BC's TOP COP's Dance Moves on Taser Death Q&A.
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
British Columbia Citizens and the Media once again were treated to what seemed to be World Class "Canadian Idiot" Dance Moves during a Q&A scrum with reporters when British Columbia's former Dairy Farmer and now Liberal Elected Solicitor General and TOP COP John Les backtracked in a major "Flip Flop" and contradicted his own government's Press Release stating the Solicitor Generals Department would put into place a full public inquiry into the Taser Death seen around the world of recent immigrant Robert Dziekanski.
Further Dance moves were performed by our flustered John Les, complete with flailing arms overhead when asked if a public apology would be forthcoming from his department to the Dziekanski family.
As for the Canadian Public and more importantly the Dziekanski family rest assured John Les will issue a public apology, they will just have to wait till "Hell Freezes Over".
Top flip-flopper Les provides a sideshow to Tasering apologies
Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2007
VICTORIA - As reporters gathered in the corridor outside the B.C. Liberal caucus room Monday afternoon, government staffers distributed a press release with the big news of the day.
"The provincial government will launch a full public inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski and the policy governing the use of Tasers by police in B.C.," it began, crediting the announcement to "Solicitor-General John Les."
Les was on record as rejecting the need for anything of the kind, even in the wake of the worldwide airing of the video of Dziekanski's horrifying end.
Reporters were still digesting the dramatic reversal of direction, when the solicitor-general arrived to explain the need for what he'd rejected as recently as Friday.
"We collectively came to this decision," he said, all but confirming rumour that his own colleagues were upset by his feeble performance on this file.
The top cop -- make that the top flip-flopper -- tried to present himself as a convert to the need to thoroughly address public concerns about the Dziekanski death.
But still there were flashes of the old Les, as when a reporter asked whether he would offer an apology.
"Everyone is shocked and saddened by what happened," he replied."But I want to clearly understand the facts around what happened first. ... Then we will take the appropriate action."
An hour later, he was on his feet in the legislature, facing much the same question. "Will the solicitor-general apologize?" the Opposition wanted to know.
Yes, he would.
"I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we are indeed sorry for what happened," Les assured the house. "This should never have happened and we particularly apologize to Mr. Dziekanski's family. They will carry this sorrow with them for a long, long time."
Finally he finds the right words. But reporters couldn't help noting some intervening comments by Premier Gordon Campbell: "I am glad to apologize on behalf of the people in B.C. for what took place. All of us in the province, I think, share in the grief that has taken place as a result of this incident."
Campbell said those words in Vancouver about the time Les delivered his non-apology in the media scrum and well before his subsequent statement of regret in the house.
When reporters asked Les about the amazing coincidence, he insisted that the premier's comments had nothing to do with his apparent change of heart.
"I'm not aware of that," he replied. "I haven't seen any transcript."
Why, then, had he declined to apologize when given the opportunity in the scrum?
"I don't think my frame of mind has changed," he continued. "It was the way the question was framed."
For the record, the question that threw Les off track was: "What about an apology?" Damn tricky, these reporters.
But that was only the sideshow.
It remained to establish the basis for the overall change of direction, namely why the Liberals decided to call a public inquiry.
Les said it was the only way "for the public to be involved." But his colleague, Attorney-General Wally Oppal, provided a more-to-the-point explanation.