Pro-lib attack ad resurrects Dix’s ‘memo-to-file’
A brutal pre-election attack ad aimed at Adrian Dix drags up the most notorious episode from the NDP leader’s past: the infamous “memo-to-file.”
Dix had better get used to it. The Liberals will pour salt in this wound all the way to election day.
“Adrian Dix: he was chief-of-staff to B.C.’s premier,” says the new TV commercial from Concerned Citizens For B.C., a pro-Liberal group headed by Premier Christy Clark’s former strategic adviser.
“He was found to have forged a document in the premier’s office during the course of an RCMP commercial crime-squad investigation. Forced to admit his guilt after police examined his computer, he was fired.”
For those of you having trouble remembering all the way back to the 1990s, here’s how this bizarre episode went down:
On March 2, 1999, police raided the home of then-NDP-Premier Glen Clark. They were looking for evidence of corruption in the government’s approval of a casino licence for one of Clark’s friends.
The next day, Dix produced the “memo-to-file” that said Clark had informed him the casino-licence applicant was a friend, and that Clark was to have no involvement in the approval process.
How convenient! And how suspicious. As the investigation unfolded, Dix admitted he had back-dated the uncirculated memo, even obtaining an official “Office of the Premier” stamp from the desk of Clark’s secretary, and rolling back the date to July 17, 1998.
“It was a mistake and I take responsibility for it,” Dix told me.
As you consider this blot on Dix’s record, here’s an important distinction to keep in mind: Although Dix admits back-dating the memo, he denies doing it during the police investigation, as suggested in the pro-Liberal commercials.
Dix testified at Clark’s trial that he created the memo in “September or early October 1998” — five months before Clark’s home was searched by police.
So did Dix know that police were investigating Clark — and that the premier desperately needed an alibi — when he created the memo? “Of course not,” Dix replies. The cops have said they had started an undercover investigation of Clark by December 1998.
But here’s the problem for Dix: There has never been any evidence produced proving precisely when he created the memo.
Dix testified he tore the hand-written notes of his original conversation with Clark out of his notebook and destroyed them. And although police examined his computer, Dix said he doesn’t know if the cops were ever able to verify whether the notorious “memo-to-file” was created at the time he claimed.
“None of that matters,” Dix told me. “It was wrong and I acknowledge it.”
But it seems to me if there was proof Dix created the memo before the police investigation, it would matter a lot, and the NDP would be shouting it from the rooftops.
IN THE HOUSE