where you asked a similar question in response to my comment.:
    https://lailayuile.com/2014/12/02/civil-society-depends-on-all-of-us-deciding-were-all-going-to-abide-by-the-same-laws-premier-christy-clark/

    “Do you think that it’s a typical practice on the part of MLAs’ introduction of guests (Larry Litke) in the gallery to follow up with a business offer?”
    December 2, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm

    1. Laila Yuile

      Reids hire was specific to security assessment and improvements. Mullen was hired to do the duties Plecas could not…. always thought regular constituency staff did that which is why Mullens hire stood out as a ‘special advisor’

      I hear Horgan has a new special advisor too now…Mike Harcourt!!

      1. e.a.f.

        WHAT/ Is that true, I thought Harcourt had turned in his NDP membership card? So do tell. is Megss still there or is Harcourt there to counter Meggs. inquiring mind would like details,

  21. Kennylad, do you realize that a majority of voters elected these Right Honourable Parasites; a number of times? Makes you wonder about the makeup of these deplorables. Yes, I’m disgusted that we’re required to reward them for their ‘efforts’ until death do they depart.

    1. kennylad

      Hey John i may sound cynical and frustrated but i’m at a loss as to where to mark my ballot anymore. I feel like just turning my head and mark it blindly or write on the back and say F..k you all. None of you self serving shits are worth my vote. At least i can say i vote. Maybe a bit differently. Is that cynical or what.

  22. nonconfidencevote

    Well, its been a long time coming but FINALLY we will see former head of SNC Lavalin in Court for bribery charges.

    One can only hope that if they are convicted of Bribery….SNC will be BANNED from ALL federal contracts for 10 years and perhaps the Province of BC can take a long hard look at how deeply SNC has infested all levels of govt out here.

    https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/snc-lavalin-preliminary-inquiry-begins-in-gadhafi-era-fraud-and-corruption-case

    But I wont hold my breath……

    If its any consolation, their share value has dropped noticeably.

  23. John Brennand

    As always, a voice in my head goes, “Hey! Laila has another piece up.”
    Since this whole debacle arose I have been shaking my head at the ill informed drivel from the usual suspects. Then there’s the thinly veiled attacks on the Speaker. The one that almost had me spray my iPad with coffee was the ridiculous comparison to the Health Ministry firings. Paid administrative leave is light years apart from fired for cause*.
    It’s nice to see a sequential, annotated, telling of a simple story that has complex issues attached to it. Good work, thank you.

    *When the “cause” turned out to be fabricated was a combination twisting the knife plus salt in the wound.

    1. Laila Yuile

      Roll where ?
      🙄

      https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-good-reasons-to-avoid-public-inquiry-into-money-laundering/amp?__twitter_impression=true

      They clearly have zero clue what’s going on in their own govt..

      They have NO issue using tax dollars when it’s their priority. My goodness BC Hydro stll has not dropped the slapp suits against site c landowners.

      But now the public rightly wants an ounce of blood and it’s too expensive and takes too much time. I thought Horgan had more guts than this.Guess I was wrong.

  24. Tim.

    <<>
    We have a restless new mayor with a voice. We have a restless scribe at the Straight. We have a restless Mr. Cooper. We have a growing restless public, all getting aboard.

    The train is starting to move and we could see Mr. Horgan standing alone on the platform wondering why he missed it.

    1. Laila Yuile

      In speaking with a friend ( staffer) in Vic,two other reasons he doesn’t want to call an inquiry:

      1) any inquiry will inevitably bring this back up ( here, let me get this out of the way 🙄)
      ” Horgan was a major backroom player in the NDP governments of that era, working alongside Heaney.

      The Straight reported in 2004 that Heaney was a business partner with Horgan in a company called IdeaWorks. The other partners were NDP caucus research director Mary O’Donoghue, and Ian Reid, former chief of staff to ex-NDP leader Carole James.

      IdeaWorks was retained by casino operators Gary Jackson and Len Libin in 2003 to persuade the then-COPE-controlled Vancouver city council to lift a moratorium on slot machines.

      At the time, Horgan told the Straight that the company’s objective was to bring diverse groups together to demonstrate how slot machines would yield benefits for charities, fund city projects, and provide jobs for trade unionists.

