Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Opposition shouts down P.M. over 'base' attack
This is essentially what caused the uproar in Parliament today ...
Liberals shout down PM over 'base' attack
CBC News - February 21, 2007
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was shouted down with cries of "shame, shame" during question period Wednesday after he raised a media report that said a Liberal MP is the son-in-law of a man police allegedly interviewed in connection with the Air India bombing case.
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion was asking the prime minister about judicial appointments, accusing him of stacking the committees with Conservatives and jeopardizing the independence of the judiciary.
Harper responded that the Liberals opposed the changes the Conservative government has made that give police officers a voice in the process.
Then Harper said he was "not surprised, given what I'm reading in the Vancouver Sun today when I read this is how the Liberal party makes decisions."
"The Vancouver Sun has learned that the father-in-law of the member of Parliament for Mississauga-Brampton South …"
At that point, the last two rows of Liberal benches erupted in shouts, banging on their desks and jeering, the CBC's Susan Bonner reported. "They were ready for this. They were primed and they were angry," Bonner said.
Navdeep Singh Bains, the Liberal MP Harper was referring to, sat with his head down.
House Speaker Peter Miliken tried to get the Liberals to stop.
Harper suggested he was raising the issue because the Liberals are jeopardizing the Air India investigation by opposing provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
"Even the Air India families say that the position [the Liberals] are now taking will jeopardize the police investigation into the Air India terrorism act."
Dion has said he is against extending those provisions that allow the hearings to take place.
The Vancouver Sun reported that Bains's father-in-law told the RCMP he had met a man who was later convicted of shooting a potential witness in the Air India trial. He also allegedly said he met with Ajaib Singh Bagri, who was later acquitted in the Air India bombing. The 1985 bombing killed 329 people.
The Vancouver Sun also reported that Bains's father-in-law is on the RCMP's potential list of witnesses at investigative hearings designed to advance the Air India criminal probe.
For the full CBC story go to:
I don't know what to think about this whole affair. Especially given that the current Air India Inquiry commissioner, the former Supreme Court Justice Mr John Major, had this to say:
"I have reached the conclusion that if the documents remain in a manner of speaking blacked out, there is no way I can carry out my mandate,"
He said he would inform Prime Minister Stephen Harper that he could not go forward with the inquiry unless government lawyers loosen their stance on keeping the documents under wraps.
"If the proceedings started today, under the circumstances, the redaction of the documents — that's the censoring or black-lining of the documents — would make them meaningless," Major said.
So, today the Prime Minister criticizes the ‘associations’ of a Liberal MP; yesterday the Vancouver Sun reveals that Paul Martin attended a meeting (16 years ago) with a group that is "now" said to be a 'terrorist' organization - according to CSIS, the same group that's trying to redact information that John Major says he needs to conduct his inquiry.
Are you confused yet?
Because I am.
I think the Sun story from yesterday is a plant...an attempt at after-the-fact character assassination and probably something leaked by CSIS itself.
Maybe not, but something is really rotten at the centre of this whole affair.
In my view. And it’s not just the behavior of a group of primed Liberal MPs. The Prime Minister is in this mess up to his armpits – and maybe a lot further.
Wonder, of it was a leak/plant if it was given only under assurances that it was be run 'clean'?
And if so, does it necessarily have to be coming from CSIS (ie. could it not have come from the Pol side)?
I hope Anon responds to your thoughts.
I'm increasingly conflicted about yesterday's events. There's way more to it than what we saw and heard.
I've been running this around in my head ever since yesterday - trying to fit the facts to several possibilities. There are RCMP prints on this story too - CBC was playing clips of a female officer who was also lobbying Harper and the House to keep the sunset provisions of the terrorist bill from blinking out...
There are several possibilities about that Sun story, in my view. It certainly has the look of a planted story - how big would your current (ca 2007) file (if you were a working reporter) on Paul Martin's failed bid for John Turner's dented crown be? That 'story' had to come from someone outside Kim Bolan's regular beat - and it had to be done with purpose and precise timing - or what's the point?
In my view there are two possible sources and one probable conduit for those sources...and I don't think it's a coincidence that the story broke in the Sun. I’m not much of a conspiracy buff….but, there is no way that the political half of this equation wasn’t aware of this little manufactured drama in advance. Add the slightly embarrassing fact that the Prime Minister is, by his own admission, diddling with the process of judicial selection in precisely the same way his predecessors did – and you have a lot of very good reasons to change the subject.
You may recall -- and I know, it's been 3 years and more -- that there was a strong political component to the story at the time of the arrests. And Paul Martin was at its centre, from 1990 onward. It's important to understand that, I think.
If you read up on the Erik Bornmann material, you'll see that Bornmann was trying to advance the career of Dave Basi into a fairly high-ranking new job in Prime Minister Martin's Office.
These factors are almost forgotten now; but this week's two Vancouver Sun stories shine a sliver of light onto those backroom events.
Kim Bolan is an outstanding journalist, I have a lot of confidence in her reports.
Must I remind you to please respect the right of the accused to be assumed innocent until trial, and to be tried in a B.C. court, under oath, protected by the rules of justice and the law.
I don't want to delete your comments!
But some of you throw around guilt as if it had no meaning. That's not right. And that's not what this web-site is about.
Anon (22 Feb) you have no idea what you're talking about but you're quite sure that one guy (not charged with anything) is guilty, and other guys (charged, for some reason) are innocent, while the whole doggone police force is bad, bad, ba-a-ad. Well, stuff a sock in it. OK?
Read my lips. NO, I would NOT say that Erik Bornmann is wrong or guilty or whatever verdict you've just pronounced.
Read the mandate printed clearly at the top of this blog. It asks why the police raided the B.C. Legislature. It asks why people are left without information about that.
It says let's share what we know. That's what this blog is about. It is NOT about pre-judging the B.C. Rail Trial.
So if you have any helpful information about any aspect surrounding the giveaway of B.C. Rail ... let's hear that. But no more witch-hunting. OK?
One more thing: what, if any, is your particular interest in the guilt or innocence of the accused or the Crown witnesses in this case?
I'm not taking SIDES, for cryin' out loud.
Every British Columbian (and most Canadians) should inform themselves about the B.C. Rail Case.
This blog is set up to help them get information to do that.
When the trial of Basi, Virk, Basi begins, it will be much easier to give each person (the accused and the witnesses) their due.
Meantime, Tom, shape up and stop playing Chief Justice (or God). Give everybody the space they need to get ready for the ordeal of a trial.
I just hope you can listen to the evidence with more clarity than you've shown here.
"You should read your masthead again it clearly states "No I would not say the Erik Bornmann is wrong or guilty"
Now I'm a pretty good reader but I can't find that on your masthead. Am I missing something?
You haven't missed a thing. And that's why I said Ta Ta to Tom. Had enough.
More blogger problems. Can't sign in.
- BC Mary
I have had an exchange with Kim Bolan who wrote the original story in the Sun.
You all might find it interesting.
Details at my place.