Wednesday, February 25, 2009

 

Bill Tieleman: NDP wins access to 8,000 pages

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BASI-VIRK - NDP wins access to 8000 pages of documents related to BC Rail privatization in Supreme Court of BC decision today


Feb 25, 2009.

The New Democratic Party opposition won a big legal victory in BC Supreme Court today when Justice Elizabeth Bennett ruled that they - and the public - could have access to 8,000 pages of government documents related to the privatization of BC Rail.

{Snip} ...


NDP MLA Leonard Krog said ... the BC government could release far more documents if it chose to, including two more binders of BC Rail company information that Bennett today declined to release to the NDP.

"The body that is holding back documents is the government of British Columbia," he said. "BC Rail can release those documents if they wish. The fact that this case has gone on so long is entirely the fault of the provincial government."

Krog said the Gordon Campbell government was using "entirely political" moves to keep the facts from the public.


Read Bill's entire column here.
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And try this brief Canwest report for an intriguing point of view which concludes:


The trial ... continues in the midst of allegations the government has been trying to prolong it and prevent some evidence from being heard.

So far, said Krog, there has been no adequate explanation for how the BC Rail deal led to criminal charges.

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Repeat: March 9 is the date for the next Basi Virk session for arguments over parliamentary privilege and disclosure of documents.


The court adjourned until the next pre-trial session, scheduled to begin March 9 with arguments over parliamentary privilege issues and disclosure of documents.

Lawyer Frank Falzone will be representing the Speaker of the BC Legislature, the Clerk and the Conflict of Interest Commissioner.

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Very interesting comment from a Bill Tieleman thread:

Blogger NRF said:

Questions:

Was the root purpose of the BCR sale to separate and privatize its Howe Sound land bank? BCR held vast prime developable land in the West Van-Squamish corridor. Who owns or holds options now? Liberal insiders perhaps?

Is Campbell punishing the RCMP with the Braidwood Inquiry? Reputation of the police force is being damaged badly by the very public hearings - live streaming and pdf transcripts available to all.

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NRF: As I understand it, there's a clause in the still-secret agreements on the sale of BCRail's operating rights ... the so-called Five Year Clause -- which the Campbell government agreed to. I'm told that it says that after 5 years, certain BC Rail lands may be transferred into CN ownership for $1.

I can't verify that. All I know for sure is that July 12, 2009 is the 5-year anniversary. Let's hope that the BCR Agreements are included in the 15 folders now in the hands of the Opposition. Or that somebody succeeds in prying the other two folders out of the clutches of the highly-paid BC Rail executives who are now is fighting to keep them sealed. See Times Colonist story 23 July 2008 "Tiny BC Rail offers big bucks to bosses".

It's all beginning to make a weird kind of sense. - BC Mary.

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Comments:
I had a chance to watch Global New last night and didn't see a thing on this.I also check the late news and nothing. I did notice they did an extensive piece on snow. I noticed that within 3 hours the Province had something online but not the sun. As well we see below that Mark Hume did a piece. Sorry I didn't check The TC yet. I would suggest here that "the most watched news station" doesn't do a very good job informing the public.
 
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Gary E,

Wow. Many thanks for the TV News and print survey.

I'm listening to CBC Newsworld's coverage of the Big Salary [BS] Politicians gathered in Ottawa to "fight crime".

The best part of the CBC coverage is when a kid was interviewed, who had been a gang member; and a man who had written a book (therefore studied) fighting the gangs.

The kid (Amur Javid) describes the gangs as being made up 50% of kids under 18 years of age who want to belong "to something greater than themselves".

Here's a hopeful note: "Smallfish" emailed me yesterday to say that Basi-Virk news was mentioned on CBC news THREE TIMES yesterday!! CBC radio, I think.

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P.S.

I mean, how hard could it be, for North American news services to pick up news of the most important trial ever to have happened in a democratic society??

Others do it. Just look:


Google News Alert for: Dave Basi

法官下令公開卑鐵案文件
世界日報 - New York,USA
捲入案情的3名省府助理包括:當時任財政廳長范高廉助理的大衛‧貝希(Dave Basi),在運輸廳擔任助理的佛克(Bobby Virk),這兩人被控詐欺和違反官箴。


[Exactly as received.]

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