Wednesday, August 27, 2008

 

It's Victoria's Monica Lewinski Show

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

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

... SEX, LAWYERS, POLICE CHIEFS

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 ...


bartalk@globeandmail.com
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080827.LAWBARTALK27/TPStory/Business

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

http://www.atv.ca/victoria/news_60872.aspx


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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.

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Comments:
The headline here had me pretty confused (What's Bell Canada got to do with it?) until I went to the Goober and Maul the truth article itself. I would have gone with "Sex, Lawyers, Police Chiefs" myself.

We certainly haven't learned enough about what really happened here, to Chief Battershill, OR why, but then that could be said about nearly everything going on in this province that is corrupted by the touch of our largest Criminal Organization - The Soup Nazi and his Cabinet Full of Crackers.
 
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OK, Koot, I'm feeling pretty cranky today myself.

So you don't like my editing, eh? Ha. And ha again. Go ahead, pal, show me your editing. Make my day.

My editing? Well, I thought the Bell Canada headline was curious, interesting, and offers a somewhat softening effect on the harsh comment about Ms Rusen which followed.

Furthermore, I thought it curious and slighly amusing that The Globe and Mail placed this information in the REPORT ON BUSINESS section of their esteemed newspaper.

I thought that, even so, it was intriguing that the Victoria tragedy was given 2nd place in Canada's best newspaper, trailing after the Bell Canada news.

And somewhat revolting that it was wrapped up in a sleazy report on an Ontario lawyer which, if that's OK by you, I left out altogether.

So there. Huh. And ha.

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Mary, I'm certainly not trying to edit or argue with your esteemed self, BUT without actually going to the Goober piece the headline made no sense AT ALL. The headline of the portion you excerpted was "Sex, Lawyers and Police Chiefs."

I do find it an interesting combination of subjects in a business column from the center of the universe, but must admit, none of this was clear from the article as published at TLR.
 
As to the link to A Channel News, which purports to be the "letter from David Mulroney" the article states:

""A" News showed Police Board Chair Alan Lowe a letter written to Heenan-Blaikie from Victoria lawyer David Mulroney"

But "A" News doesn't show the letter to us!
 
Koot

There's lots left unsaid between the lines - but there may actually be a good reason (or at least an understandable one) for that.

Here's the story - at least as I've been able to piece it together:
1) Paul Battershill is hired as new chief of the Victoria Police.
Interesting sidebar ..earlier this year and long after Battershill has been forced out, so he had nothing to do with it, the police department paid a sizeable fee to a company to re-brand the oldest force in the province as VICPD....you can read about it here:
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=4d23d447-d563-4a84-9614-d90fc3c8b781
Notice the fee isn't mentioned - I think it's safe to say it would be several 10s of thousands of dollars.
Are you feeling safer yet?
2) Battershill, a no-nonsense guy moves in as top cop and starts shaking up things. There are a few old boys and girls around and Paul decides to get rid of some of them - among other things...feathers are ruffled - this is VICTORIA, remember?
3) Battershill goes to the Board - a group of worthies made up of a working majority of provincial appointees - one of them from Gordon Campbell's office...to get approval for his plans. One assumes he gets it.
4) Battershill contracts with a well connected national law firm - Heenan Blaikie - for an expert to handle the human resources aspects of making the personnel changes he wants to undertake...more feathers are ruffled…other lawyers, long responsible for this kind of police work are miffed.
5) The lawyer assigned to this task (did Battershill pick her or was she just the acknowledged expert at the firm for this kind of work?) is a very bright young woman called Marli Rusen.
6) Rusen consults with Battershill and begins the job of finding ways to move out the personnel the chief wants rid of - more feathers are ruffled... severance packages are drafted….

Now from here on it gets vague...
7) Battershill and Rusen, both of whom are married with families (although there is some evidence that Battershill’s marriage may be, as they put it, a bit troubled), are alleged to have some kind of a fling/relationship/roll in the hay.
8) Someone discovers the alleged relationship and acts - who this was and how is unknown.
9) Letters are written, Battershill steps aside and the rest you know.

10) Rusen resigns from Heenan Blaikie after a principal of the firm files a notice with the Law Society of BC - suggesting that, if the allegations are true, Rusen has been in violation of the canons of professional ethics of the BC Law Society.

11) Rusen, apparently, denies the affair and, I believe, is planning to sue her former colleagues.

12) A report comes down that clears Battershill of any criminal or financial wrongdoing and the police board accepts his resignation.

