Thursday, November 30, 2006
Author Anne Cameron says the band will play on and the only losers will be the public
In a climate of Political Correctness we all recoil from even the hint, let alone the accusation, of racism. And this is a racist society, a racist culture; if you don't believe me ask any First Nations person, any "visible minority" person, any person of colour.
It has been alluded that Basi-Virk-Basi are being set up while possibly blue-eyed people have been given an "out". Well, reverse racism is still racism. It is equally possible there really is a racial link in this grotty mess. For years we've been reading and hearing about "asian" organized crime gangs, of "east indian" drug dealers, of gangland murders, of targeted hits, even the tawdry bull dung of the accuseds' affair with an aging juror -- a woman who was certainly old enough she ought to have known better.
When a group of people are kept marginalized, are denied the possibility of full participation and relegated to the status of "other" it is only inevitable that some of them will rebel by becoming involved in unsavoury dealings.
Both Moe Sihota and Ujjal Dosangh were said to be "the first" this, that, or the next. We have Judi Tyabji's accounts of questionable practices in the Liberal party, we have suggested links between drug dealers and politics and we have enough broken promises to warrant a Royal Commission. And it very well could be no can is being tied to any particular group. It could be quite simply that individuals who are easily identified as being part of a particular group are involved.
For years the charter of the Liberal party expressly forbade membership to certain groups, certain identifiable racial groups. And then, suddenly and with little or no fanfare, those racist exclusions were removed and there was a concerted effort to sign up members of the very groups once banned.
And it well might be that some individuals, more opportunistic than most, surged forward eagerly, determined to make as much hay as they could while the sun still shone. And now it is suggested some of them had their hands in cookie jars.
And no, they weren't the only hands in those cookie jars. I don't believe Basi-Virk-Basi were targeted because of their skin colour or racial affiliations. I think they got caught because they are remoras who thought the big fish would protect them and have since found out the hard way the big fish are the first to swim off claiming family needs them, taking well paying jobs in the private sector, covering their asses and doing their best to do what cats do to their own scat. And the remoras are left swinging in the wind because they were never Really part of the power grabbing money grubbing cohort to begin with.
It isn't a case of prosecuting the minority and pampering the dominant race. It's the inevitable result when hubris replaces generations of experience in avoiding the consequences. If we look at the backgrounds of almost any truly powerful politician, regardless of party affilliation, you'll see the same names of private schools, the same swirling circles of influence. Those who are truly wheeling and dealing in the halls of influence sit on boards of directorships with others who ... it's incestuous, it's how it has been for far too long, and it makes for some strange bedfellows. Provincial or federal, the Old Boys Network is alive and well and emptying our pockets. The same few snouts wind up buried most deeply in the swill in the trough and the inexperienced newcomers only think they are part of the group.
Those charged weren't chosen because they come from "east of suez", nor because they do or don't attend a particular church. They weren't really "chosen" at all. They just didn't have the shithouse slicks to know when the axe was about to fall.
Generations of marginalization deprived them of the chance to learn when to cut and run. They were still standing wrapped in their cloak of self importance and hubris when the Old Boys Network sensed a shift in the wind and effed off down the pike.
We can be reasonably sure someone phoned someone to tip off the media when Glen Clark's home was raided. And I think it is safe to assume someone phoned someone to drop a hint in a listening ear that there was going to be some digging around in compost piles. And those with connections were twigged to the hint and peeled off, suddenly realizing their family missed them, suddenly aware they had, in fact, given birth, suddenly needing more time to fly planes or something.
This is going to drag on and on and on and on until the public, cursed with notoriously short attention span, out and out forgets, the way it has forgotten the Liberal party charter excluded people of certain races, the way it has forgotten the forestry scandal which put a cabinet minister in the slam, the way it has forgotten Bingogate and a host of other slimey shite.
And at that time someone will haul out and present a case for cancellation of the charges because it has taken too long...we have a cop let off the hook on those grounds recently...and the remoras will be given decent jobs in private industry, the band will play on, and the only losers will be the public.
Anne Cameron writes from Tahsis, where she says the rain is washing away the snow ...
This may be a good time to mention the fact that I have been warned twice that "they" may be reading everything that is written on my computer. Also, for me to mention that I have been slapped down by the Opposition justice critic. And I have noticed some strange things which may (or may not) indicate hostile interferance with this blog. I'm not especially worried. But I do ask that readers watch, wait, and join any dots which seem not quite right. Bring it out into the open. That's the best protection for society as well as for individuals. These are strange times we're living in. - BC Mary.
JK tells me that a remora is a little eel with a suction cup lined with teeth for a mouth. It latches onto healthy fish and sucks their blood. Perfect metaphor, he says. Anne Cameron says it this way: Remora are those little fish who live their lives following bigger fish, cleaning algae and parasites from their skin and occasionally getting bits and pieces of scraps of the prey the bigger fish catches...some remora actually attach themselves by "suckers" around their mouths and just move over the surface of, usually, sharks, getting their nourishment by eating shed skin cells, sea lice, and algae...remora are one of the least intrusive of the "parasites" in that they never actually harm their host in any way at all...but they live almost exclusively on crumbs and waste material.
Paul Martin's B.C. boys are busy again
Key BC Liberals helped Paul Martin overthrow Jean Chrétien and take control of the party. Now many have joined another team.
By Bill Tieleman
TheTyee.ca - Nov. 30/2006
Canada's bloodless coup -- the one that saw a Liberal prime minister who won majorities in three successive elections deposed by his chief rival -- took place thanks to some tough organizing, thuggish behaviour and a ruthless rejection of compromise.
By the time Paul Martin had become prime minister, evicting Jean Chrétien from 24 Sussex Drive, the field of battle had been littered with the political bodies of those who stood in his way.
British Columbia was a key province in the Martinites' war for control and his lieutenants here were bloody-minded in the extreme.
Now that the Martin regime has collapsed and a new Liberal leader is about to be chosen, where are those lieutenants now? Which leadership candidates are they now giving whispered advice and organizational muscle? And are there any echoes of the Martin effort to dethrone Chrétien? ...
.... So far, the dirty tricks and malevolent manoeuvres haven't sunk quite that low. But the public drubbing of Mason Loh, the B.C. chair for former Ontario NDP premier Bob Rae's campaign, by the forces of Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal front-runner, certainly set the tone ....
Here's where the major Liberal players have landed on the new leadership game board:
He was Martin's top lieutenant here and half of what was once B.C.'s top power couple. His wife, Christy Clark, is a former deputy premier to the B.C. Liberals' Gordon Campbell.
Marissen is now the organizational brains behind Stephane Dion, who came fourth in the first round of delegate selection, but could be the eventual winner of a multi-ballot battle royale on Saturday, Dec. 2.
As Dion's National Campaign Director, Marissen is trying to regain past glory and show that he is no one-trick Martin pony.
Alex Tsakumis is no friend of Marissen or Clark -- whom he strongly opposed in her run for the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association nomination for mayor against Sam Sullivan in 2005.
In fact, he claimed in an April memo to NPA members that: "Mr. Marissen's ego can't handle how they blew it against Sam, so here they are with an effort to lay the groundwork to take over this board by 2007. All to save a spot for Christy in 2008. They destroyed the federal Liberal party and now they want to destroy the NPA. Should we let them?" But Tsakumis has apparently mellowed out. He more recently says that Marissen is "arguably the best organizer in the country, across all parties."
Now the most controversial player in the game, Bornman is scheduled to testify early next year as the Crown's key witness against former friends David Basi and Bob Virk, the fired ministerial aides he is alleged by police to have bribed in exchange for confidential government information on the $1 billion B.C. Rail privatization.
Bornman, an amateur photographer, B.C. lobbyist and former Paul Martin aide, became known as "Spiderman" for his late 1990s break-in to B.C. party headquarters, where a federal membership list allegedly resided.
After completing a law degree at the University of B.C., Bornman headed to Toronto where he was articling with McCarthy Tetrault, the prestigious law firm that gave $118,000 to Paul Martin's leadership campaign. But media reports caused him to withdraw and he recently postponed a hearing by the Law Society of Upper Canada into his "good character" after a complaint was lodged against him in relation to the Basi and Virk case.
Bornman has not surfaced at any of the leadership campaigns, but his communications consultant and ex-Liberal staffer brother Roy Bornmann (Erik has spelled his name with alternatively one or two "n"s while Roy uses both) is a stalwart of the Ken Dryden campaign.
Basi's hands are full trying to make a living while fighting charges of fraud, breach of trust and influence peddling related to the Dec. 28, 2003 police search of the B.C. legislature. Basi was also charged in April with additional counts of breach of trust over allegations of his involvement in efforts to remove land near Sooke from the Agricultural Land Reserve.
But Basi was previously one of Marissen's top soldiers in the Martin campaign while working as then-finance minister Gary Collins's ministerial assistant. In fact, Dhaliwal blamed Basi personally for the takeover of his riding association.
"I was quite concerned that people from Victoria were involved in meddling in my riding," Dhaliwal told Burnaby Now. "I was the senior minister for B.C. who was working closely with the premier, and they had their own political staff trying to undermine me. I find that incredible."
Basi's cousin Aneal Basi, charged with money laundering, is also a federal Liberal Party donor and supporter.
Neither Basi has been officially linked to any current leadership candidate, but David Basi did reportedly show up to vote at his Saanich-Gulf Islands federal delegate selection meeting in late September.
While less high profile than Basi, Bob Virk was another Paul Martin campaign soldier in the takeover efforts, while working as then-transportation minister Judith Reid's MA.
