Monday, October 8, 2012

"Politics and the Rule of Law" in British Columbia

Energy Minister Coleman paid out $30 million even though a public servant wanted to do his duty, but was told to ignore an application....... from a mining company.

To put things in perspective, to the above, by relating it to an earlier policy written (October 2000) for the BC Ministry of Forestry, at least two copies are available on the internet, one via Google, the other in the BC Government's own Library:

 Google version of
    Politics and the Rule of Law:  Where does the Forest Service's Duty Lie?


No pun intended here, but don't you find it strange that the title would close with a "Lie"?



BC Government version:

Politics and the Rule of Law: Where Does the Forest Service's Duty ...

www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/documents/bib104859.pdf
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
Politics and the Rule of Law: Where does the Forest Service's Duty Lie? 2. © Ministry of Forests – Compliance and Enforcement Branch. • Broad public policy ...



 Politics and the Rule of Law:
Where Does the Forest Service’s
Duty Lie?

 

Page 7 of 191
Executive Summary

Like other public servants, Forest Service employees owe a duty of loyalty and obedience to the duly elected government, their minister, their ministry executive, and the senior managers to whom they report. However, all public servants are also bound by the following democratic norms:
• The constitutional principles established under the rule of law, namely that “every act of governmental power … must have a strictly legal pedigree”;1 and
• the duty of every public servant to act in an impartial, apolitical and non-partisan manner in making decisions affecting the public.

In essence, the rule of law ensures that ours is “a government of laws and not of men.” No one is above the law, and no one in government (no matter how highly they may be placed) can affect the rights, duties or liberties of any person unless the power to do so has been expressly conferred on them by law. In particular, the acts of politicians and public servants alike must be authorized by law, and exercised in strict accordance with the law.
Snipped

Page 9 of 191.... is the Carrier case, which is kind of coincidental because the Minister of Energy stood up during Question Period this year, this Spring, not this Fall, to defend his Ministry by invoking the Carrier incident as a reminder as to why the BC Liberals are not the same as the BC NDP.

But, But, But...... it says in the Executive Summary above that all public servants are also bound by the following democratic norms:

• The constitutional principles established under the rule of law, namely that “every act of governmental power… must have a strictly legal pedigree”; and
• the duty of every public servant to act in an impartial, apolitical and non-partisan manner in making decisions affecting the public.

If the Minister of Energy for the BC Liberals still doesn't get it, can't find it, about why his Government can't do what the BC NDP did, it, turn to page  Page 11 and start reading.  On Page 17 the scrambling BC Government GCPE and PAB OIC employees will find this, which is very similar in nature to what is said about how Justice must be seen, by the public.

Forest Service officials must not only abide by the highest standards of conduct, they must also be seen to abide by these standards.


Politics and the Rule of Law: Where Does the Forest Service’s Duty Lie?

We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right. - Magna Carta

1. Introduction

Since its inception in 1912, the Forest Service has stood for the highest standards of public service. Over its 88-year history, it assumed without question that Forest Service employees understood and accepted the following core public service values:

• political neutrality;
• integrity and adherence to the rule of law; and
• transparency (openness to public scrutiny).

However, on July 29, 1999, the Forest Service’s confidence in itself was severely shaken when the B.C. Supreme Court passed judgment in the Carrier case.  The scathing criticism contained in that judgment raised fundamental questions about the Forest Service as it entered the 21st Century. The purpose of this paper is to explore these questions, and to describe the steps that the author believes the Forest Service needs to take in order to retain the public’s trust.

It may be helpful to begin by reviewing the history of the Carrier case.  ........

SNIP


 "This is an attempt to deflect what is obvious in the court records. They ordered public servants not to follow the law, and that's a serious mistake."   -  Adrian Dix

Surely the BC Liberal government must have seen that their decision to ignore an application, would affect the public.

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