Friday, May 09, 2008
Press clippings May 9, 2008
THE LEGISLATURE RAID
Dobell defends his perusal of seized files in BC Rail probe
Premier's remarks still stand, he says
The Globe and Mail - May 9, 2008
I'm sorry, Wally, but your latest caper (described below) really ticks me off. Today's Times Colonist carefully explains the role expected of an open and transparent government when evidence is needed for fairness before any B.C. court. The Campbell government needs this reminder because it is also fighting to prevent disclosure of evidence in the BCRail Case.
So let's hear a few of your grandiose speeches about your government doing everything it can to disclose the evidence it is holding in the Basi-Virk / BC Rail case, eh? Wouldn't that be a nice change? You've had every opportunity in the Legislature to say even a little bit but no, you can barely bring yourself to admit that there actually is a Case #23299, HMTQ v. Basi, Virk, Basi under way in B.C. Supreme Court because that might interfere with justice being done, you say. That's why people began calling you "Stonewally", isn't it?
And lemme tell you, Wally: the battle against disclosure of your government's documents is interfering with justice being done. For heaven sake, stop stonewalling the BCRail case. Get on side and help get this issue out in the open where the people of B.C. -- and the three Accused -- can deal with it.
Don't get me started. I mean ...
Choosing people for this inquest (below) who have no direct knowledge of the case in question? Yeah. So isn't that pretty much how your AG Ministry chose a Special Prosecutor for Basi-Virk whose specialty was mediation and litigation ... not criminal law? That was way back, before your time, but didn't you think it looked like setting the BCRail trial up for failure? How about that, Wally? Speak for the people of B.C. and tell us what you think. Because this whole evasive, obstinate, passive-aggressive attitude can tick anybody off.
Looks like you've finally got the Opposition ticked off, at least. Good.
- BC Mary.
LET PROSECUTORS TESTIFY AT INQUEST
Published: Friday, May 09, 2008
Premier Gordon Campbell promised that an inquest into the murders and suicide that claimed five lives in Oak Bay would deal with all the questions raised by that terrible case.
Now his government is fighting to withhold important evidence. Its actions have forced the coroner to shut the inquest down. It could take months or years before it resumes.
The government is fighting to keep two Crown prosecutors from testifying. It insists the jury should be content to hear from managers who were not directly involved.
The jury considered that unsatisfactory. So did coroner Jeff Dolan, who ordered the prosecutors to testify.
A critical issue in this case is the prosecutors' decision not to seek Peter Lee's detention after he drove his vehicle into a pole in what Sunny Park, his wife, described as an attempt to kill her. She told police she feared for her life and had been abused. Experts have testified that the available information suggested Lee was a serious threat to his family.
But prosecutors did not seek his detention.
After Lee was released, he violated several conditions of his release. Lee's bail supervisor warned she was having trouble tracking his movements.
Yet his release was not revoked. A hearing on one of the issues was adjourned for a week because Lee did not appear. He killed his family on the day it was to be held.
The government has provided two managers from the Crown prosecutor's office to testify. One said the prosecutors did everything correctly and shifted blame to the police. The second refused to answer a string of questions, citing her lack of involvement.
Which is the point. The jury needs to hear from the prosecutors about the information they received from police, the impact of heavy workloads on their actions, their training in recognizing threats to families and their understanding of government policies. Their evidence is vital.
The government has taken the position that Crown prosecutors can never be questioned. They are like judges, the province argues.
That ignores the fact that judges' decisions are routinely reviewed by higher courts. The government proposes to leave prosecutors entirely unaccountable.
And the position is inconsistent with past practice in many inquiries in which Crown prosecutors have testified.
The government has taken the same position in an attempt to keep prosecutors from obeying an order to testify at the inquiry into the death of Frank Paul,. He died after being dumped in an alley by Vancouver police. It will fight both orders in the B.C. Supreme Court later this month.
In Oak Bay, Five people died. The community wants answers about whether those deaths could have been prevented. It's shameful that the government is fighting to withhold important evidence.
Not very persuasive Ken.
Aren't you the same fella who was lobbying without a license?
Who said he didn't consider what he was doing was lobbying?
And who was later charged and found guilty of lobbying without a license?
Some people you tend to give a second chance - some even get a third...not Ken Dobell.
As to the other question, I wholeheartedly agree with Mary's concerns about the AG's statement.
How many times have we heard that same worthy spout the old canard about Justice being done and being 'seen' to be done?
What happened to that principle Wally?
Much more of this kind of behind the scenes stuff and I'm gonna join Mary's campaign to get some cameras in the courts.
Surely there's a happy medium between the Star Chamber and Nancy Grace!
LEONARD KROG TWISTING LEGAL DAGGER WITH 70 KILLER QUESTIONS TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL May 8, 2008
From Hansard Orders of The Day no. 66 1:30 pm Schedule B Written Questions on Notice
Question # 31 If it was not the Minister of Finance who ordered confidential government information to be leaked to a lobby firm representing OmniTRAX, was the Premier's Office or any other government official responsible for this order?
