Friday, November 27, 2009
Robin Mathews - Gary Bass unabridged
From Robin Mathews, at
XXX Salsbury Drive,
Vancouver, B.C., V5L XXX,
November 20, 2009
Deputy Commissioner - Pacific Region &
Commanding Officer, “E” Division, Gary Bass,
657 West 37th Avenue,
Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 1K6
Copies to others
listed at the end of the letter.
Copies of your letters attached.
Dear Deputy Commissioner Bass:
I have received your letters to me – an email of October 22, 2009, and a letter of October 20, 2009. I acknowledged the email and said I looked forward to the postal mail letter. Thank you for them both. Since receiving them I have thought long and hard about their substance.
They do not, I regret, answer the concerns of greatest gravity I raised – concerns I share with many British Columbians. I will be very frank with you because the tenor of your letter suggests to me you believe that you are deeply concerned with the integrity of the Force you command and with the maintenance of the rule of law in the Pacific Region.
Let me reiterate, formally, at the start of this letter that I believe Gordon Campbell and his associates in the BC Rail Scandal events – the corrupt ‘sale’ of BC Rail – must undergo searching and complete investigation to determine if criminal liability lies, and that investigation must be undertaken without further delay.
Because the matter is of such enormous seriousness to the life of British Columbians and to the integrity of the rule of law here – and because I am asking you to act – I will (A) explain a very little necessary background, and (B) suggest evidential directions since you want “information capable of being viewed as credible evidence of criminal wrongdoing by anyone in the Government….”
I believe I have already pointed to the location of that evidence, and I believe that you may be stalling in your replies. But I will write this letter treating your statements as having been made in purest good faith.
The background statement (A) is brief. In my first letter to you I said that Gordon Campbell and cabinet are operating a “Political Ponzi Scheme”. I mean that. They are, in brief, declaring they are working for the security and well-being of British Columbians, and that they are securing the provincial wealth and potential wealth in the name of the people. In fact, they are alienating those things to private sources of enrichment – mostly outside Canada – and they are doing so in ways that call into question their fiduciary duty and the legality of their actions.
The castration of BC Hydro as a Crown Corporation has been, I insist, an enormity, destructive of the security of all British Columbians. The recent awarding of Handy Dart services to a private U.S. for-profit corporation has carried sadistic humiliation of the workers, the handicapped, the vulnerable, and the poor to lengths that suggest psychopathology. At the same time, Gordon Campbell’s U.S. appointee as CEO of the debased BC Ferries service pays himself one million dollars a year. He began a few short years ago at an inflated salary of three hundred thousand dollars per year.
You may say that those matters are “political”, that Gordon Campbell has a “mandate” to do what he is doing. We both know, I am sure, that fairly consulted, the people of British Columbia would not have approved of any of those developments. Still, you may say, they are matters of politics – and so the remedy (if “remedy” is required) is political.
The BC Hydro story – in its own right – requires, I believe, the fullest and most careful public review, and, possibly, charges of criminal breach of trust. But my direct concern here is with the BC Rail portion of the Gordon Campbell cabinet Political Ponzi Scheme. In that portion of Campbell government “politics” Campbell and his associates, I allege, have moved into areas, into actions, into policies which reasonable men and women may believe are violations of the trust placed in them and – probably – violations of a criminal nature. Only full and complete RCMP criminal investigation can make the matter clear.
That is my first point. The political actions of Campbell and his associates may well have passed into criminal actions – as a way of forcing the outcomes that the group has sought.
Remember. (B) The basis of Defence conduct in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case arising out of the corrupt ‘sale” of BC Rail by the Gordon Campbell group is plain and simple – as stated repeatedly by Defence counsel. They allege that their clients are innocent and did not engage in the actions of which they are accused. Defence goes on to argue that their clients were servants following given or tacit orders of their cabinet (and perhaps other) masters in an overall policy that involved the purposeful misrepresentation (to British Columbians) of BC Rail efficiency, profit-making capacity, and value; and that “the fix was in” (to use Defence counsel language) to transfer BC Rail to CN Rail well before the “bidding” and “sale” of BC Rail were announced as program (not to sell it fairly in a genuine, open competition); that the open public auction of BC Rail was a calculated sham to mislead British Columbians; and that most of the activities of the so-called open, public auction were fraudulent.
