Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Court Room 101, the real Dave Basi stands up
The three men are facing charges that a $50,000. bribe was allegedly paid by the two real estate developers to Dave Basi for the alleged purpose of influencing the removal of land from British Columbia's Agricultural Land Reserve -- land which became a 650-house development in Sooke.
This trial is not, so far as I know, connected to the Legislature raids. But it is a first opportunity to hear Dave Basi speak on the subject of Dave Basi. And as we hear the Prosecution's case unfold -- and if the charges are proven in court -- this trial should provide the first split in the shield of silence surrounding the possibility of corruption in governemt. If it shows a pattern -- a modus operendi -- for the way these things happen, we may begin to understand not just the A.L.R. in Sooke, but things like the sell-off of B.C. Rail, the near-loss of Roberts Bank, and much else. We need to know how corruption of public policy can happen.
99.9% of B.C. citizens are innocent of such knowledge. We may guess, or doubt, but who among us knows if Mr Big keeps a suite at the Empress Hotel or at Laurel Point, where he (with diamond ring, cigar, ribald jokes) offers drinks and hints each afternoon at 5:00? Nah, didn't think so. Or if it's a swift "Pssst ... wanna buy a railroad?" whispered in the Legislature corridors. No? Or is it something much more ordinary, like happy talk amongst up-and-coming associates where, having already noted which way the winds are blowing*, idle speculation can turn into cash. Illegal, of course -- for both briber and bribee -- but who's to know?
And that's just it. Citizens know next to nothing about the kinds of serious questions which will be tested in a court of law, once the trials begin.
*Those 32 boxes of files we saw police hauling out of the offices of Basi (Ministry of Finance) and Virk (Ministry of Transportation) suggest that these two top-rank Cabinet ministers' aides were not exactly trying to hide the evidence.
Anyone who sees any mention of these cases in any newspaper or TV, please report the sightings here. To send a message direct to BC Mary, my summer e.mail address is: BCMary@myway.com I'd like to know what people, in general, are saying about the issues surrounding The Legislature Raids.