Monday, July 27, 2009

 

BC Rail: Rafe Mair talks about Dubious bluster from BC Libs on e-mails ...

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Simply Unbelievable
Dubious bluster from BC Libs on e-mails, river power.
By Rafe Mair
TheTyee.ca - July 27, 2009


Basi-Virk: Court orders disclosure of Gordon Campbell's emails

The Campbell government has lost its moral compass, if it ever had one.
Let me give you two examples, starting with the private rivers policy.

{Snip, because it's long; but don't miss it!} ...

The scuttled e-mails

Carrying on with the credibility of this government, we have a new attorney-general, Mike de Jong, who knows that masses of government e-mails, created and sent during the critical years of the Basi/Virk issue, have been destroyed. As the CBC recently reported [under] "the government's own guidelines [they] should not have been deleted because of their relevance to the BC Rail corruption trial."

Let's do a bit of an overview here:

The sale of BC Rail was an initiative of the premier.

His most senior cabinet minister, Gary Collins, was in charge of the details and Mr. Virk and Mr. Basi worked under him.

Since December 2003, the government, including then attorney general Plant, then finance minister Collins, and the premier, knew that there was a stench about the BC Rail bidding process.

These questions come to mind:

Did then attorney general Plant advise the government to retain all documents? Did he do so in writing, and if so, where is the document? If he didn't, why not?

Did the next attorney general, Mr. Oppal, give such an order? If he did, where is it? If not, why not? He was AG after the trial began.

After the December '03 raid, or at any time thereafter, did the premier order all ministries to make sure nothing was destroyed?

If so, where is the directive?

If there was not such an order, why not?

Yes, appoint a special prosecutor

The government could hardly argue that they had to make more storage space available since, as Margaret Wente has pointed out in the Globe and Mail, for a few hundred bucks you can buy a computer at The Future Shop to take care of all of it.

It is now evident that just before the last election, documents bearing on the issue were destroyed. If done under orders of the government this could well amount to tampering with evidence and contempt of court.

Under the Attorney General Act there is a provision for the attorney general to appoint outside Crown counsel to investigate where there is a perception of conflict of interest. This was done with allegations against Glen Clark and Bill Vander Zalm.

The government will likely say that they already have appointed Bill Berardino, but he's confined to the Basi/Virk case and here we're talking about potential wrongdoing by members of the Campbell government including the premier himself, after those charges were laid.

Indeed, if Mr. Campbell is squeaky clean as he alleges, he should welcome such a move.

Stonewalling

The history of the Campbell government is one of deceit, obfuscation and stonewalling. Campbell, for example, has declined to comment on documents which have become evidence in the Basi/Virk case saying that they are sub judice -- before the court. They are not. This is legal flim flam.

What if a document was tendered in the court saying "Premier and his colleagues were utterly uninvolved in this case" (difficult as this is to imagine). Would the premier then say "I can't comment because this is before the courts"?

A government, if it doesn't want to be seen as amoral, must have credibility. This one is blurring the line between fact and falsehood beyond recognition.

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P.S. Rafe Mair deserves maximum credit for his passionate work on behalf of British Columbia rivers and fishery. No question about that. But there's also an amazing comment by Chuck Dickens which is equally passionate and well-informed, answering that nagging question: what's wrong with the do-nothing NDP Opposition? - BC Mary.

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Comments:
I just do not understand why the Minister responsible for the protection of those Emails, Ben Stewart, is not being forced to speak to this matter.

Why?

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Why, you ask Gazetteer?
Simply because, "there are no laws for outlaws" we can't beat em, so we just as well join em I say. That way were all on a level playing field. Correct.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
HP--

Nope.

Not good enough.

Every single media outlet in this province should be camped outside the minister's office, with cameras and taperecorders running, demanding an explanation.

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Of course, we do know of one media member that just hates to 'waste' his precious time doing things like that when he can instead receive special 'invitations' to partake in damage control missions.....

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Hello Mary,I have a question ,if those e-mails were destroyed ,after the govt.was dissolved,could the person who ordered the destruction be brought up on charges,as an ordinary citizen, after all the govt. no longer existed and had no authority,so would that mean no legislative immunity or authority?
 
Anon 6:53,

Seems to me that the destruction of evidence is a felony ... and it doesn't matter who or what you are, you stand to be charged.


Gazetteer:

Maybe it should be done by calling Ben Stewart to the witness stand in the trial of R. v. Basi, Virk, Basi.

There seems to be a major breakdown in communication between the Berardino and anybody who knows anything about the Executive Council.
 
Boy that stay out of jail card is way past due?
 
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