Those arguments are made by seasoned professionals who have spent (literally) hundreds of hours pouring over materials secured through applications for disclosure – materials that often had to be sought and argued for and which have only in the smallest way been made available to the public. Those arguments and that huge mass of evidentiary material must be considered as a basis to seek for what you describe as “information capable of being viewed as credible evidence of criminal wrongdoing by anyone in the Government….”
You must remember that CP Rail withdrew from the “bidding” declaring publicly a tainted process. Burlingtron Northern and Santa Fe Railway wrote angrily to CIBC World Markets Inc. (acting for the Gordon Campbell cabinet), saying BNSF was “extremely dismayed”; complaining of “lack of fairness”, a “breach”, “apparent favouritism” and saying “serious questions of ethics and fairness” were involved. BNSF didn’t submit a bid but supported OmniTRAX and would have engaged with that corporation if….
BNSF also argued that its confidential information was supplied to others and that CIBC failed to follow the process that CIBC and the government said would be followed.
Marcella Szel, vice president of Strategy and Law for CPR, wrote to Ken Dobell, deputy minister to Gordon Campbell and cabinet secretary recording “ a clear breach of general process fairness and a violation of the intent of the specific process established and communicated by the Evaluation Committee “[of the Gordon Campbell government].
Defence counsel has brought to light material that I believe confirms the huge misrepresentation and, in fact, fraud perpetrated by the Gordon Campbell group. The evidence is there, gathered, organized, and in the keeping of the court.
Documents that I have been able to examine (strictly and unfairly limited by the presiding judge, I insist) and court argument reveal many, many dubious things. Look at one “stream” of evidence only. In 2001 Paul Tellier, CEO of CN Rail “calls for greater North American Integration”. In the next months he speaks in Vancouver (June 26, 2002). He, other CN representatives, meet Gordon Campbell people. In Vancouver he recommends BC Rail privatize as he has led CN Rail to do. All that before any signal is given to the public that the Gordon Campbell promise not to sell BC Rail will be broken and before there is any suspicion on the part of “legitimate bidders” that transfer of BC Rail to CN Rail has been predetermined – or as Defence counsel puts it - before they knew “the fix was in”.
Who released confidential information that destroyed any pretence of real competitive bidding by CPR and anyone else for the major prize – the Freight Division of BC Rail? BNSF points at CIBC World Markets. CPR infers a process much larger than could have been orchestrated by Basi, Virk, and Basi.
Generally the world agrees the almost (ridiculously) timeless lease of BC Rail to CN Rail is in real terms a transfer of ownership. Nonetheless, on November 25, 2003, Gordon Campbell called it “ a new BC Rail Investment Partnership”. On June 8, 2004, Kevin Falcon wrote in a letter of “B.C.’s partnership with CN Rail”. On June 6, 2003 – to the village of Pemberton – Gordon Campbell called it “a new partnership”. On September 3, 3003, Campbell wrote to Canadian Ferroequus Railway Company of B.C.’s “investment partnership with CN”. The world agrees the transfer of BC Rail to CN Rail is NOT an investment partnership. Was the attempt to convey that unreality to British Columbians a planned and executed falsehood to cover a fraud?
As I wrote to you in my first letter - through all of the time, over years, the Gordon Campbell group was using large amounts of taxpayer money to organize, amplify, and communicate a series of falsehoods so that the de facto ownership of BC Rail could be transferred to CN Rail.
The note in the Criminal Code (Section 122) to Breach of Trust by Public Officer offers the explanation that “the accused acted with the intention to use his or her public office for a purpose other then the public good, for example, for a dishonest, partial, corrupt, or oppressive purpose.”
