BC Liberal's executive director refuse to answer questions in Ontario police investigation

No one has to co-operate with the police when they�re investigating a possible crime. You�re free to tell the officers that you have no interest in helping them and won't say a word.
But not if you�re a politician or political operative who hopes to be credible and trusted.
Laura Miller, the executive director of the BC Liberal Party, has refused to meet with police officers from Ontario�s anti-racket squad to answer questions. Police believe she could help with their investigation of breach of trust in an alleged high-level illegal coverup in the office of former premier Dalton McGuinty, where she was deputy chief of staff.
The investigation is focused on David Livingstone, Miller�s boss. Police believe Miller�s partner was enlisted to go through the computers of everyone in the premier�s office and illegally delete documents relating to the Liberal�s pre-election decision to kill two gas-powered power plants - one partially built - that might have cost it swing seats. The decision cost Ontario taxpayers more than $1 billion in sunk costs and compensation for the companies involved. (The story is complex - a good summary is here.) 
Serious stuff. If the truth had been known before the 2011 election, the outcome might have been different. 
McGuinty resigned, Miller moved on to help with Christy Clark�s election campaign and was then hired to run the BC Liberal Party.
And now, according to Gary Dimmock�s excellent coverage in the Ottawa Citizen, Miller is refusing to be interviewed by police.
That�s a citizen�s right. But politicians and political parties make a big deal about believing in the justice system, supporting and police and helping them keep communities safer by co-operating in crime investigations.
When the most senior party staffer refuses to sit down answer questions, that all is revealed to be hypocritical rubbish. We want you ordinary people to co-operate wth police, Clark and company are saying. We�ll act in our own self-interest.
And it raises serious questions. Why, exactly, is Miller refusing to answer questions about what she knows? What does Christy Clark think about the party executive director�s refusal to co-operate with an extremely serious police investigation?
And what does that say about Miller�s attitude toward accountability and the law in her B.C. job?
Norman Spector has been asking why Miller�s refusal hasn�t been covered in B.C. media. It�s a good question.

So long, Copan Ruinas, and thanks

We�ve been counting down the lasts for a while now. 
The last four-hour bus trip home from San Pedro Sula a week ago. Last trip to the pool with the kids from Angelitos, the care home/orphanage we�ve been helping out, on Sunday. Last concept note for Cuso International. Last trip up the hill for a $1.25 haircut yesterday. Last boiling up of three pounds of chicken menudo for the dogs. (The slogan should be �now with more chicken feet.�)
It�s not much fun. Partly, it�s just stressful trying to pack up life in Copan Ruinas after more than two years, cram our stuff into two backpacks and big suitcase and head off to who-knows-what in Canada. (Lugging along an accordion and a dog.)
And partly there is a sense of unfinished business. 
My partner Jody and I have been Cuso International volunteers here, placed with local development agencies and tasked with �building capacity� in communications. I�ve spent a lot of time on interesting projects for the Cuso Honduran office as well.
It is a great experience. We�re living in Honduras, experiencing life in an entirely different culture, discovering the challenges of life in a poor, unequal and largely dysfunctional country. It�s year-round summer, and life is lived - loudly - on the street. Or it might as well be, as every house in our neighbourhood is built right to the street and windows are always open. I can pretty much sing along with one neighbours music choices by now. 
And it�s not like visiting. 
We know the neighbours and the people in the market stalls. We�ve been through the afternoon rains, and the April heat, and had a chance to see how people live in a poor country. We ride the buses and cope with the power failures and, as we�re paid stipends equivalent to Hondurans doing similar work, pay attention to what things cost. I�ve been touched by how genuinely sad some people are to learn we are leaving.
Which, I suppose, is one reason I have a sense of unfinished business. It takes time to become more than a visitor, and to be an effective contributor in the important work Cuso International and its partners are doing. After two years, I�m much more useful and understand much more. And as a result I wonder how much more could be done with more time.
And any time of leaving is, for me, a time of regrets. I was walking White Dog, who is going to Canada, and Crazy Pup, who is not, today and noticed a path heading up into the hills east of town that I hadn�t seen before. There are a lot of paths not walked.
I�ll be glad to tick off some of the lasts. Sometime before Monday morning at 7 a.m. we will have the last power failure, and the last resulting loss of Internet service. And at some point, I will utter a last frustrated complaint about the creeping pace of web access when it does work.
And I�ll read the last story in a Honduran newspaper that leaves me baffled at how things could be so messed up. (The current contender is a La Prensa piece yesterday on a public school in La Moskitia that offers its 610 students one diploma program, in technology and computer skills. The area has no reliable electricity and almost no opportunities in computer work. And in any case, the school hasn�t had any actual working computers for students since it opened seven years ago. Miraculously, hopeful students keep showing up.)
Leavings always seem to come in a rush of farewells and hurried preparations, with too little time to think much about all that�s left behind. I�m writing this perched one of two plastic chairs that are our remaining furniture, with clothes spilling out of the half-packed bags on the floor. We�ve got a couple of steaks to fry up for dinner, two plates and two knives and forks. 
Maybe the rush is a good thing. There will be time to figure out what all this lasts mean when we�re settled, for a while, in Canada.


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