Regardless of the outcome of the Basi-Virk trial, it may take a public inquiry to find out what role, if any, Premier Gordon Campbell, his cabinet members, their top appointed staff played in the disappearance of hundreds of government e-mails from 2002 and 2003.
(Former cabinet aides Bobby Virk and Dave Basi are charged with fraud and breach of trust related to the $1-billion sale of Crown-owned BC Rail to CN Rail in 2003.)
When it comes to protecting the integrity of our governmental system, the truth surrounding what happened to those e-mails, from what I see as the most critical years, is MORE important than the actual case now before the courts.
And during a 90-minute appearance on CKNW’s Bill Good show, the Premier made the possibilities of what may have happened look even worse: he wouldn’t even answer questions about “usual policy” for handling/destroying ANY e-mails … never mind the BC Rail case.
(The Premier’s interview can be found on www.CKNW.com . Click Audio Vault and tune in 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday Aug 31.)
Good did try … more than once.
After all, what could possibly be wrong with the Premier explaining to the citizens of the province how e-mails are normally handled??? How long are they usually kept? What procedure is in place for their eventual destruction? Do discussions take place between civil servants and top appointed or elected officials?
The premier refused to answer. With what I would view as total disrespect for the people of the province, he suggested anyone who wants to know procedures should research it all themselves.
And frankly, to me, he seemed quite defensive the way he refused to even discuss general policy relating to e-mail disposal, although nothing has remotely been proven in any court proceeding to date regarding any e-mail handling.
So what would be wrong with discussing general policy in this regard … especially when asked by an accredited member of the media??
Campbell’s handling of even general questions of government policy, regarding e-mail handling, stunk!
Which gives me even more cause for concern.