Friday, February 13, 2009


BC Liberal caucus sends lawyer to block MLA disclosure


BASI-VIRK - BC Liberal MLAs caucus sends lawyer to block FOI disclosure of MLA communications

Bill Tieleman

A lawyer representing the B.C. Liberal MLA caucus made a first appearance Wednesday at the B.C. Legislature raid case ...

Edward Montague
Edward received his Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours in English Literature from the University of British Columbia in 1981, after which he spent two years as a volunteer teaching for CUSO in Nigeria, West Africa. He then returned to UBC where he completed his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1987. Since his call to the Bar in 1988, Ed has represented the interests of individuals and corporations as a trial lawyer, with an emphasis on personal injury, insurance and employment law, as well as varied commercial litigation matters. He is a former President and Governor of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C., and is the B.C. representative to the American Association for Justice.

Ed Montague is with the firm of Campbell Froh May & Rice, 11 lawyers with offices on Cooney Road, Richmond.

[It is not clear to me why he would have been chosen for this delicate yet volatile task of demanding government secrecy for M.L.A.s. - BC Mary]

This is a HUGE development in the history of British Columbia. As I read Bill's report, it's telling us that the voting public can elect an M.L.A. to represent them in the provincial legislature ... but the M.L.A.s (at government expense, mind you!) can try to erect a barrier between themselves and the public. It tells us that our elected M.L.A.s seem to think this is OK. Well, it isn't OK.

On any issue, such a barrier is a flagrant violation of the democratic principle that the people are sovereign.

But this particular issue -- the tainted sale of BC Rail -- is a huge, public issue. To advocate for secrecy surrounding the words and deeds of our own elected representatives ... when Canada's 3rd largest railway slipped from public ownership into private pockets ... that's what makes the appearance of this new lawyer acting for the BC Liberal MLA Caucus, so outrageous.

It's telling us that our elected M.L.A.s think the people of B.C. shouldn't be allowed to hear everything the M.L.A.s said about that sale? That even if the public (which includes Basi Virk) is asking for data under the Freedom of Information rules, they should be sent away without the information? Whatever happened to accountability? What is this, Zimbabwe?

I doubt that any mention of this M.L.A. development will appear in the mainstream media. This tells us something, too.

Special thanks to Bill Tieleman for this story. He was the only reporter attending, on Wednesday Feb. 11, when this happened. - BC Mary.


Just a question: Does anyone know if lawyer Ed Montague is related to the now retired RCMP Sgt. Peter Montague?
I was watching the late news after the latest gang shooting on the streets of the lower mainland in broad daylight, and heard that BC is the new organised crime capital of Canada.

So, BC Mary... I guess that poor RCMP constable called it on that day way back when, and you've been calling it ever since. The corruption has obviously spread like cancer. Who would ever have thought we'd see the day when our beautiful Lotus Land had inexorably turned into Mafia Land and no one in the government or mainstream press had boo to say about when and where it got started.

I hear they've hired extra police to cope with the lower-level gang activity. I wonder whether they'll be allowed to cope with any of the upper-level gang activity?
True, true, Leslie.

It's sad, awful, and angry-making, that the happy places I knew as a child are now echoing to the screams and gunfire of desperate people.

I keep thinking that if the mainstream press -- just the media alone -- were to stand tall, keep watching, keep telling the story of Organized Crime, it would send a clear message that "We're going to keep watching every move you make!"

I think it would have an effect on the gangsters who seem to feel they can do as they please, these days. And proper press coverage would give the citizens a better idea what to do. For example, just from the extra coverage this situation has received recently, look what's happening:

There's a rally is set for Sunday [Feb. 22] at 1 p.m. at the Central City Plaza (13450 102nd Ave.) across from Surrey Central SkyTrain station.

“There’s more support coming in by the day. There’s a huge amount of momentum more so than we ever thought,” said Loke. “Clearly it’s gone above and beyond what we expected originally.”

Both he and Hillson stressed the non-partisan nature of the rally.

“Everybody is welcome,” said Loke. “We’re working with absolutely everyone we can to organize it. We would like to have a wide range of opinion.
From a Province story today, headlined: Students anti-gang rally gains momentum.

But really, I hold the leadership of B.C. responsible for the way things have developed. The premier has pretended from Day One that he knew nothing, and when 3 hand-picked government employees were charged, he claimed he could say nothing either. Then his government started resisting the Defence requests for documents. The Prosecution isn't much better, taking their appeals for secrecy to the BC Court of Appeal, then on to the Supreme Court in Ottawa ... delay, delay, delay ... with costs going through the roof.

And does it stop there? Hell no, the Campbell Gang's M.L.A.s have just sent their own lawyer into court today trying to stop Basi, Virk, Basi from obtaining documents about what MLAs have said to one another about BC Rail matters. By inference, the public would also be blocked from knowing. Does that sound like a government helping to get BC cleaned up?

And key Campbell people KNEW that the raid on the Legislature was coming, and that it was an attempt to track Mr Big in drugs trafficking. It was only from listening to the wire taps between Mr Big and his cousin in the Ministry of Finance that the cops caught some clues about the BC Rail shenanigans. So the Campbell Gang knows plenty. They have a lot to answer for.

I'm glad you mentioned RCMP Staff Sgt. John Ward. I believed him from Day One (Dec. 29, 2003) and have never forgotten his warning. Many thanks for your comment.

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