In addition: “This section” (Section 122) “makes clear that it specifically imposes broader liability upon public officials than that which would apply to private persons who were involved in the same activities”.
I could go on and on, Deputy Commissioner Bass, doing (in effect) your work for you. I give you here, simply a taste of the overwhelming, costly, breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty undertaken by Gordon Campbell and his associates.
Unfortunately, I must also address in this letter matters that you raise in your October 20 letter to me, though I cannot cover all the baseless claims you make there. Indeed, you write to me as if I am without experience – as if I’m a starry-eyed youth who has only seen Mounties in Red Coats surrounding the Queen.
I write a little later of your attitude of hauteur in relation to the present state of the RCMP, and I do so in relation to deeply painful experiences I have had with what I conclude are calculated actions on the part of the RCMP to obstruct the rule of law. They follow. Unfortunately, in that regard – with relation to your attitude of hauteur – you force me to address your own relation to the rule of law. I have, for instance, sat many, many hours in the courtroom observing the transactions concerning the BC Rail Scandal/Basi, Virk, and Basi matters.
I have never been satisfied that the RCMP – in that matter – has worked conscionably to assist the court in matters of disclosure. At times, in fact, the opposite has been the case. Was that attitude adopted at your instancing? No one in British Columbia has been able to explain how an officer, not more than 48 hours after the search warrant ‘raids’ on legislature offices on December 28, 2003, was able to announce that no elected official was under investigation. Apart from the fact that Gary Collins (finance minister) had very, very recently been under investigation which was summarily dropped without, apparently (according to Defence) any paper record, the statement is plainly alarming. RCMP could not have examined the seized material in the short time before that extraordinary announcement.
Who ordered that investigation in the BC Rail Scandal was to go around elected officials involved in the corrupt ‘sale’ of BC Rail?
That may have happened before your appointment to the role of Deputy Commissioner. But in the years I have witnessed what I take to be recalcitrance on the part of the RCMP in the Basi,Virk, and Basi matter, you have been ‘top man’.
I pointed to your recorded e-mail to William Elliott, RCMP Commissioner, expressing delight that he (with stunning bad taste) telephoned the RCMP actors in the Dziekanski tragedy to express his solidarity – though knowing they may have been involved in what might be determined was a criminal offense.
I do not wish to protract this focus on your role. But I have to record that you were invisible – showing no leadership as far as I could detect – in the ugly and tragic deaths of Ian Bush, Kevin St. Arnaud, and Robert Dziekanski, to name only three of many, many examples of RCMP actions about which the public have been highly critical. You have not – to my knowledge – given the slightest hint that you intend to see training, discipline, and procedures placed under the closest scrutiny in B.C. Nor have you had the simple guts to admit that Taser use has been a disaster and must be ended.
My own experience of the RCMP has led me to believe the Force often cannot be depended upon to do the work the Canadian community has given it to do, in trust. Example one. You perhaps know that the criminal accusations against Glen Clark, former premier of B.C., were first given voice from the constituency office of Gordon Campbell. After a trial of 136 days the “evidence” – combed and brushed and cleaned by Division E officers over months – was declared insufficient for anything but a declaration of Glen Clark’s innocence.
Clark’s lawyer asked more than once that the trial be stopped for lack of evidence. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett refused, pursuing the action that destroyed Clark’s political career.
You perhaps know that one of the chief investigating officers of the Glen Clark matter in E Division had been asked – it is recorded – at least twice to run for provincial political office by Gordon Campbell under his banner. The conduct of Peter Montague throughout the Glen Clark affair was unsettling. Do you believe that Montague, at least twice solicited by Gordon Campbell to run for election with him, should have been a key investigator in the Glen Clark matter? Peter Montague, incidentally, on a film – intended as an RCMP training film – remarks that the RCMP are experts in smear and disinformation.
