(This column was published in the North Shore News on Aug. 25, 1999)

 

Spin doctoring can't save Clark and the NDP

By Leo Knight

FOLLOWING a flurry of activity at the courts on Friday, Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm finally released a portion of the documents filed by police to get the search warrants in the so-called casinogate matter.  

 

The information released was damaging enough that the pundits were saying the premier would resign before the day was over.  

 

True to form, Clark disappointed.  

 

Certainly he did resign, but it wasn't until Saturday, the day after the Attorney General, Ujjal Dosanjh, firmly implanted the knife between Clark's shoulder blades and kick-started his own leadership ambitions when he finally came clean with the people of B.C. and admitted Clark was under criminal investigation.  

 

Et tu Brute?  

 

But Dosanjh's motivations aside, like so many other things associated with this NDP government, without a doubt the most corrupt and incompetent government this province has ever seen, the lying, fudging and obfuscation has been mind boggling.  

 

Witness, if you will, defence counsel David Gibbons in the application to quash the search warrants rearing up on his hind legs to decry the Mounties executing the warrant "at night" and saying it could have been done much earlier because the premier's wife was present.  

 

Not so, oh blustery one.  

 

The RCMP search team was in place around 5 p.m. They had a warrant in hand and could have forced their way in quite legally. But they didn't.  

 

They patiently waited until someone came home. That someone turned out to be Dale Babish, wife of Glen Clark.  

 

At that point they climbed the stairs and gently knocked on the door. Babish answered the door and with BCTV crews behind the Mounties, the lead investigator explained who he was and pointed out the media cameras suggesting she should let them in without the intrusion of the cameras.  

 

That's what really happened. Which, I guess, doesn't suit the purpose of Gibbons and the rest of the taxpayer funded legal team doing their level best to muddy the waters lest the public actually get to know what the premier did to bring the RCMP to his door.  

 

Then there's the premier himself. From the moment he received the phone call from his wife to advise him of the unexpected Mountie house guests, he has known, if not officially, that he has been under criminal investigation.  

 

Why else would he show up that night with a junior member of Gibbons firm in tow as well as his chief spin doctor, Geoff Meggs?  

 

The following day in his hastily called press conference he identified Dimitrios Pilarinos as a neighbour whom he sees "occasionally."  

 

During the five weeks of police surveillance in January and February, Special "O" section documented 13 separate meetings between the two men. He conveniently neglected to tell of the renovations Pilarinos did to his house. Or the two weeks they spent together at the Babish family cottage where Pilarinos built a deck for the premier.  

 

Later Clark described the event as a family holiday where "we" worked on the deck. In the information to obtain the search warrants, Pilarinos is quoted as saying, "I worked my ass off." I'm betting Clark's hands didn't see a blister or callous.  

 

Then there's the whole matter of the Adrian Dix memo allegedly written in July of 1998 ostensibly written by Dix as a "memo to file" indicating the premier instructed him of his friendship with Pilarinos saying he was to have nothing to do with the casino application.  

 

The memo magically came to light the day after the Mounties searched the Clark abode. A few days later the RCMP searched the premier's office, specifically Dix's computer.  

 

Anyone want to make a bet on what they were looking for? Considering Dix was fired two days later, anyone want to take a bet on what the Mounties discovered?  

 

Dix took a bullet for the boss. At least he got some $70,000 of taxpayer dollars for his trouble.  

 

And still Clark wouldn't resign.  

 

Then, he and his followers started a campaign to smear the RCMP, alleging a conspiracy between the force, B.C. Liberals and certain members of the media.  

 

And there was Sihota, a more discredited politician you'd be hard pressed to find, and the reality-challenged Harry Lali bleating about the search warrant execution calling it a "home invasion."  

 

The spin-doctors were working overtime doing everything they could to make the public believe there was a conspiracy in place. It wasn't until Dosanjh couldn't ignore it any longer and finally provided a statement indicating the RCMP were acting appropriately that the spin doctors had to find another load of BS to feed the public.  

 

Unfortunately, because Justice Dohm still has not released the transcripts of the wiretap and surveillance intercepts, which formed a significant part of the Information to Obtain, we are still left in the dark without the full knowledge of what transpired during the police investigation.  

 

And we are left with more BS such as we were fed during Clark's resignation news conference. Witness his explanation about payments made to Pilarinos for the work on his house. Statements, I might add that are diametrically opposed with the evidence the police have documented in the warrant requests.  

 

Let's not lose sight of the fact that Clark was spinning his version as an answer only to the information released publicly. When the wiretap information and the rest of the police investigation details are made public, I suspect there will be absolutely no confusion about exactly what Clark did in relation to the casino application and the work done on his house and cottage.  

 

British Columbia is, if the polls are any indicator, fed up with the lot of them. Clark is done. No amount of spin doctoring or bovine scatology will change that. And frankly, bon soir la visite.  

 

Now, its Miller time. With the Carrier Lumber scandal just blossoming, there's no telling how short his tenure will be.  

 

B.C. needs relief from these clowns. The type of relief only an early election call would bring.

 

  -30-

 

 

 

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