Saturday, December 29, 2007

 

Keith Baldrey's trial predictions for 2008

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PREDICTIONS FOR THE NEW POLITICAL YEAR
[Well, one of them, anyway ... BC Mary]

Keith Baldrey
Burnaby Now
Saturday, December 29, 2007

Our politicians are on holiday and the political scene is fairly quiet, but that doesn't mean there aren't some key outstanding questions still hanging around. The answers to each of them could prove critical to any power shifts that may occur in the coming year.

So here are four of them to ponder - not necessarily in order of importance - along with my own answers, for what they are worth. {Snip} ...

3. Will the B.C. Rail trial ever really begin? You remember this one, don't you?

This is the alleged corruption case arising out of the raid on the legislature way, way back in December of 2003.

The case has become mired in a procedural swamp resulting largely from the special prosecutor's refusal (or inability) to meet obligations regarding the disclosure of evidence to the defence.

From what has surfaced in court so far, it may be the RCMP and the Crown that have the most to answer for here, as their zealous investigation seems to have gone way overboard.

But the case has produced some titillating revelations that suggest the seamier side of politics may get some airing if the trial ever proceeds.

While not illegal, the backroom political shenanigans may leave a sour taste in the public's mouth, and that may prove problematic for the Liberals.

But will this actually come to trial? The latest delay results from the Crown appealing a ruling that the defence can sit in the courtroom and hear secret testimony from a secret Crown witness.

That appeal could take at least half a year to complete, pushing the start time of the trial until the fall at the earliest and quite possibly the spring of 2009.

In other words, don't expect much substance arising from this case this year. {Snip} ...

Four questions with four possible outcomes. Keep an eye on each of them in the months ahead, because the eventual answers may go a ways to deciding who wins the next election.

http://www.canada.com/burnabynow/news/community/story.html?id=a1dd3105-bdb5-4864-8472-7c982c1d4a00&k=74451

Keith Baldrey is chief political reporter for Global B.C.
© Burnaby Now 2007

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Keith: Thanks for this, and Happy New Year. Just wondering, though, why your predictions are in the small media outlet, Burnaby Now, rather than in one of the big CanWest dailies??
- BC Mary.

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Comments:
hi mary,i'm wondering what your thoughts are on keiths "overboard' sentence,or at least the last half of the sentence? "from what has surfaced in court so far,it may be the rcmp and the crown that have the most to answer for here,as thier zealous investigation seems to have gone way overboard."
 
I find the following statement from Mr. Baldrey curious in the extreme:

"While not illegal, the backroom political shenanigans may leave a sour taste in the public's mouth, and that may prove problematic for the Liberals."

Is Mr. Baldrey suggesting that the giving and taking of bribes to influence the sale of public assets is NOT illegal?

Or does he have some 'inside' information, based on his 'overboard' comment that the 'alleged' giving and taking of such bribes did NOT occur.

Or, is Mr. Baldrey attempting to do something else here?

Which is to carry water for the current government on this issue.

Regardless, it is all, apparently, neither here nor there because, as Mr. Baldrey once said on Mr. Bill Good's radio show not so long ago - nobody cares anyway because everyone involved has since 'left' the government.


(and who gives a hoot in heckfire why they left, right?)

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Well, Anon 11:24, I must admit I was astonished ... not so much by the statement as by the fact that it was made by Keith Baldrey.

So you've touched on a delicate subject, as apparently I had fallen into the habit of thinking that the Crown and perhaps the RCMP as well, are just a wee bit aligned with the government which "sold" BCRail.

And as I see things, Baldrey wouldn't be a journalist who normally questions that alliance.

But then he made a spelling error too, so perhaps he was off his stride the day he wrote that piece.

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Well, OK, there was another point.

"The case has become mired in a procedural swamp resulting largely from the special prosecutor's refusal (or inability) to meet obligations regarding the disclosure of evidence to the defence."

Refusal? Ahem. But wait ...

"But will this actually come to trial? The latest delay results from the Crown appealing a ruling that the defence can sit in the courtroom and hear secret testimony from a secret Crown witness.

"That appeal could take at least half a year to complete, pushing the start time of the trial until the fall at the earliest and quite possibly the spring of 2009."


Excuse me? Wasn't that settled on Dec 17 & 18 when "Zero reporters" were in the courtroom?

What's this about a 6-month Appeal?? I guess I saw this and just didn't believe my eyes.

So has Baldrey found out that the Crown is willing to risk a 6-month delay and have this case dismissed on a Charter Challenge (taking too long to bring the accused to trial)?

Is Baldrey actually giving us "breaking news" here -- tossed off in a throw-away line ... 12 days after the fact ... in an obsure little newspaper?

Sheesh Almighty.

What do you make of this??



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"The 6 month appeal" thing is derived from a statement made by media lawyer Roger McConchie(sp) to the press before the in camera portion of the pretrial. The in camera portion of the pretrial concluded a couple of days later and no mention of this was made by either the prosecution or the defence after the courtroom was once more re-opened to then public. It would seem that Baldrey is misconstrueing second hand information coming from a lawyer not directly involved in the trial. MacConchie was only present at the trial for a couple days. Baldrey was never there at all.
 
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Many thanks, Anonymous 4:46!

That's much better.

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Mary--

Much better for us perhaps (thanks to AnonAbove), but clearly not better for folks that swallow highly questionable/sloppy the third hand info generated by pundits with clout (ie. CanWest-assisted media-monopolist time and space) like Mr. Baldrey hook-line-and-sinker.