You perhaps don’t know that – alarmed at rumours of dubious investigation, etc. by the RCMP in the Clark case, I did what you suggest in your letter – I complained to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (hereafter CPC) which you falsely call “a totally independent investigative agency”.
The RCMP investigates itself. The CPC checks the RCMP investigation. The CPC usually cannot undertake an investigation of RCMP activity independently. The CPC can take no disciplinary action whatever. Its Reports go to the top RCMP figures for what is, in fact, approval. The RCMP can, and usually does, ignore any serious recommendation of the CPC.
By calling the CPC “a totally independent investigative organization” you cast everything else you state as fact in your letter into serious doubt. [See "Mountie Watchdog Won't Be Invited Back"]
After my complaint concerning the nature of the investigation of Glen Clark, RCMP E Division sent me little reports without any information, simply saying they were investigating. Then they wrote to say they were ending the investigation because they had amassed 28 volumes of evidentiary material to begin the Glen Clark trial. They gave me no information about the investigation I had asked for and which they, purportedly, had been pursuing.
I protested to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (the CPC). Nothing whatever happened for THREE YEARS. Then I received a “Final Report” from the CPC. It had been submitted, of course, to top RCMP who said (as they almost always say) training of officers might be improved. The Report to me from the CPC recorded that the investigation I had called for was IMPROPERLY TERMINATED by two experienced E Division RCMP officers. The “totally independent investigative agency” left to the discretion of the RCMP whether the investigation would be reopened and pursued. The discretionary choice of E Division was that it wouldn’t be reopened.
Since the investigation was (even by CPC judgement) improperly terminated, I am free to believe E Division was working with Gordon Campbell to destroy Glen Clark and that full and fair investigation would have revealed that fact – and so E Division wrecked the investigation. You may throw up your hands in horror and say you don’t think that is what happened – but you cannot categorically say what brought about the termination of the investigation and what the investigation might have revealed. The investigation was terminated “improperly” and when E Division was informed of the “improper” termination, it chose not to reopen the investigation, happy with the situation, uninvestigated. Why?
Example Two. I have involved myself in what is known as “the Kelly Marie Richard Calgary Dental Malpractice Case” (now approaching the Supreme Court of Canada). In short, Ms. Richard, a single mother, and her two sons, allege serious dental malpractice. She and her sons have been under attack for about seven years by antagonistic parties using the courts to reverse direction so that she and her sons have become, in my judgement, the victims of the insurance company, the litigating corporation, professional dental organizations, and judges, AND THE RCMP. The evidence of dental malpractice in such a case is professional and scientific. I have studied the evidence carefully; it is completely convincing. After seven years of fighting and becoming destitute, socially damaged, and bereft of support from the legal system, Ms. Richard has not been able to have the key evidence of malpractice examined by a court.
At a point in her travails she discovered, she alleges, that the litigating company had entered her confidential Alberta government health records and changed them. She sought investigation of the alleged criminal offence by Calgary RCMP Commercial Crime Section. She alleges that Section almost immediately reported to the litigating forces what she had claimed (despite their confidentiality policy), and RCMP (from my reading of documents) falsely informed her that the matter was a civil not a criminal one. RCMP obstructed rather than furthered investigation. She sought help from The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, was approached (for CPC) by a belligerent officer from the Commercial Crime section who so frightened Ms. Richard that she withdrew her complaint.
I undertook to have the RCMP investigate what it had done in the matter. I will tell you what happened in detail when convenient for you – over coffee sometime if you like. For now, in brief, I was able to have an “investigation” undertaken by the RCMP of its involvement. It began with an insulting and arrogant letter from an officer in the Surrey detachment (B.C.), trying to cut me off and prevent me from lodging a complaint (your jurisdiction). It continued with a very junior fellow in Lethbridge being placed in charge of the “investigation”. William Elliott, RCMP Commissioner was informed. R.R. Knecht, Deputy Commissioner for the Northwest Region, informed me the investigation was being pursued and I would receive a Report from a superintendent in Regina.