Virk and Basi were both allegedly being promoted by Erik Bornman for lucrative political staff jobs in Ottawa in exchange for providing confidential government info on the B.C. Rail deal for Bornman's lobbying client OmniTRAX.
If you doubt that this case has dragged on, consider that since the legislative raids in 2003, Virk has become a father twice.
Currently president of the Liberal Party of Canada in B.C., Elmhirst has what have to be uncomfortably close connections to the legislature raids.
The office of his former lobbying firm, Pilothouse Public Affairs, was searched by police. And his Pilothouse partner, former Vancouver Province columnist Brian Kieran, is another key Crown witness in the case against Basi and Virk. He'll take the stand along with fellow Pilothouse lobbyist Erik Bornman. Elmhirst has joined forces with old pal Mark Marissen and endorsed Stephane Dion for leader.
Young is one of those adaptable types able to transform from a lobbyist for fish farms, private health care clinics and other corporate interests one day to being a key staffer providing neutral advice to the prime minister the next.
Young, a Marissen rival in the Martin camp, was the prime minister's senior advisor for British Columbia before joining Earnscliffe Strategy Group, a favourite supplier to Martin as finance minister, in September 2004.
Young is now a key B.C. backer of Gerard Kennedy, sitting in third place after the initial Liberal membership vote, but generally viewed as not able to win.
Kennedy's other supporters in B.C. include Senator Larry Campbell, the popular former Vancouver mayor; Tex Enemark, a longtime provincial deputy minister in the Social Credit days and a federal Liberal stalwart; Prem Vinning, the short-lived advisor to premier Gordon Campbell, who was caught using a phoney name to call in to a talk radio show with the boss; and, Hill & Knowlton lobbyist Steve Vander Wal, a former aide to federal Environment Minister David Anderson, the "godfather" to many of the Martin troops.
Another of the people integrally linked to the legislature raid who is also still a Liberal Party of Canada in B.C. executive member. Clark is brother to Christy Clark, brother-in-law to Mark Marissen and a former top Paul Martin fundraiser.
Clark's home office was searched by police, who allege in unproven police search warrant "Information To Obtain" or ITO documents that documents related to the cancelled B.C. Rail Roberts Bank privatization deal that was worth $70 million were passed by Basi to Clark. Clark does not face any charges. Not surprisingly, Bruce Clark is another enthusiastic supporter of Stephane Dion.
The cherubic former pro-Martin president of the federal Liberals in B.C. and controversial parachute Liberal candidate in Burnaby-Douglas in 2004 and 2006 has joined pal Marissen in the Dion camp.
"I have a lot of time for Billy Cunningham," Paul Martin once said. Will Dion feel the same way?
So the final score going into the Liberal leadership convention shows that by a considerable margin, the Stephane Dion camp has attracted the most former Paul Martin supporters, while Michael Ignatieff has been shut out.
Whether that is a good or bad thing will be clear on Dec. 2.
Many thanks to Bill Tieleman for permission to show these excerpts from his longer article in today's The Tyee.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Connect a few dots: Who hired Basi & Virk? Have they been investigated?
Premier Tied To Hires
Georgia Straight, 2003-12-31
Premier Gordon Campbell's chief of staff, Martyn Brown, was responsible for hiring two political assistants, David Basi and Robert Virk, whose legislature offices were raided by the RCMP on December 28.
On June 25, 2001, Campbell wrote a letter to all cabinet ministers telling them that Brown would arrange the "structuring and staffing" of their offices. Campbell also instructed ministers not to act like the chief executive officer of their ministries, adding that this role should be performed by their deputies, who would also be selected by the premier's office.
Veteran political journalist Jim Hume wrote a column for the Canoe News Web site [www.canoe.ca] on July 7, 2001, saying veteran cabinet ministers from previous B.C. administrations "expressed indignation" over the language in Campbell's letter. Hume added that cabinet ministers traditionally recommended deputy ministers to the premier, usually resulting in a simple endorsement from the premier.
"Only on extremely rare occasions, however, has the premier of the day interfered with decisions on a minister's personal office staff, let alone granting the authority to one of his own appointees, a non-elected staffer, to dictate to a minister of the crown," Hume wrote.
Meanwhile, the RCMP's December 29 news release announcing the police raids at the legislature used the term organized crime eight different times. Basi, who was fired as ministerial assistant to Finance Minister Gary Collins, issued a news release later that day denying wrongdoing. Virk, who worked for Transportation and Highways Minister Judith Reid, was suspended with pay.
Robert Gillen, assistant deputy attorney general, appointed special prosecutor William Berardino, who was once a partner of Attorney General Geoff Plant at Russell & DuMoulin (now Fasken Martineau DuMoulin).
Thanks to Lynx again for remembering these important factors.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Four reports from BC Supreme Court ... and an enigma
From: Robin Mathews
Subject: Hearing Nov 24
Dear Mary. I just got in from the 9:10 a.m hearing on the matter of the examination of the RCMP Project Room in Victoria. What occurred is pretty well what we said would occur. Crown and Defence agreed they were working very hard, agreed the work would take time, and asked to have until around mid-December to complete the work ... they hope. Their demeanour of adversarialism wasn't there and they were smiling and amiable with one another. I believe a vague January date is suggested for trial.
I also learned the reason I have not been able to get Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett's so-called "oral" reason for deciding to open the Project Room (as I looked on she read the decision from a typed format) is because she hasn't released it to anybody - and Crown wants to see it, as doubtless Defence does, too. Apparently, judges do that, holding (sometimes for a long time) "oral" decisions and perhaps tidying up the form of them a little before releasing them.
That may satisfy people like Associate Justice Patrick Dohm, but it doesn't satisfy me and shouldn't satisfy Canadians. Justice Bennett should set the hearing four hours later if necessary, have her decision completed, and available to all parties AND all interested Canadians. Very clearly, Supreme Court practice needs cleaning up because every failure to make public information available to the public invites suspicion and contempt - justifiably. It is surprising how many people say: "Oh, that's how they do it", not "That is unacceptable in any self-respecting, democratic, legal system serving the rule of law". good wishes, R.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Basi Virk BC Legislature Raid Case Postponed Again
By Bill Tieleman
The oft-delayed BC Legislature raid case has been once-again postponed.
Charges against former BC government ministerial aides David Basi, Bob Virk and communications staffer Aneal Basi will not likely be heard until late February or early March.
BC Supreme Court defence lawyers and the Special Prosecutor agreed to delay a pre-trial update scheduled with Justice Elizabeth Bennett for today until December 18 at 9 a.m.
That means the previously slated trial start date of December 4 is off.
With pre-trial motions and a voir dire on the admissibility of wiretap evidence and issues of Parliamentary privilege surrounding some evidence, plus the Christmas holiday break, it seems highly unlikely the trial could begin before March 1.
And from Randy at http://houseofinfamy.blogspot.com/:
Subject: Court Lists Today
Everything is there in the court lists today. There are nine pages total and I think at least six of them have to do with the BVB case. Note the cases (same main number different after the hyphen) named HMTQ vs. Limited Access and Limited Access vs. Others, but they all have similiar case numbers, so I think they are all the various questions of discovery, disclosure and privilege coming from the Special Prosecutor and the Defense. I've downloaded them, so when they disappear, they don't disappear.
Thank you, all. Many, many thanks indeed.
Thanks also to DL (Report No. 4) who sent the URL for the Court Lists but I couldn't get it to transfer to this site. I can send it by e.mail, however, if you contact email@example.com. The Criminal list shows Udhe Basi, Bobby Virk, Aneal Basi and each of the charges. - BC Mary.
Influence peddling trial for former Liberal insiders delayed after both sides say they need more time
Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, November 25, 2006
The trial involving former Liberal insiders accused of influence peddling whose alleged activities led to the unprecedented raid on the B.C. Legislature, has been delayed.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett had hoped to start proceedings in December, but Crown and defence lawyers said Friday they are not ready to begin and need several more weeks.
Justice Bennett will meet again with lawyers on Dec. 15 to determine if the trial can begin in January or whether more time is required.
So the next pre-trial courtroom conference takes place in Vancouver Supreme Court Room 67 (wait for confirmation of that) on either Friday, December 15 or Monday, December 18, 2006 (confirmation needed on this, of course). Closer to December 15, BC Mary will request confirmation of hearing dates.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Fourth Part. The 2003 RCMP Raids on B.C. Legislature Offices. The Tide of Corruption. The Soiled Milieu.
BY ROBIN MATHEWS
Disclosure of evidence has been chaotic. Judicial delays and fumblings - as well as inadequate availability of court records - have been inexcusable. Coverage by the private corporate monopoly press and media has been grossly inadequate (especially by CanWest monopoly publications which are ardent supporters and "cover-up" organs for the Gordon Campbell government).
On September 29 the trial for counselling the making of false report held to examine former police officer Ravinder Singh Dosanjh - a background person in the larger criminal investigation - was concluded. We still await his sentencing. Who is delaying? For what reasons? Meanwhile, the Attorney General, Wally Oppal, appears to be publicly grand-standing on any issue that may undermine and/or draw attention from the Basi, Basi, Virk trial.
A key witness, self-admittedly involved in an act of bribery at the heart of the Basi, Basi, Virk activities is going uncharged because - it would seem - of a deal or deals made regarding his status as a Crown witness. What were the deals? Erik Bornmann is a EuroCanadian, even, perhaps, with blue eyes.
His story is told by Gary Mason in the Globe and Mail (for B.C.) on November 18. Oho! say a few people. Things are heating up because the press is finally getting on to the story. Maybe. Maybe not. For if, as I say, Vaughn Palmer is "Gordon Campbell's personal representative at the Vancouver Sun", Gary Mason is "Gordon Campbell's personal representative at the Globe and Mail". By the merest chance, the Mason story about Eric Bornmann takes attention away from the Gordon Campbell cabinet and away from highly placed Liberals outside the legislature -- or it nearly does.
