Today, Solicitor General Kash Heed sidestepped questions about his government's commitment to illegal gaming investigations. And he disputed concerns the province doesn't have well-resourced law enforcement units dedicated to monitoring criminal activity and preventing the involvement of organized crime at legal gaming facilities.
Earlier, in exclusive interview, the former commander of British Columbia's now-defunct integrated illegal gaming enforcement team told Public Eye "it seemed the way to remain in favour with the government was simply to maintain a statistical, check-the-box-type, radar gun-level of enforcement and not meaningful targeting that would disrupt significant criminal activity."
Fred Pinnock also said his RCMP team should have been keeping tabs on what happens inside legal gaming facilities rather than just cracking down on illegal gaming outside those facilities - something the Ontario Provincial Police already does.
But Solicitor General Heed told reporters the province actually has "quite a few" police units committed to illegal and gang-related activity inside legal gaming facilities. As examples, he cited the RCMP's integrated gang task force and "several municipal agencies" which "have their own gang people that pay particular to casinos."
And what about questions surrounding the province's commitment to "meaningful" illegal gaming investigating? "The gaming branch still has investigators that work closely with the RCMP to deal with significant issues around illegal gaming in this province," responded the solicitor general.
"We'll continue to have that relationship with the policy gaming branch, working with local law enforcement - whether that's our provincial RCMP partners or other municipal police departments."
Mr. Pinnock's team was quietly shutdown on April 1 - seven months after his retirement.