Friday, May 09, 2008

Ken Dobell admits he reviewed Basi-Virk evidence for disclosure without signing undertaking as required by Special Prosecutor protocol

Ken Dobell, the former deputy minister to Premier Gordon Campbell, has admitted he reviewed confidential government documents seized by police in the B.C. Legislature raid case without signing an undertaking as required by a protocol created by the Special Prosecutor.

That undertaking required anyone signing it to not discuss the contents with anyone as a condition of viewing the documents.

Dobell, speaking to the Globe and Mail's Mark Hume, claimed he was not part of the "political side" of Campbell's office and as cabinet secretary he was part of an "independent, bureaucratic office."

That, Dobell said, meant he had not contradicted Campbell's claim in the Legislature last year that the premier's office was not involved in disclosure of evidence issues.

"There is a special prosecutor involved in this. The Premier's Office does not have a direct input into that ... This Premier's Office is not involved directly with that," Campbell said in 2007.

Dobell now says that his role as cabinet secretary was different.

"The cabinet secretary ... is an independent, bureaucratic office, it's not a political office, and in that sense, nobody in the Premier's office, on the political side, was involved in the issue," Dobell told Hume.

And Dobell says he was never asked by government lawyer George Copley to sign an undertaking as required by the protocol.

That would be part of the process that Copley and the lawyers would have managed. I don't have a clue [about that]," Dobell told the Globe and Mail.

Dobell did not return my calls from 24 hours newspaper before it broke the story on Wednesday.

The obvious question for Dobell now is how he possibly thinks one can be deputy minister to the premier without being part of the premier's office.

If there's any doubt about where he worked, here's what his original Order In Council said:


Statutory Authority: Public Service Appointments made, effective June 5, 2001:

Ken Dobell

DM to the Premier and Cabinet Secretary, Office of the Premier"


RossK said...

"The obvious question for Dobell now is how he possibly thinks one can be deputy minister to the premier without being part of the premier's office."

Perhaps Mr. Dobell's many 'hats' can answer that question.

After all, as he told Patrick Brethour of the G&M awhile back, changing hats is apparently a skill set required to keep things in their proper, and separate, non-conflicty places:

....Mr. Dobell readily admits that his various jobs overlap, but he doesn't believe there is a conflict of interest.

"There are multiple hats, and it's quite true I have to take one off and put on other one, but that's not atypical for people that are in this kind of a role," he said in an interview yesterday....



Gary E said...

I can't beleive that this guy thinks he was not part of the Premiers' office. If that was the case then he shouldn't have accepted a paycheck. This guy deliberately changes his employment job description around to suit the situation at hand.

Wouldn't we love to hear from the premier on this subject?

Budd Campbell said...

Is Dobell claiming that various sections of the staff in the Premier's office were separated by a "Chinese wall" similar to a law practice?

That Dobell refused to talk to Tieleman, but was willing to talk with Hume is kind of consistent with the picture of the Humes that one finds in Dennis Brown's book "Salmon Wars". Even if this particular article seems fairly even handed and not really an excuse piece for Dobell, ... it could be that was what Dobell was hoping for and just didn't get lucky this time.

Bill Tieleman said...

Budd - you are entitled to your opinion but here's mine - Mark Hume is a good journalist who has done an excellent job covering the Basi-Virk case. I don't believe for a minute that Ken Dobell even wanted to talk to Mark about this.

I don't worry about who does or doesn't call me back versus another reporter. I only mentioned it for readers' information.

The Attorney-General's ministry never called me back either and quite often the government avoids me but I have always been willing to give their point of view in a fair way.

Anonymous said...

Bill - Another interesting twist in the number of people caught in the spiderweb that surrounds the Leg Raid case.

The government has appointed Stacy Shields as a board member for ICBC. You may not be aware but Ms. Shields is the partner of Mike Witherly, someone you interviewed awhile back about his close relationship with Erik Bornmann.

