Monday, June 02, 2008

 

More delays before actual trial, says Bill Tieleman

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Basi-Virk: 2,200 more privileged documents, more delays

The long and winding road that is the BC Legislature Raid case turned another corner this morning, a corner that sees 2,200 more documents where privilege is being claimed and more delays coming before getting to the actual trial.

Defence lawyers for David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi - the three former provincial government aides facing corruptions charges related to the $1 billion privatization of BC Rail - joined with Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino in asking BC Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett to accept further delays in dealing with the 4-year old case.

There will also be a Charter of Rights application coming from the defence this month on the issue of calling witnesses such as BC Premier Gordon Campbell and Deputy Attorney-General Allan Seckel to testify about their roles in the disclosure of evidence in the case. The defence has previously alleged political interference in the case by the premier. {Snip} ...

Read the full story at: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com

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Special thanks to Bill Tieleman for the court dates which I have posted in the banner at the top of the page. None of us will be allowed to observe the Court of Appeal sessions (3 days beginning June 9) because they will be closed, even to the media. So our next opportunity to see and hear what's going on with the BCRail Case is a brief update on June 20 at 9:00 AM. Full-scale pre-trial hearings resume on June 30 for 3 days, stop and start again on July 14 and run until August 15 (a whole month!), stop for holidays (3 weeks) and resume September 8. Thanks again, Bill. - BC Mary.

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Those who are watching the "Deal-Breaker" clauses CN signed when taking over BCRail, might wish to add this June 5/08 Reuters news item to their file:

CANADA WARNS FAULTY RAIL WHEELS STILL IN USE
Thu Jun 5, 2008

By Allan Dowd

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 5 (Reuters) - Canadian safety inspectors warned North America's railroads on Thursday to find up to 12,000 freight car wheel sets that remain in use, despite having been recalled years ago for safety problems.

The wheel sets, made by Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) between 1998 and 2001, have been blamed for at least 15 derailments in Canada and an unknown number of accidents in the United States, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Twelve of the Canadian derailments occurred after Canadian National discovered the problem, and the Association of American Railroads alerted other carriers that the defective wheel sets should be taken out of service.

Thursday's TSB warning stems from an investigation into a 2006 derailment of a Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) freight train in Buckskin, Ontario, that was caused by a broken CN-built wheel set on a CP freight car.

That wheel set was among some 43,800 produced by CN's Transcona shops between April 1998 and February 2001 using a process that made them susceptible becoming loose on curving track and derailing, the TSB said.

CN noticed a problem with loose wheels in 2000, but did not figure out the cause until 2001 and, along with AAR, warned carriers to remove the faulty wheel sets -- something that was supposed to have been completed by July 2006.

The TSB warned that "shortfalls" in the recall process meant some 25 percent of the faulty wheels sets are still rolling down North America's tracks. {Snip} ...

It also chastised the industry for requiring data on critical components like wheels to be kept only five years, saying flaws can take longer than that to develop and computers made that archive standard, laid out by the AAR's guidelines, outdated.

A spokesman for the AAR said he could not comment on the TSB's report because he was not familiar with the case.

The group, whose members include all of North America's largest railroads, has authority to set safety standards for freight cars as they are transferred between different carriers.

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN05477131

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