In my long-ago days running newspapers, we were preparing - once again - for a trip to the Labour Relations Board for some sort of hearing.
Our labour lawyer had come over from Vancouver as we sorted through the documents we were legally required to disclose to the union's lawyer in advance of the hearing.
The HR vice-president from Toronto who was 'helping' with negotiations and strategy came across a note she had scribbled on a scrap of paper - a few words, a thought during a meeting.
"I don't have to disclose that," she said. "It's practically a doodle."
And the lawyer, very pleasantly, told her that she did have to disclose and he wasn't going to stand for anything less than total adherence to the rules.
I'd always like him. I liked him more after that.
Which provides context for my Tyee column on the Liberal government's willingness to break the law to protect its own interests.
In the column, I write:
"The state has immense power, and politicians and their operatives are motivated to wield that power to protect their own interests. Citizens, ultimately, are protected by the rule of law. If the state's agents put themselves above the law, citizens have lost the most important thing standing between them and oppression."
That's what is at stake in this case.
You can read the column here.