Tuesday, August 25, 2009


"I practiced criminal law for 15 years before moving to the bench 10 years ago." A good reason why Justice Bennett should NOT leave the BC Rail Case.

November 2005 ... April 2006 ... June 6, 2006 ... September 2006 ... October 2006 ... December 2006 ... February 2007 ... April 2007 ...

All but the last date are cancellations of the BC Rail trial. But April 30, 2007 was different: the day when the first witness was sworn in and the Basi Virk Basi Trial began ... an event which has suddenly taken on a massive significance.

That first witness was John Preissell (or Preissl) who had been President of the Auto-Glass Survival Coalition. It's not as if the RCMP or the Crown Prosecution had invited much less subpoenaed John Preissell. No, no, no, nothing like that. John Preissell was an outraged citizen who phoned the RCMP himself but, he said, they didn't seem very interested. So later, on a Sunday, he telephoned Kevin McCullough, lawyer for Bobby Virk, one of the accused.

That brings us to BC Supreme Court on April 30, 2007 when ... drum-roll please ... John Preissell walked in, was sworn in, took the witness stand and gave evidence on File #23299 - HMTQ v. Udhe Singh (Dave) Basi, Bobby Singh Virk, and Aneal Singh Basi.

The BC Rail Trial had left the station. Or did it?

If you ask me, I think we're expected to believe that it didn't leave the station ... that nothing happened, as in "Just keep movin' along, folks, ain't nuthin' to see here ..." But the following two news stories from that time, say otherwise. The Basi Virk Basi Trial did start on April 30, 2007 and here's the thing: because it started and is on record as having started, Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett is obliged to continue as presiding judge. Obliged to continue. Check the Criminal Code of Canada, Section 669.2 where it is very specific: only if a judge dies is she freed from her duty to complete a trial in progress. [See
Madam Justice Bennett had another option for staying on the BC Rail case, posted on this blog August 19, 2009.]

The thing is, I do believe that somebody wants her gone. In the nicest possible way, of course. They're not quite issuing bulletins saying so, but on the other hand, they can send Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm into Madam Bennett's courtroom to "show leadership" as they say, by suggesting that he holds the power, not Bennett, the presiding judge. But that's not really true. The thing is: he signalled that she'd be gone.

Still and all, if you ask me, I don't think that Madam Justice Bennett, after a career of presiding over 300 criminal trials, is easily bullied. I think she's steady on her feet. Actually, I believe she hurled a neat little mortar of her own when she said that she'd resign from the BC Court of Appeal if she thought that necessary ... "if the trial's fairness would be affected by her decision," she said, if she "thought for a moment that it would be affected, she would resign from the court of appeal." Ha. Take that, Dohm-boy. She tossed another bomblet when she herself mentioned the testimony of John Pressell.

The chosen replacement is a judge who has presided over only 168 trials, few of them criminal trials. This echoes the mis-matched appointment of the Special Prosecutor on this very important criminal trial ... a Special Crown Prosecutor who in his long legal career has had very little experience in criminal trials. Bill Berardino, in my opinion, has done a poor job on the Basi Virk Basi trial.

Add all this up, and what have you got? Well, for one thing: remember that the Defence wanted Justice Bennett to stay on the BC Rail trial ... appealed for her stay stay on ... but the Crown Prosecutor (on our behalf) wanted her gone, and gone immediately.

Remember that there appears to be a very strong pattern of delay, delay, delay ... of forgetfulness, oops! and "the dog ate my e.mails". The fumbling could easily lead to a Charter Challenge and dismissal of the entire trial -- the worst possible result. Because if Basi, Virk and Basi are innocent, they would never have it proven under oath. The people of B.C. would never know why or how we lost a railway in the biggest privatization deal Canada has ever seen. Taxpayers would be stuck with everybody's legal costs for participating in a trial that eroded the public trust and made the judiciary look like dupes. Finally, the real perps would continue to prosper, as before.

I think that Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett is our best hope of changing that result into a positive outcome by getting the BC Rail Trial moving. - BC Mary.

I hope that John Preissell feels a sense of satisfaction that he came forward with his story when it wasn't easy to do so. Congratulations to him for that. The Vancouver Sun story is HERE, about the successful conclusion of the efforts of the Auto Glass Survival Coalition against Speedy Auto Glass Cited for 'kickbacks', at least 5 officials conspired to defraud I.C.B.C., Vancouver Sun - Feb. 26, 2004. Preisell's testimony, given April 30, 2007, has taken on a whole new significance in the matter of the BC Rail trial, so I will post segments from two lengthy, informative reports from that time ...

