Pubdate: Fri, 02 Jan 2004
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Province
Author: Tony Cox


It's comforting to know that suggestions of organized crime, drug dealing, 
money laundering and operating beyond the reach of tax collectors are not 
considered important enough to bring our political leaders home from a 
sun-drenched paradise.

Our chief financial whiz kid, Gary Collins, believes a 20-month 
investigation by the Mounties that culminates in some housecleaning in his 
office is troublesome, but does not require him to interrupt some 
refreshing drinks by the beach. And our premier, sipping tea and soft 
drinks, hasn't seen anything so far that compromises his government.

Surely, our finance minister must be a little concerned about the affairs 
of his office, concerned enough to see what files are missing, or has his 
mind been addled by the hot sun?

Solicitor-General Rich Coleman has trumpeted this as a major case. 
Obviously, the Mounties and the Victoria police chief agree, otherwise why 
spend 20 months of time and effort of good taxpayers' money without cause? 
So far, everybody is treading warily for fear of character assassination 
and fear of defamation. No charges have been laid and nobody is being 
accused of anything.

While suggestions of organized crime, drugs, money laundering and the 
raiding of government offices may seem innocuous and unimportant enough to 
our vacationing dynamic duo, if only hints of construction of a sundeck 
were involved, then perhaps some urgency might exist.

Tony Cox, Victoria

Editor's note: Finance Minister Gary Collins returned to Victoria Wednesday.
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