Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Where does the money go? (Dec. 2012 article updated)

For BC Liberals and their best friends, the gravy train is an express. In his blog, lawyer Cameron Ward offers Missing Women Commission of Inquiry: Some well compensated, but not women’s families:
"When the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry was established on September 27, 2010, many observers felt it might be a waste of time and money. It concluded its work on November 22, 2012 when the Commissioner delivered his report recommending, among other things, that the “Provincial Government establish a compensation fund for the children of the missing and murdered women” and “a healing fund for the families of the missing and murdered women”. At this point, more than eight months later, the funds have not been established and the children and families of the missing and murdered women have yet to receive a dime of compensation for the losses of their loved ones. One could say they have been forsaken yet again by a government that does not care a whit about the disadvantaged and marginalized.

"Some others were well funded by the government, however..."
The following was published December 18, 2012 but numbers for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 are added.


Two years ago, Attorney General Mike de Jong picked his predecessor to lead the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. Oppal was a safe choice politically, which is the reason BC Liberals made the appointment.

Let's not pretend they needed to pay millions to Oppal and friends to learn anything about missing and murdered woman. The BC Civil Liberties Association, Pivot Legal and countless social service agencies and aboriginal groups had been speaking to deaf ears about the issues for years.

Oppal's exercise was window dressing, aimed not at achieving results but pretending government cared about the weakest people in our society. The provincial government signed a 20-year RCMP contract with no significant change in local accountability, it fought against being accountable itself before the Davies inquiry into the Frank Paul homicide. In various actions, BC's provincial government has stood strong with police against victimized citizens.

However, for the handful of folks managing the Oppal commission, people who live in fine homes and drive fine cars, this was a real opportunity for personal achievement. There was money to be made. Big money.

We're left to wonder how an inquiry conducted by a very few people can cost $9 million or more in two short years. If we visit the website of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, we don't find any financial disclosures and today, in response to a question about cost of Oppal's epic, Minister of Justice Shirley Bond refused to answer.

By searching the Detailed Schedules of Payments, we can find a few details.

Remember, information is only available to March 31, and the numbers continued upward in the 8 1/2 months since. In addition, these amounts do not reflect expenses paid by the Commission to facilitate work of people it employs. Fiscal 2011 and 2012 (with fiscal 2013 now added) show the favoured few earned:
  • Wally Oppal, $ 434,935 plus $405,000 in fiscal year ended Mar, 2013, total of $839,905
  • Art Vertlieb $ 680,912 plus $219,744 in fiscal year ended Mar, 2013, total of $900,656
  • Jessica McKeachie $ 237,612 plus $105,524 in fiscal year ended Mar, 2013, total of $343,136 (She was called to the bar May 2011, worked for Oppal while articling, typical salary in Vancouver = $45,000, most first year associate lawyers dream of earning $ 90K)
  • Melina Buckley $ 219,246 plus $503,326 in fiscal year ended Mar, 2013, total of $722,572
  • Karey Brooks (Her law firm, Janes Freedman Kyle, billed $ 577,710 plus $373,920 in fiscal year ended Mar, 2013, total of $951,630)
  • John Boddie (An associated firm, Boddie & Associates Ltd., billed $ 400,313 plus $268,352 in fiscal year ended Mar, 2013, total of $668,665
This is not a comprehensive list but it should be enough to stir outrage. Particularly, because today, RossK, The Gazetteer, is reporting that the BC Liberal government told social workers they are not allowed to purchase Christmas gifts for the children in government care and that any gifts already purchased must be returned. By mid-afternoon the ministry is claiming this policy was a mistake, now rectified. Ah, the power of social media. Thank you readers.

I paraphrase Joseph Welch,
Have you no sense of decency, Premier? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
Laila Yuile checks in with her comments on this subject: Three very important questions for our families first premier… if she isn’t too busy Christmas shopping, that is…

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14 comments:

  1. Perhaps a photoshop of Christy Clark as the Grinch with a big sack of money would be appropriate here...

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  2. Take the $9 million and divide by the 65 women who were included in the report: $138,461 each. Had that money been spent proactively & preventatively, funding services like PEERS Vancouver to help these women find safety and health care, perhaps these deaths (and many others like them) could have been avoided.

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  3. Jessica McKeachie ($237,612 most first year lawyers dream of earning about $ 90K in Vancouver) McKeachie also worked on the Braidwood Inquiry - Oppal was AG at the time. http://www.zoominfo.com/#!search/profile/person?personId=1648471869&targetid=profile

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  4. What is wrong with the RCMP? Today in the aftermath of the Oppal Commission Report, as the VPD repeated their apology to the families, the RCMP mainly kept their head down and said only that they had already apologized. But then in an amazing display of either insincerity or pretzel logic went on to say that if they had to do the whole thing over, they wouldn't do anything different.

    I don't understand where they think they are coming from, or going, because if I am sorry for something I did and had a chance for a do over, I would definitely do it differently!

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  5. Koot, they got away with it didn't they.

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  6. What the Opal inquiry did was to censor the close relationship of the Hell's Angles and many valley members of the BC Liberals. What we saw was two organized crime syndicates getting away with murder!

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  7. And Cameron Ward, the lawyer representing many of the families, only billed $60,000---a mere fraction of the Oppal team's haul. And Mr. Ward was actually trying to make it a meaningful inquiry.

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  8. Considering there was 80+ collected human DNA samples. The RCMP would have the public believe the individuals from which they came visited the farm to clip their nails. The RCMP's investigations of the events surrounding the activities at the farm is a black eye that will last generations. To believe Pickton acted alone is a reprehensible pretense.

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    Replies
    1. The reprehensible pretence of a single criminal continues among Oppal, the police and other officials.

      Delete
  9. So approximately 5 million goes just to these five out of a supposed, what we're told anyway, approximately 9 million for this joke of an inquiry headed by the Joker himself. And that's just to start. Shameful. But these folks have no shame now do they?
    Families First? Just the lieberal "family".
    When will the people learn? When?

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  10. My charge remains, the 'Missing Woman's' theater was nothing more than a well organized coverup of the BC Liberal's and the RCMP's close relationship with the Hell's Angels. It was a coverup of organized crime in BC!

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  11. Given the unending largesse lavished upon the chosen ones, it would be easy to forget Christy's "incent" cabinet:

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2012/02/13/19375521.html

    And---Better late than never: Mackin, on The Tyee's Hook, received Health Authority foi revealing numbers re failed post-haste, post-election sprinkling of fairie dust.

    July Morning

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  12. Thanks Norm
    I lived up there and wondered in the era of unbelievably rich payouts for these people, and a string of unsolved murders, there is still no way to get from a major center like PG. to Houston, or kitwanga... or any where in the north and travel by grey hound (if they still run the route) is expensive, especially if you DON'T make several hundered grand a year, So what else has changed on the highway of misery and tears? nothing sadly
    just a small group of people got incredibly rich looking into things
    Have they moved on?
    What recomendations have been enacted?
    maybe some public transport for the region... some place other than Vancouver
    The road from the Alberta border hwy 97 through BC. is long and desolate and in a huge swath of utter wilderness zero cell service.. I know that for a fact as one year our truck broke down out there we sat on the road for 10 hrs waiting for a tow truck didnt see a hwy crew or any rcmp for that matter the nearest phone was 50 km away in Dome creek.
    emergency call boxes would be another idea
    Great piece today many thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look, the BC government doesn't give a damn about anyone living outside metro Vancouver, yet the fools who live there voted mainly Liberal.

      Delete

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