Wednesday, May 28, 2008

 

Organized Crime: Tempest in a D-Cup

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'Sexy scandal' cover greets Harper in Italy
David Akin
Canwest News Service - May 28, 2008


Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi shakes hands with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper at Chigi Palace in Rome.

ROME - The "sexy Canadian scandal" made the front page of a major Italian daily newspaper here, just in time for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's arrival to meet Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The newspaper La Stampa features a half-page colour photo of Julie Couillard, the ex-girlfriend of former foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier, on its front page Wednesday. There are more photos and a story inside the paper, although the paper made an error and did not print a picture of Bernier himself, though a cutline identified a man in the photo as Bernier.

La Stampa described Couillard as the "model with the fascinating eyes" and wrote that "anyone who loves her gets in trouble."

Bernier resigned from cabinet Monday after admitting he left classified government documents at Couillard's residence while they were dating.

Couillard, whose former husband and ex-lovers have ties to organized crime in Quebec, told her side of the story in a television interview on Monday night.

That interview, on Quebec network TVA, was picked up and broadcast around the world, including on American all-news channel CNN. Many major newspapers, including the prestigious Financial Times, also ran stories about the trouble with Canada's foreign affairs minister.

According to Montreal-based media watchdog Influence Communication stories about Bernier and Couillard ran in 575 media outlets in 44 countries around the world during the first 48 hours.

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ORGANIZED WHAT?
By Robin Mathews


We love Maxime Bernier
and the lady, Couillard -
as we love hens and roosters
in our chicken yard.

One of her men, we are told, was biker Giguere
(and no man on earth was ever more fair).
He was murdered, they say, just as a "sign".
And they say it was done
by Organized Crime.

One biker, Pepin, she married, they say -
who got very mixed up with goods gone astray.
His suicide came at a very hot time.
Some insist it was heated
by Organized Crime.

Then it was Big Max who came up the stairs
bringing the 'cachet' of "Foreign" affairs.
She "came out" (they say) in the big world of Push,
and even (they say) met George W. Bush.

(No one has ever hinted or said of that time
that she really, at last,
had met Organized Crime.)

But, then, (we are told) in a dallying way
Big Max let some papers get badly astray,
leaving classified docs at dear Julie's place
without even thinking to put on a "trace".

Enter Stephen, the slit-eye, to cover it up,
assuring us all there is nothing corrupt.
The story, he says, is not worth a dime,
has nothing that's bad or splattered with slime.

As he says it (and, of course, looks to the side),
Eyes slitting more (as if there's something to hide),
shouldn't someone decide it's just about time
to ask Steve what he knows
about Organized Crime?

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People tell me everything's OK in B.C., and I say no. But how do we know when things have gone too far and little bits of hanky-panky here and there add up to a corrupted society? This news report dated June 10, 2008 reflects many serious symptoms of irreversible damage in everyday life in B.C.:

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/business/story.html?id=fe3641f5-3e1a-494b-ac58-0d8c982232ae

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Comments:
Finally a Conservative Minister who has a girlfriend that has got him in more trouble than the Liberal Minister of Defence, Art Eggleton (not to be mixed up with NHL Al Eagleson). Mr. Eggleton ran into his trouble when it was revealed that he gave a government contract to his ex-girlfriend Maggie Maier a $36,500 contract to write a report on post-traumatic stress disorder and environmental illness among Canadian soldiers. The deal was discovered by the Ottawa Citizen.

I wonder if he left any important documents around her flat as well?

Mr. Eggleton as Defence Minister also omitted to telling his Liberal colleagues that Canadian Forces in Afghanistan had detained persons and transferred them to the United States (who ultimately put them in Guantanamo Bay) led to questions about his competence in the House, and a widely reported rebuke from the PM...... Jean Chretien

Sort of sounds like the RCMP turning a Canadian over to the Americans who shipped him off to be tortured by the Syrians and then we had to pay the big bucks to settle a law suit.....

Hmmmmmmmm
 
All this talk about a sexy scandal is only glamorizing organized crime! This is a job for the defence minister as o/c runs deep through Canada. My question regarding the ex-minister is, why wasn't this confidental 'package' in his briefcase?! Leaving documents open for others to see is an old trick in leaking information! This is BAD, and no one should under estimate the enemy!
 
