Sunday, July 12, 2009

 

Campbell controlled BC Rail deal: defence says

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Mark Hume
The Globe and Mail - July 9, 2009

B.C. Supreme Court hears notes exchanged by Premier's office and accused in corruption trial. Notes exchanged between top officials in the Premier's office and one of the accused, Bob Virk.


The e-mails were from or to, or were copied to, some of Mr. Campbell's closest advisers, including Martyn Brown, his chief of staff; Lara Dauphinee, his deputy chief of staff; and Brenda Eaton, deputy minister to the Premier.

In the e-mails (which the defence has because they were seized by the RCMP from the government's central database after a raid on the legislature in 2003), the Premier's staff issue directives on the BC Rail deal and receive up-to-the-minute briefings on negotiations that led to the $1-billion sale of the publicly owned railway to CN Rail.

Mr. McCullough told Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett the communications leave no doubt of “the iron hold the Premier's office has” on the BC Rail deal.

Referring to e-mails from 2002, Mr. McCullough read instructions from the Premier's office on how a rail conference should be organized, prior to the announcement of the decision to sell BC Rail.

“Let us know how to proceed,” Mr. Virk says in one note to Ms. Eaton.

“I will show the Premier for final approval,” Ms. Eaton says in a later note, concerning the rail conference agenda.

“If there's any doubt the Premier is controlling the process, this is proof of it. …The Premier's office was exercising substantial control over the BC Rail agenda,” Mr. McCullough said.

Two weeks ago, the defence filed an application for the disclosure of the e-mail records of Mr. Campbell, several cabinet ministers and numerous staff, arguing the communications could shed light on whether the accused were acting on their own, or under directions from superiors.

But earlier this week George Copley, a lawyer representing the Executive Council of the B.C. government, told court a search had failed to produce the e-mails sought because the data system keeps backup tapes for only 13 months.

Yesterday, he elaborated on that point, saying the e-mails may have been deleted because they were defined as “transitory” under document-management regulations.

He said “routine records of no value” are labelled transitory and are deleted.

“It is possible the e-mails you were asking about were considered transitory in nature or there may be other explanations,” Mr. Copley said.

One explanation he offered was that about half the officials the defence wants e-mail records for had left government by the time the application was made and their e-mail accounts were erased.

However, Michael Bolton, who is defending Dave Basi, told court the government should have safeguarded the e-mails because it was evident as early as the fall of 2003 that police were investigating suspicions of fraud surrounding the BC Rail deal.

He said the Solicitor-General was advised of the investigation, and if that didn't make it clear there could be legal action, the dramatic police raid on the legislature certainly should have.

“Clear imprimaturs were given to the government that those documents should be retained and not treated as trash,” he said.

The defence has been arguing this week the e-mails should be produced or officials should be called to explain how the files came to be destroyed.

Crown prosecutor Janet Winteringham, however, asked Judge Bennett to dismiss the defence arguments, saying it has not been shown that the e-mails in question are relevant.

A decision is pending.

Go to Mark Hume's complete report HERE.

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This comment follows Mark Hume's column in the July 9/09 edition of The Globe and Mail:


Former BC lawyer, John Carten, has had Gordon Campbell trapped in a civil lawsuit in the Federal Court of Canada and Campbell's lawyers haven't been able to get him our [out] for almost two years. The media is suppressing the news on it because Campbell's boys control the media. See Action T-95-08

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And thanks to Laila Yuile, here's the URL:

http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/IndexingQueries/infp_RE_info_e.php?court_no=T-95-08

URL for Themis Program Management & Consulting Ltd. http://www.bcgeu.bc.ca/files/collective_agreements/07000210.pdf

URL for "former BC lawyer, John Carten".
http://british-columbia.ca.human-rights.org/JosiahWood.html

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Comments:
On page 9 of 13 under the heading of "1.2 Contacts" marked Private and Confidential:

".... there must be no contact with any past or present representatives, including directors, or employees of BC Rail, BCRC, the Province or any other related government entity, or any other entity with a business relationship with BC Rail, including the limitation, customers and suppliers, in relation to this Transaction. In addition, Recipients are precluded from discussion relating to the Transaction with other potential purchasers without the prior written consent of CIBCWM"

"Recipient" is not defined in the document but its that the Province of British Columbia wouldn't be permitted to do an end run around CIBC, and the public......, especially poor old CRA and their Fairness Report which was under constant tweaking by the politicians.

The Progressive Holdings company is one such entity that shouldn't have been paid, or doing it for free, to any other participant in the process, that is to tinker with the Transaction from within the Premier's Office.
 
Quote;

"However, Michael Bolton, who is defending Dave Basi, told court the government should have safeguarded the e-mails because it was evident as early as the fall of 2003 that police were investigating suspicions of fraud surrounding the BC Rail deal.

He said the Solicitor-General was advised of the investigation, and if that didn't make it clear there could be legal action, the dramatic police raid on the legislature certainly should have.

“Clear imprimaturs were given to the government that those documents should be retained and not treated as trash,” he said."

It has never been more clearly said.

If these e-mails have been erased, then charges should be laid against those in government who did so, and those who gave the permission to do so. If evidence has been "knowingly" destroyed there is no escaping the fact it is a criminal act to do so. Certainly the facts within Mr. Bolton's statement back that up, as does even the general knowledge of the public as witnesses of the raid on the legislature. We all watched the dramatic raid on the legislature on TV - even a lay person would know a raid of that magnitude, (boxes upon boxes of documents removed from legislative offices) would involve legal consequences....and even a lay person would know that all evidence must be kept.

Certainly the Solicitor-General, and those in the premier's office, including the premier himself, WOULD.... AND SHOULD KNOW THIS BETTER THAN ANYONE.

This historic raid on the legislature, as Mr. Bolton states, clearly gave urgent notice of potential legal action.

The people of BC could stand as witnesses in this regard.

We watched the raid on TV.

We witnessed the shocking removal of many, many boxes of documents from inside of OUR legislature.

Play the video please. And let's hope it hasn't been erased.
 
Re: Lynx's comment.....

So, just who was the Solicitor General at the time?

Why, none other than Rich Coleman, who, in a media scrum recorded by Sean Holman uttered the following statements to reporters questions in Sept. 2004:

Media: Are you reasonably confident that this is a blip - that there isn't any more of this kind of thing going on in your government?

Solicitor General Coleman: Yes I am.

Media: Why do you say that?

Solicitor General Coleman: I just feel that, if I look at the overall operations of government and the professionalism I see our people display every day - and I see this particular file - there's nothing that would lead me to believe there's anything else in our government to be concerned about......


Thus, clearly Mr. Coleman needs to be asked....what did he know, and when did he know it.



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Let's not forget that Solicitor General Rich Coleman was an RCMP officer.........
 
http://www.opinion250.com/blog/view/13210/7/bc+rail+-+great+fortunes,+great+crimes
 
To Anonymous 10:18,

Many thanks for sending me this link ... I check Opinion 250 Prince George regularly ... don't know how I missed that column but I did miss it.

Thanks again.

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