Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Robin Mathews: An Investigation of Criminal Corruption Among "the Gordon Campbell forces"?
The biggest news in many months concerning the BC Rail Scandal (known publicly by the pre-trial hearings of cabinet aides Basi, Virk, and Basi on charges of fraud and breach of trust) came on April 20, 2009. It came, we are told by an NDP News Release: "from the steps of the BC Law Courts building".
What's the "biggest news in many months"?
It is (quote) "NDP CALLS ON RCMP TO LAUNCH CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF [Patrick] KINSELLA, CN IN BC RAIL CORRUPTION SCANDAL."
Finally, FINALLY, one force among the opposition forces is facing the realities of the corrupt Gordon Campbell administration and moving to show concretely that the gigantic wrong-doings far exceed gimmicky shifts, smart-aleck by-passing of procedure, cover-ups, a Gordon Campbell seraglio, opportunistic secrecy, and little white lies.
The NDP, finally, is tackling the real possibility that what I call "the Gordon Campbell forces" (among which Patrick Kinsella must be counted) may be alleged to have engaged in criminal activity while preparing and completing the sale of BC Rail to CN.
In this case, Leonard Krog alleges that Patrick Kinsella, employed by BC Rail to assist and advise on the sale, was also being paid for related services by CN Rail, purchaser of BC Rail. The matter (under the Criminal Code) "that leads to the heart of Premier Campbell's office" (to quote Mr. Krog) involves a person working, in fact, for government accepting payment from another person or corporation dealing with that government. It deals, too, with the corporation or person dealing with government making payment to the government employee.
The Gordon Campbell forces, of course, may not have been so engaged. But I - among many, many British Columbians - want the present allegation to be pressed, more allegations to be added, and severe, public examinations to proceed by meaningful RCMP investigation and swift (?) court actions.
Leonard Krog cannot be commended enough by British Columbians!
As welcome as this news is - what should be a major break-through in the search for truth about the BC Rail Scandal - there are problems and complications attached.
To begin, the announcement made "from the steps of the BC Law Courts building" was made by NDP Justice Critic Leonard Krog. That's good. But standing on the steps beside him should have been Carol James, NDP leader. And she should have added to his statements that "This is just the beginning. The NDP will not stop." We can only pray that the reason she was not at Krog's side was because the demands of electioneering made it absolutely impossible for her to be there with him. (Even then, we might worry that the WHOLE NDP caucus is not forcibly engaged in the matter.)
The next problem is that Leonard Krog (of necessity) made his request for investigation to Gary Bass, the RCMP's '"top cop" in B.C. - deputy commissioner of the RCMP for the Pacific Region.
Gary Bass is the "top cop" who does nothing. He looked the other way (just for instance) in the fatal and highly suspicious RCMP shooting of Ian Bush in the police station at Houston on October 29, 2005, by RCMP police officer Paul Koester. (Koester has been secretly shifted to another assignment - but only with the full approval of Gary Bass.) Was the shooting a murder? Gary Bass, I say, doesn't want to know.
Gary Bass is the "top cop" who does nothing. He looked the other way in the fatal RCMP tasering at Vancouver International Airport of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski on October 13, 2007. In fact, he was greeted warmly when he met Gordon Campbell who expressed deep sympathy for the RCMP killers of Robert Dziekanski. Gross as that is, Gordon Campbell was not alone.
Not only did national "top cop" of the RCMP, William Elliott telephone a few of the four (who were, most Canadians believe) responsible for Dziekanski's death and express his support for them. He also e-mailed Gary Bass and asked "all our folks in E Division" to be "assured of my ongoing support". He also took the opportunity of a visit to Afghanistan, months later, to ask for the sympathy of Canadians for the men who many believe murdered Robert Dziekanski! In addition, he also announced that the four officers had been "reassigned". But as with Paul Koerster, he told none of us where....
Let's look at all that. William Elliott is a snug, smug political appointment by Stephen Harper who is not over-enthusiastic about Democracy and the Rule of Law, both of which he has repeatedly tested.
Gary Bass was an appointment of discredited, disgraced, and resigned national RCMP "top cop" Guiliano Zaccardelli. Paul Palango, specialist on RCMP shady dealings, calls the Bass appointment part of Zaccardelli's "incestuousness".
Leonard Krog faces a daunting (but necessary and admirable) task. He has to reach through what looks like a tub of corruption to make contact with the Rule of Law and Democratic Responsibility. In short, he has to get past Gordon Campbell's silent, strong relation with Stephen Harper in order to activate William Elliott, RCMP Commissioner. (Leonard Krog sent a copy of his Gary Bass letter to William Elliott, probably knowing Bass doesn't order 'take-out snacks' without an okay from Ottawa). Krog has to activate "do-nothing" Gary Bass to whom Gordon Campbell made loving and inappropriate noises.
Bass has shown to this observer that his loyalties are not to the Rule of Law but to "the gang" and to political power,
Krog also has to get by Wally Oppal - probably the most sleazily political Attorney General in British Columbia's history. Think of it. Krog has to move the consciences of William Elliott, Gary Bass, Wally Oppal, and the men of E Division (British Columbia's RCMP force).
If he sticks to his guns, he can reach through the tub of corruption, lean and lean on Bass and not take No for an answer. He can do it; he and the rest of the NDP can do it. They have to do it for British Columbians, for the Rule of Law, for our democratic society.
Leonard Krog must be commended by all for taking on the task.
Thank you Robin for another educational (connect the dots) piece, you have proven to be indispensable in providing a clear picture of what is really happening to our BC from the Campbell forces.
This is quite a spot we’ve gotten ourselves into.
Many, many forces that don’t want to be put to the integrity test and definitely will be doing what ever it takes to see the NDP fail.
The press/media and their employees may not want to be further tarnished by stories of more dirty tricks, more manipulation or worse.
The train companies involved, I’m sure, would like this nightmare to end.
The legal system itself would not like to be investigated and scrutinized.
The federal agency that gave this deal the nod would probably not be amused in answering hard questions.
The company that was involved in the fairness report for this deal would probably like this to be old and forgotten news.
Past and present BC liberal cabinet and caucus members -I would think- would not be keen on seeing a newly elected NDP government with a mandate to investigate every thing BC Rail and therefore turn their lives upside down. You never know what will fall out once you’re in that position.
Then you have all those hangers-on who never want the free ride to end.
The mountain is indeed high but must be climbed or we will be living in a much different BC in just a few short years.
We should all encourage the NDP to press this issue even harder in an effort to awaken the electorate.
TICK TOCK……TICK TOCK..…..TICK TOCK……
And thank you too Mary, for all your tenacity in the pursuit of the truth surrounding BC Rail.
You, Robin, must be commended for your astute, easy to digest, essay with all of its illuminating brilliance. Anyone within/outside of the RCMP who has crossed paths on political issues of integrity/due process with Bass, knows you've nailed him just as he is. The RCMP rank and file deserve better.
BC Mary - once again, thank you and huge kudos for your amazing insight and providing this one stop shop for the truth to unfold.
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
It IS rough climb to the top of the mountain . . . but the view will be worth it!