Lobbyist protective of ex-minister, trial hears

Click HERE for the full column.

VANCOUVER -- The trial of two former provincial government aides accused of corruption heard its first witness testimony yesterday.

Defence lawyer Kevin McCullough told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett that he had a phone call Sunday from a man who said he received a threatening phone call four years ago from a lobbyist involved in the B.C. Rail sale.

The lawyer then called to the witness stand John Preissell, who testified he received a call in May or June 2003 from former lobbyist Brian Kieran, who "threatened me three or four times" as a warning against embarrassing Gary Collins, then B.C. finance minister.

At the time, he recalled, he was representing a group called the Auto Glass Survival Coalition, which was upset over how one glass repair company was handling Insurance Corp. of B.C. claims.

He said the coalition planned to expose the chain's unfair tactics, which eventually made front-page news.

Preissell said Kieran "told me I could go to the media ... and embarrass ICBC, but not embarrass the finance minister."

At the time, Collins's portfolio included ICBC.

After the raid on the legislature on Dec. 28, 2003, Preissell said, he saw Kieran's name connected to that of Collins's former ministerial aide, Dave Basi, and contacted police to complain about the threats Kieran had made.

He recalled speaking to an RCMP sergeant named Lawson.

"I said he [Kieran] repeatedly threatened me to stay away from Collins," he testified.

But the officer didn't seem too interested and passed him along to another officer named Bud Bishop, who also did not seem interested, he added.

Kieran and Collins are expected to be key Crown witnesses at the trial.

Collins's lawyer, Clark Roberts, who is monitoring the proceedings, said yesterday he talked to Collins, who has no recollection of ever meeting Preissell.

Appearance of the surprise witness at the trial caught the prosecution off-guard.

Janet Winteringham, a lawyer with the prosecution team, had the judge stand the witness down until he returns later this week to be cross-examined.

Basi and Bob Virk are accused of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes from Kieran and his lobbyist partner, Erik Bornmann, in exchange for leaking confidential information about the B.C. Rail bidding process.

Basi's cousin, Aneal Basi, is accused of money laundering for allegedly accepting cheques from Bornmann and transferring money to Dave Basi.

At the time, Kieran and Bornmann were partners in the lobby firm Pilothouse, whose client was U.S.-based OmniTRAX, one of the three bidders for B.C. Rail.


Wire tap said to tie Collins
Bill Tieleman
The Tyee - 4 May 2007

... But nothing [Defence lawyer, Kevin KcCullough] did could have helped his case more than an unexpected phone call he received on Sunday, April 29, from a man named John Preissell.

Preissell, it turns out, had contacted RCMP in January 2005 to offer information he had about the role of provincial lobbyist Brian Kieran in the case. And after speaking to McCullough, Preissell made a surprise appearance in the courtroom Monday to give evidence.

Preissell told the court in sworn testimony as the case's unscheduled and first witness that the RCMP "didn't seem too interested" when he contacted them about Kieran, who is one of the Crown's key witnesses against the defendants.

McCullough found that amazing because first of all, special prosecutor Bill Berardino had never disclosed the Preissell tip to the defence.

And second, because Preissell testified under oath that Kieran had threatened him over a planned public campaign against Gary Collins about Insurance Corporation of B.C. issues. Collins was minister responsible then and Preissell at that time was owner of an auto body and glass repair shop having "red tape" trouble with ICBC.

"The bottom line was he [Kieran] threatened me repeatedly and said if we didn't back off of Mr. Collins we wouldn't get what we wanted," Preissell alleged. "I was actually afraid, I was very afraid."

Preissell said that at the time of the threat in the spring of 2003 he was a member of a group of the Auto Glass Survival Coalition and that another industry group he had been involved with had hired Kieran as a lobbyist.

"Kieran offered to work for the Coalition for free to embarrass ICBC but not to embarrass the minister of finance," Preissell testified.

When I [Tieleman] contacted Kieran and read him Preissell's statement he declined comment. "As per the past three years, I've been advised by my attorney that I should wait until I'm in court to say my piece," said Kieran, a longtime Victoria political columnist for The Province newspaper before becoming a lobbyist.

Railroading and the RCMP

Preissell's surprise appearance was followed by another surprise appearance the next day. The Crown discovered extensive notes of the tip received by veteran RCMP Sergeant Bud Bishop. And Bishop himself showed up in court.

