Where are we as a province or a country when senior government officials can accept more than $75,000 in inducements and no one goes to jail? Do our judges even understand any more the concepts of "right" and "wrong?"
And how can the courts call it a "fine" when the same crooks are merely returning their ill-gotten gains? If the average person fails to declare some income, a fairly minor crime, even they are forced to pay the lost tax plus a 100-per-cent penalty as punishment.
And what sort of government do we have in B.C. when our top justice official, Attorney-General Mike de Jong, can agree to pay the crooked officials' $6-million legal fees as part of a deal between a supposedly independent special prosecutor and the defence lawyers? What is the point of hiring an independent prosecutor in the first place, if at the end of the process the attorney-general — a politician in the very government whose integrity the case brings into question — will be needed to approve such a massive carrot in the plea bargain? Have the payment of lawyers' fees ever before been part of such an arrangement?
And is there anyone in B.C. not suspicious about how all of this could suddenly happen after seven years of legal proceedings on the eve of former finance minister Gary Collins and other Liberal insiders being forced to take the stand?
Were this happening in some third-rate banana republic it would be shocking enough. That it is occurring in our beloved province is appalling beyond words. You're wrong Mr. de Jong. An inquiry into this sordid affair is needed.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Today's Editorial in the Vancouver Sun
Thank you Vancouver Sun for eloquently expressing the anger that so many of us are feeling right now. If the BC Liberals have a shred of integrity left they will call an inquiry.