Greg’s Groundwork

Law, Liberals, Libya
Those in search of the local paper last Wednesday were forced to wait a couple of days before laying their hands on the TR News. There’s a reason for that, and it involves a call from a lawyer.

Without getting into details – I’d rather stay on the good side of the law, thanks – I can say that my interpretation of legal results obtained through Court Services Online was a little faulty. Through a few negotiations with the lawyer, we were able to fix the story on the Ry-More property, get the front page re-printed, and have the paper out by Friday.

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp – but in this case my reach exceeded my grasp of the legal system. I made the mistake of attempting to read Legalese as Plain English. Here’s my new take on how to interpret civil law: if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it’s probably an albatross.

So, apologies all around for the late paper. I now have a much greater appreciation for the value of the record of proceedings (i.e. the actual dialogue that takes place inside the court room) when dealing with a civil court case.

And three cheers for the publisher, whose 3 a.m. inspiration ( to reprint the front page, at a significant cost) proved to be a far better idea than simply blacking out the offending words in that article. As for Ry-More, I can say the property was officially sold last Wednesday (February 23), and next week’s article should lay out the vision for that area.

Over the past weekend, the BC Liberal party chose a new leader, who will step into the role of B.C. premier until an election can be held. I’m impressed with candidate Mike de Jong’s move to release his campaign finances before he was required to. There’s a big difference in knowing who financially backs a candidate before the decision, compared to knowing after the decision. It’s a bold move, and the fact the leading candidates (Christy Clark, Kevin Falcon, and George Abbott) followed suit indicates provincial politicians might be getting serious about being open and transparent.

A far bigger democratic transformation is happening in northern Africa right now. To see the dictators in Egypt, Tunisia, and now Libya being toppled one after another by people-powered revolutions is inspiring and hard to imagine even a few years ago. These are mainly Muslim countries, but the protests have been driven more by individuals and the Internet than by ideology. We’re taking a hit on gas prices because of the turmoil, but it’s a worthwhile tradeoff to see democracy take root in these unlikely places.

Speaking of the web, the TR News’ new site should be up and running by now. (If you’re reading this column on the new website, you’ve probably already noticed.) It’s still not 100 per cent finished, but the features will be getting fine-tuned on a daily basis. Let us know what you think of the new look.