However by the time McCullough had read Bishop's notes, he was barely able to control his anger.

"You've been hearing me repeatedly talk about the failure of the Crown and the RCMP to disclose," he told Justice Bennett. "These are comprehensive notes about BC Rail. They're not just about Mr. Preissell. Sergeant Bishop's notes were never disclosed in any way, period."

"But for Mr. Preissell phoning us, we would never have pursued this at all," McCullough said heatedly. "The special prosecutor has not met his disclosure obligations whatsoever."

It then turned out that Bishop's notes were indeed a treasure trove of information that included references to other public tips and mention of current B.C. Liberal Forests Minister Rich Coleman and former B.C. Liberal Deputy Premier Christy Clark.

"These notes contain details of conversations Sergeant Bishop had with a Terry Fergusson," about BC Rail issues, McCullough continued. Fergusson, he said, "complained about a flawed process, that he complained to Christy Clark about, that he was talking to Mr. Virk about the very flawed processes that were going on."

"Four MLAs wrote Christy Clark [or] saw Coleman," McCullough read from Bishop's notes. "He left out that Mr. Fergusson was having dealings with Christy Clark and seeing Minister Coleman. That begins to tell you, milady, how the B.C. Liberal government is operating."

Christy Clark did not respond to a request to comment on statements attributed to Fergusson. It later turned out that Fergusson is executive director of the National Historical Railway Society, a group that sued BC Rail in 1998 over money it claimed was owed to it.

The missing notes didn't anger just McCullough. Justice Bennett had sharp words for the special prosecutor as well.

"You see the problem with this?" Bennett asked Janet Winteringham, assistant to special prosecutor Bill Berardino, who is absent from the hearing.

"Yes," Winteringham answered.

"As you probably know, I practiced criminal law for 15 years before moving to the bench 10 years ago. What you're telling me is troubling, that these disclosures are coming at this stage," Bennett concluded ... [there's more]

Click HERE for the full column.


I think maybe it's time to post an allegation myself...

The interested public should remember the following section from the Criminal Code of Canada:

467.1(1) The following definitions apply in this Act.
"criminal organization" means a group, however organized, that (a) is composed of three or more persons in or outside Canada; and (b) has as one of its main purposes or main activities the facilitation or commission of one or more serious offences that, if committed, would likely result in the direct or indirect material benefit, including a financial benefit, by the group or by any of the persons who constitute the group.

The allegation (in the form of a question) is as follows: Is it possible that the current government of British Columbia has become, in effect, A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION?

Don't know if you want to print this or not Mary, but I think it's time someone said it.
What makes this all the more incredibly absurd is that the guys who have immunity are the guys alleged to have provided benefit. Is that completely and totally nutz or am I losing it?

As for the comment by GWest very good question G. A caller asked the same question on NW of course he was ignored and cut off.

Benefit hmmmm, the presiding judge in the latest BC biker trial said that was the key to conviction...another peculiar coincidence...
G. West, I think your allegation is very correct. When one looks at this entire BC Rail issue, it's impossible not to see high levels of criminality involved in it. It's also not hard to see that the prosecution is trying to walk through this trial with their eyes closed!

Mary, from where I stand, there should be NO choice about returning Justice Bennett to this case. I have nothing against Justice MacKenzie, but (and I mean this respectfully) I don't believe she's ready to handle a case like this one. Not even close. Which is why I think she was chosen...she's still malleable, and perhaps easily influenced by a superior.

If Preissell was the first witness sworn under oath on the stand - then the trial has begun for real. As you say, Justice Bennett is now obliged to carry this through to the end. Is there anything the public can do to force this issue if need be?
Good question, Leah ... and here's my guess.

I think it might help if we spread the word around using the shortest, snappiest message possible.

Like: if a trial has started, the judge must stay with it. Add the CCC section 662.1 later, if necessary.

Line #2: the Basi Virk trial started on April 30, 2007 when John Preissell was sworn in and gave testimony.

Line #3: therefore Madam Justice Bennett must stay on the case. It's the law ... the CCC thing again.

Since the Legislature is in, the message could be sent to them. To the A.G. To the local independent newspapers. To the call-in shows. And left on the "Have Your Say" options in some Big Media. Anywhere. Everywhere.

All the usual stuff. Oh. And the blogs, Leah! the blogs!!