Out of those matters and many more - the political circumstances, the series of events leading to the raids on legislature offices of two Gordon Campbell cabinet ministers, and the long, long, drawn out legal proceedings since 2003 - might bring any Canadian to believe a significant attempt is afoot to pervert justice. And not primarily in relation to Basi, Basi, and Virk. Rather, the question surfaces - is an attempt afoot to pervert justice in relation to some cabinet ministers, some of their associates and contacts outside the legislature - all of whom should have been closely investigated, publicly reported upon, and - if appropriate - charged? We hear almost nothing about them.
Put simply, in another way, what was the Gordon Campbell cabinet doing hiring into intimate association with top cabinet officers and Liberal Party officials outside the legislature men who could engage in activities that eventuated in serious criminal charges being laid against them? Did the people hiring for cabinet make a huge mistake? Or did they make no mistake at all?
At this point the colour of Eric Bornmann's eyes may have relevance. The people charged in relation to all the issues connected to the raids on the legislature offices share ancestry with those originating - as people used to say - "East of Suez". Are we to see that as coincidental? Or are we to see it as planned? In the vast and turbulent arena involving, among other things, the dirty sale of B.C. Rail, the vigorous activity of dubious party membership gathering, alleged money laundering, the cancelled sale of the Roberts Bank rail spur, bribes allegedly offered and bribes allegedly received, alleged illicit drug activity, and alleged illicit breaking of agricultural land protection codes - are we to believe that only people with ancestry located "East of Suez" engaged in activity allegedly criminal Or should we believe that those men are being so presented, with great care, in order to protect others from (to put the matter delicately) West of Suez?
Are we to believe that all the "blue-eyed" EuroCanadians present in that turbulent arena acted prudently within the law? We know that Eric Bornmann didn't, and we know that he - unlike Basi, Basi, Virk, and Dosanjh - faces no charges of wrong doing.
Those who believe it is unfair to jump to conclusions are correct. In a period of honest government that enjoys a reputation of integrity, suspicions of the kind I have floated here might be heard uttered at a low level in discussion, but only as part of the scene that no one takes very seriously.
But this is not such a situation. The Gordon Campbell government is neck deep in moral breach of trust, violation of policy promises, enactment of sleazy and deceitful legislation, disinformation and questionable advertising, and active sell-out of the trust and wealth of British Columbians.
To suspect the Gordon Campbell government of attempting to undermine just investigations, the laying of charges, and fair pursuit of legal remedies in the history following the legislature raids is not, in my opinion, an option. It is a fundamental necessity.
The Gordon Campbell government promised not to sell B.C. Rail, kept secret all negotiations to sell, lied to the legislature about terms of sale, and permitted such rancid behaviour to develop that - on the recommendation of police forces - the sale of the spur line to Roberts Bank had to be aborted. That, after the dirty, dishonest sale of B.C. Rail, which took from British Columbians a vital, publicly-owned, and effective part of B.C.'s infrastructure. The sale of B.C. Rail is a source of important allegations in charges that have been laid.
Other allegations which involve drug related activities could connect to Liberal Party bulk membership scams and the "influencing" of candidacies. The question arises: who - more influential and powerful than the three men charged - were connected to those activities? Was Gordon Campbell himself?
Gordon Campbell himself, according to Judy Tyabi Wilson, floated to the leadership of the B.C. Liberal Party on a sea of newly-signed-up Sikh members who didn't even have to appear for the leadership vote or to identify themselves over the telephone other then with a pin number assigned with membership. Perhaps it is fair to quote Tyabi Wilson. In the contest that gave Gordon Campbell the leadership: "The [Liberal] party was unable to ensure that the hundreds of new members, whose names were signed up and accorded post office box numbers, even exist[ed]."
(Judy Tyabi Wilson, POLITICAL AFFAIRS, Horsdal and Shubert, 1994, p. 235)
A pattern emerges. It involves (1) the destruction of Gordon Wilson as leader of the B.C. Liberals in the early 1990s and the ascendancy of Gordon Campbell. (2) It involves what I call "the fraudulent investigation, trial and destruction of Glen Clark, B.C. NDP premier". (3) It involves the strange rise to NDP premiership of Ujjal Dosanjh who appeared (to me) to give away the election before beginning work for the Liberal Party very soon after. (4) It involves the dirty sale of B.C. Rail, (5) the destruction of B.C. Hydro, and (6) the present, gigantic fraudulent giveaway of B.C.'s water energy to private corporations (many U.S.). (7) It involves - with particular relation to B.C. Rail, B.C. Hydro, and the giveaway of B.C. rivers - secrecy, deceit, and legislation to curb and/or to deny democratic powers and rights.
The pattern provides a case-study of what I have called elsewhere in these columns the arrival of "the New Fascism", a displacement of democracy by the rule of private corporate capitalists (many from outside Canada) supported in fraud and deception by police, the courts, private corporate wealth, monopoly journalism, and cabinet executives in power.
The Gordon Campbell government promised not to privatize B.C. Hydro. In order to work a breach of trust by deception, it froze B.C. Hydro, divided it into three parts, and has forced the tiny third part called B.C. Hydro to end any increase in energy production and to purchase any new energy power from private corporate entities. The Gordon Campbell government is in the process of giving those private corporate entities the water power energy owned by the people of British Columbia.
To further its breach of trust, the Gordon Campbell government has given a third of B.C. Hydro to an Enron scandal-connected entity called Accenture. The contract with Accenture to run B.C. Hydro's metering, billing, and financial services exists in a secret contract deliberately withheld from British Columbians. The secrecy of the contract is assured by legislation which should be, if it is not, unconstitutional.
Almost certainly, a part of that secret contract gives the right to Accenture employees to use vehicles marked "B.C. Hydro" so that British Columbians won't know the B.C. Hydro they believe operates no longer exists.
The third division of B.C. Hydro is formed by the creation of the so-called "transmission" section, said by the Campbell spokespeople to be wholly owned by British Columbians. Except it is constructed to by-pass all B.C. priorities in order to serve private owners, to supply the expensive U.S. market, and to force up B.C. electrical prices.
As if that weren't enough, the Gordon Campbell government (through the frozen B.C. Hydro) is in the process of granting licenses for dirty coal-fired electrical generating plants in Princeton and Tumbler Ridge B.C. doesn't need coal-fired plants. But the Campbell government intends the multi-billion dollar river resource energy of B.C. to be owned by and directed to U.S. sources. British Columbians can have expensive, needless, dirty coal-generated electrical energy - where it can be found. (Neither Vaughn Palmer nor Gary Mason nor any of their Globe and CanWest Media fellow journalists have written a word about those major issues in B.C. life. Are those journalists bribed? Coerced? What?)
Because of the (just described) dishonesty and corruption of the Gordon Campbell government, is it fair to ask if that government might come under suspicion of doing everything in its power to protect people in the ever-enlarging circle of deceit that exploded in the legislature raids and the charges arising out of them?
Can even the Special Prosecutor in the Basi, Basi, and Virk trial come under suspicion? Involved in the chaos of evidence disclosure which is still unsettled two weeks before the allotted trial date, and in the judicial delays, he is an appointee, in effect, of the Gordon Campbell cabinet. That cabinet has become famous for time-serving, cynical, opportunistic appointments. For example, consider.
To the new national health council, Campbell appointed his anti-medicare brother-in-law. To review the - probably criminal - negligence in the scandal-ridden ministry of Children and Families, Campbell's cabinet appointed proven hack Ted Hughes whose earlier APEC Report is a disgrace and is followed by an equally disgraceful Report on the Children and Families scandal. A chief recommendation of Hughes (who cut short his investigation) was that there should be no further investigation and no criminal investigation should take place.
Responding to the staggering and scandalous toll of forestry deaths as a result of the Campbell erasure of the forestry safety code, the cabinet appointed as new forestry ombudsman a former, defeated cabinet colleague whom the electorate had very obviously removed as unsuitable to serve the B.C. public.
Are we to believe the appointment of a Special Prosecutor in the Basi, Basi, and Virk case (a case connected to Gordon Campbell cabinet ministers and the dirty sale of B.C. Rail) was made with the single goal of achieving fair, transparent, just, and spotless results? If Defence is to be paid heed to, the Special Prosecutor's role has not contributed to those kinds of results.
I have already reported that the Supreme court system of access to public documents - directed by Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm - is a disgrace to a democratic society. Dohm was, earlier, dubiously involved in what I call the fraudulent investigation and trial of Glen Clark, former NDP premier. (I have repeatedly called for a Royal Commission level investigation into the whole, odious set of events.) It is Justice Dohm who has kept information from the public on the legislature raids and their aftermath.
Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, just by coincidence, has become (out of some 100 B.C. Supreme Court judges) trial judge for the Basi, Basi, Virk case. She was, as we know, the trial judge in the Glen Clark case. That case involved millions of dollars of investigation expenditure over many, many months. It eventuated in a very long, long trial which resulted in Clark being declared innocent but only after he had been destroyed politically and his party had been severely crippled - by the investigations and the court case conducted against him. "Democratic" means and the legal system, played out in the B.C. Supreme Court, were used to cripple democratic society in British Columbia, perhaps irreparably. Like it or not, Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett sat on that trial which I (not alone by any means) believe should never have been held. Did she have a special role?
