Pro-lib at­tack ad res­ur­rects Dix’s ‘memo-to-file’

The Province - - News - msmyth@the­p­ twit­

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.

Michael Smyth



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