Thanks for your message, it's always good to hear from you.
"it's the law....."

Yes, Mary it is. But as in another post elsewhere, it seems that despite all the evidence of lawbreaking that's coming out during this trial, neither the court nor the police nor the provincial or federal attorneys-general seem very interested in enforcing it. The law that is.

This case is all about selective charges, cherrypicking victims of the political and legal process. And yes, it's really odd that the main perpetrators of the deed are those with immunity. And even so, at least one of those can now be shown to be an unreliable witness, or at least one of suspect character and motives.

Other than by the lobbying measures you've proposed (and sorry to use that word - "lobbying", which has a bad taste in my mouth given what we've seen of lobbyists) - we have little means of making the various arms of government enforce the law if they don't want to. Serious crimes go unpunished and even uninvestigated (except by bloggers, apparently). And in cases like Brian Skakun's up in PG, the wrongdoer is given a promotion and moved to another location while the whistleblower is charged for violating the wrongdoer's privacy (much the same happened re the Grant Bristow case....).

A $20 million trial over a $120,000 payment that the defendants themselves didn't set up, only expedited.....we've certainly found out more than $20 million dollars worth of information, but the truly guilty parties are nowhere near being charged, and can veil themselves in privilege and sub judice and enjoy the position of being the foxes in charge of the chicken coop. It should not be left to their own appointees (judges) and underlings (police and Crown attorneys) to decide whether or not to lay charges, when the evidence of wrongdoing is so clear.

This country needs a mechanism whereby wrongdoing by politicians - crimes against the state, crimes against the constitution - are immune from political interference, and where political appointees are not in charge of deciding whether to lay charges or not. What that would be and how it would work I don't know, but we're seeing too clearly the price of constitutional monarchy giving the reins of majority power to a party and government with no respect for the public good, and an interest only in political and economic banditry.
Uh, G West, I don't mean to steal your thunder but I think I made that same comment a long time ago...maybe not here in Mary's blog and without being able to cite the section number in the CCC. Actually come to think of it I raised it in a post on the article about Nettleton's imputation that the entire caucus was guilty of collusion......and I think I also raised it re the troika of Campbell-Kinsella-McLean (though given what we know about the privatization of CN itself that circle is much larger than only three and could include Paul Martin and maybe Mark Marissen and who knows who else....).

In re the deletion of the emails, it's almost certain that more than one person was involved in that transaction.

But as in my just-prevoius post, if those in charge of the law are not interested in enforcing the law, save selectively, what can be done about it?
Skookum 1,

I was just thinking, with the re-opening of the BC Legislature at this critical juncture in BC history ...

wouldn't it be great if the Opposition Justice Critic got up and made a stirring speech about good law and BC Rail ... ?

(but not Runnymede again) ...

Leonard Krog, where are you?
Skookum, that you say its odd that the main perpetrators of the deed are those with immunity, doesnt make it so.

Basi does not have immunity. Neither does Collins. Nor does the premier. Nor does anyone at CN or OMNITRAX.

Only Basi, Virk & Basi have been charged.

You and I have not heard the content of the wire tap evidence to know what it was that the police heard and why charges were laid or not laid.

Let the trial begin so that we may stop the speculation and get on with it.

One more thing: the deletion of the emails I suspect was a willful and intentional act. The defence (and prosecution) must determine who ordered their destruction. That imo isnt a side bar, knowing who ordered their destruction is v the KEY and most certainly the person(s) who created the rail bc arrangment.




Anonymous 7:23, I was referring to Kieran and Bornmann, and "the deed" was the benefit about which the current case is centred; I wasn't meaning on the full range of criminal wrongdoing surrounding this, only to the particular bribe and those who arranged/expedited it and their formal immunity (which I hope is only immunity for this one situation and not "blanket immunity").
Hi BC Mary,

I am a contributing editor with the Vancouver Observer, an online news publication. We're planning a redesign of the site and for the relaunch party in October, will be publishing a one-time print edition.

I value the work you do at The Legislature Raids and would like to invite you to contribute to our pages. We can talk about what that might look like, but first I'd like to connect with you beyond your comment pages! I failed to find a direct email and so am writing you here.

Please reach me at mhs.stewart@gmail.com.

Warm regards,
Skookum. Kieran and Bornmann?

Okay. But there again, you nor I were privy to the conversations and the import of such conversations which were intercepted by wire tap, many is not substantially all between basi and and god knows who all else.

