B.C. government negotiated with Basi, Virk waiving legal fees
It seems a guilty plea bargain was in the works beforehand with Dave Basi and Bob Virks lawyers, which saw the two walk away without paying their $6 million dollar legal fees.
Some speculate the guilty plea and virtually no prison time was negotiated to ensure Basi-Virk would not name, names, possibly high profile names in the Campbell Liberal government, thus causing additional scandal and political embarrassment to an already reviled Liberal government.
While rumour and innuendo are rife with public opinion concerning corruption in the Campbell government, little evidence has been shown to validate public opinion.
What is clear is that once again the taxpayers are on the hook for millions in what seemed to be a cut and dried trial which should have lasted months and not dragged out for years.
Deputy Attorney General David Loukidelis perhaps was looking at stemming the blood tide, looking to end a money pit this trial was costing the British Columbian taxpayer. I would give him the benefit of the doubt.
Though a plea deal which saw these two convicted criminals walking away unscathed to serve their sentences at home with privileges such as leaving the house like any citizen inflames many.
Criminals like Basi-Virk have learned nothing from their criminal activity, except witnessing first hand a BC Justice system as a flaccid institution.
Basi-Virk are fortunate they committed their crimes in British Columbia. If they had tried this in any other province, a sentence would be harshly imposed and served in a penitentiary or at least they would be forfeiting their home and future earnings to pay back all the legal fees.
While both the NDP and Socred Governments before Campbell had their share of political scandals, the opposition casting the first stone at Campbell should pocket their rocks and look into their own past as a political party.
Unlike other governing political parties in Canadian provinces it seems BC is continuously ripe for the pickings by British Columbia politicians and their party in this province, regardless who British Columbians vote for, scandal and corruption soon appears.
Perhaps a shakeup is needed to weed out those politicians and government officials who have done us wrong.
Politicians and government officials are charged with safeguarding the public purse.
The R.C.M.P. and other police agencies are charged with protecting and serving the public.
While Police officers, politicians and government officials are all public servants, only police officers as a condition of employment are required to undergo psychological assessments, including taking a lie detector test in which the prospective police officer must divulge their entire past. These procedures separate the wheat from the chaff, while not foolproof, does provide insight into the potential police officers character.
If public servants in positions of authourity are there to protect the interests of the taxpayer, politicians and government officials must be seen as transparent and free of conflict in their duties.
The taxpayer should insist immediately any politician or senior public servant in a position like the Basi-Virks where the public purse is at stake, either as a decision maker or member of a committee involved in a public tender must undergo a mandatory lie detector test and psychological assessment before working in that position. If a impropriety results after the tender award process, all parties involved must submit to a lie detector test, much like the rigid requirements police officers endure as a prerequisite for employment or if during a criminal investigation and officer is found to be in a serious breach of their duties.
After all if it is good for the Police officers, it should be good enough for our elected officials and senior public servants.
Furthermore if a politican refuses during the nomination process before election time then they are out of the party period, no exceptions. Once a politican is elected, serving in any position where they would be involved in any committee concerning the tendering of public money, they again would have to submit to another series of tests, the lie detector and psychological assessment.
While many politicans are lawyers, one can see them spew various legalese why they should not submit to such a Big Brother methodology. Again, if Police officers have to submit to these tests, then so should they.
If politicians and senior civil servants truly believe they are the right person for the job in serving the public, and spout they are honest as the day is long, then politicians and senior public officials should have no qualms about taking these mandatory tests. Though I would surmise the public service would either be a wasteland with many politicians and senior public servants jumping ship, early retirement or avoiding anything to do with tendering anything short of office supplies less than a couple of hundred dollars.
I say to all Politicians and political parties, it is time to put your mouth, where our money is, in your hands.