A chief investigating RCMP officer in the Glen Clark fiasco, Sergeant Peter Montague, just happened to be a known Liberal supporter, previously wooed by Gordon Campbell - one source says on at least two occasions - to accept a Liberal nomination. On March 22, 1999, Time Magazine commented:
"Last week, journalists learned that Peter Montague, the head of the crime unit that conducted the search on Clark's house, was invited by Gordon Campbell back in 1997 to run in the riding of Surrey-White Rock in an up-coming provincial by-election." (Judi Tyabi Wilson, DAGGERS UNSHEATHED, Heritage House, 2002, p. 132)
Sergeant Montague happened, before that, to figure prominently in the 1995, probably criminal, activities of the RCMP during the disagreement at Gustafsen Lake between a few dozen First Nations people and combined RCMP and Canadian military forces. The operation was marked by large areas closed to journalists and serious allegations of media manipulation, in which Peter Montague was named. During that operation, Montague is on record as saying of the RCMP that "smear campaigns are our specialty".
From the Gustafsen Lake disgrace Montague moved to the Commercial Crime section and position of a chief investigator in the case against Glen Clark - who was referred for investigation to the RCMP from Gordon Campbell's constituency office.
When Peter Montague retired a few years after the Clark trial, journalists attended his retirement luncheon. Among them were John Daly and Gary Hanney who covered the RCMP (search warrant) "raid" on Glen Clark's house. They not only attended the retirement luncheon, but they also presented Montague with a retirement gift.
Something is wrong, deeply wrong. The Defence in the Basi, Basi, Virk case have given an indication that they will argue a mistrial should be declared when (and if) the trial is held. In the previous column on this subject I asked if lawyers in the courtroom are puppets moving on invisible strings. By that I meant are some of them doing their best, trying to win their case with hard work, determination, and honesty, without knowing they have been set up, their actions prepared for them without them even knowing it. If a mistrial is declared in the Basi, Basi, Virk case - or if it is aborted for some other reason - will the end of the trial come about because the reason to end it has been carefully placed in the way of Defence counsel by forces least expected to do such a thing?
And if it is carried through to an end, will that be because the gentlemen with ancestry located "East of Suez" have been so insulated from the active, political community in which they worked that they can safely be handled without bringing into question the implicated, blue-eyed others from more virtuous birthplaces found West of Suez?
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
A note from Judi Tyabji Wilson
When Judi & Gordon Wilson were told about this blog ...
I'm so glad someone is trying to break the silence.
It's really amazing to me that there's no opposition,
perhaps they'll try to make up for it when they see
the efforts you're putting in.
Good luck with it.
Then ANONYMOUS said ...
More to the point, way to go Mary.
Good to hear from Judi too. How are Gordon and she doing? If Gordon Wilson was leader of the NDP they would not be trailing in opinion polls. This coming from a someone who did not support the time before last.
November 21, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
de Jong holding press conference at 4:10 Wed. 22nd, after 2:00 PM public rally on Legislature steps asks for full Fall Session
A real B.C. mini-hearing is happening on the steps of the Legislature on Wednesday November 22nd, at 2:00 PM, featuring the Raging Grannies.
They ask, in song, why the full House of M.L.A.s is gathering for only 1 day instead of a full Fall Session. They will describe the B.C. issues in desperate need of open debate on the floor of the Legislature.
Will the Raging Grannies get answers? Sure, if enough people ask.
Here are the lyrics (so far) for a spirited sing-along:
[To the tune of "Billy Boy, Billy Boy"]
Why don't you come down here in front,
Gordie boy, Gordie boy?
Where've you been the past six months,
Did you have to run and hide?
Someone told us that you'd died,
And we really, really cried,
Are you scared to face the poor,
Gordie boy, Gordie boy?
You've got lots to answer for,
Don't forget that we're your boss
Though you couldn't give a toss.
There's no province without us,
British Columbia up for sale,
Gordie Boy, Gordie Boy?
Hydro, Gas and BC Rail
While for the poor and homeless folks
Working people and their hopes
Just strings of promises and lies.
From Premier Gordie.
BC Ferries on the rocks,
Gordie Boy, Gordie Boy.
Check the value of your stocks,
Clearcut valleys, washed out streams,
Backroom deals fill all his dreams,
So the cheque is in the mail
For Premier Gordie.
Virk and Basi going to trial,
Gordie Boy, Gordie Boy?
Will they tell who pulled the strings,
If they say that you're the Man
Showed them how to scheme and plan
You may find you're in the can.
Poor Premier Gordie.
Is this a purely anti-Campbell rally? No, it isn't. It's surely going to embarrass the socks off the silent, evasive NDP Opposition as well.
I mean, isn't anybody looking out for the people? Not the Campbell government, not the Opposition, not even CanWest news services. So, as the UBC motto goes: "It's up to us." Or, as SFU says, "We are ready."
Friday, November 17, 2006
Third Part. RCMP Raids on B.C. Legislature. The Tide of Corruption. By Robin Mathews
The Tide of Corruption, and the Basi, Basi, and Virk trial.
In Courtroom 75 of the B.C. Supreme Court on November 14, 2006, lawyers - like small, soberly-coloured beetles - scurried in the Chamber, apparently intense, apparently at odds with one another in the adversarial tradition of cases in the Canadian legal system. It would be wrong to call it "the Canadian justice system", for Canada has a "legal system" out of which justice very, very rarely comes in matters of corporate and political corruption. The lawyers were there to hear the decision made by Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett on an application for disclosure - specifically, a request by the Defense to be present at the RCMP Project Room when materials were identified and described, one by one, to make sure all evidence in the hands of the Crown will be known to the Defense.
Were the lawyers in the Chamber really at odds? Or were the nine people (all men) in the Gallery, in fact, witnessing what was a charade, an exercise in smoke and mirrors? Were the actors in the apparent drama unfolding before us enacting a moment of theatre whose outcome had already long been determined? Or were they totally unconsciously being manipulated by unseen puppeteers "pulling the strings" that were giving movement to the beetles scurrying in the Chamber? Or were we facing the real prelude to a real trial in which justice would genuinely be sought, and done?
Hints of answers to those questions may be found on at least three levels. The meeting in Chambers on that morning provides one level. The forces at work outside the Chamber provide the second level. And the history of the institutions involved provides the third.
The key issue in the Application for Disclosure, as I have written above, was the request by the Defense to be admitted to the RCMP Project Room or rooms containing evidence in order to assure themselves that all relevant materials were listed and fairly described - even when they were denied to Defense for appropriate reasons. But in just what place access is to be granted is, in fact, in a confused state - at least to journalists reporting on the hearing.
Mark Hume of the Globe and Mail reports it is "the room" where the "more than 11,000 documents" are stored, which, he reports, Special Prosecutor William Berardino described as "in a four-story building in Vancouver". (Nov 15 06 S3)
For Ian Mulgrew, a Vancouver Sun columnist who writes frequently about legal matters, access is granted "to special police evidence rooms" where material is "stored in high-security locations somewhere in Victoria". (Vanc Sun Nov 15 06 B1,B8).
During the week of October 30, Defense suggested that the affidavit sworn by RCMP Corporal Mar on October 30, 2006 about the preparation and selection of documents placed on discs concerned two project rooms. Corporal Mar's affidavit states clearly that materials in Surrey were scanned in and delivered to Victoria storage and that materials were also gathered elsewhere on the lower mainland and so treated. Defense found the affidavit inadequate partly because of great difficulties connected to the process of disclosure (of which much has been made), and, perhaps, because of doubts that arose from those difficulties about the expertise of the two corporals who did the work.
Defense stated more than once that the people who could most competently and thoroughly describe the preparation of documents and their whereabouts were the two corporals, Ma and Mar. Defense asked to cross-examine Corporal Mar. To a reasonable observer that seemed the quickest and surest way to clear up the uncertainties that seemed dense but may not have been.
Corporal Mar could not only have answered questions about the location and methods of scanning materials but could also have demonstrated personal and system adequacy in the task.
Without giving a reason, and in a single sentence, Justice Bennett refused to permit examination of Corporal Mar. Equally a mystery, she did not ask to be assured that all relevant RCMP materials are and will be available in the room she is ordering to be opened to Defense. She did not question the existence of the Surrey Project Room and especially whether the court will be able to be sure all documents from there have found a place in Victoria.
If I seem to be questioning the quality of the decision by Justice Bennett, that is because I am doing so. She presented a written ruling which she read to those gathered in the Chamber. Her wording, I suggest, needs very close examination. And her intentions in making the ruling the way she did invite close scrutiny. As with other important public documents, however, this one is denied the scrutiny of Canadians who have a perfect right to appear at Criminal Registry in the B.C. Supreme Court and ask to examine it or to have a copy.
By edict, Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm, has denied ALL SUCH DOCUMENTS to Canadians. The clerk at Criminal registry informed me, upon inquiry, that I could not have a copy and could not see one. Finally, she informed me that I might request a copy from William Berardino, Special Prosecutor for the Crown. Who delegated to William Berardino the right to grant or to withhold permission for me or any other Canadian to see a decision made and publicly delivered by Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett? Are we living in a madhouse?
Madam Justice Bennett and all the lawyers participating in the hearing are officers of the court. They have an obligation to the court to uphold its values and its reason for being. They are all complicit in the Directive made by Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm to keep information from Canadians - information that Canadians have a right to have access to simply and easily from Criminal Records of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Mr. McCullough, for the Defense, approached me on November 14 and apologized for his insulting behaviour to me during the week of October 30 hearings. The incident should never have occurred and it was not explained even minimally by Mr. McCullough to my satisfaction. I was being insulted by an officer of the court for attempting to ask, courteously, a question. McCullough cast opprobrium upon himself AND upon the Supreme Court. Officers of the court - and Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm is one of them - have deep obligations (which they are loathe to acknowledge) to the people of Canada.
