VANCOUVER, British Columbia — At around past 8 o’clock in the evening of February 24 while I was in New Westminster, I received a call from one Jerry Brimmer, a lawyer from Broadway Street.
Joe wanted me to stop my expose about a “multi-million construction project” which supposedly involves funds from the government. “Which expose are you talking about?” I asked Joe. He did not answer my question.
He volunteered that all the documents in the project are intact and assured me there’s no monkey business in the deal. “Which project are you referring to?” I asked Joe anew. He must be an astute lawyer he didn’t want to leave any trace of “evidence” in that brief conversation. Who gave him my mobile phone number is now the subject of my own investigation.
I wanted Joe Brimmer to say something concrete and explicit about something that he wanted me to stop from tackling about. If you talk to a lawyer in such circumstance, you must think like a chess player. Joe was polite nevertheless and conversed like a Street Wall stock broker: direct to the point. Cunning.
The only sound bite that I dread not to hear from a stranger as a dyed-in-the-wool investigative reporter is when Joe warned me of the “legal implications” should I continue writing about the issue. Short of saying, “shut up or …”
If the papers are intact and no anomaly attended to the transaction as Joe is confidently claiming, no need to tell an inquisitive journalist to zipper his mouth.
Joe, I know you are reading this item in my blog (you claimed to be an avid reader of my other blog alexpvidal.wordpress.com. Fine, thank you, sir!). As long as public interest is at stake, you can never gag or muzzle a journalist in a free society — unless we are in North Korea, Iran, or People’s Republic of China where even the internet is being bastardized by the iron curtain.
The good thing about Canada is that it adheres to the universally recognized freedom of the press and expression. This freedom doctrine is preciously recognized and enshrined under the bill of rights of the constitution of every country that believes in free speech and openness which the Russians call “glasnost.”
Just tell your clients to relax and calm down if they have nothing to hide, Joe. For the meantime, excuse me, I need to do my job.