Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive Jan 10, 2011)

But you canít fool all the people all the time

By Bob Cooper




The only thing more troubling than the BC Rail case itself has been the complicity of most of the mainstream news media in ignoring it despite the stench that gets worse every day.  When all other institutions fail they are supposed to be our last line of defence against government corruption and oppression.  I say Ďmostí because two of Vancouverís best journalists have stepped up to the plate and done whatís right while the others do the bidding of their Liberal-friendly owners.  I refer of course to Jon McComb and Michael Smythe of CKNW who have been giving voice to an outraged public and demanding an inquiry.

These same media outlets go after the VPD tooth and nail for weeks on end because a guy gets a black eye but where are they for the biggest political scandal in BCís history where the outcome of the trial is as rigged as the original sale?    Theyíre snoring louder than I used to at Strategic Planning meetings.

Like the anti-HST campaign this has been a fascinating exercise in pure grassroots democracy.  It started with independent internet bloggers who simply refused to let this thing go while the mainstream press conspired with government to bury it.  I was sickened to watch political reporters that I used to respect try to tell me that a public inquiry would cost too much and people donít care about it so letís move on.  Some who were close to this case and were disgusted by it have began supplying information and corroborating documents to these bloggers who have kept hammering away at the stonewall the government put up.   Itís now gained traction and the involvement of McComb and Smythe will ensure thereís no stopping it.

Itís been amusing watching Liberal leadership candidates trying to dance around this over the last few days.  George Abbott thinks we should look at policy that allowed the payment of the lawyersí fees but not at the underlying facts.  Christie Clark, who appears to be up to her ears in this mess, actually tried to talk over Michael Smythe thinking that would somehow get her the last word while poor De Jong just canít get his story straight no matter how many tries they give him.  Kevin Falcon started out well by acknowledging the publicís anger and disgust but when pressed, returned to the party line denying any interference by government and ruling out a public inquiry.  He admits that people will be left with unanswered questions but compared it to the situation of the families of those victims of Willie Pickton where the charges were stayed.  And what did his government do in the Pickton case?  They ordered a public inquiry, Kevin.  And they couldnít do it fast enough.

In a previous column A bridge too far (for some people) I wrote of Falconís ignorance in criticizing the VPD for closing the Second Narrows Bridge while they negotiated with (and saved the life of) a suicidal woman.   It looks like the intervening years havenít made him any brighter.


Bob Cooper is a retired Vancouver policeman.  He walked a beat in Chinatown and later worked in the Asian Organized Crime Section and the Homicide Squad.


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