I dont get what it is that troubles you about Kieran and Bormann. Who are they? Promoters and lobbyist, middlemen, but with no power. The vendor clearly had the power in this equation, and what makes is so absurd is that the owners' representative said it was never in his plans to sell. But then that is something any vendor says when trying to achieve a higher price or better deal.

Maybe that is why the crown gave those 2 immunity and went after the vendors' employee(s)??

btw have you never sold a car before?

If a prospective purchaser suspects you are desperate to sell and there are no other bidders, then she has the power and you will get a low offer and probably end up taking a lower sale price.

I dont know who went first, ie if a bribe was offered or payment requested, but I suspect neither Borman nor Keirann took a bribe, although it looks like they assisted or participated in getting one into the hands of somone connected the vendor. i suspect wire tap evidence will tell us for sure. WE NEED A TRIAL!!

Whose pocket did the payement end up in?



There. Answered your question.
The BC Rail case was brught up in question period by the Opposition Leader, so was one of the first three questions raised in this session
That's great news, 8:23 ...

I'll check out Hansard right away.

Many thanks!
Stop waffling; they expedited the payment and arranged it, even it seems proposed it......

Do you not see that?
Holy cats ... I drag myself back to the comments section after reading, reading ... scanning, scanning ... then scrolling, crolling

down, down, down


which say nothing.

Obviously Gordo's Gang has decided to talk out the clock ... and the so-called Opposition is going to demonstrate that they can talk even more.

No ideas, no vision.


And Gordo didn't attempt to answer the question about BC Rail.

Hopeless bunch.
Skookum1. I suspect that they did expedite the payment. But we know they were not the vendor who took the payment and they didnt provide informaiton to a bidder in exchange for the payment. Nor do I know if they proposed the payment. Those details, again, I suspect exist within the wire tap evidence, which caused the police to recommend charges and the crown to approve them, supported of course by the dispostion of the payment, which, according to newspaper reports, was laundered through another person's bank account before ending up in the hands of the beneficiary.

You are not alone in your confusion over that, which is why this thing needs to go to TRIAL and the evidence heard, all of it, the good the bad and the ugly.

I am with you on that I too hope the amnesty that may have been provided to some is only in respect to a narrow issue and not an open ticket out of jail free card. I would love to see a major shake up but I suspect we wont, expecially when judges who are on the case get promoted and taken off the case as this thing winds it way through the courts in what has to be an insane justice system designed to get anyone with deep pockets off just about anything.

I want a trial NOW. No more delays, compel the govt to explain the deleted emails. Compel Kinsella to give his peice. lBring it on!
Well, if we're going to make excuses for people whose only 'crime' is expediting payment you have to shed a tear for little Erik (Bornmann that is) too.

Don't you?

I mean, Jeez, the poor guy finishes Law School but can't qualify for a license to drive that professional qualification because somebody at the Law Society of Upper Canada thinks he needs to go through a hearing to determine if a guy who ratted on some of his 'BC Liberal' friends to keep his own ass off the line is suitable to be a lawyer in Ontario...

How long has Erik been twiddling his thumbs in his parents' basement?

Do you ever think maybe little Erik wishes he could end what must seem to him kind of like 'Groundhog Day'?

I've always kind of thought there would be some kind of quid pro quo in this caper for Erik...

Because you know, it's not just Erik who benefited by the way this investigation and 'trial' have gone...and Erik's 'benefit' must be starting to seem like a very mixed blessing to an ambitious up and comer like Mr Bornmann, LLb.

Anyone have any ideas about that?
Anonymous, 8;23:

That was as little mention of BC Rail as possible, not a question at all. More like a shrug.

I agree with BC Mary.

No ideas, no vision.

I'll add - no leadership.

No question on BC Rail again today.

What kind of strategy is this?

Bloody hell.
"Gordon Campbell apologizes"
My comment has nothing to do with this story but I noticed on The Tyee you some interest in the Dieppe Raid so might want to check out a book called Bodyguard of Lies by Anthony Cave Brown which has a chapter on the raid.
Thank you, John Denniston, I always appreciate a recommendation on that piece of Canadian history.

I have had that book for quite a few years: Bodyguard of Lies by Anthony Cave Brown is controversial amongst historians because of some inaccuracies. But there's a lot of good insights in it, too. Plus, it's a reminder of how careful a good historian must be.

I think the best book about the Dieppe Raid was written by Brian Loring Villa. It's called Unauthorized Action, Mountbatten and the Dieppe Raid. If looking for it, be sure to get the 2nd edition which has new findings added.

