Wednesday, August 27, 2008


It's Victoria's Monica Lewinski Show

The Monica Lewinski Show in Canadian re-run started today in The Globe and Mail:


Lawyers seem to be getting itchy feet at Bell Canada.
Globe and Mail Report on Business - 27 August 2008


It's been a while since Canada's legal community has had the chance to sink its teeth into a scandal, but everyone's buzzing about Marli Rusen, the Heenan Blaikie LLP labour lawyer who allegedly had a sexual relationship with former Victoria police chief Paul Battershill.

At the time, she was acting for the force negotiating severance packages for employees under Mr. Battershill's command. Ms. Rusen denied the affair to the firm and left April 30 to pursue other opportunities. Norm Bacal, Heenan Blaikie's national co-managing partner, contacted the Law Society of British Columbia last week after becoming persuaded that Ms. Rusen may indeed have compromised her position ...

See also, from "A" Channel News, news of the David S. Mulroney letter to Mayor Alan Lowe:


Marli F. Rusen has left Heenan Blaikie and along with Brian Wallace QC they will now share space with Deborah Lovett, Angela Westmacott, and Susan Ross at 417-645 Fort Street, Victoria.

From: The Praecipe, Victoria's Legal Newsletter
July 3, 2008.


Monday, August 25, 2008


Things every citizen should know ... apparently

First, I'd like to show you something I came across, while trying to find out what Paul Battershill's speech was about at that Halifax Police Conference where he heard that he was no longer Victoria's Chief Constable. Cruel irony: his speech was about civilian oversight of police services! Here is a small bit of his work history. As I read it, I wondered if the Victoria Police Board really thinks that Victoria and Esquimalt are safer, and better off, without this person:

Paul Battershill bio:

* Appointed as Victoria Police Chief in 1999 following a 23-year career in the Vancouver Police Department,

* Was elected as a police union official in the 1980s at a municipal, provincial and national level,

* was a member of the Justice Oppal Royal Commission of Inquiry into policing in British Columbia in 1993. The Commission's recommendations led to the system of oversight presently in place in B.C.,

* was a founding director of the E-Comm /corporation in the Lower Mainland in 1997. E-Comm established the first integrated multi-agency public safety service in North America which included police, fire and ambulance in wide-area radio, information systems, 911 and post-disaster facilities,

* was Chair of the Steering /committee implementing the PRIME BC police database in B.C.

* was Chair of the RCMP National Forensic Laboratory Committee

* is a member of the Webster Foundation which recognizes outstanding media achievement in B.C.


Battershill hearing set
date is a secret
Rob Shaw
Times Colonist
- July 23, 2008

The date has been set for a closed-door disciplinary hearing for Victoria's suspended police chief, but the time and location won't be made public for fear the event could turn into a media circus, Victoria's mayor says.

"I can set a disciplinary hearing date, but I don't have to make that date public," Mayor Alan Lowe said yesterday. "And I don't believe I should at this point, to protect the integrity of the hearing and not create a media frenzy prior to."

Lowe said he wants to avoid chief Paul Battershill, and others, from being recorded on camera and asked questions as they walk into the proceedings. He added the public would not be allowed into the hearing anyway, as provincial legislation outlines it should be closed.

Administrative leave meant that Battershill was not allowed to enter the police building. He could not receive e-mails, and his BlackBerry was blocked. It's different from a suspension, Lowe said, noting the term suspension would mean an investigation is underway.

The mayor, who said the board will take no further action until it hears from the chief, did say suspension is a future option. "None of the issues are confirmed. It would be bad faith to discuss anything we have not confirmed," said Lowe. "This came as a surprise to him and to police board members as well." [Gosh. They wouldn't want to be seen as acting in bad faith.]

Yesterday, B.C. Police Complaint Commisioner Dirk Ryneveld confirmed he received a call about the case from Lowe, who was seeking advice about procedures under the Police Act. However, he said there have been no formal complaints made to his office. If one is lodged, it would be investigated by someone of equal rank to the chief.

POLICE BOARD - Who are these people?

The Victoria Police Board currently consists of eight members, including the Chair. Under the British Columbia Police Act, the Mayor of a municipality is always the Chair of the municipal police department. As the VicPD has jurisdiction within two municipalities, Mayor Clement of Esquimalt is the Vice Chair. In addition to Mayors Lowe and Clement, there are six appointed members, five Provincial appointees and one Council Appointee. The Council Appointee (Victoria) is pending.

The 2008 Victoria Police Board is comprised of:
Mayor Lowe of Victoria, Chair
Mayor Clement of Esquimalt, Vice Chair
Ms. Catherine Holt, Provincial Appointee - linked to premier's office
Mr. Ralston Alexander, Provincial Appointee
Ms. Christine Stoneman, Provincial Appointee
Mr. Ken MacLeod, Provincial Appointee
Ms. Lindalee Brougham, Provincial Appointee
Ms. Kathy Mick, Council Appointee (Esquimalt)
Provincial appointees are appointed by the Lieut Governor after consultation with the director of Police Services ... which, of course, puts them beyond the realm of politics. Sure it does.

Only the chair or designate can speak on behalf of the whole board and then only after consensus of the members. Individual board members should refrain from stating opinions ... without the express support of their board.

Section 3.0, Municipal Police Board Legislative Authority. [These are excerpts only, taken from BC Police Board Resource Document on Roles and Responsibilities under Police Act. March 2005]

Municipal police boards are created independently from municipal councils and from the provincial government. This removes boards from partisan council politics and recognizes that both the municipality and the province have legitimate interests in municipal policing.

3.3 Board Accountability:

* to the community they serve: Feedback could be sought on such items as ... what changes citizens feel are needed in response to changing circumstances. Board meetings are open to the public except for "in camera" items.

* to the police dept. ... they must also act as a buffer to ensure that the police are not subject to political interference ...

2.3 Police Board Handbook

... when dealing with policing matters, the [Solicitor General's] Ministry ensures that all decisions and policy directions are legally based, impartial, and free of partisan political considerations.

3.3 Board Accountability

- Board meetings are open to the public
- Senior management of police must act as a buffer to ensure that police are not subject to political interference.

3.4 is important, but a bit long. I urge readers to look it up. Here are more excerpts:

3.5 Individual Responsibilities of Board Members

... all board members have an obligation to seek out the facts and to insist on full and proper discussions related to issues of importance to the community they serve.

- a board member must be a full partner with the Chair and must work with other board members so that the board functions as a UNIT. It should mean that there has been a full debate and that all members are willing to publicly support majority decisions of the board.

- it is imperative that the board take into consideration and respect the role of the Chief Constable when having these discussions.

3.6 Board Member Liability

... protected under Police Act from being held personally liable for actions they take or fail to take, in the performance of their duties ... the exceptions are if the board has been guilty of dishonesty, gross negligence, or malicious or wilful misconduct.


I regret the loss of the original draft of this presentation, explained earlier, which had much better research references and would have been much easier to follow. Foolishly, I had dumped many of the references and links as I went along, thinking I was being very tidy with my new computer. Ha. So I hope readers will look up the Handbook of the B.C. Police Board Resource Document on Roles and Responsibilities under the Police Act. Or check out Police Services, at the Ministry of the Solicitor General. These documents make it clear what we should expect from a Police Board.

My own conclusion, by the end of this project, is that the Victoria Police Board has a great deal to answer for, to the community they are there to serve. In my opinion, they really didn't give the Chief Constable a fair chance, but seemed to agree to relieve him of his duties while he was out of town on assignment, and allegedly without knowing why they were doing it. Surely they were aware that they were in a high-voltage conflict and that they had an absolute duty to seek careful direction. They owed a duty of care to the Chief Constable who they are pledged to respect. They owed it to the Victoria Police Department who are still on the job and undoubtedly wondering what's next. They owe it now - bigtime - to the uneasy community they are supposed to serve.

But so far as I can see, the Victoria Police Board didn't seek direction. They didn't inform themselves. They didn't assess or discuss the enormous impact of banishing an exemplary Chief of Police.

Then they made it worse. They began to speak one by one, trying to defend themselves, but not Chief Battershill. All of it contrary to the code of ethics set out in the Resource Document. All of it , in my view, sleazy.

Victoria and Esquimalt are not better off without Chief Paul Battershill.

