Thursday, July 16, 2009


Victoria admits loss of corruption-trial e-mails

Vancouver Sun story dated July 16, 2009 is HERE.

Either someone destroyed them deliberately, or it's a gross level of incompetence, NDP critic says

By Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun; with files from Jonathan Fowlie and Gerry Bellett - June 24, 2009

A defence lawyer in the Basi-Virk political corruption trial said Tuesday he was shocked to learn that thousands of government e-mails may have been lost or cannot be recovered.

"It's a shocking revelation to us that they've disappeared and are irretrievable," Michael Bolton said in an interview outside the Supreme Court of B.C.

"At the moment, our view is that these [e-mails] must be recoverable," Bolton said.{Snip} ...

"We don't have any e-mails to or from Mr. Campbell -- none," defence lawyer Kevin McCullough said in court Tuesday. "There are highly relevant documents that have not been produced."

McCullough said one senior government official, David Morhart, had initially told police he had 2,000 e-mails that the RCMP could have, but no one seemed to take him up on his offer. He suggested that was because police were tailoring their investigation to target the accused rather than any government ministers. {Snip} ...

Campbell said Tuesday all policies had been followed and he denied any records were inappropriately destroyed.

"The records that should be kept under the law have been kept," he said.

He said he did not know what e-mails were being referred to. "I know that we follow the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and we protect all of the records that should be protected."

Government policy stipulates that many types of e-mails should be deleted right away.

They include "transitory" e-mails, routine messages that do not deal directly with the business of government, such as notes to confirm meetings.

E-mails that do deal directly with the business of government have to be kept, however, with the length of time depending on the subject.

"Government can't dispose of records except in accordance with an approved schedule," said Catherine Tully, acting executive director of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Also Tuesday, McCullough pointed out in court that documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request revealed the government used a public servant, Stuart Chase, to sit in the courtroom during the trial to report who was attending and what they were saying.

"That's how our taxpayer dollars are being used," McCullough told the judge. "He's reporting back to his political masters."

"Isn't that what the public affairs bureau is supposed to do?" the judge asked. [Oh, dear ... ! - BC Mary.]

McCullough said the defence wants to know who in government was receiving Chase's daily reports.



Ian Austin
The Province - July 16, 2009

The lengthy B.C. Rail corruption trial took a severe turn for the worse for Premier Gordon Campbell's Liberal government Thursday.

The trial was rocked by the revelation that e-mails from the premier may have been destroyed during the May election campaign.

Read the full column HERE.


And a new slant as The Canadian Press takes the story to Kitchener Ontario, and to the East Ottawa Star:

Court hears government emails in BC Rail corruption case may still exist
570 NEWS, Kitchener, Ontario
THE CANADIAN PRESS - July 16, 2009

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Contradictory statements by some B.C. government officials over missing emails has a major corruption trial in an uproar.

Defence lawyers want a B.C. Supreme Court judge to order the production of allegedly destroyed emails tied to Premier Gordon Campbell and cabinet members.

Lawyers for former cabinet aides David Basi and Bobby Virk hope the emails contain information that will help the men accused of fraud and breach of trust in the 2003 sale of Crown-owned BC Rail to CN Rail.

The government had always insisted the emails could not be recovered because backup tapes are erased after 13 months.

But an affidavit by the official in charge of the government's messaging service apparently states they were not ordered destroyed until last May, and that some could still exist in the hands of a private contractor.

Judge Elizabeth Bennett says she will rule Monday on the relevance of the emails, which defence lawyers hope will bolster their claim that Basi and Virk were acting on instructions to leak information about the BC Rail bid process to keep one bidder in the game.

A hot tip from Kootcoot tells me that CBC and Global had this story on the TV News at noon today. Koot says the issue "has exploded" ... and he's doing a story on the fascinating concept of how people named Rose Mary or Rosemarie become famous for helping to spill the official beans. - BC Mary.

Bill Tieleman's blog has an excellent report HERE which includes this interesting paragraph:

... The affidavits, which have not been made public, include statements from Campbell’s Chief of Staff Martyn Brown, Deputy Chief of Staff Lara Dauphinee, Deputy Chief of Staff for Issue Management Jay Schlosar, Tobie Myers, ministerial assistant to Housing Minister Rich Coleman, Natalie Poole-Moffat, ministerial assistant to Energy and Mines Minister Blair Lekstrom, Fraser Randall, ministerial assistant to Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon, Sandy Wharf, Director, Corporate Priorities and Performance Management in Campbell's office and Connie Richter, Executive Coordinator to Deputy Attorney General Allan Seckel, Glen Isaac, Acting Director, Corporate Records Management Branch of the Ministry of Citizens' Services, Lisa Dominato, ministerial assistant to Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid, Carolyn Bell, Executive Director of the Business Management Office, Ministry of Health Services, Gladys Michael, a former government employee responsible for Freedom Of Information requests in the Ministry of Human Resources who may have been working as a contractor and Linda Brandy, a former government employee responsible for Freedom Of Information requests in the Premier's Office, Ministry of Finance and other ministries who also may have been working as a contractor ... .


Also: 24 HOURS - July 16, 2009
Bill Tieleman.


my sunday church bulletin could beat the bc media in releasing news!but they keep flogging dead horses like the burrard bridge bike lane those three losers should be kicked out of the ledge !cutting edgeLOL baldry smyth and palmer should be ashamed of themselves they are slowly being exposed for the shills they are and there just deserts are around the corner whos the conspiracy theorists now,if I weren't so busy puking every time I see those sell outs it would be funny!
Just think about it our media is outsourced
Has anyone stopped to wonder why the tapes were destroyed in May, just before the provincial election?

Could it be that the BC Liberals were scared that they might lose the election to the NDP?

Gordon Campbell took a long time to find the least amount of money on the sale of the Fast Cats ($19 million), which enabled him to drag the NDP through their $1 billion debacle on a BC Ferry catamarn fleet.

If the NDP had won, or the BC Liberals ended up in a minority governmnet, ...........

Out of curiousity, along with the BC Rail/Executive Council tape backup of emails already destroyed in regards to the ongoing Basi/Virk/Basi trial, what other tapes were included?
i just dont beleive they are gone. they were deleted from the laptops and desktops fine. but they would exsit on the file server. they would exist on the back up tapes. there is no way a govt employee would go in there and delete tapes. they would know to do so would be wrong and no employee would risk their pension for an elected govt official. Members of the Legislature come and go. Employees would not do such a thingg

At least thats what I think..
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