The “investigation” was a complete and embarrassing sham. When I pointed that out to R.R. Knecht and asked for it to be reopened, he ceased all correspondence with me.
The people in Commercial Crime Calgary were chatted to by the investigator, producing no notes and not being asked to make written reports. They – surprisingly – reported they had done nothing wrong. Two of the key people involved were reported to have left the RCMP and no attempt was made to question them. Kelly Marie Richard – the principal in the “investigation” was in no way consulted. Nor was I, except to be asked what my relation is to Kelly Marie Richard. Documents were not sought – like the important document a copy of which is in my possession, written by a responsible officer to Ms. Richard misinforming her that breaking into confidential government files and tampering with them is a civil not a criminal offense; no cross-examination happened. The passing of confidential information from Commercial Crime to the insurer’s litigator was not properly addressed, nor was the threatening and aggressive behaviour of the so-called CPC investigator. Ms. Richard had taped oppressive telephone material from the CPC investigator. Obviously no investigating agent was interested in reviewing that material. After some time, the Report came from the superintendent in Regina. Based upon an investigation without a shred of integrity, he informed me that the complaint was baseless.
Please take careful note: the investigation I asked for which became an incompetent sham was “participated in” by William Elliot, Commissioner in Ottawa; R.R. Knecht, Deputy Commissioner, in Edmonton; a superintendant in Regina; RCMP officers in Calgary; an investigating RCMP officer from Lethbridge; an RCMP officer in Surrey, British Columbia – E Division. RCMP officers were involved in six different Canadian cities across four provinces – to produce what I have to believe was a co-ordinated construction of a total sham (incidentally, supporting the large corporations allegedly working to destroy Kelly Marie Richard’s case before it could be heard in trial.)
And so – following the kind of advice you give – I registered a complaint with the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. I enumerated seven parts to the complaint. After some time I received a final and complete Report from the CPC. The Report addressed two of the seven parts of my complaint, completely ignored the rest as if they weren’t there, and [Surprise!] gave its stamp of approval to the ridiculous, incompetent RCMP investigation of itself.
I regret having to tell you of those two cases in which I had direct and wholly disenchanting experience with RCMP and CPC. I tell you so that you will never again write me the kind of letter you did on October 20, expressing hurt and displeasure that I would even dare to think the Force is not everywhere and always devoted to the rule of law in Canada.
Since you are cocooned in an unreal world called E Division, the RCMP, let me draw your attention to a few institutional parallels. When Catholic priests molest children in their care, Catholic bishops frequently protect the priests – because they can usually close doors and “investigate” themselves. No layman is present in the sham operation.
When RCMP officers commit crimes, top RCMP – the bishops of the RCMP – close doors, “investigate” themselves and frequently protect the offending officers. No lay civilians are present in the sham operation.
When judges default, sometimes criminally, complaint is made to the Canadian Judicial Council – which closes doors, investigates themselves (no non-judge present in the sham operation) and frequently protect the judicial wrongdoer.
To make that last matter worse, the titular head of the Canadian Judicial Council is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a mask and a disguise, refusing to hear any complaint against the CJC. So she is placed in the position to give credibility to what in my experience of seeking response from CJC is a rotting organization.
Your protestations of the purity of the system do not move me.
Moreover, you reply to me about OTHER requests to you for action in the BC Rail Scandal matter. I did not ask you what the RCMP is doing in relation to what some/or any others have reported or requested for investigation. I present you here – and have presented to you previously – a request for investigation on very real, available, sound evidence.
I do not accept your reply. I do not allege anything baseless. I cannot believe the note of hauteur in your letter, as if the RCMP is anywhere else presently than in a dank swamp of public disapproval which it thoroughly deserves. Again and again I have had, myself, to deal with officer after officer who has been, I insist, a disgrace to the rule of law.