I know there are lots of holes in that story:
Who filed the complaint and why?
Was there an ulterior or personal motive?
Did the non-professional encounter between Battershill and Rusen violate the canons of professional ethics?
Should Rusen have recused herself from the work she was doing before entering into the relationship - if there was one? I believe that’s what the canons of legal ethics demand…
Was the 'relationship' between the two widely known among the officers, men and women in the force?
Were any of the dismissals an attempt by Battershill to protect himself and the young lady in question - both as to their jobs and their professional and personal lives?
Was there another motive for the outsiders who initiated the investigation of Battershill in the first place?

Why was David Mulroney and his client involved in this case?

Would this make a movie of the week?


As Mary's said, it's kinda sad and it may still prove to be a lot more than that...
 
Off Topic, but ....


I was doing a search of Premier Gordon Campbell and what he has done when it comes to ..... well, on Housing. I checked out his Photo Opportunity where he lists off Themes.... your choice from a narrow bank of achievements. For example of "View by Theme:"

"Housing" = "June 13, 2008
Premier Gordon Campbell, Minister of Economic Development Colin Hansen and federal Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn announce an $8-million project to provide wood-frame housing for areas devastated by the May 12 Sichuan (China) earthquake.


Second of two items.....

PREMIER ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF OVER 150 UNITS OF NON-PROFIT HOUSING BEING BUILT

March 14, 2002

Premier Gordon Campbell is joined in Port Moody by (front row from left) Tracy Price, campaign chair for the Crossroads Hospice Society; Port Moody-Westwood MLA Christy Clark; and Linda Kozina, executive director for the Crossroads Hospice Society. The March 14, 2002, event was held to announce details of over 150 units of non-profit housing being built for vulnerable people in the Tri-Cities through public-private partnerships.


Just what has this guy done for BC, when it comes to Housing, recently?
 
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TO G WEST on 31 AUGUST 2008:

Many thanks for the best and fairest summary of what we know so far about the Battershill / Victoria Police situation.

I'd like to add something in response to your last two questions ... 1) Was there another motive for the outsiders who initiated the investigation of Battershill in the first place? 2) Why was David Mulroney and his client involved in this case?

Interesting background information can be found on Sean Holman's blog at

http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/000/46.html

Read that, and tell me if you see a political connection there which goes a long way toward answering both those questions.

Not forgetting, of course, that David S. Mulroney's client was the Election Readiness Chair for the Victoria federal Liberal Party riding association.


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I just re-tested the URL and it didn't work ... so hoping Sean Holman at Public Eye Online will forgive me, here's the story:


May 29, 2004
Pork for the gander?

Has Victoria lawyer David Mulroney, the federal Liberal's candidate in Saanich-Gulf Islands, had been the beneficiary of party patronage? That's what Reform Party Kootenay-Columbia MP Jim Abbott wanted to know back in 1995.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he accused the Grits of awarding Mr. Mulroney federal government drug prosecution work because he was vice-president of federal cabinet minister David Anderson's constituency association - a charge the Mr. Mulroney has always denied.

Previously, Macdonald & McNeely partner Gordon Macdonald, a lawyer with 20-years of drug prosecution experience, had been doing most of that work. But two years after taking office, the Liberals handed his cases over to Mr. Mulroney's firm, David S. Mulroney & Company, and two other companies which, at the time, had Liberal connections: Crease, Harman & Co. and McConnan, Bion, O'Connor & Peterson.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly Ottawa bureau chief Cristin Schmitz, Mr. Macdonald, who isn't a card-carrying anything but donated $2,000 to Minister Anderson's 1993 election campaign, said the federal government gave no official reason why his firm's services as a Crown agent were terminated. But he added, "the new guys told me," it was for political reasons. "One of the new lawyers said it was a political matter and that we were going to be cut off and they were going to be put on."

Under questioning from Mr. Abbott, Justice Minister Allan Rock, who had promised in 1993 to reform his department's patronage-plagued Crown agent system, refused to say whether political matters had anything to do with the awarding of the federal legal work. But he did state the "fundamental criterion" used was "competence."

Before 1995, Mr. Mulroney had little previous experience handling drug prosecution cases. However, he told Ms. Schmitz "serious cases" would be handled by his partner Brian Jones, a certified criminal law specialist.

Since then, those cases, serious and otherwise, have earned Mr. Mulroney's company more than $5.3 million, making it one of the top billing Crown agents in the country. Over the same period, Mr. Mulroney and his firm have donated almost $25,000 to the federal Liberals and Minister Anderson's election campaigns. Between 1993 and 1994, Elections Canada has no record of Mr. Mulroney donating money to the federal Liberals.

