Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive Oct.  5, 2011)

The Christy Show

By Bob Cooper


In a previous column (Tale of 2 cities) I mentioned the actions of crusading Premier Christy Clark, BC’s version of Nancy Grace, jumping in front of the cameras in the wake of the Stanley Cup Riot trying to squeeze every bit of political mileage she could with one hand while dodging and deflecting with the other.  Feigning outrage and demanding mass jailings in the hope that no one would notice that she’d refused the City’s request for more money for policing the finals but was somehow willing to kick in some cash for the victory celebration.  Just so we could all be treated to more cheesy photos of her in a Canuck’s jersey riding in the lead car.

Don’t get me wrong, I hope (likely in vain) the judges don’t spare the rod when these people go to court but isn’t it funny that we never heard the same sort of outrage over the Basi/Virk deal?

Now she’s demanding, in the Throne Speech of all places, that the trials of the rioters be televised.  Twenty-four hours later, after objections from the Criminal Justice Branch, the Premier had Attorney-General Shirley Bond order the prosecutors to make such an application in each and every case saying that it's in the public interest.  Most would say it’s more about the Premier’s interest.

No doubt she’ll want the new ‘BC Christy Clark Liberals'  (liberals in very tiny letters)’ logo be superimposed on the screen during the broadcast.

Anyone who’s actually read the BC Supreme Court rules on the subject would realize that the chances of cameras ever entering a courtroom in BC are slightly less than the odds of Mayor Robertson taking responsibility for something or Chief Chu telling us who wrote 'Get the facts straight' and I’m sure the Criminal Justice Branch would have pointed this out.  Additionally there is the risk of objections from defence lawyers causing the cases to bog down.  Like more than they are already.  The most troubling aspect is the bald-faced interference for plainly political purposes, with a branch of government that must be independent.  Note, I said ‘independent’ as opposed to immune from scrutiny or criticism.   

Any responsible leader would be hard at work finding the money to hire judges, sheriffs, and court staff rather than pulling cheap stunts to get themselves on the news. The strategy is all the more foolish because it reminds the voters of a justice system that is barely functioning thanks to the Premier and her government.   In fact, it’s the dumbest thing since the John Cummins attack ads that refer to ‘unprincipled politicians’ (speaking of reminding the voters).    It would serve her right if she got her wish and the only thing the viewers saw was a judge in Remand Court tossing the cases out one after another due to unreasonable delay.   I’d pay money and line up to see that train wreck (subliminal image of BC Rail).  As political disasters go this would be the Hindenburg.

Next she’ll be auditioning for Dancing With the Stars.  An act like this would be better suited to Jerry Springer.



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.



Prime Time Crime

Contributing 2011