Ironically, Paul Taylor the former CEO of ICBC had emails outlining his links to lobbyists Brian Kieran, Jamie Elmhirst, and of course Bornmann.

I can assure you that Ms. Shields is extremely close with Mr. Bornmann and I have FOI'd materials to prove my point.

It is quite surprising that the BC Liberals continue to have such close relationships with Federal Liberals linked to the Leg Raid case.

Mark my words. The shoe is about to drop on these cozy relationships.

Anonymous said...

Dobell has always considered himself diferent than the rest of folks attached to government. Wasn't he the fellow who used to shred all emails, never took notes and worked both side of the fence, then claimed he really wasn't a lobbyist. He was one of Gordons boys just like Martyne Brown. To think otherwise if simply in my view wrong. He was removed as chair of the convention center mess but still sits on the board there. The overrun is massive. But one believes he still dras a salary. If the government so short of willing hands to support them that such things can occur?

RossK said...

Thanks for the OIC update Mr. T.

Sure are some interesting names on that page....


(including almost all of the prominent players involved in the matter at hand)

Budd Campbell said...

Bill, I have had some problems accepting that either of the Humes have behaved impartially or reasonably in other matters. If you think Mark Hume has done good work on this case, fine. As I said, I didn't find any fault with his article here.

I would just refer you again to Dennis Brown's book and the actions he describes, over a period of a few years, of both the Humes.

Anonymous said...

The Convention Centre over-runs are outrageous - but only the tip of the Libs iceberg, when the true numbers of the mother of all bloated P3's the RAV Line are revealed. Estimates are it is over the proposed $1.34 Billion (and not a penny more....) by a Billion dollars.

Thanks Ken.

The hat he should be wearing is a dunce cap.

Anonymous said...

Dobell said: "....nobody in the Premier's office, on the political side, was involved in the issue."

From the same "Order in Council" page there's a pattern. Using Dobell's definition of "on the political side" can you spot which ones of his fellow work mates were not on the political side?

Lee Denny,
Chief Information Officer,
Chief Information Office,
Office of the Premier

Joy Illington,
Deputy Cabinet Secretary,
Office of the Premier

Ken Dobell,
Deputy Minister to the Premier and Cabinet Secretary,
Office of the Premier

Brenda Eaton,
Deputy Minister to the Premier,
Corporate Planning and Restructuring,
Office of the Premier

Andrew Wilkinson,
Deputy Minister,
Intergovernmental Relations, Office of the Premier

Kerri Brkich,
Administrative Coordinator,
Office of the Premier

Martyn Brown,
Chief of Staff, Office of the Premier,
(Deputy Minister status)

Primrose Carson,
Director of Internal Liaison, Office of the Premier

Antoinette De Wit,
Managing Director,
Office of the Premier

Candice Hughes,
Clerk 5 in the Office of the Premier

Beth James,
Director of Corporate Projects, Office of the Premier

Michelle Lemay,
Director of Administration,
Office of the Premier

Eric Mang,
Senior Coordinator,
Issues Management,
Office of the Premier

Judith McCallum,
Scheduling Coordinator,
Office of the Premier

Michael McDonald,
Director of Outreach and Special Projects,
Office of the Premier

Hazel Mitchell,
Executive Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff,
Office of the Premier

Michael Morton,
Press Secretary to the Premier, Office of the Premier

Andrew Orr,
Director of Communications,
Office of the Premier

Neil Sweeney,
Deputy Chief of Staff,
Issues Management,
Office of the Premier

Lisa Tees,
Clerk 4 in the Office of the Premier
If you guessed Clerk 5 and Clerk 4

Statutory Authority: Public Service
Lisa Tees is appointed to the Public Affairs Bureau as a Public Affairs Officer. The appointment of Lisa Tees (Clerk 4) made by OIC 108/2004 is rescinded."

