The Basi-Virk trial's abrupt conclusion today is both a good and bad news story for the provincial New Democrats. The good news is it will, in the short-term, take attention away from the infighting surrounding party leader Carole James's decision to expel Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson from the opposition benches without consulting caucus. The New Democrats will also have cause to dust-off their call for a public inquiry into the privatization of British Columbia Railway Co.'s assets. And the Campbell administration may find it more difficult to avoid answering questions about such issues - being deprived of the excuse that it's a "matter before the court." But the bad news is it's been seven years since the police raid on the legislature, so there may limited interest in the responses. It's likely much of the anti-Liberal political ammunition that may have been unearthed during the trial's future proceedings will remain buried. And the end of those proceedings, coupled with the agreed statement of facts which accompanied it, could effectively cut-off this story's long-term "legs."
October 18, 2010