Have you made a study of the Dieppe Raid yourself? I wonder if you agree that Canada should have made each August 19 since 1942 a day of remembrance, the way the Australians pause each April 20 for ANZAC Day in honour of their troops doomed in a similar military assault at Gallipoli in WWI.

Thanks for your message. It's always good to know of others interested in these special things.
Re info on "Anne MacKenzie": I make a datafile on most judicial appointments, but I don't have time. 100% of Bench members have participated in at least a few decisions published on the databases. UBC Alumni should have access to "Best Cases." Courthouse libraries usually subscribe to "Westlaw," which is comprehensive (Canlii is of lesser value). I would search "Ann Mackenzie" on Westlaw, for exemplary of cases on which she served as attorney. Unfortunately, many attornies use only initials on case filings, thus a search of "A MacKenzie" might work. But, dual initials poses a particular problem. Although I find 100% of targets.

You can learn: civil or criminal specialty; crown or private; rank in prosecutorial service; small or large firm; Lib or NDP connected; winner or loser; barrister or solicitor; clean record or incurred special costs; pro bono or strictly in it for the money; etc etc. Also, the Legal Services Society and Law Society and Bar Assn websites often publish papers written by attornies; one can discern legal philosophies from same.

There is a huge unwritten scandal viz the intentional exclusion of members of the Defence Bar from the Bench. The Peter Leask and David St Pierre appointments appear odd, until you learn that Leask served on the Street Justice Committee and St Pierre is both African-Canadian and successfully sued Canwest (scumbags) for defamation: saying no to either would have been too hot to handle.

Note: Canwest dorks do ZERO research of this kind, and they don't print objective findings of others.
Re Justice Anne W MacKenzie: I found a couple of cases. This one involves Mackenzie dealing with a violation of a civil order. Very contentious.


The Ontario Bar Assn took notice of MacKenzie's decision in their case study notebook on Canadian "disclosure" law.


(Worth downloading. I converted it to a 55 page PDF file)
Tremendous thanks to Anonymous 10:47 and 11:26,

this is very much appreciated.

I hope we can talk again tomorrow.
plus this comment which was left on the "Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett" posting,

so I'll bring it over here with your other two:

Canlii has 7 cases under "A W MacKenzie." She was a prosecutor who was appointed to the Provincial Court. Later she was appointed to the Supreme Court, where she appears to have dealt with mostly family law matters. She may have some Administrative Law expertise but appears to be a drone.


This was my concern: the family law specialty which might not be much help in a big complicated commercial crime trial.

Anonymous 7:10, it's fine and dandy to want this trial to start (technically it already has because one witness has testified) and to compel Kinsella to the stand etc etc (whether he'd tell the truth under oath or not is debatable, but the nature of complicated lies is they tend to tie themselves in knots).

What I"m concerned about is that this trial continues to be a smokescreen for the REAL charges and the REAL crimes, i.e. "REAL" in the sense of "bigger and more important". The rigged bidding process, the collusion, the outright fraud of gaining power by lying and the conspiracy to mislead and to presume, the deletion of emails and more. BV&B are only bit players in the big drama; the trial that's important here is the charges against the Premier, his senior staff, his campaign manager, and those who aided and abetted their wrongdoing; and also against those in the corporate sector who were the other side of this dirty, dirty coin.
Yes, let this trial finally start, in earnest. But let it be with a judge who knows the material and has commercial-law experience and political astuteness, and let it not detract from the need to lay the primary charges in this scandal, which the Crown and RCMP so far have been unwilling to do.

This whole affair points up not just the endemic nature of corruption in our political system, but of the need for an overhaul of the judiciary and policing to ensure political independence, especially in matters of political propriety and democratic decency. The use of constitutional convention and executive privilege to make government as "what you can get away with" MUST END.

How to end it, well, I think only the jailing of a Premier might accomplish the beginnings of such a reform. He should have resigned a long time ago because of this; it's time the law took him from power.
Amen, Skookum.
How bloody depressing does it get?!?!

We can only hope he spends time in the hoosegow, or we'll be facing that _()U&$!*Y$@)!!!!! again in 2013?

OMG! *setting hair on fire!*
New legislation for this site:

Nobody is allowed to get depressed.

Drag-butts will be prosecuted.

Culprits found guilty will be assigned duties leading to better circumstances.

