Friday, October 23, 2009


No Basi-Virk Supreme Court listing for today, either ... but it probably means YES, there's a hearing, but we're just not tellin' YOU, that's all ...


Judge for yourself. This is what Bill Tieleman said last week:

Bill Tieleman also said "Yes", hearings would be starting again as of yesterday, October 19 and run for 5 days, with more on Friday, October 23.

And once again, for the 5th day in a row, the hapless citizens of British Columbia can look up BC Supreme Court listings for today Oct. 23 and find nothing to indicate that the pre-trial hearings of Dave Basi, Bobby Virk, or Aneal Basi will continue today. - BC Mary.

12:00 noon, same old thing. YES, there's suddenly 2 pages of Basi Virk Basi listings scheduled for today, beginning a couple of hours ago, at 10:00 AM, mostly about Disclosure.

So, fine. We'll just jump into our handy time machine, turn the knobs back a few hours, and see if we can get into that courtroom on time -- like good citizens should. - BC Mary.

It gets worse!

Government cash grab puts safety at risk

People will have to pay to access them


The squeeze is on. Citizens using an online provincial court-records database will soon be hit with fees.

Court Services Online allows users to input an individual's name and find out what criminal offences that person has been charged with, if any. It provides court-appearance dates and case results.

The attorney-general's ministry put the database — previously accessible at public terminals in courthouses — online last fall at no charge.

I publicized this service in a Valentine's Day column, suggesting it provided an easy way to check out possible romantic partners.

Province readers deluged me with e-mails, saying they would use the service for everything from screening potential dates to hiring new employees.

Soon after the column ran, the ministry added the following message to the website (

"Due to the increased volume of usage, we are currently monitoring the service and may need to suspend it if volumes continue to exceed capacity."

Now it appears they've reconsidered. Here's the message that started appearing this week: "Note that this service is temporarily being offered for free; however, service fees will be introduced in the near future."

I called the ministry, and spokesman Shawn Robins told me they had always planned on charging fees for this information, since they already charge for information about civil-court cases.

I might believe that, if they hadn't put up the earlier message about suspending the service. It looks to me like the provincial bean-counters identified a public demand for the service and decided to cash in.

Robins says no decision has been made on when to impose fees, but it'll eventually cost $6 per search, the same as for civil searches. If a person has, say, four charges, it will cost $24 to find out the details. If the person doesn't have a distinctive name, you could blow a lot of money trying to match cases and individuals with birth years.

The database will continue to be available for free at courthouse computer terminals, Robins says. {Snip} ...

"They don't need to charge for it," says Darrell Evans, executive director of the B.C. Information and Privacy Association. "They're doing it anyway. We're against using access to information as a revenue-generator. The more information is free, the healthier the society will be, within privacy limits."

Robins says those who run the service don't have usage numbers at their fingertips, and they were too busy to compile that information for me to share with you.

We in the media use the service frequently, to provide the public with information about criminal cases. I know a man, worried for his family's safety, who used it to track the court case of a drug-dealing neighbour linked to a gang killing.

Fees will reduce use of the service by the public and the media, and we will all know less about the criminals in our midst.


I sent a note of appreciation to Ethan Baron for this. And suggested that there's room for improvement in the Supreme Court's On-line Schedule of hearings and trials too. - BC Mary.



How are citizens of Canada, British Columbia too, able to plan their daily lives if the information regarding BC Supreme Court cases will NOT be released before six in the morning, but then there is no written word of when, exactly it will be published?

For the record of Hearing Lists (which are shredded within 24 hours to disprove any challenge of their incompetence):

Lasted updated: 10/22/2009 8:35:45 AM is from the URL above.

For my records, I've hit the Print Screen button.
Hallelujah! The planets have aligned, and at 11:15am today the update shows BVB, as it should have shown on the update at 05:30!

Aren't they peaches?
Oh, well then, Leah ... I figure we can just about make it into that Courtroom in time ... don't you?

Sorry for the sarcasm, but this just steams my socks.

After 5 times in 5 days, it's a screaming outrage that SOMEBODY within the judicial system hasn't the moxy to put things right.

It's a message. A message suitable for framing. And I'd start preparing placards only I still can't decide if it's incompetence or stupidity.

Or something else, worse.
Lasted updated: 10/23/2009 8:27:15 AM

What the heck is "Lasted" for Vancouver Hearing lists?
You'll have to be careful with placards, Mary. I think the courts are within the Olympics no free speech zone. You may find yourself being arrested along with the homeless.

Like Skookum_One, I am very concerned about numerous former Cabinet Ministers becoming directors of corporations that benefitted directly from laws written by the BC Liberal government. Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals seemingly have no shame.
Feeling "shame" requires a working conscience - not something any sitting liberal MLA has so it appears.
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