Hi Mary,

You have to wonder if canwest would be so involved in writing about the misplaced documents if there were not big boobs and motorcycles in the story.

Mary, I thought your cat and mouse story in the tyee was brilliant!
 
The Montreal Gazette ran a story on Monday that said Julie owns a security company & that one of her good buddies ( a ganger) got an RFP to bid on security at the Trudeau airport and thus got all the specs on the security set-up at the airport at that time. Good to know how much screening is done before RFP's are distributed! Then the next day the Gazette had a story about another thug from the same group. He has a contract with Corrections Canada to provide escort security at a prison in Quebec. The tentacles reach far across the country--particularly in BC.
 
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Anonymous 9:45,

Thanks for noticing that anecdote on The Tyee's Carole James thread ... and for your generous comment.


Anonymous 7:56,

I think you're correct, on this Mad Max story. Maybe we should be thankful for the boobs & bikes which finally titillated the newsmen enough to talk about Organized Crime ... because it needs to be talked about. Not like Gary Mason's story (G&M, Dec. 2006) "There's nothing to these charges".

If indeed, as you say, leaving documents lying about is a standard way of leaking documents, it gives added meaning to another MP who shared a plane-trip with Mad Max and saw him leave official documents in the seat-back where others could see and/or read it.

What amazes me about the Mad Max, Julie, Steve & Stockwell Story is that the Born-Agains are so comfortable with Organized Crime; they smile and joke about it, as if it's a distinction. Well, OK, maybe it is ... but what SORT of distinction?

Stockboy, our Minister of Public Safety, gives the impression that Organized Crime doesn't function internationally, that security issues aren't involved (Julie's business application), and that there's absolutely no problem with having a pipeline running between that big prison in Montreal where "Mom" Boucher now lives, and the White House in Washington where George W. Bush now lives.

And for heaven sake, to think that it was George W. who recognized (but apparently was not alarmed by it either) that Miss Julie was running with "interesting company"!

I sure hope somebody is writing the book on this, because I did hear that while Stephen Harper saw nothing wrong with any of this, he did phone up Mad Max Bernier to complain about the ... [I am not making this up!] ... about the DRESS Ms July wore to Max's swearing-in!!!!!!


Meantime, um, err ... wasn't there an RCMP raid with Search Warrants on Prime Minister Harper's Conservative headquarters in Ottawa looking for documented electoral evidence? I wonder how that's going.

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Anonymous 9:50 and others,


Many, many thanks for the solid information you are sending in.

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Express Collision Shop Said,

HOW MUCH DO THE NDP KNOW ? THEY ARE ALL OVER PAUL TAYLOR AND GORDON CAMPBELL. LES LEYNE CALLS IT STALE OLD NEWS OR IS IT ?

Tuesday's question period had the NDP asking Gordon about shares in Terra Energy and OIC 787. The NDP are stealing Mary's Minister of Defense quote in Tuesday's allegations about Gordon's stock portfolio.

The Paul Taylor and lobbyist and Partnerships BC questions keep resurfacing. The connections surrounding these emails are interesting. Going way back to Andrew Thomas Cowan's search warrant(one of a few) from Sept. 29, 2004. #26 says "The funds were provided by Bornman to Basi for Basi's assistance in referring clients and his assistance on matters of government business. Last year we had commented on this also,however I think many bloggers were looking at another of Cowan's warrants.

That referring clients part has had many interested with these emails about Paul Taylor's wife and the New Car Dealers Association and Kieran and Taylor and how much a good lobbyist would cost. The last email was from January 27, 2003. Pilothouse(Jamie Elmhirst) as of Sept 01 2003 was hired and lobbying for the New Car Dealers to "facilitate action on issues before government". These cheques were allegedly paid to David Basi through Aneal Basi from Bornman from Sept.11,2002. until at least Aug. 20,2003. Now I am playing armchair quarterback here but I have to ask myself about which clients were referred to Pilothouse? If you go through the long list of Pilothouse, Kieran Consulting and K AND E Public affairs clients from the lobbyist registry it could be anyone. Then one has to go back to that fishing trip email with Kieran and Taylor about needing someone on the ground with the New Car Dealers. Then you have to wonder about why Glen Ringdal's name is on the original search warrant with a few others.