You should have gone with #5, she is still a Clerk, doing scheduling. - Hansard

Wait a minute there are a "couple" of others not listed by Mr. Dobell. Here's what the Premier listed off and recorded in Hansard:

The deputy chief of staff, executive assistant to the Premier is Lara Dauphinee. The press secretary to the Premier is Michael Morton. The deputy chief of staff, policy coordination and issues management is Jay Schlosar. The director of policy coordination and issues management is Jeff Hanman. The executive assistant to the chief of staff, manager of human resources is Melissa Safarik.

The director of communications is Dale Steeves. The manager, media monitoring is Rishi Sharma. The senior coordinator, website and direct media is Nicole Chalmers. The producer, audiovisual media is Tara Foslien. The executive receptionist and greetings coordinator is Martina Bell.

The correspondence branch includes the managing director, Antoinette De Wit; Chantal Barbier, the correspondence officer; Danna McGaw, another correspondence officer; Bernadette Whitmore, correspondence officer; Lindsey Affleck, correspondence coordinator; Jen Coakley, a correspondence clerk; Carrie Oberg, a correspondence clerk; and Danielle Riley, a research and records correspondence clerk. Martina Bell is the greetings coordinator. Bob Alexander is a file clerk and courier.

In the scheduling branch Judy McCallum is the executive scheduling coordinator. Tamara Davidson is a scheduling clerk.

In the Premier's office, the cabinet offices in Vancouver, Katherine Bergen is events and project coordinator, Tara Shirley is administrative coordinator, and Gail Roberts is executive receptionist and administrative support.

In the deputy minister's office (but still under the Premier Office) Jessica McDonald, who I introduced earlier, is the Deputy Minister to the Premier and the cabinet secretary. Angela Koutougos is the executive administrative coordinator to Jessica McDonald. Dana Hayden, who I introduced earlier, is deputy minister of strategic policy. Deborah Laverty is the administrative assistant coordinator to Dana Hayden. Kim Henderson is assistant deputy minister, corporate initiatives.

Rueben Bronee is the project director, public services initiative. Elizabeth MacMillan is the assistant deputy minister, cabinet operations, and deputy cabinet secretary. Amber Rossner is the executive administrative coordinator. Michelle Leamy is the director, executive operations. Sandy Wharf is the director of corporate priorities and performance management.

In cabinet operations Elizabeth MacMillan is the assistant deputy minister, cabinet operations and deputy cabinet minister. Charlotte Powell is a cabinet committee director. Hilary Woodward is a cabinet committee director. Scott Bariillo is a cabinet analyst. Kursti Calder is a cabinet analyst. Jamie Campbell is a cabinet analyst. Jean Hanna is a cabinet analyst. Sharon Horner is a cabinet analyst.

Debbie Tsukayama is the manager of cabinet operations. Sohee Ahn is a senior legislative adviser. Danielle Kavadas is an assistant legislative officer. Nora Cedar is the OIC coordinator. Jaime Gill is the office manager. Mary Fairholm is the cabinet committee assistant. Mae Williams is administrative support. Sheila Stevenson is the documents processing coordinator.

In the deputy ministers policy secretariat Lauri Choi is acting secretariat coordinator. In climate change Graham Whitmarsh is the chief adviser, carbon trading. Warren Bell is a special adviser. Laura Cornish is a research officer.

In natural resources and the economy Kathy Chopik is a chief adviser, Lawrence Alexander is a special adviser, Simon Coley is a special adviser, and Charles Porter is a special adviser.

In service planning and reporting Corrie Campbell is the director of service planning and reporting. Suzanne Moreau is a service planning adviser.

In social development Tom Lee is the executive director, Raymond Fieltsch is a special adviser, and Greg Perrins is a research officer.

In the intergovernmental relations secretariat Virginia Greene is deputy minister. Pierrette Maranda is assistant deputy minister. Patti Dunn is senior executive assistant. Julie Turner is executive coordinator. Don Haney is executive director, economic policy in Asia-Pacific initiatives. Cathy Stigant is executive director, social policy and operations support. Garry Curtis is senior adviser, strategic services.