David Mulroney's Donations & Billings

1995 - donates $468 to the federal Liberals; billed $228,151 in fiscal 1996/97
1996 - donates $2,248 to the federal Liberals; billed $548,622 in fiscal 1997/98
1997 - donates $1,000 to the federal Liberals and $1,000 to Minister Anderson's election campaign; billed $508,396 in fiscal 1998/99
1998 - donates $1,718 to the federal Liberals; billed $585,338 in fiscal 1999/00
1999 - donates $1,922 to the federal Liberals; billed $427,455 in fiscal 2000/01
2000 - donates $2,202 to the federal Liberals and $1,000 to Minister Anderson's election campaign; billed $973,601.09 in fiscal 2001/02
2001 - donates $10,253.87 to the federal Liberals; billed $1,033,942 in fiscal 2002/01
2002 - donates $3,993.02 to the federal Liberals; billed $956,872.15 in fiscal 2003/04

Posted by Sean Holman at 03:21 PM

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Oops. Just saw the error. Should be 4 zeros in the URL, as in 000046.html

http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/000046.html

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For a change of pace, Voice of BC did a rerun of the hour with Baldry and Neil( can't remember his last name this week end But he has been in the cort quite often during the oretrail arguments. Palmer mentioned the family connections between certain cpos and certain laywers and the interest in just who the secret witnesses are. He was of the opinion that they were police informants. Teilman asked a number of questions. all three guys were very carefull not to get in trouble with the judge.It was mentioned that lawyers opinions in court is not considered evidence . It was worth watching,for those who are here in BC. Palmer mentioned that bill has been at court a lot and his blog has considerable information regarding the case.
 
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That reporter's name is Neal Hall ... and thanks for the info. that this interesting hour is being re-run.

So I guess we get one more chance to hear it today (Sunday), eh?

Maybe the re-runs mean that Big Media is preparing itself for the return of the Basi-Virk / BC Rail case on September 17. Hope so.

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We've talked about CN Rail's capability of purchasing damaged (Environment) BC Rail line property for One Dollar, does anyone remember this incident on the Prince George line:

CBC
Human error blamed in Prince George CN crash Little environmental damage to river says province
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 7, 2007 | 11:18 AM ET

I checked via the internet the keywords - Transportation Safety Board CN Rail BC Rail Prince George - and came up with several hits. CBC as noted above as a link; so too for yet another Press release billed out as an "INFORMATION BULLETIN For Immediate Release 2007ENV0100-001043 Aug. 18, 2007 from the Ministry of Environment.

The key points on the Bulletin are these items:
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"The order requires CN Rail to:

· Immediately inspect the site and take action necessary to contain and collect hydrocarbons that are now believed to be entering the Fraser River and to record those observations for review by the
ministry’s Environmental Protection Division.

· Monitor the site daily to ensure containment and collection systems are functioning as designed and record those observations for the review of the Environmental Protection Division.

· Retain a qualified professional to assess the extent of contamination at the site and develop a clean-up plan that will prevent further release of contaminants into the Fraser River.

· The clean-up plan shall include a schedule for clean-up activities and monitoring for the approval of the director, Environmental Protection Division. The plan shall be submitted to the Ministry of
Environment by Aug. 24, 2007.

· Provide the results of any sampling or investigations within 24 hours of receipt of results.

The order also states that failure to comply with the requirements of this order is a contravention of the Environmental Management Act and may result in legal action."
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and........................... from the Environmental Emergency Management Program "Incident Overviews", lists seven items with the latest one being the Burnaby oil spill on the Barnett Highway which happened on July 24, 2007, in other words, four days after the CN Railway company crash involving two trains.

There is no report!!!! in regards to the Prince George crash available to the public therefore has the Minister responsible taken legal action or is he sitting on his ass and waiting with anticipation of what to do with his one dollar top up on his one billion dollars from CN Rail?
 
Pacific Gateway Projects link


British Columbia Railway went with Kevin Falcon on June 13, 2008, along with Bombardier Canada to promote trade through the Canada's Pacfic Gateway transportation network.

Now from what I remember of the Billion Dollar deal between Mr. Falcon and CN Rail, BC Rail was going to become a shell company dealing only in selling off prime real estate by July 19, 2009. What the heck is going on here with the CEO of BC Railway going on a junket when he doesn't have a rail car to his name.

In the June 20, 2008 Press Release down in Hanoi the BC Liberals mention that there are "four railway companies" which implies to this layperson that they are all active participants (competitors) but in fact there were only three.... but which three?

Under a BC Government web site covering Canada Pacific Gateway the partnership "railway" companies are listed..... as ...

BNSF Railway (Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation)

British Columbia Railway Company

Canadian Pacific Railway

CN Rail


I suppose the only reason that BC Railway Company is included in the junket to Vietnam was because of its 24 kilometers of tracks to Roberts Banks, bit of a stretch for the imagination that its a provincial or national railway service provider.
 
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Many thanks, N.V.G., for your industrious searches.

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The break-in at Heenan-Blaikie

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

Coincidence!!! Rumors are it was ONLY Marli Rusen's Office.
 
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