All the officers of the court who accept Mr. Justice Dohm's denial of rights to Canadians participate in Dohm's denial. I believe that by failing to make her decision available at Criminal Registry, by failing to make copies available in courtroom 75, by failing to place the decision on the Supreme Court website, Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett indicated she intends to keep Canadians from - and to frustrate them in their desire to have - access to information rightfully theirs, particularly in matters concerning this (potentially) highly incendiary trial and its "surround". I said in an earlier column that Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm sits astride a system which is irrational, capricious, discriminatory, elitist, and unjust. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett assists him in upholding that insulting and discriminatory system.
The question of access obviously dogs and has dogged this whole matter - so much so that a reasonable and prudent Canadian might strongly suspect evidence has been denied, delayed, and otherwise mishandled by some forces in order to provide sufficient bases to invalidate all the proceedings.
What is more, access to information about the - perhaps - illegal activities of others than the three men charged is not even discussed, not even dreamed of as a possibility, not on any kind of agenda, not considered a part of the issue.
In addition, what could be more alarming - not to say confusing - than for the Attorney General of B.C., Wally Oppal, to say he has met with the prosecution team in the trial of William Picton (a first degree murder trial) because "As Attorney General, I'm the Chief Prosecutor". I'm clearly on one side here." And more. "The task is unbelieveable. I wanted to give them support." Oppal referred, as well, to a serious problem of disclosure, and said he wanted to commend the Crown prosecutors on that matter. (Globe and Mail Nov 15 06 S1)
I asked in an earlier column if Wally Oppal, as Attorney General, is a dangerous clown? Now I ask if he is a carefully designing person? New Democratic Party MLA Leonard Krog pointed out that the Attorney General spoke imprudently. "The duty of the Crown is to prosecute the case fairly. It is not really a question of taking sides. The Attorney General is on the side of justice, one would hope." (Globe and Mail Nov 18 06 S1).
Attorney General Oppal has taken an opposite position in the extremely complex case arising out of the raids on Legislature offices on December 28, 2003. Unlike the Picton case, the one arising out of the raids on Legislature offices has the potential - depending of course upon evidence that may be presented - to bring down the Gordon Campbell government (of which Wally Oppal is a part).
If an Attorney General truly wishes to see justice done in the courts in which, as Wally Oppal says, he is "Chief Prosecutor of the province", then the Crown in the Basi, Basi, and Virk trial has needed a heavy presence of the Attorney General to assure processes run smoothly, simply to demand and to make sure that justice may be reached in the case. Instead, Wally Oppal recently gossiped with journalists in a way that has been interpreted as tending to undermine the Crown and its prosecution. It would seem that in the Picton trial Wally Oppal is "on the side" of the Crown prosecuting. Can it be true that in the Basi, Basi, and Virk trial, on the other hand, he is on the side of the Gordon Campbell cabinet of which he is a part and which he wants to protect from criminal charges that should perhaps be laid against certain cabinet members past or present and certain outside associates?
In addition, have some RCMP officers been deliberately obstructive and inactive in laying charges? Has influence from some sources in the Gordon Campbell cabinet been deliberately obstructive? Has the monopoly press and media in B.C. been deliberately uninformative and uninvestigative? Have some agents of the Crown at all levels of the process been less than diligent, less than effective in their tasks?
A serious question must be asked again. Is there strong intention to derail and to wreck scrutiny of the whole structure of scandalous behaviour which is being focussed upon Basi, Basi, and Virk? And do the actions of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, the Criminal Registry machinery in operation under Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm, and the actions of Attorney General Wally Oppal - just for instance - lend credibility to the claim that there exists an intention to destroy the whole issue before it can be fairly and judiciously examined?
Nine people? Only 9 people from the general public were in the public gallery to witness this historic trial? What better evidence is there, that public access to the Court Registry's on-line system isn't working?
Thank you, Robin. This is so important, we're lucky to have your reports.
- BC Mary
Legislature in session one day only: 22 Nov.
The provincial legislature will be back in session on November 22 to appoint British Columbia's new child and youth representative. Liberal House Leader Mike de Jong has scheduled a news conference for 4:10 to discuss the news.
From Public Eye Online
Posted by Sean Holman
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
November 22 (a Wednesday) is 2 days before the final pre-trial hearing for Basi, Virk, Basi.
Excuse me, I'm sorry to say this, but it's appalling to think that the whole B.C. government will sneak into town, takin' care o'business, then sneak out again without having to stand up in public. To stand with us, the people of British Columbia, as we find out if and when the Trial of the 21st Century is ready to proceed.
24 November (Friday) is the day when Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett will most likely decide that the Defence and Prosecution are ready; and that the trial of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Basi, Virk, Basi will proceed.
The stage will be set. Every person who understands the issue will be tense, nervous, frightened.
It's the system of government in B.C. which is on trial.
The full Legislature, already gathered in Victoria, should stand publicly at attention on that day, 24 November, for the people they're supposed to be serving. Is that such a lot to ask -- for them to just stick around until the week-end?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CRIMINAL Court Lists explained ...
I asked Randy at House of Infamy and I asked Bill Tieleman if they could explain the absence of Basi, Virk, Basi (BVB) from the Supreme Court Lists on the days they were expected to appear at pre-trial hearings. And why "John Doe" was listed. Randy, a programmer, had the same experience as I had. Like me, Randy went to the Attorney General Home Page, selected Criminal Court Lists, and had no reason to question the lists which were headed up:
Court Services Online
Daily Court Lists
Court List Index
And Randy provided a copy of that pdf page of 30 Oct. for Bill. In reply Bill Tieleman says:
Thanks very much for sending me this - I think I may have an answer.
It appears that this is the CIVIL only courts list. I called the Courts Services Online people today and they guided me to the CRIMINAL courts list.
The main difference I immediately see is that the criminal courtrooms - at least where the Basi,Virk,Basi hearings were held - were in Rooms 67 and 75 - the top floors at the Supreme Court building.
In the PDF Randy just sent all the listings are in Room 31 or 32 and are "Chambers Applications". You will also note that the names are mostly corporations, not individuals, as you would expect in almost all criminal prosecutions. And the start times are almost all 9:45 a.m.
Next, go to this URL:
Click on it and you get to this URL
[Which is headed:
Vancouver Law Courts
Public Access Supreme Court Criminal List]
Which you will see has much different info than on your PDF, including charges, count numbers, case numbers, and courtrooms all in the 50s, 60s and 70s. It also has a variety of different times for the proceedings, either 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. for the most part.
So, it would appear that in large measure because of the complexity of the website and lack of any meaningful differentiation, what you have thought was the daily criminal Supreme Court case list was merely the civil proceedings list - and that the criminal list is in a very different place on the Internet.
Let me know what you think - this seems the most plausible explanation to me so far.
Bill Tieleman West Star Communications
Sincere thanks to Bill (also Randy at House of Infamy http://houseofinfamy.blogspot.com/)
for this information. Bill's clues work. So I'll be watching it on November 24.
What do others think about this on-line service of the A.G. Is it user-friendly?
Bill also sent news of Erik Bornmann, the expected chief prosecution witness in the BVB trial:
Bornman bid for Ontario bar postponed
By BILL TIELEMAN, 24 HOURS
17 Nov 2006
Erik Bornman, the former lobbyist and Paul Martin aide turned key Crown witness in the B.C. Legislature raid case, may not be admitted to the Ontario bar as a lawyer anytime soon.
Bornman, who is scheduled to testify against former government aides David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi in a breach of trust case starting Dec. 4 in B.C. Supreme Court, articled as a law student in Ontario.
Bornman faces an admissibility hearing by the Law Society of Upper Canada starting next Tuesday in Toronto and is attempting to have the public and media excluded. The hearing follows a complaint to the Law Society about Bornman's "good character" - a requirement for admission.
Bornman is alleged in unproven police documents to have bribed David Basi and Virk to obtain confidential government documents related to the 2003 B.C. Rail privatization.
But late yesterday the Law Society announced on its website that it will request Bornman's hearing be adjourned "until such time as the Student Member testifies at the trial . . . . or the criminal matter is withdrawn or otherwise concludes."
Bornman was an aide when Martin was finance minister. He is a former executive member of the federal Liberal Party in B.C.
Thanks again, Bill.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
For Tuesday Nov. 21: who is Gary Gibson?
Google: Law Society of Upper Canada,
then click on Current Hearings. Follow the list to ERIK BORNMANN,
then click on More Details. On pdf, it doesn't print or copy. So
BC Mary made a handwritten copy transcribed as follows:
L.S.U.C. Counsel: Naomi Overend
Student Member's Counsel: Bryan Finlay, Nikiforos Latrou
Erik Bornmann will make a motion to the Hearing Panel at the commencement of the Hearing on Tuesday November 21 at 10:00 AM "or as soon after that time as the motion can be heard", in a hearing room at the offices of the Law Society, east wing of Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto.
THE MOTION IS FOR AN ORDER:
1. pursuant to Rule 3.01 that the hearing of this application herein [for admission to the bar] be heard in the absence of the public, or
2. pursuant to Rule 3.06 preventing the publication of information disclosed in the application herein until after the evidentiary portion of the trial of R.v. Udhe Singh (Dave) Basi et al (Supreme Court of British Columbia, Docket No. 23299) is completed.