      “Once the fabric all came together, the cloth looked pretty impressive for a majority of council, and that’s why we were successful,” Horgan told the Straight at the time.

      Horgan, Heaney, and Reid had all previously worked for the B.C. Ministry of Management Services, which spearheaded the expansion of gambling when the NDP was in control of the provincial government.

      The gambling issue dogged two NDP premiers during the 1990s.

      Harcourt resigned after a relentless series of news reports about the finances of the Nanaimo Commonwealth Holding Society, which raised money for the NDP. The society’s central figure, former NDP cabinet minister Dave Stupich, was found guilty of fraud and running an illegal lottery.”
      Yes, Horgan helped expand gaming in Vancouver.

      https://www.straight.com/news/638931/ndp-leader-john-horgan-hires-former-business-partner-john-heaney-new-chief-staff

      And 2)

      Some stories of corruption also go back to the nineties.One big series I wrote on Tercon-involved leg management in the MOT concealing a name on a bid,to allow an ineligible bidder to win a govt project contract. Kinda sorta bid rigging. And that all started under an ndp govt..

      Neither amount to a quarter of the corruption under the BC Libs..key players move through several govts though, so any corrupt players under the Libs are most likely still in place under the NDP/ Greens now.

      This is why I’ve been calling for a full inquiry into bidding in all ministries for years. There is very much Quebec style Charbonneau corruption here. It’s not ‘sexy’ like the casino money laundering is news wise…but it’s wrong, and it costs us all greatly.

      https://lailayuile.com/2012/06/19/money-and-corruption-are-ruining-the-land/

  25. Tim.

    “In speaking with a friend ( staffer) in Vic,..”
    All the more reason for Mr. Horgan to get out in front of this thing, do it right and fully.
    Sooner (hopefully) or later more lips will loosen, annonymously or in full view that will unravel it all. Being a “rat” in these circumstances is to be considered an honor.

      1. Tim.

        Absolutely agree and wonder why it takes a young woman from small town BC to point that out rather than someone like, say, our leader?

        Mr. Horgan? Sir?

        Here, I’ll make it easier for you…

        “Laila Yuile
        With respect to this…and money laundering….until the BC libs loosen their lips, Andrew ‘faux outrage’ Wilkonson needs to stfu with his faux, pretentious air of superiority over lack of details on the leg investigation…..
        Cuz this…https://globalnews.ca/news/4447653/bc-liberals-wont-waive-cabinet-confidentiality-on-documents-related-to-money-laundering/amp/?__twitter_impression=true”

        1. Laila Yuile

          ” …young woman…” 🤣

          My gosh, the snow white coming in behind the blonde disagrees Tim. Closer to 50 now than 40. But that was good for a chuckle😉

  26. Tim.

    Ok, so Liberal Leader, Andrew Wilkinson, is calling for a JUDICIAL REVIEW.
    https://globalnews.ca/news/4724657/liberal-leader-andrew-wilkinson-joins-call-for-money-laundering-public-inquiry/

    That sounds nice doesn’t it? Most ordinary people would say good for him, hand him a feather to put in his cap and believe he is “going after the government” to get to the bottom of this mess.

    Those same ordinary people cannot be faulted for thinking that because, the words review, inquiry, public and judicial are all very much, rolled together, confused misused and misunderstood.

    The misunderstanding is made no more evident, than that of Global News itself: ”Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated Andrew Wilkinson was calling for a public inquiry into money laundering. He is actually calling for a judicial review. The story has been updated to reflect that clarification.”

    Calling for a judicial review is just a weak excuse for a weak process; a process that will only confirm what those ordinary people already believe. It solves nothing; it lets politicians off the hook, does not assess blame and does not lead to criminal consequences.

    That would take a JUDICIAL INQUIRY.

    More notably a judicial review allows the BC Liberals to avoid accountability for 16 years of, well, you pick your own word here; I’ll just use corruption.

    Everyone should learn the difference.