Again back to the KPMG report that stated that "The email is authentic, many issues and events referred to in the email were found to be consistant with what actually ocurred." Funny that KPMG did quite a job on this mess. They had a hostile witness/subject ? Paul Taylor did not give them anything. Remember that the report stated that Paul Taylor had(as in the past) business connections with the New Car Dealers Assc. members. One dealer (says lobbyist) said in the email that if Paul wanted to start up a dealership he would bankroll him. I won't get into the luxury tax mess during this time frame. Referring clients to a lobbyist firm from inside the finance ministry(remember who all worked there in 2003)and that got me thinking about some of the documents the defense is asking for like game and movie tix and stuff(more later)and names on the original warrant.

I also had to ask myself how OmniTrax found out about Pilothouse and did they contact the government first and then get directed down the tracks to the wheel greasers ? Just some musings from a real greaser of wheels.

Footnote: If you check out page 1 of Cowan's Sept. 29,2004. search warrant there is a very interesting black out at the bottom of the page. More later.
 
Fascinating stuff Express Collision Shop - I was never convinced by the KPMG whitewash of Taylor...and his departure from ICBC is more than a little suspicious too.

Must have another look at the guest list for that Golden Golf Tourney next week...

Campbell looked decidedly uncomfortable trying to explain the role of the big accounting firm (@ 6% COMMISSION) doling out federal bucks to help hard-hit forest industry communities and workers.

The whole idea of subbing this stuff out to groups like Coopers and KPMG as an extra level of insurance is wearing a little thin.

Thanks as always
 
I should make it clear that's Price Waterhouse Coopers in the above reference....you just can't tell with these big accounting firms - they keep changing their names...kinda like Arthur Andersen and Accenture I guess.

By the way, I've just been poring over the debate on the Premier's estimates and I'm not sure even HE knows how many of the federal dollars for the forest industry and forest workers is going to pass throught Price Waterhouse's hands (at a cost of 6%) either.

Have a look at this:

Hon. G. Campbell: I'm glad to find the specific response to the leader's question. I don't have that available immediately. However, the total administration costs for the $129 million is 6 percent. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

C. James: So 6 percent of the $129 million. Is PricewaterhouseCoopers managing the entire $129 million? [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Hon. G. Campbell: PricewaterhouseCoopers is managing $22 million. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

What do you think Mary?
 
This is off topic, but I think your faithful readers would appreciate Corky Evans' statement in the legislature today.

C. Evans: I want to talk today about the practice of passing laws without serious debate, the process that we call closure that will occur this evening in this room, and I will do so through the medium of metaphor, lest anyone hear any partisan comment in my story. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Most citizens don't want to work here, but they don't like secrets either, so they want us to stand in for them and publicly consider the laws that will govern their lives. In that respect, this place is a little bit like a criminal court, because citizens hope to never go there either, yet they want to believe that the rule of law will be there for them at need. Therein lies my metaphor. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Hon. Speaker, my dad worked in prisons and courtrooms as a public defender. Then one day my father found himself at the prison not to visit his client but his child, my brother Andy. For the first time, instead of passing through the gates as a lawyer in a suit and recognized by the guards as part of their system, he waited in the visitors' line with the wives and mothers of his clients, whose personal experience he had never shared. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

When he got to the front of the line, my father was shocked to hear that he couldn't visit his son because the boy was in solitary confinement for the crime of singing at dinner and was denied access to his family. At that moment, my dad realized that maybe he hadn't been doing the work of the angels all his life. Maybe, instead of guaranteeing people access to justice, he had been an actor in a play staged to create the illusion of justice that those in charge could then withdraw at whim. That experience in the lineup outside Santa Rita prison broke my father's faith, and he left his job and his country. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Metaphorically speaking, I'm wondering if we, in the passing of laws this afternoon without due process, are not turning our profession, too, into a kind of theatre intended to create the illusion of parliamentary democracy in substitute for its fact. If that be true, I wonder who will do this work in future.
 
Vaughn Palmer's column today lists off the Gordon Cambpell's screw-ups.

Things the Liberals stepped in during the spring session
Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, May 30, 2008

 
Hi Mary,

Mary, I’m wondering if you noticed something about the debate between Mrs. James and Gordon Campbell, which had taken place on may 26th, 27th,on the estimates of the premier’s office.
This man (premier Gordon Campbell) did NOT look Mrs. James in the eye once, that I noticed and I watched the entire debate.

