Wednesday, June 03, 2009

 

Basi Virk. Homework, while waiting for Justice Patrick Dohm's appearance in BC Supreme Court on Thurs., June 4

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A year ago, Leonard Krog wrote a letter to the RCMP regarding their investigation of the BC Rail Privatization deal.

Krog, as Official Opposition Critic for the Attorney General's ministry, wrote asking "that the RCMP begin a separate criminal investigation immediately" regarding four named officials who were required to swear an undertaking before the court to maintain confidentiality regarding any and all documents they reviewed and/or discussed. And who, according to Krog, had failed to do so.

According to the copies of documents attached to Krog's letter, the four named officials were George Copley, Nancy Reimer, Neena Sharma and Joy Illington.

Krog wrote: "This protocol was reviewed and signed off by the RCMP, the Special Prosecutor, the Deputy Attorney General, the Deputy Minister to the Premier and the Solicitor to the Executive Council. Judge Dohm approved of the protocol January 14, 2004 ... " Krog, a lawyer, carefully set out the case for due consideration before Gary Bass, Deputy Commissioner of RCMP Pacific Region.

Charges of Breach of Trust against David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi had been sworn December 21, 2004.

Krog's presentation continues: "On October 7, 2004, the Office of the Special Prosecutor wrote Mr George Copley seeking review of three documents (attached). According to the Special Prosecutor's letter the RCMP had indicated that they wished to interview Ministers Collins and Reid as well as three senior government officials about the documents. The Special Prosecutor also provided Mr Copley with the questions the RCMP intended to ask and he reminded Mr Copley not to share this information with any of the intended interviewees.

"Two of the documents were cabinet documents prepared by Minister Collins' ministry relating to the second round in the bidding process for the BC Rail assets. The third document was an email to Minister Reid regarding the Cabinet discussion of these documents. The documents appear to relate specifically to a key issue in the investigation: the actions the government did or did not take to ensure the second round of the bidding process was not compromised by the withdrawal of the bidders ...

"On November 24, Mr Copley wrote to Mr Ken Dobell in his capacity as Deputy Minister to the Premier [which] makes it clear that Mr Copley reviewed and discussed the documents with Mr Dobell. Further, it is clear that Mr Dobell was informed that the documents were to be the subject of RCMP interviews with the two ministers and senior government officials ...

"The meeting and discussion with Mr Dobell appear to be a violation of the protocol and the sworn undertakings not to disclose information regarding the documents seized by the RCMP ... The meeting and discussions with Mr Dobell - outside the confines of the protocol and sworn undertakings - makes it difficult to assert that there was no political interference in those interviews. That Minister Collins suddenly resigned three weeks later adds to rather than detracts from the suspicion of political interference."

Krog concludes: "I want to underline the fact that, not only were the parties to these events aware of the protocol and all the elements, they wrote it and signed off on it. It must be assumed that these senior government officials were fully aware of the implications of their discussions. Given the gravity of the implications of these facts I ask that the RCMP begin a separate criminal investigation immediately."

_________________________________________________

Fascinating documents were attached to Krog's letter:

* Protocol regarding documents removed from the Legislature
* Undertaking in accordance with the protocol provided to Associate Chief Justice Dohm in this matter
* Letter from Andrea Mackay of Berardino & Harris to George Copley at the Ministry of BC Attorney General which names the three significant documents as:

1. Document 00280086: Memorandum dated August 5, 2003 to the Honourable Judith Reid, Minister responsible for BC Rail, from Joy Illington, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, with carbon copy to Chris Trumpy which discusses the minutes of the Cabinet meeting on July 23, 2003;

2. Document 00290376 to 00290378: title "BC Rail Company Freight Railway Partnership Process Second Round Criteria" and identified as "Confidential Draft - for Cabinet review only" dated July 16, 2003 and signed by the Honourable Judith Reid, Minister of Transportation; and

3. Document 00290224 to 0029238 and 0020071 to 0020085: titled "BC Railway Company Partnership Process Round Two Evaluation Criteria Background for Presentation to Cabinet for Decision" dated July 23, 2003.