    What is a Judicial Review?
    https://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/supreme_court/self-represented_litigants/Judicial_Review_Package.pdf
    “A judicial review is a review of a decision that has been made by an administrative tribunal or an administrative decision maker. A Supreme Court Justice decides whether the tribunal or decision maker had the authority to make the decision it did. It is not an appeal.”

    https://www.supremecourtbc.ca/sites/default/files/web/Judicial-Review.pdf
    “A judicial review is a legal procedure that takes place in the Supreme Court. In a judicial review, a Supreme Court judge reviews a decision that has been made by an administrative tribunal or an administrative decision maker.”

    Some added backup and info:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_review_in_Canada

    https://judicialreviewbc.ca/

    Or, for some heavier reading the actual JUDICIAL REVIEW PROCEDURE ACT
    [RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 241
    http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/96241_01

    Everyone, including MR Wilkinson should be calling for the most comprehensive inquiry possible. Damn the cost.

  27. Tim.

    I have to admit John, I was innitially skeptical of various motives, on all sides, but just the optics of a graph (sp…graft?) is enough to cheer Plecas on and demand full disclosure.

    He is making some pretty pointed insinuations and I hope he is acting on good advice so as to not prejudice this whole thing.

  28. Tim, I think Plecas is much too intelligent to go off half cocked. I’m hoping this is Santa’s way of lancing a corrupt boil! What better way to spend the winter (starting in less than two weeks!) than reviewing the misdeeds and penalties appropriated. Have a very Merry Christmas (2 1/2 weeks!)

    1. e.a.f.

      Plecas has a PhD and is a respected academic. When Christy Clark recruited him to be one of the B.C. LieberCon’s candidates I was surprised. Little did she know….

      People like Plecas, with his experience and education aren’t rash individuals and they don’t bet their whole body of work on making rash statements, so when Plecas says, he is betting his job on the investigation results, you can reasonably conclude he is going to be the winner on the bet.

    1. Absolutely mind boggling, isn’t it! You’d expect someone to stand up and be counted (maybe Plecas?) If there isn’t a Judicial Inquiry there is something wrong with US! We already know there is something amiss with THEM.
      It was never meant to be US vs THEM, but that seems to be what it’s degenerated into now.

  29. e.a.f.

    Norm Farrell’s latest piece on the “investigation” certainly is a good read. In my opinion, some one or several are might want to line up their lawyers now. There are only so many really good lawyers in this province and there might not be enough to go around.

    In the past I’ve always been against an full blown inquiry. Focus on the present so we can get on with the work which needs to be done. i.e. schools, health care, etc. However, given the recent events I’ve re considered and I agree, B.C. needs a judicial inquiry into B.C. Not just money laundering in casinos but the role of media and politicians, how money was spent in the Leg. and all that good stuff, how the money made its way via real estate into high end shopping, how fent. gets into our province, how it gets distributed, etc.

    It will of course cost money and we need to spend it or we will continue to be what we currently are. If politicians don’t fix the problem, they might find come the next election they are all replaced by a group of bike riding, milleniuals running as independents. Well it pays more than many of them make and it comes with benefits and a pension. they are also fed up with working and not being able to afford rent on a one bedroom apartment while MLAs receive $12K a year as a housing allowance and don’t need to provide receipts.

    So a nice enquiry would be a good Christmas Present, oh and it needs a very tight time line, none of this a year and waiting.

    1. Laila Yuile

      Well I have been asking for one for so long it seems like a dream now…

      I dont understand why they wouldnt. Basi-Virk alone was reason. Do they really think that kind of behavior stopped with them? Really??

      I’ve been crazy busy so pardon my absence. Everything takes longer with low energy STILL from that damn horrible flu.

      Anyways…the amount of fervor dedicated to discrediting Plecas and Mullen are telling. The BC libs oldest trick, commonly used by all to negate whoever is the critic or whoever knows where the dirt is.

      Methinks they doth protest too much.

      1. Please get well again and please don’t give up on the Inquiry. I remember, a long time ago, stating that BC deserved acknowledgement for its place as the most corrupt province in Canada. Let’s get credit where credit is due! C’mon Horgan. I dare you!

        1. Laila Yuile

          Oh no, I am recovered…it just takes time to get those energy levels back up with my immune system. 🙂 Me ? Give up on an inquiry? Never. I’ve continued over a decade of people saying I was crazy for saying there was corruption in bcpoli. I’m not about to give up now.

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