Which makes the premier look like he’s weaker than the spin would make him out to be.
 
Express Collision Shop Said,

HERE WE GO AGAIN, ICBC SCANDAL GETS LARGER.

more later
 
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To:

Express Collision Shop, a special request


May I have an e.mail address so that I may ask you one or two questions privately?

If you would add this dimension to your generous contributions to our searches, it will be treated carefully. And it may do a heap of good.

Send it as you send any other comment -- only -- add
DO NOT DISTRIBUTE across the top.

I'm pretty sure you'll be pleased with the result.

Thanks, if you can send it. But I understand, if you feel you cannot. These are strange times in B.C.

Best wishes, and sincere thanks for the work you've already done on this.

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A 'culture of fear' at Canadian National Railway is making it difficult for employees to report safety violations that raise the risk of derailments and other accidents, a federal parliamentary committee says in a new report to the House of Commons.


For more on this story, as well as the latest national and international news, visit www.vancouversun.com
 
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Anonymous 2:08,

Thanks, I did go back to Vancouver Sun (having already read them this morning) and saw the CN story. Got kinda steamed, to tell you the truth.

1) they used a photo of the Cheakamus River disaster to illustrate the article, but ...

2) CN has been in BC Supreme Court all week, answering for that Cheakamus River disaster, and CANWEST HAS BEEN SILENT ON THAT. Not a syllable, about this section of the old BCRail line, of special concern to British Columbians.

3) Finally, like I say, this Safety Report wasn't in Vancouver Sun this morning, but it's published late in the day on Friday?

And they talk about a "culture of fear" ... !

Thanks for mentioning it, because if you hadn't, a lot of us might have missed that news altogether.

Btw, there's a "comment" section at the end of the Vanc. Sun story so I told them that their concern might've sounded more sincere if they had published anything about that Cheakamus River court case.

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ECW (way up thread).....

"...also had to ask myself how OmniTrax found out about Pilothouse and did they contact the government first and then get directed down the tracks to the wheel greasers ? "

This, I think, is one king heckfire of a query.

Anybody have any insight?

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Express Collision Shop Said,

FISHING WITH FRIENDS

Gazetteer, this referring clients to the lobbyists allegations has had me pondering many questions this past year or so. The emails leaked to the media and NDP have made it even more interesting. Kind of makes you wonder about who and if there was indeed clients referred to the Pilothouse boys. The New Car Dealers are an interesting lot. There were rumours that anyone who had hired Pilothouse were told to only talk to Dave Basi if they were dealing with the Finance ministry without the lobbyists. Scary. This rumour if true would have many ramifications around exactly what the hell was happening in the finance ministry back then.

The Villa del Lupo meeting still astounds me. I still can not fathom Gary Collins having dinner with bidders of the railway and having the RCMP listening in and then losing the tapes. Spur line teaser with a $100.00 bottle of Barolo. The OmniTrax boys attended a few fundraisers in those days and how about that trip to see the Broncos. In Cowan's search warrants there is a little reference about looking into Basi's banking, trading and credit cards. Trading, now that has me pondering even more questions. Remember all those dirty political tricks about the stacked phone calls to radio stations and other stuff. How about the ALR allegations on the south island and forest company land sell offs and golf tournaments. Many unanswered questions that still have to be answered. Only time will tell-hopefully.The NDP are still all over the KPMG mess. I think I will write them to see what they know. Good luck.

Now about that golf tournament tommorrow. Check out the names on that list. Good job Holeman. Now lets see if any of the media show up. I invited them all.
 
ECS--

If you don't mind, I'd like to post up on this over at my place

(leave a message here if you DON'T want me to do so and/or move the plant pot on the balcony)

RossK

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About this referring clients to lobbyists allegations that gazetteer and ECS both mentioned above: Here is a link to a government news release from the Ministry of Competition, Sport and Science from Oct. 24, 2003.

At the bottom of the news release is the government ministry contact - and the other contact listed beside it? None other than Pilothouse and Brian Kiernan. Here's the link:

http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/nrm_news_releases/2003CSE0058-000941.htm
 
Express Collision Shop Said,

Gaz, Go ahead if that is ok with Mary.
 
lynx--

Thanks!!!



(and very Holmenesque of you, by the way, combing the public databases looking for nuggets of goodness)

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