My deepest concern in this aspect of the matter is for the good men and women of the RCMP whose names and lives are blemished by the, alas, deserved bad reputation that has fallen on the Force. The men and women (to use your words) “who dedicate their careers and often their lives to uphold the rights of Canadians and the laws of Canada” are the victims of two evils. The one is made up of officers in the Force who blemish its good name, and are permitted by senior officers (like you) to do so. The other evil is made up of senior officers, like yourself, who claim the whole Force is made up of heroes at a time when, daily, the very opposite is paraded before the eyes of the Canadian population.
But even that subject stands in the way of the purpose of this and my preceding letter.
I do not accept your suggestion that you are keeping all matters secret concerning the demand for criminal investigation of Gordon Campbell and his associates in the BC Rail Scandal, for the Public Good. Various kinds of secrecy have been at the root of almost all of the injustices I have been witness to in dealing with the RCMP. Secrecy is a way of hiding improper action and affiliation. I ask for open, public action on behalf of the Public Good. Announce and proceed with a full investigation of Gordon Campbell and his BC Rail Scandal associates (in and out of the legislature) on suspicion of criminal wrongdoing in the conduct of the business of the people of British Columbia.
Copies to: Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie, Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, William Berardino QC and Andrea MacKay; Janet Winteringham QC; Michael Bolton QC and Claire Hatcher; Kevin McCullough; Joseph Doyle, Robert J.C. Deane, George Copley, Mel Hurtig, Paul Palango, Paul Nettleton, Margaret Fulton, Michael Byers, John Calvert, BC Civil Liberties, Leah Herman, June Ross.
vivelecanada, the legislature raids site (BC Mary), Charles Boylan CFRO; K. Lapointe, Vancouver Sun; Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications; Mark Hume, Globe and Mail; Gary Mason, Globe and Mail; Lawrence Martin, Globe and Mail; Canadian Press, Dialogue Magazine; CKNW; Neal Hall, Vancouver Sun; CBC As It Happens; CBC The Current; CBC The Fifth Estate; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Victoria Times Colonist.
100 Mile House Advisor, 100 Mile House Free Press, Abbotsford News, Abbotsford Times, Agassiz-Harrison Observer, Aldergrove Star, Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal, Boundary Creek Times Mountaineer, Burnaby/New West News Leader, Lakes District News, Campbell River Courier-Islander, Castlegar News, Chilliwack Progress, Chilliwack Times, Columbia Valley Pioneer, Coquitlam Now, The Tri-City News, Courtenay/Comox Valley Record, Creston Valley Advance, Dawson Creek News, Delta Optimist, Duncan Cowichan News Leader, Fernie Free Press, Fort Nelson News, Fort St James Caledonia Courier, Golden Star, Goldstream News Gazette, Grand Forks Gazette, Hope Standard, Houston Today, Kamloops Daily News, Kelowna Capital News, Kermeos The Review, Kitimat Northern Sentinel, Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle, The North Valley Echo, Lake Cowichan Gazette, Lakeshore News, Langley Advance, Langley Times, Lillooet Bridge River News, Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News, Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times, Merritt Herald, Merritt News, Mission City Record, Nakusp Arrow Lakes News, Nanaimo Bulletin, Nanaimo Daily News, Nanaimo Harbour City Star, Nelson Daily News, Nelson Kootenay Weekly Express, North Shore News, North Shore Outlook, Oak Bay News, Oliver Chronicle, Parksville/Qualicum Beach News, Penticton Western News, Port Hardy North Island Gazette, Powell River Peak, Prince George Citizen, Prince George Free Press, Prince Rupert Daily News, The Similkameen Spotlight, Queen Charlotte Islands Observer, Quesnel Advisor, Quesnel Cariboo Observer, Gulf Island Driftwood, Sechelt/Gibsons Coast Reporter, Eagle Valley News, Pensinsula News Review, Smithers Interior News, The Local, The Coast Reporter, Sooke News Mirror, South Delta Leader, Squamish Chief, Summerland Review, North Delta Leader, Terrace Standard, Trail Daily Times, Trail Rossland News, Timber Ridge News,
Vancouver Courier, Whistler Question, Peace Arch News, Yukon News, Williams Lake Cariboo Advisor, Winfield Lake Country Calendar, Westender, Kelowna Daily Courier.