"He's a very bright individual, a thinker," said Wally Oppal, the BC Attorney-General. The Mayor of Victoria said
he "has faith in our chief because he has done a great job for our city. But whenever any allegations come forward, we do have to take them seriously." [CTV 16 Oct 2007]

It's fair to ask: if "partisan political pressures" have been carefully kept at bay, as the Police Board's job descriptions repeat and repeat again, why hasn't the original complainant -- the developer and Liberal Party Election Readiness chairman, Gerald H. Hartwig -- been asked a few pertinent questions?

In fact, isn't every name associated with this story, a person of the Liberal Party persuasion? Except, possibly (I don't know), the name of the former Chief Constable himself? Is that the problem?

Which reminds me, pre-trial hearings for Basi, Virk, Basi resume on September 17. One of the earliest witnesses for the Crown will be Paul Battershill whose Victoria police team followed the drug trafficking investigations right into the Campbell-Liberal government's Ministries of Finance and Transportation, back in 2003. Could that be part of the problem? - BC Mary.

In an exclusive interview with CTV News on October 16, 2007:

Victoria Police Chief Paul Battershill said he "will fight for his reputation" ... and would "absolutely" defend himself against the allegations.

Battershill has hired a high-priced lawyer to deal with the matter ... the firm where the lawyer works, Heenan Blaikie, was the subject of a break-and-enter last Thursday -- one day after the chief was placed on leave.

"It was unbelievable. I'm hoping it was a weird coincidence," said Mayor Lowe.

The mayor asked the Saanich Police Force to investigate the burglary. Investigators said money, an iPod and a laptop were stolen, while the law firm said the computer contained no files relating to the police chief.

With a report by CTV British Columbia's Rob Brown

For more about David S. Mulroney:


Saturday, August 23, 2008


A silent end to what was once a stellar career

They pulled him off the job and refused him access to the Victoria Police Building. Then they accuse him of receiving a salary for "doing nothing". Read on. - BC Mary.


CTVBC.CA - Updated Fri. Aug. 22 2008

It's been a 10-month mystery. One day, he's a well-respected police chief, the next day he's suspended over a secret personnel issue.

But it appears the mystery is now unravelling. It wasn't a criminal issue that brought down former Victoria Police chief Paul Pattershill. It was his alleged affair with police board lawyer Marli Rusen.

Until this spring, Rusen worked for law firm Heenan Blaikie.

An official with the law firm says the allegation is that Marli Rusen was secretly having an affair with Paul Battershill while also offering legal advice to the Victoria police board.

In a statement to the media, Heenan Blaikie says:

"Upon learning this information regarding the alleged conduct of this former member of the firm, we reported the matter to the Law Society of British Columbia."

And now the Law Society has launched its own investigation into a complaint against Rusen.

{Snip} ...

Battershill was once an outspoken cop who was often called upon to rule on allegations of police misconduct. But he has never spoken about his own troubles and couldn't be reached Friday. So it's a silent end to what was once a stellar career.

With a report by CTV British Columbia's Jim Beatty.

Calling all journalists: please report on all affairs, past and present, among public officials, beginning with the premier's office. Of course, that means "sexual relationship" in the unromantic terminology of the Police Board. Investigate. Start with the premier's office. Then the Attorney-General. Next: the Solicitor-General. And hey, why not the CanWest Newsrooms? I'll wager that office romances have never happened before, eh? Or if such things have happened, you will call for a public inquiry into each case.

Sorry. Just a sad little joke for a very sad state of ... um, err ... affairs. - BC Mary.



"I will address what the Battershill fuss was all about," says Dirk Ryneveld


Lindsay Kines
Times Colonist: Saturday, August 23, 2008

B.C.'s police complaint commissioner expects a lengthy court battle if he decides to call a public hearing into the case of former Victoria police chief Paul Battershill.

Dirk Ryneveld said yesterday that he has already received letters from lawyers warning that he lacks jurisdiction under the Police Act to call such a hearing.

Ryneveld declined to identify the lawyers or whom they are representing.

"They're letting me know what their position would be," he said. "It's not a threat; it's nothing. It's just lawyers do that to each other by saying, 'By the way, this would be our position if you were to make that decision.' "

Ryneveld said he has to weigh whether to spend taxpayers' money fighting for the right to hold a public hearing into the high-profile case. In the end, the court would be clarifying the Police Act, which the government plans to amend anyway, he said.

"Is it worth spending money to fight an issue that's a moot point at the end of the day?" he said.

Ryneveld hopes to release his decision and the reasons for it on Aug. 29 or Sept. 2. His summary will set out the background of the case, how he came to get involved, and why the RCMP was asked to investigate allegations against Battershill.

"I'll analyze whether or not I have the jurisdiction to call a public hearing and, if so, whether it's in the public interest," he said. "And then I will try to address, in a general way, what the fuss was all about, because I think I'm kind of the only source left."

{SNIP} ...

Ryneveld said yesterday that, under normal circumstances, it would be the Victoria Police Board's job to let the public know what happened. "But they contracted their way out of that," he said. "So that left it to me."

"I have my job to do and I will do it regardless of who has done their job or who hasn't done their job or who has leaked information."

Ryneveld said recent news reports will not influence his final decision.

"I will be doing what I can, as much as I can, because I understand the public's desire for information," he said.

! My Visitor-Counting device just clocked the 77,777th person arriving on this web-site. - BC Mary.


Thursday, August 21, 2008


Heenan Blaikie with "no way of knowing what the actual facts are", filed complaint against its employee, Marli Rusen, in the Battershill affair


Rob Shaw,
Victoria Times Colonist
- August 21, 2008

The Law Society of B.C. is investigating a complaint against Victoria labour lawyer Marli Rusen, who allegedly had a sexual relationship with former Victoria police chief Paul Battershill while she was hired by the police force to negotiate severance packages for employees under Battershill's command.

The allegations are central to Battershill's resignation, the "loss of confidence" the Victoria Police Board publicly cited in his leadership, and the RCMP Police Act investigation, the Times Colonist has learned.

Rusen's former employer, national law firm Heenan Blaikie, confirmed it had filed the complaint against her in an interview with the Times Colonist yesterday, and then issued a press release on the subject for other media.

{Snip} ..

As chief, Battershill had the ability to hire legal counsel to advise him on human resources issues, such as firing and dispute resolution, for the 222 people in his police force. He then took his recommendations, and legal opinion, to the police board for approval.

{Snip} ...

Rusen, who clerked with the B.C. Supreme Court and Federal Department of Justice in Vancouver, specialized in labour relations, employment law, sexual harassment cases and mediation. A biography on the Lancaster House online labour law website says she also helps companies diagnose, prevent and eliminate workplace conflict.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Robbers in the vault

Pretending Parliament. Pretending Democracy. Robbers in the Vault.

By Robin Mathews

One of the keepers of the democratic system has gone, for all real purposes. The wholesale sell-out of press and media in Canada is serious - and easy to explain. It's an important, smaller part of the grim picture. Permitted by governments to concentrate ownership and control beyond all reason, press and media have paid back. They've not only agreed to support government; they've become government, sharing its views and advocating privatization, favouring reactionary "think-tank" propaganda, parroting the half-truths of federal cabinet ministers, championing support for U.S. wars - and much more.

Big private corporation collectives now are, or control, or partner with government as never before. The few owners of press and media operations in Canada have become part of "the big, private corporation collective" more and more owning "democratic" governments.

What can we expect of press and media in Canada in the fight to save democracy? Almost nothing.

The parliamentary system is, itself, in a state of rot. Try to get an answer as a serious, ordinary Canadian, on an important issue, from anyone in Canada's Parliament. Good luck. Cabinet members pass the buck or - like Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, and Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice - they refuse to acknowledge any correspondence but Evangelical Fawning or Reactionary Flattery. It's that bad.

Go to MPs. Donald Savoie, in his new book, Court Government And The Collapse Of Accountability In Canada and The United Kingdom, says MPs are the people who can save the day, and the genuine life of Parliament. But the MPs choose to avoid the work they should be doing. They don't have the guts to save Parliament for the people who elected them to it. They don't answer correspondence. Or they pass the buck. Or they say they can't do anything on important questions. Or they find another kind of excuse. And they do as they're told.

Are many, many of them bribed, coerced, harassed, ordered into silence? Yes. All of those things. And that's because we're in a new reality being disguised in verbiage. The verbiage - poured out by cabinet members, columnists in 'the big press', "experts" in the media - is that Parliament (representative democracy) is changing and reorganizing on behalf of efficiency, quick response, and effectiveness.