Rehabilitation means: Have you written to Gordo today? To tell him how you feel. Tell him you are 7 feet tall, have big muscles, and are mad as hell. You know ...
See below a reference to a criminal case that MacKenzie J decided. She exhonerated a member of the Hell's Angels, because organized criminality was not proven. Actually, while criminals join "biker" clubs, most have jobs and families, and wire tap evidence has never found evidence that those clubs exist solely for the purpose of criminal activity. MacKenzie had served as a prosecutor; I find no reason to believe that she decided the case below on anything other than the evidence. Maybe, she will surprise us.


Someone mentioned that Bennett has already taken testimony in B-V-B. Yes, but on preliminary matters only; no evidence has been taken on actual trial issues.
It is asked: where is Leonard Krog? Actually the NDP's justice critic is good at answering his email. Of course, be reasonable and brief and NEVER give him cause to think you are going to send him tons of material.

Oh, puh-leeze 8:35,

You're talking (down) to someone who wrote a concise request to Krog for his participation in BC Rail Day.

I wrote 3 times. No response until the day before BC Rail Day when it was too late to do anything constructive ... and then his minions sent a form letter (skewing the facts) to those of us who had sought his support.

Nobody offered to send him "tons of material" ... sheesh!

And I won't be writing to him again.

Because on BC Rail Day, he held a press conference which, in my opinion, faked his interest in BC Rail.

He lost a lot of friends and some genuine long-time NDP supporters through his own actions and inaction ... so my advice would be for you to direct you instructions to Krog -- not to the people who tried to work with him.

He's being well paid to do a job ... a job which he failed dismally to do.
... and by the way, suppose a constituent did offer to send him more material ...

is the poor dear likely to swoon with the burden of having to say "Can you condense that, please?"

I've never heard of an M.L.A. who could tolerate only a certain kind, size, style of letter.

But y'know, it does kinda fit with the image Krog has created for himself.
Responding to Anonymous 8:30, about whether John Preissell's testimony is actual trial testimony or merely pre-trial debate ...

That's certainly the 'distinction' that Bennett is hanging her hat on - I think it's arguable (and) had she wanted to she could have stayed and used that 'sworn testimony' as the reason.

Of course that's the problem with the law - most judicial arguments are exercises in logical and verbal gymnastics to find ways to 'distinguish' the cases and precedent you don't agree with from the ones you respect and want to uphold.

I don't think there's a way - outside of that kind of legalistic tap dancing - that allows one to come to any other conclusion about Bennett - I think she wanted out and when the appointment to the court of appeal came up it was a way she could do that.

Clearly, if she wanted to stay she could have - nobody would have forced her to leave and she's not 'dead'... Btw, I hope anon is right about MacKenzie, J ... he/she sounds a 'bit' like a lawyer too.
I'm tiring of hearing Gordon Campbell oft repeated phrase of "looking forward". When is he going to look backwards, to the time that he and his cabinet created the BC Rail sell-off and the ensuing kickbacks that were pre-determined for those who had insider information?

In the Vancouver Sun this morning in the Issues and Ideas section (C4) Craig McInnes writes about the "Fairly smooth waters for BC Ferries"

His best of two complaints about the $133 million BC Ferries Northern Expedition is the $30 fee for passengers to use the forward lounge....... I therefore dutifully shipped off a Letter to the Editor.

His second complaint, a much valued one, strikes to the very heart of the BC Liberals killing off Tourism BC and putting it in the hands of the over paid top guns at PAB headquarters.

eg. California tourists were told that there would be a $250 fee for the canoe, on top of what they paid to get their car, and themselves on board the Northern Expedition. The visitors left the canoe behind, then they found there was ample room, no structurally restrictive height limit on the vessel. Can you imagine the publicity that will result in this back in 35 million population California?

Just wait, the PAB will be buying up advertising in every newspaper, magazine in the USA to offset this blunder on the part of the government and David Hann, President and CEO of BC Ferries..... last line bio includes this: "restructured and revitalized the Company with a strong emphasis on customer service."

"Customer Service", come on!!!!
I'm with Mary on this oh 8:35. Leonard Krog has NEVER replied to any of my email to him. The closest he ever came was when one of his lackeys sent the meaningless form letter on BC Rail day or the day before. He is supposed to be the justice critic and here in the land of kangaroo courts manipulated by the criminals themselves he has almost nothing to even say in the House or to his constituents.

