Covert action

Before it was shuttered, the province's anti-illegal gaming team got its government funding from the British Columbia Lottery Corp. And that meant the corporation had a seat on the RCMP team's consultative board. But, according to records exclusively obtained by Public Eye via a freedom of information requests, there were serious questions about that arrangement.

In her effectiveness review of the team - which was submitted to the ministry of public safety and solicitor general on January 14, 2008 - public policy consultant Cathy Tait noted "some people" had "raised a concern about the appropriateness of BCLC presence at Consultative Board meetings where confidential information regarding investigations is presented."

For example, two years earlier, the head of the government's gaming policy and enforcement branch had written the team's commander to ask why the lottery corporation's then president and chief executive officer Vic Poleschuk wasn't among those invited one of those meetings.

The response: according to Fred Pinnock that meeting would "refer to the use of specific covert techniques. In light of this, I would suggest caution against being overly inclusive."

As a result, Ms. Tait recommended the government should finance the team directly since "BCLC does not have an enforcement function," resulting in the removal of the lottery corporation's board representative.

That, or the board's agenda should be restructured so "confidential information is presented at the beginning or end of the meeting, when the CEO may excuse herself."

A year later, the team was shutdown. The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned documents.

Concerns about the membership of the integrated illegal gaming enforcement team's consultative board

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