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Creative fiction or wishful thinking? That's pretty much how I see this 'column'.

Maybe no one else would publish it.

He seems to be saying that the judge ruled against (Berardino I'd guess since there's no mention of Copley) the secret testimony thing... something that I wasn't aware she'd done. At least not yet.

I wonder how Bill T. sees this - I know he wasn't in court that day....and we know full well that Baldrey wasn't either!

This is either a 'mistake', a fruitive imagination or (worst possible case) another example of some sort of private pipeline of information coming out of the court and landing on the desks or Blackberry of particular people.

I think Baldrey has been used before - although it's usually the Campbell clan that uses him.

If he's become a conduit for the courts this province is in worst trouble than I think it is.
 
A summary of Roger McConchie's statements can be found in Bill Tieleman's Dec 6 Russian doll atrticle, so Bill definitely was there. I think several other reporters also reported on it, which is probably where Baldrey got his info and misinterpreted it.

As for the non illegal backroom shenanigans, I think that's a reference to the multiple roles Chris Trumpy was playing as CEO of the BCIMC, bid evaluation commitee and negotiating team, and shelved plan of putting BCRail into backruptcy protection before selling it, both of which were reported in Bill Tielemsn's article the following week.
I think someone has been sending Baldrey back issues of 24 Hours but failing to put them in the proper chronologiocal order.
 
Why would anyone trust anything Keith or Bill Good have to say about anything? As their pay cheques have increased, the objectivity has declined.
 
"As for the non illegal backroom shenanigans,"

It just goes to show how the same words can be interpreted differently by different folks. I thought they were referring to the "shenanigans" that have so far been successful at keeping the BC Rail Trial from happening or folks like Drunken Gordo and the Ferret from being interviewed at the time.

By the way, Keith Baldry isn't the judge of what is or is not "illegal." So his pronouncements about the "non-illegal" shenagigans are as meaningless as most everything else he writes or says on TeeVee. Keith, don't spill any of that water you are carrying on yourself, it might freeze this time of year.

Actually what is legal, or not, is up to the Court system, assuming we actually have one that works for the people of BC and not just a small group of people in BC. That we actually have a fair and open Court system in BC, is becoming more and more difficult to believe!
 

"That appeal could take at least half a year to complete, pushing the start time of the trial until the fall at the earliest and quite possibly the spring of 2009."


Mark my words - this trial will either not happen at all or it will happen well before or after spring of 2009. The inebriated idiot wouldn't want this trial going on while his Crime Organization was trying to get re-elected. It could hurt more than the defection of CT and interfere greatly with the campaign messaging.
 
I thought the"shenanigans" were to do with the radio call in shows and the rallies.I guess some "reporters" are more subtle then others.
 
This thread is interesting in the way that it demonstrates just how deflector spin works.

After all, we know all this stuff that we are discussing because we have been paying attention.

The thing is, most folks have not.

Thus, they will not be able to discriminate between Mr. Baldrey's 'shenanigans' and the crux of the matter, which is alleged (and very illegal if true) bribery at the heart of the secret sale of previously public assets to a private concern that (allegedly) had the inside track from the get go.

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I loved this part:

"... as their zealous investigation seems to have gone way overboard."

"Zealous?", you say Mr. B, as in intense, keen, earnest, ardent, devoted, eager etc.? Now that's just funny. This so-called "investigation" has been many things, but it has been the least eager, the least zealous, of "investigations" that many of us have ever witnessed.

Now, if you want to talk "zealous investigations" think back to that wee deck - you know the one - so unsubstantial in appearance yet it was somehow made to tower titanically above all "newsworthy" things - where every nail and board held such fascination, and was examined with such "zeal" everywhichway by investigating eyes everywhere.
 
Given that CN Rail has now had 25 accidents in BC this year, and killed some people, isn't there some way that WE THE PEOPLE can have this company declared too incompetent to run a rail system? Just checking.
 
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I wish, Anonymous 3:44. I wish there was something we could do.

A good person and a friend of mine, Don Faulkner, was killed in one of those CN accidents which he clearly foresaw with the eyes of an experienced BCRail trainman.

He was a great supporter of this blog and would say to me, "Mary, keep that web-site going. It's important."

So I guess we keep plugging away at the general topic of what happened to B.C. Rail.

I've been reading stuff about The Gateway Project and how wonderful it be (for whom???) when "goods" can be shipped so fast, so cheaply, nonstop "from Shanghai to Chicago" using ports like Vancouver or Prince Rupert. Oh joy.

Can you imagine how this might be a benefit to B.C.??

Me, I think it will be like having a 12-lane freeway built in front of our homes ... traffic, traffic, traffic. Shanghai to Chicago, nonstop.

Talk about incompetence: if our news media did their jobs, and published real facts, B.C. wouldn't be in such a predicament. But they campaign. They campaign nonstop all the time.

I've often wondered the same thing about the news media in B.C. as you're wondering about CN.

That Gateway thing ... traffic, traffic, traffic. The environment? Phhtttt. Who needs it, they seem to say.

It's New Year's Eve, friend, and I wish you and all of B.C. the best. I'm sorry to be so cynical about the global corporations such as the new CN but perhaps the answers can only begin to develop out of cynicism ... when we finally admit that the cooked-up campaigns are bad economics in the long run.

All the best, eh.


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