BTW G. West, I have maintained for a few years now the the Campbell Crime Family is the largest and most lucrative criminal organization in BC, if not Canada.

As to the reference cited above re: Justice MacKenzie - "she appears to have dealt with mostly family law matters".

Perhaps she could be assigned to unravel Gordo's complicated "family status" so we could once and for all know if Gordo belongs in the dock with Winston Blackmore - as in how many wives (or wife equivalents) and families does this guy actually have?

There is
Nancy who is brought in from cold storage for election purposes and then there is Lara and child - could there be more?

This government has made "conflict of interest" into accepted practice. When we have to replace solicitor-generals almost as often as our underwear and the forest minister and his brother an executive with TimberWest are doing land deals that are secret and not in the public interest and land in the ALR is considered ripe for exploitation and development, and the media assumes the role of cheer leader, it is difficult to know where to start to make things right! Are there any cabinet ministers without directorships lined up with Greed Power, salmon farms of other corporate recipients of BC liaR largesse?
Krog is useless but shines in comparison to his collegues and the utterly abysmal leader of the oppositon, whats her name ... carol james.

so long as the ndp is what it is, the liberals have nothing to fear. nada. and that is a shame. because this trial, if it should happen, which i doubt it will, but if it does, will end in mistrial and no one will ever be convicted. the accused afterall has an AAA legal team with an unlimited budget.
Bernardino isn't independent; he is with Hunter-Litigation Chambers, which is the prime beneficiary of the rights-butchery that has reduced the Supreme Court of BC to holding less than 500 trials per year, out of 60,000 filings.

The entire UK has only 1000 Barristers; BC has 9000. For 500 trials? And few Barristers would be caught dead either pleading a trial or a motion before a judge or master. Motions courts are an arena where mostly post-pubescent associates and kid-lawyers carry out orders from the rear-guard ersatz-barristers. Masters are empowered to enforce orders from real judges alone. Yet, they - and judges in chambers - are sandbagging cases with merit. If that is not done there, then dirty-barristers force parties into alternate-dispute-resolution venues, like Hunter-Litigation.

But can justice result from this systemic derogation of the right to seek redress in court? Hardly, under the Esson-Brenner tyrannies at the SCBC, ZERO cops have been successfully sued for false arrest. Yet that is not true in any of the other provinces. All but the morally bankrupt can come to no other conclusion than: case-fixing is systemic in BC. It is an actuarial impossiblity for government, and connected parties to win nearly 100% of trials and motions in BC. But they do.

That is news. As was the Socred squanderage of provincial assets, gathered under the NDP. But our media doesn't report news.

Further, Law Society rules - a void of public purpose - causes 25,000 BC residents to file cases without representation because lawyers are allowed to force unilaterally beneficial contracts on clients. Most cases initiated without representation are abandoned after an adversary Barrister puts them in a position where they are abused by a court master. That can be seen EVERYDAY in room 32 of SCBC Vancouver. On my own observation, one third of cases presented by lawyers under the supposed "reform" rules, are found to be placed in error. One can neither get a lawyer period, nor a competent one under the money burning farce of BC justice.

By the way, Section 96 (federally appointed robed parasites) extorted a pension gouge of 67% of the highest wage earned over 10 years on the Bench, AND they can take that while continuing to work until the age of 75 (actually 2 of same are working at the age of 77).
BC Mary: sorry that Krog gave you the run-around.

But, I posed Estate Law reform questions to him, and received a reply in hours. Then we had a back and forth over the next couple of days, which concluded with Deputy AG, Alan Seckel, taking notice of same. Maybe he only does footwork on certain issues.

Of course, the NDP is out of touch. They lost a seat in a Cambie Skytrain riding in spite of the gross mismanagement of the construction of the new line. People who would have waited untold hours in face of unnecessary construction delays, voted for the jackasses who caused it. Democracy doesn't guarantee common sense voting.
Somehow, 1:29, that doesn't make me feel better about Krog. Worse, in fact.

And didn't you say not to alarm the man with "tons of material" ... ?

But for you, he performed.

For us, he didn't lift a hand.

Except, of course, he did host a Vancouver press conference to give the impression that he was immersed in the BC Rail topic ... like, wouldn't you say that was taking credit for the work we had done to make July 14, 2009 "BC Rail Day"?

Not so much a run-around as a double-cross. Krog lost supporters over this - not just for himself but for the NDP. Dumb. Public service it is not.
BCMary. 5:43. Agreed.
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