The Mackay/Berardino letter goes on to say: The RCMP have advised that they would like to interview Garry [sic] Collins, David Morehart, Judith Reid, Chris Trumpy and Yvette Wells in relation to the above documents. We can advise that the following questions will be asked by the investigators:

1. Identify the document and comment on who authored the document, the purpose of the document, to whom it was distributed and when;

2. Comment on the significance, if any, of the document in the possession of individuals outside the government; and

3. Discuss how the possession of the identified document(s) effects the process of the sale of the BC Rail assets.


Next, a copy of the letter from George Copley to Ken Dobell who, at that time (Oct 7, 2004) was still Deputy Minister to Premier Gordo which constitutes a description of what it feels like to be left twisting in the wind of political events.

And finally a column dated May 9, 2008 by Mark Hume in The Globe and Mail in which Dobell defends his perusal of seized files in BC Rail probe.
_________________________________________________

On the eve of Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm's appearance as presiding judge at a pre-trial conference in the BC Rail Case, here is Michael Smyth's informative opinion on the crucial points of "privilege" in The Province:

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For those Googling to find the complete documents mentioned above, please note Leonard Krog, MLA for Nanaimo, has written a 2nd letter, requesting another, separate investigation also about BC Rail but focused on the role(s) played by Patrick Kinsella who seemed to have been working for both BC Rail and for CN during the negotiations.

That CBC story is HERE.
BC NDP seeks police probe of controversial BC Rail sale
CBC - April 20, 2009

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Comments:
Over a year later since this story was filed, and still no investigation has been launched, and there are no charges of any kind. Are the RCMP just asleep at the switch? Playing golf? Taser practice?

Or - as seems most likely - have they, too, been compromised by the culture of political criminality which has become entrenched as the norm in the BC government. Vaughan Palmer and other in-control pundits have condemned critics of "business as usual" as trying to "criminalize politics". I'd say it's not the critics of "just the way things work" that have done this. It's the politicians and their willing underlings who have criminalized politics. And that would seem to include the RCMP, who clearly aren't doing their job in this matter and are clearly tolerating criminal behaviour by politicians and civil servants.

Evidence has been compromised, and no investigation has been launched or charges filed. Evidence that there has been collusion within the government caucus has surfaced in public and Krog has launched another request that the RCMP investigate Patrick Kinsella. And no doubt that request, also, will be ignored.

Is there a solution to this? Because we know the federal Tories aren't interested in cleaning up BC, because it would open cans of worms at the federal level. And Ignatieff kept his lips zipped on the matter during his coronation at the cost-overrun convention centre right during the middle of the campaign; the federal Liberals have too much to lose if one of the provincial parties carrying their name, even if it's not really a Liberal party, so don't expect anything from them.

And now the presiding judge has been kicked out of the way and a "fixer" brought in.

Jack Cram and Bruce Clarke raged against corruption in the highest places, in politically-tainted and politically-directed courts. And they were charged with contempt (in Cram's case after being beaten in the course of police harassment), and those charges only withdrawn if they agreed to undertake treatment and medication and confess to being crazy in order to avoid stiff prison terms. Humbling themselves before the court and pleading insanity.....even agreeing to medication to suppress their "delusional behaviour. All of which sounds an awful lot like corruption in China where "re-education" is demanded of people who speak the truth, or the mental asylums that political dissidents in the USSR were committed to.

I hope the same fate doesn't await Leonard Krog, Paul Nettleton, BC Mary, Bill Tieleman, Sean Holman and the rising chorus of British Columbians who want to know the truth of the BC Rail deal, and want charges filed against those at the top. Basi, Virk and Basi are just fall guys, and unwilling ones at that - they're turning into anti-heroes because they've refused to accept their fate. Dohm quite likely will find a way to declare a mis-trial, and the RCMP will prove to be inactive and deflective about Krog's requests for further criminal investigation, and there will be attempts to seal the evidence, and no doubt the CanWest ownership and brain trust will work to paper it all over like they've done so much else in the province's recent history.