That's a lie. And it's even conveyed by Donald Savoie. "The private sector", he writes, "has been in the ascendancy for the past thirty years, while bureaucracy has been under attack from several quarters". (p.10) He says, in addition, "the desire to get things done as quickly as possible" has led Prime Ministers to set up "court government". (p. 326) Nonsense.

Look at the opposites Savoie offers. They are "the private sector" against "bureaucracy". The real opposites are Private Corporate interests employing financial and economic coercive power to gain the ends of private greed and to destroy all resistance - pitted against the elected representatives of Canadians working in a complex structure to understand and to realize the needs and aspirations of their electors (as Private Corporate interests take over more and more of the real power, located in the cabinet).

Savoie isn't in the condition of many MPs - "bribed, coerced, harassed, ordered into silence". But he reveals a terrible failing of academics. He hasn't fought on issues, hasn't bloodied himself in the arena, listens to what he is told, and doesn't really understand key things - or doesn't want to. Nevertheless, he has written the first sustained attempt to look at the changes happening.

And so, interviewing past and present cabinet ministers, high-ranking civil servants; studying reports and documents; examining machineries like Access to Information, and much more, Donald Savoie seems to miss the essential point of the changes. Why are they happening, and what, exactly, is happening?

Prime Ministers haven't shaped small groups of often unelected "advisors" to get good things done - but to get the wrong things done. Parliament is not changing and reorganizing on behalf of efficiency, quick response, and effectiveness in supplying needs and fulfilling the hopes of Canadians.

The things that matter to Canadians - health care, preservation of the environment, the struggle for peace, care of the vulnerable, defence of Canadian independent control of Canada's natural wealth, for instance, are being down-graded, and/or denied, and/or actively betrayed by Parliament.

Efficiency is not being sought and achieved to satisfy the electorate, but to serve Private Corporations and Private Greed. Efficiency is being sought and achieved in order to by-pass Canadians and to disable Parliament.

Private Greed is, of course, mirrored in the petty larcenies of political interest groups and their friends. But its larger face is the greed of those who manipulate the levers of imperial policy on behalf of the huge corporate interests devoted to gaining wealth and power through rape, pillage, and any other effective method. It is they who create a "War on Terror", generalized hatred of the Muslim world, an insolubly belligerent Middle East, an Africa in endless turmoil and tragedy, a visibly degrading global environment, and a Canada less and less in control of its most important interests.

In their policies human life and human dignity are empty phrases used in after-dinner speeches. To achieve their ends, human life and human dignity must be trampled underfoot. Look around you.

How - on the Canadian scene (and the British one, as Donald Savoie argues) - are Canadians being by-passed and Parliament disabled? Quite simply.

In the always changing democracies of Canada and Britain a structure had been built of delicate but real effect. MPs came from the people (though not always as purely as they should have). The cabinet (government, in effect) was "responsible" to Parliament. It had to answer, that is, to its own MPs and to the Opposition - or be removed. (Governments "fell" and elections ensued.) Cabinet solidarity existed, members making choices together and being "responsible" together. A "failed" cabinet minister resigned. A "failed" cabinet "fell".

Never completely effective, of course, that structure ensured that the people had to be heard. But when the people are heard seriously, Private Corporate greed is restrained. (Strong forms of socialism exist to remove Private Corporations altogether, hoping, thereby, to remove the problem of corporate greed undermining effective government by and for the people.)

When private corporate greed is fully successful, it takes over - becomes - government. That is what is happening now, and the process in Canada is being fast-tracked today by the Stephen Harper group. In alliance with major imperial corporations and U.S. policies, the Harper Group (Donald Savoie would call it the Harper Court) will, if permitted, destroy Parliament completely.

Globe and Mail (August 13 08 A4), for instance, reports a Harper Party official (almost certainly under his orders) has advised witnesses to ignore summons to testify before a Parliamentary Committee looking at alleged fraudulent Harper Party use of election monies. The Globe for August 14 08 A1/A4 continues the story, adding that suspicion is hardening around an allegation of major organization to frustrate Parliamentary procedure (in Committee) by the Stephen Harper group.

That is just one of many pieces of evidence that Stephen Harper and/or his agents - by, in this case, violating a sacred convention of Parliament - are working to prevent the elected representatives of the people of Canada from making Parliament work.

The Stephen Harper group will, if permitted, destroy medicare (to increase private, medical profits); will assist environmental destruction (on behalf of private profit-seekers); will engage in U.S. wars (to please armament manufacturers and U.S. power); will savage services to the weak and the aged (on behalf of profit-driven "care" givers); and will continue giving up Canadian independence and natural wealth (a) to serve U.S. policies and (b) to "internationalize" the power of Private Corporations (for whom, finally, U.S. imperial power exists and operates).

Private Corporate (imperial) power is so entrenched in Canada in our time that any Canadian government will be influenced by it. It happens, however, that the Stephen Harper group is not merely affected by it but is its enthusiastic supporter and collaborator.

Private Corporate Greed moves more and more into power in Canada by simple changes. 1. The cabinet exists in name only; it has been effectively erased. Decisions are made by the Stephen Harper group - elected and unelected "advisors" in and outside Harper's office.

Cabinet ministers are castrated. They take orders from unelected "advisors" inside and outside Harper's office.

2. Harper MPs are, effectively, erased. They are embarrassing propagandists for anti-parliamentary actions and policies. Otherwise, they are gagged - many working hard on non-policy, constituency business in order to secure future votes and to do busy work. They cease, in effect, to be parliamentarians and become local "facilitators". Many have no self-respect and have sold out their integrity completely.

Other MPs, who should be on the front line of parliamentary debate, research, and policy combat, are similarly muzzled by "front office leadership" in their parties.

3.Civil servants are targeted by the "advisors" in and out of Stephen Harper's office. They must "go along" or be erased. That process spreads outward. "Dependable" civil servants are appointed outside government to assure (rancid) policy.

A civil servant in Stockwell Day's department was appointed, in a new initiative, as Commissioner of the RCMP. William Elliott, I believe, shows himself to be a lackey and stooge for the Harper group, holding a lid on moves to clean up the RCMP. An unclean RCMP, apparently, is what the Stephen Harper group wants. One of William Elliott's choicest (publicly visible) Police State moves was to call the Vancouver Airport RCMP killers of Robert Dziekanski to sympathize with them, failing to call Dziekanski's mother to offer his condolences.

4. The "private" sector has been brought into the daily workings of government. That is one more reason to say Private Corporations have "become" or are becoming government. CGI (Information Technology - and other - corporation), for instance, has moved into critically important and confidential areas of both federal and provincial governments and Crown Corporations - as well as the RCMP and the some Superior Court systems.

In at least one case (one that has managed to achieve a little public notice) - the Kelly Marie Richard Dental Malpractice Case - in Calgary, CGI is alleged to have (criminally) entered confidential Alberta government Health and Wellness records, changed them, and gained RCMP, government, and judges of Court of Queen's Bench cooperation to prevent investigation of the alleged crime and to destroy the action for damages.

The Kelly Marie Richard case is one in which three people - a mother and two sons - are seeking damages against orthodontists for whom CGI is defending litigator. The allegations made by Ms. Richard and her sons are very, very serious. The case, fundamentally, is a matter between two parties in Civil Law. But the allegations of misconduct or failure to fulfill obligations of judges, RCMP, Alberta cabinet members, and others force questions upon concerned Canadians about parliamentary democracy. Does the presence of Private Corporation employees in government departments, paid by the Private Corporations and loyal to them, change the nature of civil service loyalty? And are those Private Corporations becoming so powerful they can order wrongful responses from police, courts, and cabinets?

What are Private Corporation employees ordered to do that may destroy the integrity of government and parliaments?

Not only have relatively harmless administrative matters formerly run by civil servants been "privatized". But whole, large bodies of privately employed workers (employees of CGI, for example) have been brought in "alongside" civil servants. The loyalty of privately employed workers is NOT to Canada or the government of Canada but to private corporate employers who are, in fact, invading and becoming government (from inside as well as from outside?).

Much, much more might be said on the subject. Robbers are in the vaults of Canadian Democracy. The threat they pose is masked because they have accessories and helpers in all the democratic institutions Canadians believe are there to assure the safety and the continuing vitality of our "free society". Canadians will learn much by reading Donald Savoie's new book on Court Government (the first I know to address the problem at length). But they won't learn what they should. He fails to identify the seriousness of the threat. He fails to say what the threat really is and why the people who form it won't stop destroying Canadian Democracy until Canadians wake up and throw them out of the vaults.

