The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Friday, August 30, 2002

More Clark commentary

In a column in today's Globe and Mail, Paul Sullivan reflects on the verdict in HMTQ v. Clark and Pilarinos. He, like many, seems more relieved than anything that the shenanigans are over (we hope.)

In a way, it's good that Glen Clark has been cleared of the charges against him. Now that the "cloud of suspicion" that actually brought him to his knees has finally dissipated like a bad smell at Sunday dinner, we can finally focus on his true legacy.
Because he was such a bad premier, voters violently overreacted and elected 77 Liberals to take his place, refusing even to consider his worthy, mild-mannered interim replacement, Ujjal Dosanjh.
Because of Glen Clark, the current B.C. government is dangerously empowered, although so far it's only been inclined to lower the minimum wage for destitute teenagers, cut the pittance granted to single moms on welfare and spend billions on the 2010 Steroid Games. So that's a relief.

There was another tidbit in the column that caught my eye:

When Mr. Clark became premier in 1996, B.C. was Canada's economic miracle. When he resigned in 1999, B.C.'s economy ranked last among the provinces and we have officially gone from being a "have" to a "have-not" province.

For those who have trouble remembering through the haze of the last six years, B.C. was indeed the economic miracle in Canada back in 1996. While the rest of the country had taken it in the nuts from the recession of the early '90's, B.C. had sailed through reasonably well. Unemployment was fairly low, and growth had been steady if unspectacular, which was more than, say, Ontario could claim. It was what happened over the next five years that bit hard -- economic stagnation in B.C., compared with the economic roar heard in much of Canada and the U.S. in the late '90's...

For those who wonder, Paul Sullivan lives and works in Vancouver, and has for many years. While he has been with the Globe and Mail for many years, he's also had stints at CBC Vancouver and the Vancouver Sun. So no complaints about him being an Eastern Bastard who's writing from some ivorty tower in Toronto. It ain't so.

Elsewhere, Province columnist Mike Smyth attributes the whole sticky situation to Glen Clark's ego. Fair enough. He then goes on to gripe about Clark's taxpayer-financed legal defence team, led by prominent attorney David Gibbons. Get off your high horse, Mike. Those were the rules, and the provincial Liberals have said that they do not intend to change them. Yes, Gary Collins has been chiding Clark to disclose just how much his defence cost, but that's politics as usual. Perhaps Smyth is just playing to the illiterates who actually "read" the Province.

This much, though, is fair game:

... the judge tore a strip off Clark's taxpayer-financed lawyers, berating them for accusing RCMP Staff Sgt. Peter Montague of being a crooked cop without presenting one shred of evidence in court to back that up.

Fair enough. It is not unheard of for a defendant to try to claim that some member of the investigation had it out for them. They knew that Sgt. Montague was pally with the B.C. Liberals and Gordon Campbell, and the defence figured that it was worth a try. As it turns out, David Gibbons was blowing smoke, and the judge called him on it. That's lawyering for you.

But quit whining about taxpayers paying for Clark's defence. Clark was accused of doing improprieties committed while he was carrying out the duties of his office. Breach-of-trust trials should be covered by the public purse. As it was, Clark would be on the hook if he were found guilty. So quit yer bitchin' and git in th' kitchen!
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