Wednesday, December 12, 2007

 

Update: new info from Bill Tieleman

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Basi-Virk defence alleges BC Liberals considered putting BC Rail into bankruptcy to facilitate sale; Deputy Minister Chris Trumpy in conflict?

UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION TUESDAY EVENING

Defence warns Premier Gordon Campbell will face "ample" cross-examination and calls government position to deny documents to accused a "perversity"

Government lawyer "categorically denies defence charges that "province acting "in some political fashion" in dealing with Basi-Virk case

Were BC Rail property management consultants "people close to the Premier or Cabinet who are being given special consideration?" defence lawyer asks

CN Rail described by defence as "bully" that won BC Rail bid despite "bad behaviour"

BC government, RCMP accused of using media "to manipulate things"

Two documents denied because of solicitor-client privilege by government were obtained by defence through Freedom Of Information request

Over 30 witnesses to testify in trial

Defence lawyers in the Basi-Virk case made serious allegations against the provincial government in BC Supreme Court this morning, disclosing that consideration was given to putting BC Rail into bankruptcy and insolvency protection to facilitate its privatization.

Bill's full report is below ...

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Comments:
If the BC Investment Management Corporation owned $360 million in CN Rail shares at the time of the BC Rail sale, the would have doubled their money in 3 years, assuming they held on to their shares until early 2007. In fact anyone buy CN Rail shares while negotiations were going on would have stood to do well. Has anyone looked into the insider trading angle of the BC Rail sale. Did any of the involved parties load up on BC Rail shares while the negotions were still taking place?
 
Express Collision Shop Said,

Solicitor-client privilege for the government and not for the defence?

I remember McCullough alleging a while back the RCMP were wiretapping phone calls between the accused and their lawyers in 2004(?). Denver trips for the Basi/Virk monday night football fans. Solicitor-client privilege for the government,secret in camera witness's-what's next? will those Omnitrax(U.S.) boys plead the fifth in Canada if they are called as witness's or defendents?

Anonymous 9:49-Good one. Someone phone David Baines and see if he's interested or the Conflict of Interest commissioner.

Mary, it looks like the lawyers from both sides are using information from your blog to help them in their clients interests. Some very specific (recent) aspects regarding this trial that have been brought up on your blog(and only your blog) have been used in the court room this past week.WOW!!!

Keep up the good work citizen reporters/bloggers.
 
An interesting Tyee article on CN shares and a good friend of Gordon Campbell:

http://thetyee.ca/News/2005/05/09/DavidMaclean/

From this article:

The bearded former chair of the University of British Columbia is also Chairman of the Board of CN Rail, the company that bought BC Rail from the provincial government in 2003. As of March of this year, McLean owned more than 61,000 shares in the company and had an option on 45,000 more.

The value of those shares has skyrocketed over the last two and half years. The stock traded as high as $77 a share last month, up from a low of under $40 in September 2002. That means that the total combined value of McLean’s CN stocks and options, not all of which he has acquired since the BC Rail sale, has increased by more than 3.9 million in the last 28 months and over $5 million since May 2000.


For that matter, it’s not even clear whether Campbell and McLean ever spoke about BC Rail. Officials with the Campbell campaign didn’t get back to The Tyee with an answer and McLean didn’t return three calls to his McLean Group office for comment on this article.

Unanswered question

When Joy MacPhail was NDP leader, during a debate in the Legislature in 2003, she did ask Campbell whether he and McLean had met about the BC Rail deal.

“Since the Premier has been Premier, has he met with [then CN CEO] Paul Tellier and/or David McLean where they discussed the sale of B.C. Rail?” McPhail asked.

“I can't recall,” Campbell answered, “but if the member opposite would like me to discover when I've met with either of those gentlemen, I'm glad to do that.”

Campbell never did answer the question, according to Clay Suddaby the director of communications and research for the NDP campaign, and it remains unanswered to this day.

But regardless of whether the two met about BC Rail, the fact remains that McLean, a friend and fundraiser to the Premier, is at the head of the company involved in a deal highly controversial from the day it was inked right through the current election campaign – a deal that CN is proud to say they’ve done very well from."
 
Mary, here is a poll from Robbins SCE Research, Dec.16, 2003:

http://www.robbinssceresearch.com/polls/poll_21.html.

In it are questions about the BC Rail Deal, bcIMC that Trumpy was involved with, pension plans and CanWestGlobal:

Here are some of the questions, its the info within that is revealing:

"According to experts, the sale of BC RAIL provides “insider” benefit to certain members of the legislature, and 379,000 public servants through pension funds. At the same time, 90% of BC’s population do not receive any equal benefit. In your opinion is this fair?"

Question #5
CanWest Global which owns Global Television, the Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province and numerous community newspapers is owned in part by the same pension fund (bcIMC) which also owns shares in CN which recently purchased BC RAIL. In your opinion, is there a clear potential for bias in news coverage by CanWest Global in favour of Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals, owing to the millions of dollars in advertising money received by them through government funded advertising, and advertising in the media by friends of the government pension fund who own shares in large corporations?


The closing comment at the end of the poll states:

"If there is anything discovered in the BC RAIL sale that provides a benefit to the bcIMC pension fund at the expense of the citizens, even the media won’t be able to help Gordon Campbell and his MLA’s. "
 
BC Mary wrote:

"Can you follow it up for us"

Supposedly the BC Rail documents were found on Bruce Clark's computer and Erik Bornman claimed in his police statements that Bruce Clark told him to bribe Basi. What could Bruce Clark's angle be in all of this? He wasn't a lobbyist for Omnitrax or anything like that. Also, how could Omnitrax influence appointments to key positions to the Martin government, like the one Basi was put on the list for that Bornman handed to Clark's brother-in-law?
 
Interesting comments regarding the value of the stock. True but misleading.

The fact is that between summer 2003 and now, the TSX index itself has nearly tripled and has even outperformed CN stock!

There are many, many stocks one could have invested in during that time and done very well on.
 
Mary: Better check your facts. Tellier was never dumped. He left CN to head up Bombardier.(However he was later dumped by Bombardier because he ran up against the Beaudoin family) Bedard worked for VIA and her loony tunes accusations caused the ouster of the president of VIA.

Am enjoying your on-going coverage of Railgate...
 
Lynx:

Many thanks indeed for your notes from Hansard. Amazing, isn't it, how brightly these old words shine, when we've had more information to judge them by.

Anon 8:36, thanks. You'll find that the correction has been made if you look really, really closely. OK?

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You gotta love those Anon-O-Mice!
 
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Gaz-Man,

Aren't they great?!


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