They are there as Private Corporations, claiming to be the most fitting government for Canadians. They are, in fact, robbers in the vault, and unless they are stopped they will make off with everything Canadians value. And they will make the country a Police State run to please private greed and private ambition.

Thank you, Robin. With the next pre-trial hearing coming up on September 17 for the BC Rail Case, I hope you'll be able to attend and to give us further insights into the puzzling questions of what's going on in this province and particularly in BC Supreme Court with this important trial. I hope that many other people will be in the public gallery of Vancouver Law Courts that day, too, to contribute their views. - BC Mary.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


With Battershill, a vast shift took place ...


Times Colonist
Letters to the Editor -
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I work with individuals who are homeless, substance users, work in the sex trade, mentally ill, HIV+ and have many more issues.

I worked with these people before and after Paul Battershill came came to Victoria as police chief. With Battershill, a vast shift took place throughout the department. Officers no longer referred to clients in derogatory terms. The gap between clients and police became less complicated. The change was incredible.

Extreme changes occurred in attitudes in the department. Police looked at those living off the avails of sex trade workers and "johns," instead of only stigmatizing workers.

Changes transpired about substance use. Battershill experienced Vancouver and how this "throw away" population can end up. I witnessed him and other officers working to prevent that.

When I lodged a complaint for clients involving an officer or "bad date," it was taken seriously. An acknowledgement response came immediately, with updates. Before Battershill, bad date reports or complaints against officers were often refused.

He was extremely approachable. He walked city streets, taking time to talk to business owners, panhandlers or finding somewhere for an intoxicated individual to spend the night.

He always supported and attended many causes, including community occasions, fundraisers and controversial events.

I'm not alone in saying that Battershill will be missed enormously.

Karen Dennis

Times Colonist update - August 21, 2008:

Watchdog to release info on Battershill investigation
Commissioner says he'll provide public with 'a basic general understanding'

Rob Shaw
Times Colonist - Thursday, August 21, 2008


Monday, August 18, 2008


Gerald Hartwig, Election Readiness Chair, Victoria Federal Liberal Riding

Gerald Hartwig, Election Readiness Chair for the Executive Committee of the Victoria Federal Liberal Riding Association, is a Victoria developer whose actions triggered the investigation of Victoria's highly regarded Chief Constable, Paul Battershill.

From: 2001 Guide to 100 [Victoria] Properties, Who owns what: The old B.C. Produce building on Pandora, owned by Victoria developer Gerald Hartwig, is slated for a fixup. Hartwig plans a mix of retail and residential. Hartwig also owns buildings on Fisgard and View streets, as well as one at the corner of Pembroke and Government streets. Hartwig's father Hans built Nootka Court at the corner of Humboldt and Douglas streets.

Gerald Hartwig, of Hartwig Industries Ltd, is in the news this week because he has negotiated an option to buy the historic Northern Junk buildings at 1314 and 1316-1318 Wharf St., adjacent to the Inner Harbour. They date back to 1864 and are treasured by heritage advocates who see them as important links to the city's past. [Times Colonist, August 14, 2008] {Snip} ...

The Northern Junk buildings were at one time connected to the harbour via wharves. Goods would be unloaded from ships and sold at the storefront entrance.

Hartwig has already amassed a track record of recommissioning heritage buildings, including the A-Channel building at 1420 Broad St. and Chandler's Seafood Restaurant at 1250 Wharf St.

The Northern Junk buildings were recently offered for sale with a $1.975 million price tag. Another heritage building, the nearby Janion at 1612-1614 Store St., is being offered for $2.48 million. {Snip} ...

Gerald Hartwig is a member of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and its Street Issues Liaison Committee which worked to identify the services provided by the social agencies, agency mandates, gaps, solutions and resources required to address the emerging social issues in the downtown core. Major Problems identified were:
- lack of safe, affordable housing,
- lack of appropriate mental health and addictions treatment
- unemployment
- lack of co-ordination among service providers.

But no problems were mentioned about Victoria police services.

Gerald Hartwig is the man who hired David Mulroney (lawyer and failed Liberal candidate for Saanich - Gulf Islands 2005 election) to search for possible wrongdoing on the part of Victoria's Chief Constable.

Mulroney (David S. Mulroney Co.) was an interesting choice, rich with Campbell "Liberal" connections. Mulroney's campaign manager for Saanich - Gulf Islands was Jamie Elmhirst, the smoothest and most competent political operator to graduate from the University of Victoria's Young Liberal campus club, who had worked as an aide to both Premier Gordon Campbell and Victoria MP David Anderson.

Still, David Mulroney described Gerald Hartwig's efforts amply by saying " it would not be fair to characterize it as anything other than fishing."

No wrongdoing or misconduct by Chief Battershill was found.

Gerald Hartwig has not been held accountable for the confusion, trauma, and expense caused by his search.

Gerald Hartwig is the Election Readiness Chair for the Victoria Federal Liberal Riding Association as of May 2008.


Sunday, August 17, 2008


David Mulroney explains it as fishing.

Somebody started this nightmare.

We don't know who it was, except that he was the client of a lawyer named David Mulroney (quoted below) who said quite clearly: "
it would not be fair to characterize it as anything other than fishing." He made this statement even before the RCMP review began. So ... who pushed that investigation ahead? Why?

Somebody was known to be on a fishing expedition, trying to find something against the Chief of Police. He used a lawyer who had been on the Campbell team while seeking a seat in the 2005 federal election. Did nobody notice the political stench?

Somehow the RCMP was called in, and told to undertake a full investigation at considerable public expense. Paul Battershill had to defend himself, too.

Question is, why is the public left to pay the bill? If it was known to be a fishing expedition, and it was proven that there was no basis for these allegations, isn't this ... well, sorta like public mischief? Therefore, isn't this mysterious person responsible for all the costs, beginning with Paul Battershill's $15,000. legal bill? - BC Mary.

From CTV News staff
Oct. 11, 2007

The suspension was believed to be sparked by Freedom of Information requests made by lawyer David Mulroney.

... Battershill was suspended with pay after an emergency police board meeting was called late Wednesday [Oct. 11, 2007] to discuss a letter that alleged misconduct. Officials have not officially said what the allegations against him are.

"It's a personnel issue that has come to light which the police board felt that we needed to review. Obviously we needed to give the chief time as well to review the allegations and seek further direction," [Mayor Alan] Lowe told reporters.

The suspension was believed to be sparked by Freedom of Information requests made by lawyer David Mulroney.

Mulroney told CTV News the requests were made for a client concerned about the quality of policing in Victoria's downtown.

"My client disagrees with some of the allocation of resources that has been going on and feels that we haven't had as good of policing as we could have," Mulroney told CTV News. "We have no specific knowledge of impropriety and therefore it would not be fair to characterize it as anything other than fishing." [The emphasis has been added. - BC Mary.]

Mulroney made two related Freedom of Information requests in September, both focused on Battershill's expense accounts and details about personnel dismissals.

The first request asked for information on the salary, benefits and employment-related expenses of senior personnel at the Victoria Police Department.

It also asked for the chief's records of expense dating back to 2004.

The second request asked for all records of any civilian and regular personnel dismissed without cause from the Victoria Police Department since 2004.

As well, information on a review into taser use done by Battershill was requested.

Mulroney also sought information surrounding Battershill's role overseeing the investigation of Const. Lisa Alford, of the West Vancouver Police Department.

Alford pleaded guilty to drunk driving in November 2005, after rear-ending a car on her way home from a drinking party held at her police station.

She retained her position with the police, but temporarily lost her licence and paid a $600 fine.

Mulroney said a letter he wrote to the law firm that represents the Victoria Police Department, pointing out the conflict of interest surrounding the police chief handling freedom of information requests for his own documents, was dismissed.

{Snip} ...

With files from The Canadian Press and CTV British Columbia's Jim Beatty


Lawyer David Mulroney at first refused to identify his client. But unidentified sources in one article say that the client is -- or was -- Gerald Hartwig, a Victoria developer.

There's a Gerald Hartwig newly elected as Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Planning Commission (Minutes: May 6, 2008).

- BC Mary.



The mysterious suspension and resignation of Police Chief Paul Battershill


The Province - August 17, 2008

Despite the opening up of society in so many ways in recent years, too many B.C. government agencies still seem to cling to the notion that, since they know best what is best for the public, they don't need to keep it informed as to what they are doing.

{Snip} ...

A classic case of this is the secrecy surrounding the mysterious suspension and resignation of Victoria's municipal police chief, Paul Battershill.