Letters received from RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass.
(First received. Email October 22, 2009.) “Good day Mr. Mathews. I responded to your letter earlier this week. Hopefully you will receive it within a few days. I have to say that your classification of the Government of BC in this latest e-mail, as a ‘Criminal Gang’ is disturbing to me as the head of the Provincial Force and does a serious disservice to the many men and women who have devoted their lives to public service. [Deputy Commissioner Bass is in error in the statement.]
Should you come into information capable of being viewed as credible evidence of criminal wrongdoing by anyone in the Government, I would give it the attention it deserved. Regards, Gary Bass, Commanding officer, “E” Division RCMP’.
(Second received. Sent October 20, 2009.) Dear Mr. Mathews:
This correspondence will acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated October 6th, 2009.
I am very concerned and disturbed by some of the comments and conclusions you made in the e-mail. I unequivocally support the Charter right of every resident of British Columbia and Canada to freedom of expression. Further, as a public organization accountable to the people of Canada, the RCMP is, and quite rightly so, subject to the rigorous scrutiny of the media and general public. I welcome and accept such scrutiny as part of a healthy and positive relationship between the RCMP and the communities we serve across Canada.
However, I categorically reject the unsupported and egregious suggestion that racism motivated the investigation and prosecution of the accused in the Basi, Virk matter. As you are well aware, the RCMP has numerous internal policies and procedures to ensure that our investigations comport with the Charter, statutory and common law rights of all persons. The Canadian legal system also provides for objective checks and balances on the powers of police by virtue of review by Criminal Justice Branch or the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Finally, the Canadian courts and its officers act as final arbiters of fact. To suggest that any or all of these institutions and organizations somehow colluded to subvert justice and/or the rights of the accused is beyond the pale.
With respect to your suggestion that my professional relationship with the Premier of British Columbia is somehow inappropriate and indicative of the inability or unwillingness of the RCMP to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by the Premier or any other person in British Columbia is similarly offensive and based solely on personal belief and perception. If there is any objective evidence to support these allegations, I would encourage you to forward such information to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP which is a totally independent investigative agency.
You enumerated your reasons to believe that Premier Campbell and/or persons unknown have committed a variety of criminal offenses in relation to the sale of BC Rail. I can inform you that the RCMP has received very similar information from other public sources and I have reviewed our handling of those complaints. I am satisfied that appropriate actions are being taken with respect to such information. I am prevented by the Privacy Act and RCMP policy, as well as an over arching concern to protect the rights of the accused and other persons and to maintain the integrity of the investigative and judicial process from disclosing exact details of the steps the RCMP has taken in response to that information. Therefore, I cannot and will not publicly comment on the RCMP’s actions.
I recognize that this reply may do little to assuage your concerns. However, I will not compromise the principles of Canadian justice nor will I accept baseless allegations of wrongdoing on the part of members of the RCMP who dedicate their careers and often their lives to uphold the rights of Canadians and the laws of Canada.
Gary D. Bass, O.O.M.
Deputy Commissioner – Pacific Region &
Commanding Officer, “E” Division
657 West 37th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K6
Anonymous has left a new comment on "Robin Mathews - Gary Bass unabridged":
In 50 years, the next generation will be able to look back and wonder how on earth it was possible that all our crown assets were given away to others to profit from. This man will be one of the reasons.
To make it perfectly clear. The citizens of BC are the victims of theft under the premiership of Gordon Campbell and we want you, Gary Bass, to do something about it.
I do not accept your suggestion that you are keeping all matters secret concerning the demand for criminal investigation of Gordon Campbell and his associates in the BC Rail Scandal, for the Public Good.
