Sunday, December 28, 2008
The Legislature Raids 5 years later
December 28, 2008 is the 5th anniversary of the shocking police raid on the BC Legislature. If CanWest wants to talk about "dismal failure" (see Times Colonist), they should look to the BC media for the evidence of that failure. With no shortage of legal and general issues, no lack of public opinion on the BC Rail Case (which grew out of the police raids), let the media answer the primary question here about its own performance: why has there been media evasion and media silence. Let's see what, if anything, they're saying today to mark the 5th anniversary. - BC Mary
* Victoria Times Colonist editorial: The Legislature Raids 5 years later. A dismal failure.
* Vancouver Sun, Vaughn Palmer:
B.C.'s political leaders a colourful bunch
Looking Back: Memorable stories gleaned from 25 years of reporting on provincial government
Dec. 28, 2003. A slow day at the B.C. legislature. At least it ought to have been.
I was in the office picking up my mail when the phone rang.
Was I aware that the police are raiding the buildings, even as we speak? asked the voice at the other end of the line.
My reaction was the usual one for British Columbians when something unexpected -- cops, space aliens, Jackie Chan -- turns up in the vicinity: "They must be making a movie."
They weren't, though the fallout from the police raid has provided the political scene with its longest-running serial -- approaching five years and counting.
Keeping track of the goings-on is a full-time occupation for several journalists [huh?], one website, and more lawyers than you can shake a writ at. Will it ever amount to anything other than what must be a staggering number of billable hours? Only time will tell, as they say down at the courthouse.
* Westcoaster (Camille Bains, The Canadian Press, 2007/12/27): Legislative Raid Case Hits Four Years ... excerpted from a year ago: Basi's A.L.R. trial (coming up on Jan. 12, 2009 in Victoria) concerns 4 fraud-related charges for allegedly taking $50,000. from developers so a 700-home project at Sooke could proceed with an application to remove protected farm land from the land reserve. [Although there's a publication ban on these pre-trial proceedings, I understand that the public is still entitled to attend. - BC Mary.]
At the end of the day, I give up on finding anything in today's BC daily newspapers about the 5th anniversary of the historic police raid on the BC Legislature. Plenty of 5th anniversaries: the P.E.I. Confederation bridge; Vancouver InSite, first Same Sex marriage, the Great Toronto Black-out, Science on the Sidewalk (prostate cancer awareness), the Mississauga Marathon, etc etc ... but only these two Basi-Virk items with today's date, and one item from the 4th anniversary (above). I didn't want to believe it, but I did look twice when a commentor at Bill Tieleman's place complained "Campbell owns the government, the media, and the police." Can that honestly be true? Can we let that be true?? - BC Mary.
While I was reading your link to the TC I spotted the piece on over a million dollars spent to make this bad deal. For almost a year now I have been searching for that million because according to my calculations and others' there is only a million dollars benefit to the people of BC after all the gifts like tax breaks given to CN. With this million I submit that the net benefit to the taxpayer of BC is zero. Not a billion dollars as the sitting government would have us believe.
Not to mention the fact that monies from this railway operation used to go to things like education and health. Two items that the government has cut back on severely.
Simpson's own suspension has resulted in his self being investigated in the same manner as to that which a West Vancouver Police officer found out when she was charged with DUI (Burnaby), after having consumed alcohol on the premises of where she worked. Which leads me to ask why is it that with the recent rash of DUI of other police officers across the province why is it that they are facing speedy access to a judge, but not being investigated on the matter of "Under the Police Act's code of professional conduct, anything an officer does while off duty "in a manner that is likely to discredit the reputation of the municipal police department with which the police officer is employed" can be considered improper."
Conduct constituting an offence
14 For the purposes of section 4 (1) (j), a police officer commits the disciplinary default of conduct constituting an offence if the police officer is found guilty of an offence under an enactment of Canada, or any province or territory in Canada, that renders the police officer unfit to perform his or her duties as a police officer or that is likely to discredit the reputation of the municipal police department with which the police officer is employed.
Improper off-duty conduct
16 For the purposes of section 4 (1) (l), a police officer commits the disciplinary default of improper off-duty conduct if
(a) the police officer, while off duty, asserts or purports to assert authority as a police officer and does an act that would constitute a disciplinary default if done while the police officer is on duty, or
(b) the police officer, while off duty, acts in a manner that is likely to discredit the reputation of the municipal police department with which the police officer is employed.
Keep on reading for ....Disciplinary or corrective measures much to long to have it here on BC Mary's blog.
The only way this date could ever become a happy anniversary is when the people of B.C. are given the truth and the whole truth about what happened to BC Rail ... and what, if anything, Organized Crime has to do with the functioning of the BC government.
We should've been doing something about it.
Instead, for 5 painful years, B.C. has been left twisting in the wind.
It bears repeating:
* that's why this blog was created
* that's why it doesn't matter much whether Basi, Virk or Basi are found guilty or not guilty of anything
* the vitally important issue is that the evidence must be given under oath, in a court of law, and sooner not later
* and that's why the media should be all over this basic question like white on rice.
Is there any reason -- does anyone know? -- why Basi or Virk can't speak to the public? Can't they begin to tell us what actually happened to BCRail? Can't they see the highway signs pointing north to the Road to Redemption?
2 years ago, Basi & Virk used Gary Mason to tell a bit about themselves. How come that was OK ... but real memories of what happened to OUR stuff, isn't OK?
So you're correct, Gary E, it's not a happy anniversary for justice in British Columbia.
But it might be a happy milestone celebrated by a small group of people for all the wrong reasons.
Where's Big Media on that?
North Van's Grumps,
I read that story about Jim Simpson and VicPD early this morning and groaned. "Round and round we go again ..." I thought, and set it aside.