Battershill, once a highly regarded manager, was suspended last October -- with taxpayers still picking up the tab for his $167,000-a-year salary -- while the Mounties probed unknown allegations against him.

He has now stepped down following the RCMP's report -- which, according to Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe, found the chief had not committed any criminal acts or been involved in any financial impropriety.

Nevertheless, Lowe said that, as a result of the probe, the board had suffered a loss of confidence in Battershill and accepted his immediate resignation.

But as Victoria Times Colonist reporter Rob Shaw discovered, the RCMP probe into Battershill's conduct was never about criminal allegations, but about "Police Act matters," such as possible disciplinary breaches.

The difference between the two types of investigation appears to have been conveniently blurred when Lowe announced Battershill's resignation.

It also emerges that, with the exception of the mayor, the Victoria police board members approved the chief's resignation without seeing the full results of the RCMP probe. The attitude of one member, Ralston Alexander, appears all too typical.

"If we've lost public confidence, I guess they won't elect us next time -- oh, whoops, we're not elected," he was quoted in the Times Colonist as saying.

{Snip} ...

Perhaps Ralston Alexander spoke true words because "he" feels he acted as part of the "we" who does get elected in British Columbia. - BC Mary.

Letter to the Editor of Times Colonist:

Former chief guilty only by inference

Times Colonist - Sunday, August 17, 2008

The public demands disclosure of the allegations against former Victoria police chief Paul Battershill but is not entitled.

Victoria Police Board members are entitled and should demand all of the facts but they don't. Shame on them.

Add to this the possibly of a less-than-objective mayor who decides who needs to know what, and the seeds of injustice are sown. Only one thing is certain: The RCMP found no evidence of wrongdoing with respect to the unspecified allegations. Yet uncertainty prevails because a disciplinary hearing under the Police Act was slated next.

Could this be a case of if you can't eliminate your opponent with a sword, try poison?

Naturally, each side (Battershill in particular) is forbidden from disclosing the facts or discussing the matter. But apparently this does not apply to casting aspersions by Mayor Alan Lowe, stating that (because of the unspecified allegations) the police board has lost confidence in the chief.

So there you have it: Due process, absent the facts, Battershill is guilty by inference and discredited ad hominem.

Mark Frantzen

Question: What is preventing the original righteous complainer from disclosing his allegations? Remember him ... a lawyer named Mulroney or Mahoney or something, who was a losing candidate for the Campbell Liberals in the last B.C. election? Nobody seems to mention his part in this disaster anymore. Anybody know? - BC Mary.


Saturday, August 16, 2008


More about Paul Battershill's leading role in the Legislature Raids

O Lord, send us another rainy week so that we can read the many clues hiding under the google heading "Political corruption + British Columbia". I found 246,000 hits with (believe it or not) former Premier Glen Clark listed first!!! And he was innocent!

So ... when it rains, check where I found these excerpts mentioning then-Chief of Victoria Police Paul Battershill's activities during the Project "Everywhichway" investigation and eventual raids on the B.C. Legislature etc.

" ... What began 20 months ago as a joint RCMP-Victoria police investigation into the sale of B.C. marijuana in the U.S. has ballooned into a massive police probe that reaches into the highest ranks of the provincial Liberal party.

Details are slowly beginning to emerge about an investigation that has already involved some of the biggest names in provincial and federal politics, including the husband of Deputy Premier Christy Clark.

While some of those involved so far are well-known Liberal activists at provincial and federal levels, Ward stressed the parties themselves are not under investigation at the moment.

Ward said an investigation was launched by police in the spring of 2002 into the involvement of organized crime in the sale of B.C.-grown marijuana in the U.S. in exchange for cocaine, which was then re-sold in Canada.

But in the course of its investigation, Ward said, police came across evidence of other crimes -- which led to Sunday's raid on the offices of two ministerial assistants at the legislature.

"As a result of our drug investigation into organized crime, other information came to light and another investigation was begun," Ward said.

Both Basi and Virk were political appointees given their jobs by cabinet.

Basi is a prominent organizer for provincial and federal Liberal parties and is a well known supporter of Minister Paul Martin .

The legislature was just one of several premises searched by the RCMP and Victoria police during the weekend.

Also searched was the home office of Mark Marissen, husband of Deputy Premier Christie Clark, and Pilothouse Public Affairs Group, a private lobbying firm doing business in Victoria and Vancouver.

Marissen, who is a long-time supporter of Paul Martin confirmed Monday that police visited his home, where he operates Burrard Communications, his personal business.

Marissen, who was Martin's campaign chairman in B.C. and will now lead the federal election campaign here, would not comment on the ramifications to the federal Liberal party of key insiders being drawn into the scandal.

He said only that the B.C. chapter of the party "has to figure out what our next steps are."

While her husband talked to police Sunday, Clark said she "has not been questioned or interviewed".

Also raided over the weekend were the two offices of Pilothouse Public Affairs Group.

Pilothouse's two directors are Brian Kieran and Erik Bornman.

Kieran has an office in Victoria while Bornman works out of his home in Vancouver.

According to Pilothouse's Web site, Bornman has more than "a decade of political experience inside both the B.C. Liberal party and the Liberal party of Canada."

"I've been made aware of the concerns that these circumstances have raised. I don't fully understand all the issues, and at this time I am simply trying to collect further information that I will be discussing with our advisers," said Bornman, who worked as an aide for Martin when the "prime minister" was finance minister.

Bornman is currently communications director for the B.C. chapter of the federal Liberal party.

RCMP Sgt. John Ward said nine search warrants were executed on Sunday. Ward said the information that police presented to the courts to obtain the search warrants has been sealed.

While no arrests have been made in connection with the weekend raids, Ward said nine people -- three in Toronto and six in Victoria and Vancouver -- were arrested "about 10 days ago" in connection with the sale of marijuana.

Victoria police chief Paul Battershill confirmed the drug investigation is connected to the suspension with pay on Dec. 15 of Victoria police Constable Ravinder Dosanjh .

Battershill said there is an "indirect relationship" between the suspended officer and either Virk or Basi.

The drug probe is targeting a suspected influential Victoria trafficker related to Victoria Police Officer Dosanjh.

The alleged trafficker is also a relative of a Vancouver resident who has worked on provincial and federal Liberal campaigns and was involved in Martin's B.C. campaign.

Speaking by phone from Maui, Hawaii, Premier Gordon Campbell said he is concerned about the investigation and the taint it could have on his government.

"Obviously it's troubling to everyone," he said.

Campbell said he has every confidence in Collins and Reid and doesn't believe they need to return to B.C. from their vacations, as the NDP [Themselves decimated in the last election for their own numerous brushes with criminal activities involving high level Ministries] allegedly "demanded".

Coleman said he didn't think the raid would damage "his consistent message about getting tough on crime".

Ward guessed that the province's marijuana industry alone is worth about $6 billion a year. A figure which reflex [reflects] the self-serving policies produced by both the police and various levels of federal and provincial governments which experts admit only serves to make the product highly lucrative to organized crime. See link for related story

Over two dozen officers -- including uniformed Victoria police and plainclothes RCMP -- were involved in Sunday's search of the legislature. [My emphasis added. Can anyone explain why the RCMP while on official duties were in plainclothes? - BC Mary]

The officers took several hours to search the large offices of Collins and Reid, and the smaller offices of their entire staff, before emerging with nearly three dozen large cardboard boxes that needed an entire van to carry.

Vancouver lawyer William Berardino has once again been appointed "an independent special prosecutor" in the case, which is a common procedure when criminal investigations may involve politicians. This makes cover up easier, when you have a 'go to guy' we can rely on - said a crown source who wished to remain anonymous. [Wow! Wow!! Sorry, couldn't help that. - BC Mary.]

Police Chief Battershill said the investigation is "likely to take several months".

"We're in for a lengthy investigation," he said. "It will take several months to develop before the entire file is presented to the special prosecutor ."


And, October 12, 2006:

Victoria police officer Ravinder (Rob) Singh Dosanjh has been found guilty of obstruction of justice in a case linked to the December 2003 police raids on the B.C. legislature.

In North Vancouver provincial court yesterday, Judge Carol Baird Ellan found Dosanjh counselled his cousin to lie about the ownership of $35,000 in suspected drug money found in his cousin's home during an undercover operation. He dismissed claims by Dosanjh that his taped telephone conversation with his cousin Mandeep Sandhu on Dec. 9, 2003, was an attempt to console him and give him "false hope" that he would get the money back.