MOTION IS FOR:
(i) an order adjourning the hearing of this matter until such time as the Student Member testifies at the trial of R. v. Udhe Singh (Dave) Basi, et al (Supreme Court of British Columbia, Docket No. 23299) (R.V. Basi) or the criminal matter is withdrawn or otherwise concludes;
(ii) An order dispensing with the need to comply with the time requirements set out in Rules 7.03 and 7.06 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure, pursuant to Rule 1.05 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure;
(iii) an order receiving certain material from the Law Society's motion record, namely, paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Affadavit of Gary Gibson, and Exhibits A, B, H, I, J, and K to the Affadavit of Gary Gibson, in camera.
Questions, questions, questions, questions, questions and more questions.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Trial still on, next pre-trial hearing 24 Nov
With Justice Elizabeth Bennett presiding on 14 November 2006, the Basi, Virk, Basi defence team argued successfully to be allowed to enter the R.C.M.P. Project Room ... which means that the Biggest Trial in B.C.'s history has not been de-railed ... it is still on.
It's expected to take 10 days in the Project Room.
The next pre-trial hearing starts at 9:30 AM on 24 November 2006.
Given a little time to consider what he saw and heard in court today, Robin will be sending us another priceless, eyewitness report from the courtroom. We'll see other reports but none with Robin's particular insights.
And, by the way, neither Dave Basi, Bob Virk, nor Aneal Basi were listed on the Daily Court Lists for 14 November. Without this information, it's difficult for people to attend and observe the actual sessions.
Bill Tieleman was generous yesterday when BC Mary asked if he'd been in court. "Yes," said Bill, "I was there. Also The Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, CKNW, The Province, CITY TV were all there, as was Robin."
Bill wrote a fact-filled report ("Defence scores big win in B.C. Legislature Raids case disclosure application") at http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/
Victoria Times Colonist for 15 Nov. has " 'Project room' doors open". By Keith Fraser.
Vancouver Sun has an Ian Mulgrew column, which concludes with these disturbing remarks:
... Special prosecutor William Berardino insisted he and his staff were doing their best, but that complications arising from the intersection of several criminal investigations have proven considerable.
For instance, he said the corruption charges Basi and Virk face are a tangle of investigative threads involving a $1-billion BC Rail deal, the agricultural land reserve and money-laundering.
The federal money-laundering investigation, he said, was continuing until very recently and the Crown wasn't able to provide some of the documents defence lawyers wanted to see.
He said he thought those obstacles have now been overcome.
But his excuses were lame -- the police and prosecution have been lax here and the disclosure issues are far from resolved.
There also are other questions involving wiretaps that will be the subject of a voir dire next month, perhaps.
That could be delayed depending on whether the Crown makes good on his promise to provide the requested disclosure material by week's end.
I think it would be a disaster if at this point everything went south because of process problems and we were left in the dark about those startling events three years ago.
But surprising as it sounds, that could happen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mark Hume in The Globe and Mail wrote: "Judge orders RCMP to open its room of secret documents", well worth looking up.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Oct 30 was covered up. Now watch Nov 14
A concerned citizen left a comment today. It'll knock your socks off. He wrote:
When I described what had happened to the court notice re: Basi Basi and Virk morphing into John Does over the weekend my lawyer friend was very clear: This kind of thing doesn't happen by accident. It looks like a deliberate attempt to keep the press (and the public) from being aware of what was happening in Justice Bennett's courtroom - the only legitimate use of 'john doe' labelling is when there are reasons (under age children, physical danger or threat etc) why privacy is an important consideration for someone in the court. My friend agreed, particularly in view of the public notice you received on Friday, that none of those considerations would apply in this instance.
In a case like this the switch from BBV to John Doe etc over the weekend couldn't have been anything other than a cover up - and it's a cover up the press is up to its armpits in. Why wouldn't those 'vastly experienced' court reporters have at least noted it in passing?
Who knows Mary, without your blog, the only observers in the court on that Monday morning might have been Justice department staff?
The public has a right to be informed and, Bill Tieleman to the contrary, the press is letting us down.
A big bouquet to this concerned citizen who took the bull by the horns and got the legal opinion which confirms many suspicions. This commentor has insisted from Day One (Oct 30) that there was something fishy about the John Doe entries on the B.C. Supreme Court lists, but no Basi, Virk, or Basi (BVB) although BC Mary was assured by the Criminal Justice Registry that the BVB case would come before B.C. Supreme Court for pre-trial hearings on October 20 and October 30.
Please note, however, that BC Mary would never have known, either, if I hadn't personally e.mailed the Attorney-General's office, which replied ... and their information was published here. It was BC's only notification, apparently.
On October 30, knowing how difficult it is to confirm these details, I wanted to see them validated in the on-line Court Lists which appear day by day.
Well ... there was no mention of BVB on 30 October. But there was an odd-looking entry -- "John Doe" -- listed 8 consecutive times.
Only this blog put that information out to the people of British Columbia.
Only this blog told the public to be in Supreme Court on 30 October.
No other journalists even noted the anomaly.
And only Robin Mathews described the hostile courtroom atmosphere when he and two supporters showed up.
Let's keep these factors in mind, as we approach November 14, when Supreme Court Justice Bennett rules on whether everything is in order so that the long-awaited trial of Basi, Virk, Basi gets under way on 4 December 2006.
Special blessings upon Citizen Journalists who care about this country, who go the extra mile to serve and protect it.
- BC Mary
Friday, November 10, 2006
Never a mistrial ... in 50 years
Sincere thanks to the lawyer who freely gave the following information when a concerned friend asked about mistrials. - BC Mary
I have been a trial lawyer for over 50 years and never a mistrial...I have had to make my beefs in advance of the trial and had them ruled on, so unlikely that there would be any new item that would result in mistrial-new trial.
Mistrial does not help the accused, they just have to go thru the agony of yet another trial. Remember the Killer Kelly=Virk murder trials.
This is a tempest in a teapot. Death of a juror used to be a problem, but in most serious, long trials there are alternate jurors who sit in, but only vote if one of the jury dies.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Irrational, capricious, discriminatory, elitist, and unjust, writes Robin ... and that's just B.C. Supreme Court.
The RCMP Raids on B.C. Legislature Offices (Dec. 28, 2003).
A Tide of Corruption. Second Part.
By Robin Mathews
Nothing can excuse B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal. His comments about evidence in the Legislature Raids process (presently before the courts) are, quite simply, outrageous. Chatting "casually" (?) to reporters at the beginning of November, Oppal called into question wire-tapping procedures used before the raids. They were, as he spoke, being argued before a judge in Chambers.
The tide of corruption upon which the David Basi, Bob Virk, and Aneal Basi legal procedure floats is highlighted by Oppal's unacceptable intervention. In a legal hotchpotch such as this one, in which cabinet employees are under charge - one from the office of a former Attorney General - prudence should dictate silence on the part of Wally Oppal. The position he holds is always a highly sensitive one whatever the situation, for "the highest law officer of the Crown" is also an elected politician sitting in cabinet meetings in which many participants - in this government especially - may be working to defeat the ideals of justice.
We mustn't forget that the Attorney General of the day, in 2003, Gary Collins, [sorry, this should be "Geoff Plant" as Attorney General and Gary Collins as the Minister of Finance who employed Dave Basi - BC Mary] employed one of the men charged following the legislature raids. Nor should we forget that Collins - apparently approaching the height of his political career - chose to drop out of politics shortly afterwards.
It may be fair to say that no one in the present government is happy to see the trial going ahead. For even if elected officials escape untouched, public opinion will wonder at the miracle. It may be fair to say, too, that the men charged are not likely to be happy to see the trial going ahead, for obvious reasons. In this trial, the government of the day and the members of cabinet connected to legal functions cannot be objective or eager to see justice done.
That makes Wally Oppal's comments doubly offensive. And they point toward the argument that may destroy the case. Is Oppal preparing the ground innocently?
Why, then, is the trial being conducted? Because the Crown and the people want the process of legal action to work for the sake of democracy, justice, and the rule of law in British Columbia. But who, we have to ask, is the Crown in British Columbia?
Oppal, himself, "chief law officer of the Crown", breached the demands of dignity and prudence when he stepped from the Supreme Court into a Liberal Party candidacy. By doing so, he made a mockery of the absolute need for a clear separation to exist - and be seen to exist - between the politicians and the courts. He is a politician who was very recently a colleague of present Supreme Court judges, allowing no time to lapse between his resignation from the court and his assumption of a political role as a Liberal candidate, and now as Attorney General. Does he telephone his recent Supreme Court colleague, Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, who is conducting the court processes involving the men charged? Who knows?
Is there, moreover, a Gordon Campbell government agenda to undermine the courts and to cripple - for political reasons - the legal system in the Province? And, if so, is Wally Oppal assisting with that agenda?
Oppal recently attacked the Supreme Court judges about their working hours in words that Chief Justice Donald Brenner said "constitute a deliberate attempt to demean the judges of this court". (Ian Mulgrew, Vanc Sun Nov 1 06). The Campbell government, moreover, is accused - since May of 2002 - of closing courtrooms, consolidating or downgrading others, and laying off court workers and deputy sheriffs around the Province when municipalities are growing in size with the effect that larger and more reasonably accessible courts are, obviously, required. (BCGEU letter, Nanaimo Daily News Oct 13 06). Oppal has to be a supporting part of that agenda as a member of cabinet.
He is also named as one of the parties wanting the water power rights of British Columbians in the Nechako River stripped from them and granted to the foreign Private Corporation, Alcan. Clearly, against the interests of British Columbians, Oppal is working for the sleazy political ends of the government he serves (and of which he is a part).
