An optical illusion

A post-secondary institution, which receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from the provincial attorney general's ministry each year, is giving a public safety award to officeholder Wally Oppal. When asked whether the Justice Institute of British Columbia was simply trying to curry favour and future funds, the school's marketing and communications manager Valder Belgrave said that wasn't the case - although he conceded there was "discussion about the optics."

"The decision to give this award to Justice Oppal was made well before he decided to step into provincial politics," explained Mr. Belgrave. And "the fact he has now become a provincial cabinet minister shouldn't take away from the contributions he made while sitting on the bench."

For his part, Attorney General Oppal said he thinks he remembers agreeing to accept the institute award last November, after initially turning it down. "Optics are always a concern about those things," he added, explaining the "award was given for what I did as a judge and a laywer prior to this life."

The attorney general's ministry transferred $1.2 million to the institute between fiscal 2003/04 and 2004. Attorney General Oppal will be receiving the public safety award on October 27. Tickets to the dinner, which is being held at the Rocky Mountaineer Vancouver Station, are $195, with corporate table sponsorships selling for $2,000. All proceeds go towards the institute.

Others receiving the award include the late Lucille Johnston, a philanthropistic and former head of the British Columbia and Yukon Council of St. John Ambulance, and rocker Bryan Adams, who headlined four concerts that raised $266,060 for victims of the 2003 firestorm. A version of this article was originally published in today's edition of 24 hours.

4 Comments

So we hear that an ex appeals Court judge has a memory problem, or are those the type of words he learned as a lawyer and continue to use to this day,

For his part, Attorney General Oppal says he thinks he remembers agreeing to accept the institute award last November, after initially turned it down. "Optics are always a concern about those things," he said, adding the "award was given for what I did as a judge and a laywer prior to this life."

And this fellow is the chief law guy of the present government. Hope his memory holds up .

My gosh I think I may have voted liberal once about thirty years ago way back when."

Optics always change when ones elected. I'm afraid good ole' Walley is just another good old boy.

The award was decided well before Oppal took to the political stage.

That's the key here.

Not everyone comes into politics like a deJong or Clar or Sihota. Wally's will never have pitbull instincts.

Hey , you describe DeJong as a pitbull. Ever sat in a meeting with him? He is no pitbull he is a bully, and when they had a massive majority it sure showed. They rammed stuff through with little debate, laughing all the time at the two, then three members opposite.

Now the numbers are closer together, the opposition can and do hit on him often Things he said are being brought back to the house. The extension of hours, which were supposedly fixed in the rules, last evening wouldn't have happened if his boss Gordo hadn't told him to do so. Dejong is a lawyer( not necessarily a good one) and is fully capable of reading the rules, but his boss couldn't care about rules and it shows. Gordo speaks some where in some back room and Mike jumps and on the way up says " How high boss, man," Doing what ever he is told sure beats putting out a shingle and hoping for some business.

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