So thanks for realizing that there might be a hot-link (so to speak) embedded in that report.
When I get finished trying to find any further mention of the 5th anniversary ... and the serious implications of the 5th anniversary of signing that BC Rail agreement -- I'll be following your footsteps closely.
As you, G West & others have pointed out before:
Wouldn't it be in Basi/Virk's personal best interests to find the road to release from their trial happening at all?
Doesn't it seem that although they are not perhaps Lily white in their behaviour, they have been hung out to dry to protect the big bandits at the helm of the political ship of Govt?
Wouldn't Basi/Virk hold significant damaging info on the whole truth surrounding the stealing of BC Rail (along with possibly other Govt. corruption perhaps involved with organized crime)like just exactly WHO had their sticky fingers in the pudding and WHO they were connected to?
e.g. What affect did the Govt. dealings have on the stock market and personal holdings, given that a key bagman Peter B. owns a large investment house? Just curious . . .hmmmm.
Wouldn't Basi's/Virk'slawyers advice them to keep their mouths shut so that that they can leverage their position to their best advantage irregardless over and above airing the truth?
I read somewhere that the Special Prosecutor told the RCMP NOT to connect the BC Govt. with organized crime. . . . excuse me????
On what basis and for what intent did the SP want that connections severed?
Was it because there was no connection or . . .
. . . . was it because there WASdamaging evidence that has been suppressed even after the RCMP chose to announce the allegation???
Was someone pulling the SP strings? Wouldn't be the first time . . .
There's a big difference between getting arrested and being charged!
One thing is correct,
THEY ARE MAKING A MOVIE!
and, will recieve a Canadaian tax credit.
Wait a minnit, 9:23 ...
The Prime Minister "legislated the POC (I guess that's Proceeds of Crime?) to stay in BC" ... how does the PM legislate? And legislation for one province, not all provinces?
THEY (who they??) are making a movie? About what??
Come on, 9:23 ...
For starters, I don't believe that the Government, police, and our civil servants are all corrupt and in bed with the drug lords. If you believe that you might as well stop paying your taxes, grab your shotgun and head out to your cabin in the woods.
I believe the police when they state that the case started with an investigation into drugs and that what we call Railgate and the Basi/Young affair were really unintended but fortunate consequences.
For as long as I have lived in Victoria drug dealing and money laundering have been hot topics. Unlike many here, I don't believe that it is all orchestrated by the Liberals, but I have no doubt that people of all political persuasions have some involvment. Specifically, if you look at Basi, Young and some of the others implicated to date, property development and real estate are a central theme and those segments have lots of ties to many local and Provincial politicians.
So what is my point? My point is that I believe the reason why we are waiting 5 years for a resolution to the raids is because it is only a side show to the larger, original focus of the police investigation. I think that the raids provide greats leverage for the police to entice cooperation from others.
Hopefully we won't need to wait much longer until everything is brought to light.
Welcome to our rational world, 3:51, but I hope you'll drop the unfounded accusations.
Nobody here is assigning guilt. Never have, and this was clearly stated on Day One.
Nobody here has said that "the Government, police, and our civil servants are all corrupt and in bed with the drug lords" ... where the heck did you get that idea?
I gotta say I resent what you said, as I've been constantly vigilant to prevent that kind of gutter-journalism from finding its way onto my blog. And our commentors abide by a very high standard of civility.
Police? Please check out the VicPD section where I defended Paul Battershill. And where cops began adding their notes of appreciation.
Liberals? NDP? Socreds, Reform, Conservatives? I don't promote any of them. I wish to god we could get rid of party politics (i.e., stop squabbling that mine is better than yours) and do Consensus Politics (like NWT) to address our problems co-operatively. You should have noticed that too, before you start slinging insults.
I'm surprised that you'd introduce yourself this way. It spoils the very interesting points you raise at the end of your message.
So if you would care to talk a bit more about what you mean by the "larger, original focus of the police investigation" ... being as discreet as you wish ... I'm pretty sure you'll find an interested audience here.
Just stop insulting us. OK?
If my understanding is wrong then I apologize.
My intent was to highlight the fact that the Basi trial was really a sideshow to the real issue which was the trafficing of drugs and money laundering and how deeply they had penetrated our society. I don't think that this is a political issue although certainly politicians may very be involved.
Lots of rumours though that some resolution may be soon forthcoming which I am sure we all look forward to.
Thanks for keeping the light on this important subject.
Good of you to come back, 5:23. So let's start over.
You figure that drugs trafficking and money laundering are the real issue? And that the Basi [and Virk and Basi?] trial is really a sideshow?
The Defence has ben arguing strongly against that inference; and even the Crown prosecution team is accused of telling police not to link the trafficking issues with the trial. So I don't know what to think about this.
What we do know, however, is that the people of BC need to be sure that no criminals of any sort are functioning within the corridors of provincial power. We need to know whether crime and/or corruption are distorting the normal processes of government.
If, as you say, "certainly politicians may very [well?] be involved" then, by golly, the police should be following that up, whether "a political issue" ... or not.
This trial involves government. The political party of the current government calls itself "BC Liberal". When the Basi Virk trial begins, you'll hear many references to this government by Crown, Defence, judge, and witnesses. No matter who is premier then, or which party holds power, you'll hear references to Gordon Campbell's government as the employer of Basi and Virk at the time of their arrests. We'll hear that Basi and Virk were employed to carry out the wishes of a BC Liberal government. There's nothing wrong with that. It's the simple truth.
So how is it a bad thing to identify this government as BC Liberal? Or to refer to Dave Basi as a high-ranking operative for the BC Liberal Party?
I think you've raised an interesting point for discussion.