British Columbians may well ask if they have a dangerous, partisan clown as their present Attorney General. As NDP MLA and lawyer Leonard Krog has said: "High profile prosecutions have failed in the past because politicians felt compelled to make comments in public that were later deemed prejudicial". (Media release, Nov 2)
The Crown in British Columbia does not have a distinguished presence, to say the least. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, sitting on the Legislature Raids trial and hearings, was the judge in the long, long Glen Clark case. I have called for a full Royal Commission-level investigation into what I call the fraudulent investigation and trial of Glen Clark.
During the trial his counsel asked that the trial be named, in effect, vexatious, without merit, and ended. Justice Bennett refused, permitted an endless trial, and then declared that, in effect, the 29 volumes of evidentiary material, gathered over months and months by a dubious RCMP investigation, did not contain reason to believe Glen Clark was guilty of anything.
But - to the glee of the Gordon Campbell forces (the complaint against Glen Clark began in Gordon Campbell's constituency office) - Glen Clark was ruined and the NDP was savaged.
Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett did not apologize to Glen Clark and to British Columbians for that. She said Glen Clark was innocent but was imprudent, and she slapped his wrist for his private associations when she should have apologized to him and suggested he seek remedy for the huge damage done to him and to the democratic life of British Columbia. It is almost as if she were working for the Gordon Campbell forces.
The judge who has kept much of the Legislature Raids material locked away from British Columbians is Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm. He issued search warrants in the Glen Clark case from a holiday spot somewhere in a foreign country. When a BCTV crew - in full readiness - arrived with the RCMP officers who had come to exercise a search warrant on Glen Clark's house, Mr. Dohm seemed unperturbed. He permitted the film of that event to be played over and over and over, depicting Glen Clark as if he were a fugitive from justice caught by the cameras.
Perhaps Patrick Dohm could not discipline BCTV for, somehow, finding out about and getting to that RCMP search. But he could have sealed the film footage. And he didn't. It is almost as if he were working for the Gordon Campbell forces.
Persistently, bullishly, and without any attempt to explain carefully and educationally to British Columbians his invasion of their right to know in the present case, Patrick Dohm locked up information "for the protection of the accused". I, for one, don't believe that explanation.
In the hearing, just over, the Application for Disclosure filed in Criminal Registry by the Defence counsel for Dave Basi, Bob Virk, and Aneal Basi, was denied to the public by Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm for, apparently, the protection of the accused. ALL such documents are denied to the public by Justice Dohm. In this case the Application for Disclosure records a fight among lawyers about evidence. That is all.
I went to Criminal Registry with a friend, early in the hearings, to obtain a copy of the Application. We were so rudely dismissed by a man who identified himself as Ian we asked to see the Directive refusing public access. It is, of course, a Directive from Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm and it directs blanket denial of public access to all such documents "to protect the accused" we were told.
I believe, rather, it is a gag order to protect the powerful against legitimate concerns of British Columbians. I say that because, otherwise, the Directive would be much more sensitive, providing a speedy screening mechanism to separate out only those rare and few instances in which information might be kept from the public (for the sake of persons' safety, etc.).
The next day my friend and I went back to Criminal Registry to inform the clerk, this time named Alpha, that Defence counsel had okayed release and was going to ask that I be shown the Application for Disclosure and some other documents. Alpha told us Criminal Registry does not answer to counsel but to Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm and would probably not do as counsel was going to request. Anyway, it would need clearance, she said. I gave my name, which she attached to her note on the matter.
To exaggerate the Patrick Dohm absurdity of Criminal Registry, a man materializes silently when people appear at Criminal registry who are as darkly suspicious and obviously lawless as my friend and me. The man sidles up to the counter, and he eavesdrops. For all I know he may then send a secret report - kept, of course, from the public - to Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm so the Associate Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of B.C. may use it. In the pursuit of justice, of course.
The next morning when I telephoned Criminal Registry, Ruth, who identified herself as in charge of the section, claimed to have seen no documents left for me (and they would have come to her, she said). She claimed to know nothing whatever. Alpha had told her nothing. Ruth had obviously not seen the note Alpha wrote. A total blank. So much for service to the people of British Columbia.
In my last column I called the event "Kafka'esque", "irrational". It is worse than that. For Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm scatters what I see as his capricious power without reason or logic. A member of the public or press may not get documents from the point of public access, the Criminal Registry of the Supreme Court. He or she is told that only active counsel may give documents. That means if counsel wishes to deny the public access to key information, it may. It means the public must leave the point of public access, search for counsel involved, and depend upon counsel's good will. It means counsel, which has definite interest in cases and their status, can provide documents - or deny them - to whomsoever it pleases. There is no objective agent which can provide, without bias or questions, materials that every Canadian has the right to receive.
It means, in short, that Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm presides over a system which is irrational, capricious, discriminatory, elitist, and unjust. It is almost as if he is working against the pursuit of justice in British Columbia and against the goals of a democratic society.
The "Crown" in the actions which have brought the Legislature Raids trial this far is a very weak reed. The question that must be before British Columbians is whether that weak reed is strong enough to stage the trial to completion and to see that justice is truly done.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Why talk of a mistrial? It's not necessary.
Mistrial [definition from Duhaime's On-Line Legal Dictionary]
A partial or complete trial which is found to be null and void and of no effect because of some irregularity. The sudden end of trial before it would ordinarily end because of some reason which invalidates it. Once a mistrial is declared, the situation is as if the trial had never occurred. Some common reasons for a mistrial include a deadlocked jury, the death of a juror or a serious procedural and prejudicial mistake made at the trial which cannot be corrected.
People are telling me that they fully expect there will be a mistrial in the Basi, Virk, Basi case. But why? And what does that really mean?
I've been googling until I'm GOOGLE-eyed, this evening ... asking over and over "Mistrial means?"
The Duhaime definition above, is saying that once a mistrial is declared, it's as if the trial had never happened. But does that mean the accused are set free?
Or does a new trial begin? Or what?
Then I searched for the valid reasons for declaring a mistrial. It looks as if the Judge carries the burden:
* if he/she fails in some way
* if he makes or allows a procedural error made at the trial which cannot be corrected
* if he shows bias
* if he doesn't allow time for subpoenas
* if the evidence has been in some way withheld or messed up
* if the trial itself has been unduly delayed thus creating a hardship for the Defendants ...
all quite logical and understandable. And in particular:
the Judge can correct most of those errors during a trial, without declaring a mistrial.
For example, the Judge could exclude whatever information the RCMP obtained in the wiretap to which Attorney General Wally Oppal objected. The Judge just wouldn't use that information, right? It's so simple. Why talk of a mistrial?
After looking at these explanations, what I'm thinking is this: that the lawyers for Basi, Virk, Basi, as well as Wally Oppal have spoken in favour of a mistrial before there's even cause to think of a mistrial ... because it's obvious that a competent judge could adjust matters to accommodate any of the Defendants' problems.
I'm thinking that Leonard Krog, the NDP justice critic, should remark upon this. Declaring a mistrial is not a good idea. I think we mustn't let anyone run away with this idea.
Did you think that mistrial meant dismissal? that it was game over, and B.C. would never get to the bottom of the Legislature Raids if the Judge declares a mistrial? Is that what you thought? Well, it's certainly what I thought. But that doesn't seem to be true; there seems to be a much better way to go forward.
What's your feeling about this?
- BC Mary.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Corruption so prevalent it is becoming unnoticeable to many, says Robin Mathews from Courtroom 67
What deals have been made? What charges have NOT been laid? Who is being protected from investigation and charges? By whom? Will a mistrial of the three men wipe out the possibility of justice being done? Will the case be killed in some dramatic way? Already, the Attorney General of the Province, Wally Oppal, imprudently and irresponsibly is providing fuel for mistrial. When "the highest law officer of the Crown" joins the Defence, out of court, publicly, informally, speaking in a way that undermines the investigation process - anything can happen.
My experiences (though apparently small) at the hearing in Chambers during the week of October 30 in Courtroom 67 of the B.C. Supreme Court tell much about the tide of corruption - that is so prevalent it is becoming unnoticeable to many. The hearing was held to consider an Application for Disclosure (of apparently relevant materials) by the Defence team and to consider the answer in the form of the Special Prosecutor's Memorandum of Argument. In short, the Defence team argued disclosure of important material was disorganized, delayed, inadequate. The Crown responded by citing size (some 90 thousand pages), shortness of staff, and the need to trust the good character of the Special Prosecutor.
That - for your information. The hearing, however, may have been nothing more than an extended piece of theatre - smoke and mirrors - to disguise the real situation developing to effect the destruction of the case.
The three men have been charged with several counts of fraud, breach of trust, and money laundering. Dave Basi and Bob Virk were top ministerial aides for provincial Liberal cabinet ministers, "and they worked as backroom organizers, vote-getters, and fundraisers for both the provincial and federal Liberals". (Mark Hume, Globe and Mail, April 11, 05)
Only a fool would suggest that the three men operated in a vacuum, without the knowledge, and/or direction and/or participation of some very high ranking Liberals - inside and outside the Legislature. No charges have been laid against any such people - shouting out to us that the process we are watching may well be a fraudulent fabrication.
When I stepped into Courtroom 67 with my friends on October 30, a few things became evident. Kevin McCullough was the driving voice of the Defence team. He spent more time than the others presenting argument and rebuttal. He was, in addition, very chummy with the press members, especially with Vaughn Palmer, the journalist I call "Gordon Campbell's personal representative at the Vancouver Sun".
