Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Part IV - Notice of Application for Disclosure
Part IV - Notice of Application for Disclosure
On Sunday we paused our exploration of the defence version of the BC Rail case at paragraph 41. The government of the day has just accepted a bid from CN for the purchase of our B.C. Rail asset; a big chunk of public property and, coincidentally or not, an enormous player in the industrial economy of the province and a potential future player in the public transportation infrastructure has been lost to this province. This happened, as we have already seen, because of a process that, at the very least, has been called into serious question.
I do not intend to get into the details of the 'sale' again at this time. Those who wish to do so can read back over paragraphs 30 - 41 to refresh their memory about what the lawyers for the defendants have said about the 'process'. Suffice to say that, if these allegations and the evidence from the RCMP wiretaps can be sustained in court, there is a strong indication that the 'sale' of B.C. Rail was not an arm's-length commercial transaction. In fact, there is at least the appearance that this was not a legitimate tender and bid process at all. In fact, as much as this case has been characterized as the Basi case, the name it was given last fall - the B.C.Rail case - is far more appropriate.
As we move on to the narrative of events from November 25, 2003 until just prior to the notorious Raid on the Legislature of December 28, readers will encounter some new characters. By the end of this story - that is, by the time we've completed the tour of the Application's “Introduction”, we're going to need a dance card to list all the players.
Immediately after the public announcement that CN was the successful 'bidder' for the spoils of BC Rail, it seems that Finance Minister Collins looked at his day-timer and decided that OmniTRAX was his next priority.
Paragraph 42 - 43 tell us that between November 28, 2003 and December 8, 2003 the RCMP learned, two “… OmniTRAX Executives Pat Broe and Dwight Johnson were going to meet with Minister Collins.” We're told that the meeting is to take place on December 12 at the Villa Del Lupo restaurant in Vancouver. In ¶ 44 we learn this set into motion an elaborate surveillance operation and in ¶ 45 and ¶ 46 we learn why:
¶ 45. The intercepted communication in which Mr. Basi advised Mr. Virk that Minister Collins authorized the Consolation Prize was of substantial significance in respect of whether any criminal wrongdoing could be attributable to Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk.
¶ 46. The RCMP were aware that if Mr. Collins met privately with the OmniTRAX Executives, that this tended to significantly corroborate Mr. Basi's previous advice to Mr. Virk that Minister Collins had approved the Consolation Prize.
And the narrative goes on:
¶ 47. The RCMP were aware that Mr. Virk dealt directly with Minister Collins on the sale of B.C. Rail. To that end, it would make no sense for Mr. Basi to deceive Mr. Virk with respect to Minister Collins' position on the Consolation Prize. The RCMP were also acutely aware that it would make no sense for Mr. Basi to advise OmniTRAX that Minister Collins had authorized the Consolation Prize, and then organize a private meeting between those parties, if that were not the case.
A quick word of caution here: It is important to remember, again, that this is the defence version of events and is, in the nature of its implications only plausible if one accepts the 'theory' the defence is putting forward. These conclusions may well be valid - but they have not yet been tested before a judge. They are only theories at this point. And the use of the phrase 'it would make no sense' is highly suspect and requires the reader to draw conclusions that may be unwarranted.
In any case, a meeting between Mr Collins and two OmniTRAX executives did take place. One can imagine the dramatic possibilities this little meal holds for future exploitation. Let's continue.
¶ 48. On December 12, 2003, Minister Collins in fact met with the OmniTRAX Executives privately at Villa Del Lupo restaurant, wherein the RCMP engaged in a massive surveillance operation to document this meeting. The surveillance included undercover operatives both inside and outside the restaurant and extensive video surveillance and tracking of the parties.
The next section of this story concerns complicated issues and the numerous personalities of several additional individuals as we take the story from that fine dining experience.
Just as a final toast, here's a little blurb about Villa Del Lupo from the restaurant's website:
"Tucked away in a discrete, private setting in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Villa del Lupo offers an unparalleled dining experience. Situated in an ornate heritage mansion, the restaurant boasts a charming and engaging atmosphere that makes guests feel at ease. A visit to the 'House of the Wolf' is like taking a sensory trip into the glory days of a bygone era, an environment that combines the rustic charm of an old world European villa and a 30's-style speakeasy with the swank sophistication of modern technique.
"Villa del Lupo has cultivated a loyal following by consistently delivering a dining experience that remains unsurpassed for over fifteen years, constantly providing a veritable feast for the senses. Skillfully combining prompt, knowledgeable service with an extensive award-winning wine list and a menu that will feed not only the body but the soul, you will find your every desire satiated by the 'House of the Wolf'."
Somehow it seems apt.
Again, thank you Anonymous.