The conversation came after police raided Sandhu's home earlier that day and confiscated the cash and three ounces of marijuana.

According to evidence, Victoria police had suspected Sandhu of being a drug dealer since the late 1990s, and friends within the department had warned Dosanjh -- who was on the force 13 years -- to stay away from his younger cousin. By early 2003, the police department came to fear that Dosanjh was leaking information to Sandhu and set up an undercover operation with the assistance of the RCMP's anti-corruption unit.

That operation led to the December 2003 raid. A drug charge laid against Sandhu as a result of the raid has since been stayed.

After hearing about the verdict yesterday, Victoria police Chief Paul Battershill said that members of the force "are sad for Rob and his family. He was well regarded here."

But, he added: "There's also some realization that the department was able to deal with it properly when it came to our attention."

Dosanjh, who was suspended without pay from the Victoria police department in January 2005, still faces a Police Act investigation, which will eventually be reviewed by the police complaint commissioner.

"The police act has to proceed because of his employment status," said Battershill. "He's still technically a police officer."

The chief did not know whether Dosanjh planned to appeal his conviction.

According to the judge, although Dosanjh was given a dozen opportunities to feed false information to his cousin and other associates, there was no indication Dosanjh crossed the line.

The investigation wound down in the fall of 2003, but wiretaps were still in place on both Sandhu and Dosanjh's phones. The wiretaps captured their conversation concerning the raid on Sandhu's home.

A transcript shows Dosanjh asking his cousin if the police found anything. Sandhu tells him they found more than $30,000 in cash. Dosanjh tells Sandhu he shouldn't have kept the money at home and tells him to say it belonged to his father. He later advises Sandhu to say it belongs to his uncle or to say he'd been saving it up over the years.

Ellan said it was clear from the conversation that "Dosanjh believed the cash was proceeds of crime."

"At the end of the conversation, Dosanjh left Sandhu armed with advice that if accepted and acted upon would obstruct justice," said the judge.

Dosanjh left the courthouse yesterday with tearful family members. He told reporters he had nothing to say.

A date for a sentencing hearing has yet to be set.

The investigation of Dosanjh and Sandhu was part of a large police probe that also led to the Dec. 28, 2003, police raids on the legislature after which drug charges were laid against several people. Those were followed by breach of trust charges against former ministerial aides Dave Basi and Bob Virk, whose offices at the legislature were searched. Their trial date has been delayed.


Friday, August 15, 2008


Victoria Police Board never saw report into Battershill allegations

They approved the Police Chief's resignation without seeing the investigation report into the allegations? This is almost unbelievable. Today the Battershill Case is being reported around the world. The highly-respected former Chief of Police for B.C.'s capital city was co-leader of the police raid on the B.C. Legislature and as such, he will be an important witness in the trials arising from that raid. Whatever happens to Paul Battershill is of vital interest to every citizen of this province. The CanWest-owned Victoria Times Colonist so far is leading the way in reporting developments (as it should be), but there's still a long, long way to go before we know if a respected public servant is being treated fairly. Or if B.C. is functioning as a fair and open democracy. My question today is: How could the Police Board "lose confidence" in the former Chief of Police without seeing the RCMP report? Did they base that serious decision solely on something Mayor Lowe said to them?" - BC Mary.


Police board never saw report into allegations

Lindsay Kines and Rob Shaw
Canwest News Service - August 15, 2008

VICTORIA - Victoria police board members approved the resignation of police chief Paul Battershill without seeing the investigation report into the allegations against him.

Mayor Alan Lowe, the chairman of the police board, said he was the only board member to review the full results of an RCMP probe into Battershill's conduct.

Lowe, who was also a witness in the RCMP investigation and was interviewed by Mounties, told the Times Colonist editorial board he provided the other police board members with only some information -- the amount he determined they needed to make their decision.

The nine-member board, which is supposed to provide civilian oversight of the police, subsequently decided that it had suffered a "loss of confidence" in Battershill's leadership.

Lowe announced Wednesday that the board had accepted Battershill's resignation effective immediately, cancelled a disciplinary hearing, promised never to discuss the accusations against Battershill, and agreed to pay $15,000 toward his legal costs. The board also issued a statement saying the probe found no evidence of any criminal or financial wrongdoing.

The revelation that board members acted without seeing the investigation report renewed questions Thursday about the effectiveness of municipal police boards and whether mayors wield too much influence.

In his 1994 inquiry into policing in B.C., then-judge Wally Oppal recommended reducing the mayors' role by denying them the ability to chair police boards and cast votes.

"Board members should be as apolitical as possible, and as a political representative, a mayor would be an inappropriate chair," the report said.

The recommendation has never been adopted by successive NDP and Liberal governments. But Oppal, who is now the province's attorney-general, said Thursday that he stands by his report.

"We recommended that strongly at the time because we thought that the mayor, by virtue of his or her position, plays an inordinately strong role, and for that reason should not be the chair of the board," he said. "I still think that that's something that needs to be looked at."

Solicitor-General John van Dongen, however, has responsibility for policing in B.C. and he was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Victoria police board members, meanwhile, refused to discuss why they did not see the investigation report before making their decision.

"It was not a report we were privy to," board member Christine Stoneman said. She stated, however, that she's comfortable with the decision to approve the settlement with Battershill.

"The board decided on it together," she said. "We're intelligent people and made the decision."

Board member Ralston Alexander declined to discuss the process. "If we've lost public confidence I guess they won't elect us next time -- oh, whoops, we're not elected," he said.

But Vancouver lawyer Cameron Ward, who specializes in civil rights cases and has represented a number of police complainants, said the public deserves more information and is surprised the board members didn't ask for it.

"Police officers are public servants. The police chief was a senior public servant who received public funding for an extended absence. The public, or at the very least, its representatives on the police board, should receive the investigative report and be apprised of the full reasons for his departure, especially since the disciplinary hearing will not proceed."

Ward said it's been his experience that police boards are generally ineffectual and "tend to be extremely deferential to the mayor and police chief."

He called on government to reform the Police Act and enshrine Oppal's recommendations.


A bit more detail from Times Colonist, August 15, 2008:

Complaints solely involved Police Act, not Criminal Code

Rob Shaw,
Times Colonist - August 15, 2008

Former Victoria police chief Paul Battershill may have been publicly cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, but B.C.'s police watchdog says the nine-month RCMP investigation into his conduct was never even about criminal allegations.

Police Complaint Commissioner Dirk Ryneveld said yesterday the accusations against Battershill "referred only to Police Act matters" -- generally defined as violations of public trust, conduct and confidence.

Unlike criminal charges, which go to court and can conclude with jail time, the Police Act is disciplinary in nature and an officer can only be reprimanded, suspended or fired from their job. The type of allegations are different as well -- criminal charges refer to the numerous laws in the Criminal Code, while the Police Act refers to provincial rules on public trust, abuse of authority, discreditable conduct, negligence of duty, deceit, corrupt practices and improper disclosure of information.

The significant difference between the two was blurred Wednesday when Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe announced Battershill's resignation.

"The investigation completed by the RCMP did not find that Battershill had committed any criminal acts, had any involvement with any criminal activity, nor did it find any financial impropriety," he said at a press conference.

Lowe did not return a call for comment yesterday to explain why he described the investigation only in criminal terms, when it was known to not focus on those issues.

When asked if Police Act allegations had been substantiated against Battershill, Lowe said he could not answer the question because the Victoria Police Board and Battershill had signed a non-disclosure agreement.

However, under Police Act rules, an officer only faces a disciplinary hearing if an investigation recommends discipline in at least one or more allegations, Ryneveld said.

(Snip) ...

Battershill was removed from the chief's position last October while the RCMP investigated the unknown allegations against him. A team of four RCMP officers interviewed dozens of witnesses to produce their final report April 24. If the RCMP uncovered any criminal activity along the way, they were free to pursue it, said Ryneveld.

So ... wasn't that just special ... Victoria's Mayor Alan Lowe reassuring us that
"The investigation completed by the RCMP did not find that Battershill had committed any criminal acts, had any involvement with any criminal activity, nor did it find any financial impropriety," when he knew damn well that such allegations had never been raised in the first place.

Very, very clever ... very political ... very stinky. And I think people are increasingly impatient with this sneaky, sleazy stuff.

Special thanks to Rob Shaw and Victoria Times Colonist for digging deeper on this important issue. - BC Mary.