Teresa Coburn is acting administrative assistant. Paul Craven is director, federalism and constitutional policy. Conor Donaldson is a research officer. Bryant Fairley is the director of United States relations. Deborah Quinn is executive administrative assistant, international. Grant Smith is a policy analyst. Sukumar Periwal is director of international relations. Claudia Fabbri is manager, international relations. Jessie Lloyd is a policy analyst, international relations. Vincent Portal is director, francophone affairs program.

In the office of protocol Marc-André Ouellette is the director and chief of protocol. Kristine Madsen is the acting executive coordinator. Helen Carr is protocol and events officer; Mark Collins, protocol and events officer; Karen Felker, protocol and events officer; Manjit Khaira, protocol and events officer; Lucy Lobmeier, protocol and events officer; Brian Rowbottom, protocol and events officer; Daphne Armstrong, manager, special projects; Jenny Dellabough, protocol and events officer; and Genevieve Elliott, protocol and events officer.

Anonymous said...

Which High Profile prosecutions is the Attorney General of British Columbia referring to .....

"Hon. W. Oppal: Let me quote from what the member for Nanaimo said on November 2, 2006: "It is essential to the rule of law that the integrity of the judicial process not be interfered with. High profile prosecutions have failed in the past because politicians felt compelled to make comments in the public that were later deemed prejudicial." - HANSARD BLUES DRAFT TRANSCRIPT Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Is Oppal speaking from the perspective of a former judge, a former layperson, or hindsight?

Anonymous said...

....can't wait for Mr. Dobell's next essay.... perhaps on Office Politics and Dynamics, or "where the heck do I work, anyway?"

Anonymous said...

whats the connection between ken dobell and robert archer of archer reality---robert archer made 11 million in 1 year on those run down sro hotels--what a crystal ball mr archer has -coincidentaly ken dobell is ( was ) still is ? the head lobbyist for social housing (province newspaper febuary 15 2008 A15 )----Everything ken dobell gets near or touches or is involved with EMINATES A FOUL SMELLING FOG

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dobell reminds me of Karl Rove a bit, LOL...?

Anonymous said...

Could Dobell's admission be a tactical manuever by the Premier's office to have the whole thing thrown out of court?
What a shame it would be if Gordo gets away with this one and the people of this province never find out just how corrupt this administration truly is!

Anonymous said...

I still want to know how that hard drive showed up in the registry...(magic is not a recognised legal defence) but anyway here is how I think this thing could play out.


1) charges stayed on Askov motion to dismiss.(though accused seemed poised to go all the way)

2) Tossed on evidence being tainted

3)One of the above and "Liberals" re-elected and issue dies

4) No public inquiry with ability to lay charges until NDP'ers re-elected or until hell freezes over (whichever comes first)

5)My personal fave’ RCMP re-lays charges but this time against the original primary targets. Accused become witnesses for the Crown (Bornman deal voided ; - )

Anonymous said...

I've said before, and I'll say again... the Basi-Virk case being thrown out of court may not be such a bad thing. It disallows the Libs from hiding behind the "before the courts" curtain, it opens up more opportunity for FOI research, and it allows Basi and/or Virk to start to "sing".
That said, it would sure be nice to have the mystery witness, and a few others, on the stand.

Anonymous said...

We always come to the same conclusion.There is only one way to expose the corruption of campbell and the liberal cabinet  and that is to replace them with the NDP.If BC voters want another 4yr's of unprecedented corruption put them back in office.I  and many of my 'Canadian'  friends realise this is the most corrupt gov BC has ever had.I would also like to hear from landed immigrants[chinese hindus'and why some of them not only support a corrupt liberal gov they also run for office. I would like to remind them that just because they left  corrupt gov's in india and china they don't have to support the liberals in BC Please write in and let us know why you support them.  

Anonymous said...

Hardly any of those people are in the Premiers Office anymore. The Premier has distanced himself from them. Even his long time friends.

If this case is tossed will they be allowed to come back?