I don't call Palmer that for nothing. Let me give a few examples of why I do so. He has written recently about Alcan at Kitimat. Never once does he take up the key issue there - that Alcan is attempting to torture the agreement of the early 1950s into a shape that will gift to that Private Foreign Corporation all the presently publicly-owned water power energy resources of the Nechako River - a multi-billion dollar gift. Palmer tells his readers (Vanc. Sun Oct 19 06 A3) the problem in Kitimat is a matter of modernizing "Kitimat's antiquated smelter". It is not. The problem is a huge-power grab by Alcan, part of a Gordon Campbell designed grab for all B.C. rivers by Private (many foreign) Corporations.
Not a word of that from Vaughn Palmer.
He does not say the case to wrest the Nechako River from the people of B.C. is being fought for in court on behalf of (among others) the Attorney General of B.C., Wally Oppal. Nothing comes from Vaughn Palmer that matters. Nothing relevant.
Palmer also visited the B.C. Union of Municipalities meetings in Victoria during the week of October 22. Out of his time there he wrote a column "announcing" the Gordon Campbell policy of the hugely contested P3 mode of building public projects. Palmer says virtually nothing about the internationally bruited, valid criticisms of P3 - essentially a so-called Public/Private Partnership with varying kinds of sector involvement. Critics argue P3s are nothing more than a candy-coated form of privatization - something that happens to be so persistently Gordon Campbell's goal that he is privatizing B.C.'s river energy power resources using every kind of disinformation, disguise, and cover-up that can be manufactured. The bottom line of P3s is that Private Corporations benefit luxuriously at the expense of the population. Palmer passingly refers to the important disagreement as "the ideological debate".
That column (Vanc.Sun Oct 28 06 A3) is not so much a political column as it is a Public Relations announcement on behalf of Gordon Campbell.
At that same BCUM set of meetings one of the most important events was an overwhelming rejection - 170 votes to 2 - of a Gag Law passed by the Campbell government called Bill 30. It was passed recently to rob municipal and regional governments of the power they have long had over development where they have jurisdiction. Determined - in secret, by dissimulation, and by widespread disinformation - to pass all B.C. rivers into the hand of Private Corporations (very many of them foreign), Campbell was stopped by the Squamish region in relation to the Ashlu River.
And so Campbell passed Bill 30 to sweep all such regional powers aside. At the October BCUM meetings 170 of 172 municipalities voted to reject Campbell's takeover of municipal powers so he could deliver them to Private Corporations. Nothing about this from Vaughn Palmer. Nothing about the fact that the Campbell government has ignored the overwhelming dissatisfaction of the municipalities. Nothing whatever. Why is that so? Because Vaughn Palmer, I say, is "Gordon Campbell's personal representative at the Vancouver Sun".
In that role he has written titillating, anecdotal, who-done-it, bland columns about the Application for Disclosure hearings which are floating on an ocean of corruption - corruption that the CanWest Monopoly press and media should be researching deeply and reporting upon daily to British Columbians.
In one of his columns on the Legislature Raids, (Nov 3, 06) Palmer observes that he is drawing "partly on explanation provided by counselŠ." That is important for what follows. My friends and I were strangers in the gallery of Courtroom 67. Perhaps we excited a little interest since only 14 people were in the gallery and about eight in front of us "in Chambers". Someone, it seems, identified me to Mr. McCullough.
What I say in this column, which is devoted to giving readers an idea of the actual experience of the hearing in Chambers and the personality surround, does not for a moment suggest that procedures since the Legislature Raids on December 28, 2003 have been acceptable. To begin, government should have allocated funds specifically to assure that highly competent people were preparing and providing all evidence necessary to all parties, especially since cabinet offices were implicated. In addition, the RCMP, (which the Maher Arar Report reveals clearly acts in a self-motivating and high-handed fashion) should have been given court orders if necessary and should have been provided with specific instructions about speedy, full, and complete disclosure of any and all holdings in their possession to the Special Prosecutor and thence to the Defence.
My friends and I sat silently all first day, taking notes. Needless to say, as Vaughn Palmer had, I had a few questions, one being a question which - I discovered later - he asked and got answers to from counsel. The next morning, in the Supreme Court foyer before the session, I saw Kevin McCullough enter and approach the elevators. I went to him politely to ask a question. "Excuse me", I said. Before I could say any more, McCullough turned on me rudely and said brusquely: "I can't speak about anything". Surprised, I said, "You mean only to the press" [implying the "selected" press]. Embarrassed, he said "I didn't really talk to them". And he darted into an elevator. His statement, of course, was untrue.
McCullough began the morning session. When it broke for brief recess, Vaughn Palmer went to the railing to have another friendly chat with McCullough who was embarrassed because the two men were only inches from where I was sitting. In a raised voice (for my hearing apparently) McCullough said to Palmer: "What I say in court [he meant in Chambers] is on the record. Anything else is off the record". Then he lowered his voice and the two men engaged in their usual friendly conversation. For clarification, an Application is held in "Chambers"; a trial is held in Court.
By body language and utterance thereafter McCullough (who doesn't know me from Adam) showed what I believe is animosity. What is important is that I was being treated - I can think of no other way of describing it - to deliberate obstruction by Defence counsel when I was seeking simple information - obstruction which seems to have continued for no apparent reason. I can only speculate that my appearance in Court Room 67 somehow posed (however outlandish this sounds even to me) a threat to a program of attempted press and media control.
McCullough's method of public presentation might be described, as I experienced it, as dramatic garrulousness in which he strives for effect rather than precision and speaks to the media as much as to the judge. Throughout his presentation he mispronounced the name of RCMP Commissioner Zaccardelli, calling him Zacarelli. And, like many people who use the English language inexactly, he spoke of "situations" as if they are places. Situations are not usually places, and lawyers - striving for precise language - learn that. We correctly speak of a situation or situations "in which" such-and-such happens. All of Mr. McCullough's situations were places: situations "where" such-and-such happened.
Michael Bolton, by contrast, speaks with unadorned, clear, correct and forthright language. He did not waste words. When he informed the judge that Defence would be working to gain a mistrial decision, no one could doubt what he was saying.
William Berardino, Special Prosecutor, was under the gun and showed it. Generally a graceful human being, he had to argue what seemed at times unarguable - that the handling of evidence in terms of disclosure to the Defence was acceptable. As I suggested earlier here, the fact that we are approaching the third anniversary of the Legislature Raids, the second anniversary of charges being made, and that the materials for argument of the case have only recently been (something like) finalized is simply not acceptable - especially since the character of the government in power is at issue and profound questions of larger and more extensive liability among those involved but not named are in the minds of many, many people even slightly familiar with the matter.
I believe that the office of the Special Prosecutor experienced in its relations with Mr. McCullough some of the same bravura that I watched in the Chamber. McCullough made a request of Special Prosecutor Berardino to review the entire police file. Of course there are at least two views of this matter. The Memorandum of Argument reports that McCullough asserted "he had never been involved in a major case where the Crown was not prepared to permit a review of the police investigation file". (p. 8, Berardino).
McCullough was asked in just what cases he had been granted such a review. They turned out to be 2 only, according to the Memorandum of Argument, and neither compared with the Legislature Raids police files in volume of material, issues of privilege, the problem of vetting, or the need to protect the identity of informants. That request still stands, and it will be decided by the judge on November 14.
I asked Joseph Doyle of the Defence team for a copy of the Application for Disclosure, and he replied that he only had one. The only way to get a copy was from one of the lawyers active in the case. (The insane reason for that will be explained in the next column.) I knew it would be useless to ask Mr. McCullough. And so I asked the most senior Defence counsel, Michael Bolton. He courteously agreed to give me one, and asked me to approach him at the end of the day. I also asked Mr. Berardino for a copy of the Memorandum of Argument. He agreed graciously and an assisting counsel gave me a copy before the end of the day.
In addition, Mr. Berardino stopped me and courteously offered to answer questions I might have, later, on fact and information that he might fairly answer.
What happened thereafter is Kafka'esque and irrational. When I approached Mr. Bolton at the end of the session, he informed me he only had marked copies of the Application for Disclosure. Unsolicited, Mr. McCullough called out from behind me that he was in the same position. I was, naturally, concerned since the hearings were now over.
An assistant counsel to Mr. Bolton told me that they would be dropping some materials at Criminal Registry and would ask there that I be shown the Application for Disclosure as well as some other materials - which she gestured at. Having to leave promptly I went with my friend to Criminal Registry to inform them Defence had granted permission to see the Application and some other materials.
Criminal Registry threw up obstacles - to be discussed in the next column. I took the Criminal Registry telephone number so I could call that office in the morning, watched the clerk take a note with my name on it regarding the request. And I left. At home I called Mr. Bolton's receptionist, explained Criminal Registry's response, and suggested he set aside a copy of the Application for Disclosure, that his receptionist call me, and that I pick it up.
Around ten o'clock the next morning I contacted Criminal Registry. The person in charge of the section denied knowing anything of the matter or of materials left for me to seeŠor of the note taken by the clerk the afternoon before. A total blank. And so I called Mr. Bolton's office where he was on the telephone. The assisting counsel of the afternoon before came on the line and remarked that she heard I had trouble at Criminal Registry. Then she offered to make a copy of the Application for Disclosure for me (mentioning no other documents) which I crossed the city and picked up at 2:00 p.m.
My next column will explain how madness is in charge of Criminal Registry in The Supreme Court of B.C. As in the play Hamlet, however, it is a madness which is "north northwest" for it serves to prevent Canadians from gaining access to information they have a perfect right to consult. I will link that madness to a review of the deeply disturbing state of the judiciary in B.C., the RCMP, press and media, government and non-government actors in the present scandal - and what may be the impending destruction of the December 4 trial date.
We are grateful to Robin Mathews ... words fail me, for the moment. Thank you, Robin.
Full story will appear in the on-line news service: Vive le Canada.