(Continued ...)
 
(Continued ... )


If the RCMP have been compromised, and the federal government (and courts) are indifferent, it seems there is nothing in our constitution and the ramshackle "system of government" that's grown up around it to bring the light of justice to bear on all the mysteries and dark dealings in the province's highest places.

Next time a politician or media pundit rants about the superiority of our parliamentary system and how dignified and efficient it is, for a response I suggest a combination of uproarious laughter, catcalls, raspberries and whoopie cushion noises.

Ken Dobell should be in court. Patrick Kinsella should be indicted, and apparently the Premier should be too, and him not alone of the Liberal caucus and the lengthy roster of political appointments in various places in the civil service. When a judge or a Mountie stumps about how great our justice system is, probably a snicker is the safest response, though that might get you either contempt charges or a tasering...(or medication).

I was raised to believe in this country, and to believe that British Columbia, as the slogan goes, was "the best place on Earth". I don't believe in it now. What I do believe is that we need radical political restructuring, but I don't know how that's possible when the media are as tied into the political class as Izvestia and Pravda were (and are) tied into the Kremlin....

And pretending that the public endorsed the criminal behaviour of the Liberal government on May 12 would be a lot more convincing if the issues had been honestly covered during the campaign, and the investigations and charges Krog has asked for and Nettleton implied were underway - and if people had actually showed up at the polls.

This would have been all gone over with hot pokers in congressional and senate hearings in the states by now. And in Britain, the necessary heads would have rolled, or resigned, long ago. Hell, the Speaker of the British House of Commons just resigned over such a trivial matter as mis-use of expense accounts.

And what do we get? Inaction by the RCMP. Musical chairs judges. Special prosecutors intent on delaying a trial, instead of getting on with it. Political operatives perusing criminal evidence concerning their superiors, and worse. And a Premier who expands the propaganda department of the government (the Public Affairs Bureau) even while racking up government debt in the course of cutting programs....

It makes you wish the Queen actually had some power over these fools, the power to order an investigation, or to demand heads roll (figuratively if not literally). It makes you wish for an independent judiciary, a police force not subject to political influence, and a media that was not up to worse dirty tricks than the politicians themselves.
 
Skookum's musings above are sadly discouraging and even more sadly, spot on, I fear.

As to:

"Basi, Virk and Basi are just fall guys, and unwilling ones at that - they're turning into anti-heroes because they've refused to accept their fate."

As far as I'm concerned Basi, Basi and Virk are ASSHOLES who are part of the problem. If they are fall guys, they could consider coming CLEAN and until and unless they do I have ABSOLUTELY NO COMPASSION for their greedy asses. Obviously they are in a perfect position to expose the corrupt folks they used to work for, but also obviously there must be bigger pay-offs for NOT DOING THE RIGHT THING!

I'm beginning to think the only thing that will flush out these scoundrels is the ongoing recession - that is not over no matter how much the Canned Waste/Glow Ball cheerleaders try to tell everyone it is now the time to buy real-estate.

I just found out this morning that if I want to acquire one of the handy-dandy enhanced driver's licenses that not only do I have to ante up another $75 (even though I have a recently renewed valid license) but will have to drive to Kamloops, Kelowna or the coast for the pleasure of giving the criminal government more of my money.

Fuggit about that, I'll go for the passport, thanks, it is handier for getting the hell out of paradise. There won't be much reason to remain in B.C. after four more years of wholesale transfer of resources to Gordo's corporate buddies. Unless, of course, I get a job with the PAB and become one of Gordo's buddies. Unfortunately I have ethics and a sense of morality - so such a job is beyond my ability to rationalize!

How far are the sheep willing to be exploited? What happens when the mint sauce is about to be applied to the "lamb chops?"
Do the robots who read Canned Waste then just say, "please enjoy your meal - on and of me?"
 
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