Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Mark Hume: NDP obtain files related to sale of BC Rail


Provincial NDP obtain files related to sale of BC Rail
The Globe and Mail - Feb 25, 2009

Vancouver — The NDP Opposition has won access in the Supreme Court of British Columbia to 8,000 pages of confidential government files related to the controversial $1-billion sale of BC Rail.

In a ruling handed down Wednesday, Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett granted a motion filed by NDP justice critic Leonard Krog, who sought access to material recently obtained by defence lawyers in a slowly unfolding political corruption case.

{ Snip} ...

The case has been bogged down at the pretrial stage for years while lawyers fight over a number of complex legal issues, mostly related to the disclosure of masses of police and government documents.

Mr. Krog said the latest release deals with files that defence lawyers obtained by filing freedom of information requests. He said he could have done the same thing, but that might have taken a year or more, so he appealed to the court to expedite matters in time for the election.

“Hopefully [this disclosure] will give information to the public that they should be entitled to know before this government [stands] for a third mandate,” he said.

Mr. Krog was critical of the government, saying the administration stalled the release of documents in court.

He said the sale of BC Rail was the wrong deal at the wrong time, because it came just as energy prices were rising and development was beginning in the north, making the rail line increasingly valuable.

Just when the provincially owned railway was poised to start making a profit, he said, it was privatized under questionable circumstances.

“It was just an outrageous giveaway,” he said.

Mr. Krog says he doesn't know what he will find in the mass of documents, which Judge Bennett said will take staff about six hours to copy.

But a defence lawyer who has already seen the file said it contains communications concerning lobbyists, material about leaks of information around the BC Rail sale – and several binders that come directly from Mr. Campbell's office.

The NDP application was made by Victoria lawyer Michael Mulligan.


About those leaks of information ... has anybody been drilling down for information on the topic of Bid-rigging?? - BC Mary.


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