Sunday, October 04, 2009

 

Can we be there on October 13 at 10:00 AM, with possibly 3 additional days for BC Rail document issues? Yes!

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The judge and lawyers working on the BC Rail Case need a sign, an image, a vivid reminder that there's a public interest to be served in the BC Rail Case. How do we express that interest? Is there a way to give a voice to the thousands upon thousands of British Columbians who would like to be in the BC Supreme Courtroom when those BC Rail documents begin rolling out?

People most directly affected by the loss of BC Rail live in Prince Rupert, Fort Nelson, Prince George, Dawson Creek, Quesnel, Smithers, Terrace, Williams Lake, Kamloops, Clinton ... thousands more of us live in other BC areas and towns. One British Columbian now living in Australia is watching this blog closely. Fact is: very, very few of us can attend the courtroom sessions.

Now is the time to launch a demonstration which, in my view, means finding a way to attend the October 13 session (which may include 3 more days, to Oct. 16). It means finding the free time and cash needed for a day (or more) in downtown Vancouver.

Never mind that BC Supreme Courtroom #20 is already outfitted with fixed cameras installed in 2003 at a cost of $7.2 million. That was for the Air India trial. These cameras belong to the people of B.C. and they could transmit the BC Rail proceedings which have significance for every citizen in every household in every corner of B.C. , and for history itself. The Air India trial also involved Destroyed evidence:

In his Air India verdict Justice Josephson cited "unacceptable negligence" by CSIS when hundreds of wiretaps of the suspects were destroyed. Of the 210 wiretaps that were recorded during the months before and after the bombing, 156 were erased. These tapes continued to be erased even after the terrorists had become the primary suspects in the bombing.

CSIS claims the wiretaps contained no relevant information but a memo from the RCMP states that "There is a strong likelihood that had CSIS retained the tapes between March and August 1985, that a successful prosecution of at least some of principals in both bombings could have been undertaken." (Wikipedia]

But, as I understand things, any request for a fixed government TV camera must be addressed to the presiding judge by the lawyers in the case. On Feb. 17, 2008, I wrote a polite e.mail, followed by hard copies in regular mail, to Bill Berardino, Michael Bolton, Kevin McCullough, and Joe Doyle asking for this to be done. There has been no response of any kind.

Like most other British Columbians, I will find it difficult and costly to be at 800 Smithe Street for any of those 4 days of hearings in October 2009. But if I thought others were making that effort, I would do my best to attend. Because why? Many reasons, but here are two recent reasons why.

First, because today Michael Moore said something about the power of the audience, following the hugely successful early showings of his new film. He said that financiers have been watching the financial markets ... but now they're awakened to the public interest because of the crowds who showed up to see his film. This, he says, makes the critical difference. Something tells me that he's right.

2) we should make this personal demonstration because of something said about CN:


Anonymous : October 3, 2009 wrote on this blog:

The CN Commercialization Act was enacted into law on July 13, 1995 and by November 28, 1995, the federal government had completed an initial public offering (IPO) and transferred all of its shares to private investors. Two key prohibitions in this legislation include, 1) that no individual or corporate shareholder may own more than 15% of CN, and 2) that the company's headquarters must remain in Montreal, thus maintaining CN as a Canadian corporation.

The CN Commercialization Act was enacted into law on July 13, 1995 and by November 28, 1995, the federal government had completed an initial public offering (IPO) and transferred all of its shares to private investors. Two key prohibitions in this legislation include, 1) that no individual or corporate shareholder may own more than 15% of CN, and 2) that the company's headquarters must remain in Montreal, thus maintaining CN as a Canadian corporation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_National_Railway

One has to wonder where British Columbians were when the Federal Liberals privatized CNR and have been in a hissy fit over BC Rail going the same route, eh!


Good (but awful) question, Anon. I can only answer for myself: I barely remember "something" happening to CN 14 years ago, which I never understood at all. But I can certainly explain about BC Rail: the shock of the police raiding the Legislature ostensibly chasing Organized Crime became more shocking when the investigation began to include the people's railway. That's when many of us realized that citizens need to keep a closer watch over government. And trials.

Awful symmetry: CN Commercialization Act ... BC Rail Revitalization Act ... and even that date: July 13, 1995 ... and BCR's death knell signed July 14, 2004.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/prb0545-e.html


The good thing is that the BC Rail issue eventually found its way into court. But the awful thing is ... that the trial may soon be over ... dismissed, with nothing accomplished if we do nothing. The BC Rail and the trial could end, not with a bang but a whimper. We'll hear only what CanWest or Big Media wants us to know ... which is next to nothing ... and with nobody taking responsibility for BCRail sliding into CN's americanized pockets. [Ref. Railways for Whom?] http://www.ramshorn.ca/archive2007/248.html

BC Rail doesn't need to go that way.

We ourselves can make an important statement. By showing up in the BC Rail courtroom, we'll be saying: "Remember us? we are the people!" We can be there, faces shining, eyes wide open, in the public gallery when Madam Justice MacKenzie calls her courtroom to order on Oct. 13. Remember how Cheryl reported that Judge Bennett kept peering into the gallery that day when more people showed up?

In addition to publicly demonstrating our interest, our reports keep the BC Rail issue on the public agenda. Not just for this blog, but for other blogs and Letters-to-Ed too. It's never over until we, the people, say it's over.

And by the way ...

There's no rule that says we can't enjoy ourselves as we do our duty. The Law Courts building -- one of Arthur Erickson's architectural treasures -- is worth seeing. Its sloping glass roof measures over an acre, arising as a public symbol of its transparency [stop, stop laughing!] - inviting the public to enter.

http://canada.archiseek.com/british_columbia/vancouver/lawcourts.html

It has 35 courtrooms but also, on the 5th floor -- the Law Courts Inn -- a restaurant (with reflecting pool), where an elegant lunch (or breakfast) is served for a mere $20., Mondays to Fridays.

That's BC Supreme Court, 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver. Courtroom reports, as you all know, are welcome postings here on The Legislature Raids. Just double-click on the word COMMENT under this posting, and tell us about it. - BC Mary.


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Comments:
"Good (but awful) question, Anon. I can only answer for myself: I barely remember "something" happening to CN 14 years ago, which I never understood at all." - BC Mary


Just stop and think BC Mary, in 14 years the logic that you use to explain why you can barely remember something that happened nationally, is the same logic that is being applied today regarding BC Rail by the majority of British Columbians, and its only a small portion of the minority of BC people that have kept the "flame burning" for five years on blogs like yours!

In another nine years the reason for BC Rail's transfer to CN Rail, from Victoria to Montreal ( based upon a theoretical use of "Trash Track" geotagging), will long be forgotten.

Unless of course you want to do a revival of who may have benefited, financially, from CN Rail going private.

Anon 2:21 aka 8:45
 
Anon 2:21 aka 8:45,

You seriously advising BC Mary to "stop and think" ...?

I'll let that one go by, just this once.

I think 1995 was the year I spent a lot of time in Australia where they are told absolutely nothing about absolutely everything in Canada.

And sure, sure, sure ... I know the "nobody is interested in BC Rail" routine. Surprised you're picking up the refrain, when it's so clearly part of the strategy.
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