Thursday, August 14, 2008


To Globe and Mail from BC Mary

Today's Globe and Mail story:
Victoria police chief's exit shrouded in secrecy
Print Edition 14/08/08 Page S1

Embattled Victoria police chief Paul Battershill officially resigned his post this week, 10 months after he was suspended over an unspecified ''personnel matter'' and less than a week before a B.C. Police Complaint Commission disciplinary hearing. {Snip} ...

Comment #22: You (BC Mary, from Canada) wrote:

Because Paul Battershill, as Chief Constable of Victoria Police, was co-leader of the police raid on the B.C. Legislature (Dec. 28/03) ... and because of CanWest's indifference to that news ... I run a blog called The Legislature Raids. So I have watched this side-show with great concern.

  1. Research tells me that Battershill is an outstanding cop, forward-thinking as well as courageous. His creds were proven when he was asked to step into a short-term management position for the City of Victoria. Now, as the trial arising out of the Legislature raid is coming closer, people might well question whether this man is being deliberately side-lined before he gives evidence. The findings are that he did nothing wrong, didn't associate with wrong-doing, and made no financial errors. So ... ?

  2. The comments on this thread suggest to me that other people believe that we're seeing a good cop being harassed until he quits. Is this OK? I don't think so.

    I wish Paul Battershill well and hope that he returns to public service in some other city, or some other way. I don't see how we can keep denouncing "bad cops" while letting this sort of witch-hunt happen to a good cop under a cloud of official secrecy.

    The Legislature Raids
Note: Don't ask me why those numbers appear in the left column. They just do, and I can't get rid of them. My faithful eMac computer is dying. So it's been difficult to get the URL for each item, too. Takes about 10x as long to do anything. New iMac arrives soon. Things should look better then. Right now, though, I need to write to Gary Mason who is busy bashing B.C. cops again today. Fine. But what about Paul Battershill, I say.

Below is part of Victoria Times Colonist's editorial on Battershill; definitely one of the best so far. - BC Mary.

Times Colonist - August 14, 2008

Just over two years ago -- on May 23, 2006 -- the City of Victoria and Mayor Alan Lowe had such great confidence in the leadership abilities of Police Chief Paul Battershill that he was appointed acting city manager.

Before that, the Edmonton police department had wanted him as its chief. Some provincial New Democrats had even approached him about taking at run at their leadership.

To call him highly regarded seemed an understatement.

Yet yesterday Lowe, in his capacity as chairman of the Victoria Police Board, announced that the board had lost confidence in Battershill's ability to lead the police department and that Battershill had resigned as chief.

What happened?

{SNIP} ...

... the police board and Battershill reached a settlement agreement that prevents either party from disclosing the contents of the RCMP's investigation report into the allegations against Battershill.

The only exception was to disclose that the investigation, by Supt. Bill Ard, "did not find any financial impropriety on the part of Battershill, nor did it find that Battershill had committed any criminal acts, or had any involvement with any criminal activity."

That might eliminate some of the wilder speculation surrounding Battershill's departure but it doesn't offer any clues as to what caused the police board's loss of confidence in the chief.

Lowe has said repeatedly that it's a "personnel" issue. The taxpayers of Victoria deserve a better explanation than that.

{Snip} ...

Victoria taxpayers, who have underwritten Battershill's $167,000 annual salary since his suspension, would surely like to know what led to the chief's fall from grace. Lowe had the authority to release Ard's report, but the settlement agreement with Battershill, which includes the city paying $15,000 toward his legal expenses, precludes that.

Lowe has passed the buck now to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, which could convene a public hearing if the commissioner believes it would be in the public interest.

Since Battershill is no longer a police officer, a hearing would not result in any disciplinary action. It might, however, help the public determine whether or not Battershill's resignation is a just outcome.

Not that any discipline is necessarily warranted. We don't even know the nature of the allegations, let alone the outcome of Ard's investigation.

All we really know is that the city no longer has to pay Battershill for staying at home, and that it can concentrate on finding a new leader. [That's a helluva snide way to describe the situation -- "paying Battershill for staying at home". Can they just not stop themselves from dissing? - BC Mary.]

That's small consolation for keeping taxpayers in the dark about how such a highly regarded chief as Paul Battershill could fall out of favour.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Mr Floatie, secret BCRail informant?

By Iain Hunter
Times Colonist - June 18, 2008

If three B.C. government aides, David and Aneal Basi and Bob Virk, ever get their days in court on charges of corruption in connection with the sale of B.C. Rail in 2003, one of the intriguing questions will be who ratted.

The trial should determine what value, if any, the evidence provided against the three has, but the Crown is doing its damndest to ensure that the identity of "a police informant" is kept secret.

Since the layabouts in the legislative press gallery have seemed unable to out this character by now, I feel bound to reveal those whom I suspect:

Mr. Floatie -- There's no question that in his capacity as Premier Gordon Campbell's chosen adviser on sewage disposal policy, this fellow has had significant ministerial contacts and a penchant for getting to the bottom of things. If something stank about the B.C. Rail deal, he'd have been sure to smell it.

Paul Battershill -- I found it odd that during the police raid on the legislature Victoria's former chief constable wasn't there, standing in the shadows, as his modesty often dictated during major operations of this sort -- such as rousting unhappy people sleeping on the legislative lawns. It's entirely in keeping with that modesty that he should wish his identity kept secret. As chief, what information he had about bribery and corruption in high places would have had considerable influence on the police investigation. Or so one would think.

{Snip} ...

Conrad Black -- He took as his title on assuming a British peerage, Lord Black of Crossharbour. Crossharbour is a stop on the Docklands light railway in London. Conrad Black has always liked trains. It's rumoured that he had a model railway in his offices when he was proprietor of the Daily Telegraph. It's obvious that ownership of B.C. Rail would have given him the beginnings of a CPR-like trans-Canada railway and a bigger place in history than he's likely to have now. For, alas, he seems to have fallen on his Last Spike.

Gordon Campbell -- The premier has to know a bribe when he sees one. All premiers bribe voters with bridges and highways and things at election time, but Campbell hands out cash to First Nations people to get them to ratify treaties and to everyone to make his carbon tax palatable. It's obvious that he'd resent anyone else intruding on his turf.



A good man is down. Ask why.

... The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner appointed the RCMP to conduct an investigation under terms of reference ... in accordance with the Police Act ... The report was completed on April 24 [2008]. The RCMP investigation did not find that [former Victoria Chief Constable Paul] Battershill had committed any criminal acts, or that he had any involvement in criminal activity, nor did it find any financial impropriety ...

The Victoria Police Board considers this matter closed.

Mayor Alan Lowe


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Paul Martin - G. Campbell Connections

Political Connections


Georgia Straight - January 8, 2004
By Bill Tieleman

Information obtained exclusively by the Georgia Straight raises new questions about the drugs, money, and organized-crime investigation that led to police search warrants being executed last week at the B.C. legislature and the homes and offices of several key provincial and federal Liberals.

The information also shows the extensive links between the Paul Martin federal and Gordon Campbell provincial Liberals. It includes: a list of more than 11,000 Indo-Canadian federal Liberal political supporters in British Columbia obtained by the Straight that indicates the potential extent of Liberal membership sign-ups done by the Martin leadership campaign; confirmation that the federal Liberal party in B.C. privately chartered an airliner to fly more than 200 Young Liberals from Vancouver to the November leadership convention in Toronto at a cost of almost $90,000; and extensive links between a money-losing telecommunications company, many of those who were subject to police search warrants, and key provincial and federal Liberal party insiders and supporters.

A key Paul Martin leadership organizer was David Basi, the ministerial assistant to B.C. Finance Minister Gary Collins who was fired in late December after his office and home were searched by police in connection to the investigation. Neither Basi nor anyone else had been charged in that probe at press time, but Victoria police constable Ravinder Dosanjh has been suspended with pay in connection to the investigation.

Others connected include: Mark Marissen, husband of deputy premier and Education Minister Christy Clark; Bruce Clark, Christy's brother and federal B.C. Liberal executive member for party finances; Erik Bornman, a provincial lobbyist and federal B.C. Liberal executive member for communications; and Bob Virk, ministerial assistant to Transportation Minister Judith Reid. The offices of Bruce Clark, Bornman, and Virk were searched by RCMP and Victoria police officers, while Marissen was visited at home by the RCMP and asked to turn over documents of interest, which he says are unrelated to the Martin leadership campaign.