These questions are almost too good to be true. They are only the last of many the NDP have asked and none will be answered however, I like these questions.
On another note Bid Rigging is a serious offence with the Competition Bureau of Canada. The key aspect of finding guilt in a bid rigging allegation is two parties have to have an agreement with the bids. Hmmmmmm. More later on some of the inside players. WOW!!!
Dobell's first quote in the Globe article is rather funny ie. Nobody in the Preimer's office was involved in the issue. Thanks for that Ken.
"The key aspect of finding guilt in a bid rigging allegation is two parties have to have an agreement with the bids ..."
Remember that curious line we keep seeing on Cabinet documents Judge Bennett has vetted:
"Dave Basi - "Shred after Meeting"
Don't forget how quickly everybody backed away from the Spur Line deal when the 'Quid Pro Quo' talk started....
Further, I have just heard from a second life-long liberal whom I know quite well. They will "not now or ever vote for this party in the future as long as any of the sitting Liberal MLAs' are still in office" Of course they didn't say who they would vote for. Their perogative.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST, a conflict between the obligation to the public and the self-interest of a public officeholder.
Ken has enough hats to make even Lillian Vanderzalm jealous. I can hardly wait to see who will be the first ones to tell us how good Mr. Dobell is again. Bill T. has a very good article on this one. I wonder if Mr. Lobby has four desks in the Premiers office, one for each separate/independent/non conflicted taxpayer paid job(s) he has/had. Musical chairs in the office of the Premier. Enough is enough already-send in a real conflict of interest commissioner with some guts and teeth to clear out these hooligans.
Mary, is there any chance of posting Krog's 70 very important questions and the Competition Bureaus backgrounder on the BC Rail merger(as they like to call it). I believe it would be in the public's interest.
Just wondering if I should erase it from my dictionary. Or should I just wait awhile until they also redact "justice" "truth" "democracy" and "Canada" and then just buy a new much abridged dictionary without all the obsolete and meaningless words of the past. Instead of a Funk and Wagnall's I could get the modern up to date Harper and Campbell Dictionary of the English Language with all meaningless "old-fashioned" words expunged!
Thanks for your always-interesting comments.
This time around, you've given me quite a few tasks to perform and what with breaking news and computer probems, I'm running hard already and getting less done.
Is there anybody else, who could take on those projects?? And send your findings in here, as a comment?
Many thanks, if you can.
I did write to Leonard Krog recently and asked if his 70 questions had been answered. He replied, explaining that the questions were tabled but would not necessarily ever be answered.
But hey, that was BEFORE the re-invigorated Leonard Krog took on the Campbell Government over the need for disclosure.
Koot: watching the CBC News this evening, I was appalled to see the brute force being used by Mugabe to maintain his hold as Premier of Zimbabwe. Couldn't help wondering if "Mugabe" might become a verb in upcoming dictionaries.
Almost everything the (dis)Honourable Mr. Campbell ever said as Leader of the Loyal Opposition seems like statements by some other person than Mr. Campbell as Premier of British Columbia. An example is Bill 42, concerning 3rd party advertising during elections as I pointed out yesterday over at the House of Infamy yesterday. Of course I would be typing steady until tomorrow just trying to merely list the contradictory positions taken by the Flim Flam Flip Flop Man when in Opposition compared to when in power! It's clear that what suits the Goose (Opposition) doesn't seem at all appropriate for the Gander (Government).
Let me see if I've got this straight. The Attorney Genreral of British Columbia stated: "You can't have judges cross examined, otherwise the system goes off the rails".
But at the conclusion of a trial the option for either the defendants via his/her lawyer, or the Crown via a Prosecutor, is to Appeal..... In an Appeal, the thrust is to bring into question
the thoughts on why a Judge ruled in the manner that he did, and usually its three other Judges on the Appeal cross examining the case.
Come on Oppall, get off your bench, and stand up and be counted. Stop giving us the No Comment.
I will do my homework on that Mary. Thank you for all the exceptional work. The Competition Bureau backgrounder is some good reading on BC Rail. Anon's comments regarding ICBC appointment from here and Bill's site has more than a few collision and auto glass shops interest piqued. Drop that shoe fast, we are very interested with all this ICBC mess going on.
Ecs wrote on May 9 (sorry to be slow responding) ...
"Mary, is there any chance of posting Krog's 70 very important questions and the Competition Bureaus backgrounder on the BC Rail merger(as they like to call it). I believe it would be in the public's interest."
Oh ... [sigh] ... ye of little faith.
Go to the Search box at the top left on this web-site.
Type in "Krog 70 questions"
Click on "Search blog" right beside it.
The 70 Questions will appear, having been posted on The Legislature Raids at the time they were tabled in the Legislature.
Type in The Competition Bureau's backgrounder on the "merger" (grrr)and you'll find that it produces a result too but I didn't have time to look through it. Maybe you will?
All: that Search Box is a terrific tool to use for re-locating items in the Archives from long ago.
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