The anonymous source who provided the Straight with the federal Liberal list of Indo-Canadian supporters said it is not a membership list but does include many prominent members, such as Basi. Federal Liberal membership in B.C. skyrocketed from about 4,000 in February 2002 to more than 37,000 today, with most new members coming from the South Asian community. Adult membership in the party costs $10, meaning the Liberals collected more than $300,000 in dues. {Snip} ...

This is a valuable summary, well worth re-reading many times. - BC Mary.


Sunday, August 10, 2008


Campbell vs the truth about BCRail

Another thank you to North Van's Grumps who discovered this item which undoubtedly explains why British Columbia has never seen a photo of Campbell holding a 4x8 ft. cheque for a Billion Dollars. - BC Mary

The Truth About BC Rail

The President's Message - Barry O'Neill

NDP leader Carol James is right to call for an election on the BC Rail sale. And she is right to agree with her predecessor about Gordon Campbell’s inability to tell the truth.

The premier says that our railway has lost $860 million.

The truth: BC Rail has paid $137.7 million in dividends to its shareholders – the citizens of British Columbia – over the past 15 years. In 1999 they paid out $40 million. The $860 million is a writedown or reassessment of the value of the company and has not affected its profitability at all. There is no cost to the taxpayers of a writedown, and it hasn’t affected BC Rail’s profitability.

Campbell says BC Rail is $500 million in debt.

The truth: Yes, BC Rail is $500 million in debt. They are in debt because they bought assets, just like you would likely be in debt if you bought a car. CN Rail, which just bought BC Rail, is financing the purchase with debt. It has about $6 billion of it.

B.C. taxpayers don’t finance BC Rail’s debt. The interest on it is paid by BC Rail as an expense each year. The dividend, or profit, comes after the interest is paid. The debt does not show up in B.C.’s public accounts. And to put it in perspective, B.C.’s total debt is $36.5 billion.

In fact, B.C. taxpayers will be paying more in taxes after the sale, because they will not be getting the annual dividend that BC Rail has been paying.

Campbell: The B.C. government is getting “$1 billion in cash”.

The truth: The first $500 million will pay off the BC Rail debt. The government will get the other half, but only if Canada Customs and Revenue Authority agrees that it can transfer BC Rail’s past losses and debt to CN. If not, taxpayers will have to indemnify CN to the tune of about $250 million.

If they do agree, CN will get the tax writeoffs, which will mean that they don’t have to pay, in their own estimates, $250 million in taxes, of which $10 million would have gone to BC. Therefore, there is a potential $10 million loss in taxes to British Columbians.

Campbell: Selling BC Rail could give rail line municipalities tax payments of $8.3 million a year compared to the $1.8 million paid now as an annual grant in lieu of taxes.

The truth: The Liberals promised to give municipalities the right to tax Crown corporations. If they had kept that promise, the municipalities would have had the right to the $8.3 million in taxes without selling BC Rail.

Campbell: The sell-off is a great deal that will increase investment.

The truth: CN, in pitching the deal to financial market analysts, says the company will begin recovering its investment by disposing of “redundant assets”. That means selling 35 per cent of the locomotives, 15 per cent of the rail cars, closure of rail yards in North Vancouver and Squamish, and the merger of the two yards in Prince George. There will be a 35 per cent reduction in the workforce.


Thursday, August 07, 2008


Premium Coal used in manufacture of steel proposed to be hauled by truck from Hwy 37 on the BC Rail right-of-way and roadbed, to Port of Stewart


Fortune Minerals announces updated feasibility study for Mount Klappan anthracite coal project

LONDON, Ontario
August 7, 2008 - /CNW/

Fortune Minerals Limited is pleased to announce an updated ... feasibility study for the Lost Fox deposit area at its 100% owned Mount Klappan anthracite coal project in northwest British Columbia ... Fortune is pleased to report that the Lost Fox deposit continues to show attractive economics at current capital and operating costs, currency exchange rates, and at coal prices significantly lower than the current price for the metallurgical coal products that the Company would produce.

Lost Fox is one of four deposit areas within the Mount Klappan project and this feasibility study update assesses only the initial pit in the Lost Fox deposit. The study assesses the economics for an open pit coal mine and process plant to be constructed at the site to produce 3 million tonnes of clean coal per annum (Mtpa), consisting of a premium 10% ash ultra-low volatile pulverized coal injection (PCI) product used in the manufacture of steel. The PCI product would be transported by truck from the mine site to the port of Stewart for loading and delivery to overseas steel customers.

Alternative transportation methods from the mine to the ports of Stewart and Prince Rupert were also investigated ...

Fortune Minerals owns more than 15,000 hectares of contiguous coal licenses located 150 km northeast of the port of Stewart and 330 km northeast of the port of Prince Rupert in northwest British Columbia. The property straddles the BC Railway right-of-way and roadbed, which provides road access to the site from Highway 37. The Canadian National Railway Company (CN) has trains operating on the portion of the right-of-way between Prince George and Minaret, 150 km south of the proposed minesite.

The Mount Klappan project contains very large resources of high quality anthracite, a hard coal with the highest rank, carbon and energy content and lowest moisture and volatile content of all coals. Unique properties make anthracite ideal for use in a broad range of metallurgical and thermal applications, including reductants used in metallurgical processing, blend coals for blast furnace coke replacement, and charge carbon, sinter and PCI coals used in the manufacture of steel. Only about 1% of world coal reserves are anthracite grade, making the Mount Klappan coal a relatively uncommon premium product. Notably, the two largest producers of anthracite products in the world, China and Vietnam, have curtailed exports in order to satisfy their domestic consumption, creating an attractive development opportunity for Mount Klappan.

The Mount Klappan mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates were prepared in 2002 and 2005 ... Further information can be obtained regarding the Mount Klappan mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates is available in the Company's disclosures under the Company's profile on the SEDAR website at ...

The 2008 Marston study was focussed on truck transportation of product from the mine to the port of Stewart. The site is currently accessible by truck from Highway 37 using the BC Railway right-of-way and roadbed. The feasibility study assumes a new 100-km short-cut limited access road would be built to reduce the truck haulage distance to Stewart to 250 km. Trucks with a capacity for 110 tonnes of coal would be used on the new limited access road with a transfer station at Highway 37 for re-load to 40-tonne highway
compliant trucks for the remaining 150 km to the port. Additional infrastructure would be required for the port facility at Stewart, including two new 60,000 tonne storage silos, a stacker - reclaimer system, and a new 2,000 tonne/hour ship loader, all of which are assumed to be paid for by the

Power for the process plant and all other facilities will be supplied with diesel generation, although there is a possibility of future connection to the BC electrical grid. Electrical requirements for the initial Lost Fox
development total 6.3 Megawatts.

A number of opportunities exist to further improve the economics of the Mount Klappan project and have been identified in the new Marston feasibility study. They include:

- Drilling to Increase the Resource - There is a significant
opportunity to expand the economic resource base for Mount Klappan.
Marston has recommended a four-phase drill program to increase and
upgrade the resources for the Lost Fox, Hobbit-Broatch, Summit and
Nass deposits from the Inferred and Speculative classes to Measured
and Indicated.

- Slurry Pipeline - Preliminary feasibility level work has been done by
Marston and Pipeline Services Inc. of Concord, California, which
indicates potential cost efficiencies from using a 14-inch buried
pipeline to transport coal from the mine to the port of Stewart or
Prince Rupert (see Fortune Minerals news release, dated January 15,
2008). While such a pipeline would increase the initial capital for
the project, it would significantly reduce the project's exposure to
increasing fuel and labour costs.

- Extension and Upgrading of the Railway - Opportunities exist to
extend the Dease Lake rail line from its current terminus at Minaret
to the minesite for transportation of coal by unit train to the port
of Prince Rupert. In order to accommodate fully-loaded unit trains,
the existing railway facilities to Fort Saint James would need to be
upgraded or, a 200 km shortcut constructed to the main CN Line at
Hazelton. The expense of a rail line would be justified in a larger
project with a production rate greater than the project currently
envisioned by Fortune. Notably, the governments of Alaska and the
Yukon Territory announced the results of a bi-lateral feasibility
study initiative that recommends the extension of this railway (see
Fortune Minerals news release, dated June 27, 2007).

- Access to Grid Power - The current study is predicated on diesel-
generated power and the use of diesel hydraulic trucks and shovels.
The B.C. government is considering extending the provincial
electrical grid from Meziadin up the Highway 37 resource corridor.
Access to grid power would eliminate the need for on-site power
generation, allow for the use of more efficient electric cable
shovels and electric assisted haul trucks, and alleviate
uncertainties associated with fluctuations in the price of diesel ...