I can inform you that the RCMP has received very similar information from other public sources and I have reviewed our handling of those complaints. I am satisfied that appropriate actions are being taken with respect to such information. I am prevented by the Privacy Act and RCMP policy, as well as an over arching concern to protect the rights of the accused and other persons and to maintain the integrity of the investigative and judicial process from disclosing exact details of the steps the RCMP has taken in response to that information.
Secrecy is the essence of corruption. It is the absence of transparency. Excusing it in the name of the Public Good is paternalistic, and smacks of dictatorship.
In both contexts above Bass is defending a closed process as if that somehow made it open. And, ironically, given his claim to be distanced from politics the discretionary powers over access to truth - "some things must remain hidden", is the logic/claim - is utterly political in nature.
Who gets to decide what the public is allowed to know. To my knowledge, there's nothing in the RCMP charter about that, or in the Charter of Rights of Freedoms. Would the Privacy Act better be titled the Secrecy Act?
Therefore, I cannot and will not publicly comment on the RCMP’s actions.
In the context of what had been just said, the implication is that while there may be secret deeper investigations of BC Rail going on, if there are, they're secret until any decisions about charges and who to charge may be eventually laid....but it is under his purview to decide, not any kind of independent inquiry.
How can a case involving the province's political machinery, including the private-sector half of the politlcam machiner (consultants, lobbyists, aides/appartchiks etc) - how can such a case NOT be political?? How can politics NOT be relevant to it, when it's public assets and abuse of executive powers and privileges that are what's at stake? When the abuse of the very political system itself is involved in the case - how can this NOT be politics??
The RCMP are not supposed to be involved in politics. Indeed. Perhaps it's finally time they should STOP!.
It's not for a regional commissioner of the RCMP to decide that the public's right to know has been suspended, or that clearly suspect and corrupt practices are not actually crimes, and are "only politics". It's not his job to decide that. Interesting isn't it, how those in charge of protecting our democracy see no compunction to operate by it.....
I know if this were the US, these trials and tons of background would be before state or federal investigative committees/panels and live on C-SPAN and all over the talkshows. A secret political trial in the US? Politicians immune from public scrutiny because the police have decided that's the way it's going to be?? The media would be howling, while also gorging themselves in a feeding frenzy...of course, we have the wonderful Canadian constitution to protect us from all that....
I did get a kick out of Bass saying that they were under scrutiny by the vigilance of the press. Nearly worth falling off your chair for, that one, laughing so hard. He means of course the "real" press, not the hundreds (thousands?) of bloggers and 'zines who are also "the press", in the modern context.
But like the Big Media, the Independent Media have no more power than the CPC doesn't to call the RCMP to account; we can enjoy our freedom of expression as much as we like - but, to paraphrase his meaning - that doesn't mean he has to listen to it. Or, to rub it in, to know what's good for us.
I also got a kick out of Robin offering to have coffee with him, after flaying him and the Force repeatedly throughout. As if they could just hang out and have a relaxed chat and talk like gentlemen or buddies. Be nice to think that's possible.....I'd rather see them live on TV, face to face, either in studio or on screen; no doubt Bass would have to refuse because "it's politics" and/r refuse to comment....
And who is supposed to run political relations for the province's police force anyway? Why, currently, that would be Kash Heed wouldn't it? Some politician has to take note of Robin's points and respond. Question is - will it be a provincial one? Or a federal one?
You enumerated your reasons to believe that Premier Campbell and/or persons unknown have committed a variety of criminal offenses in relation to the sale of BC Rail. I can inform you that the RCMP has received very similar information from other public sources and I have reviewed our handling of those complaints.
I want to know:
* who complained
* what the complaint was
* how was it resolved.
Does it really seem that the sky will fall, if citizens were to know these essential elements of our own affairs?
To make it perfectly clear. The citizens of BC are the victims of theft under the premiership of Gordon Campbell and we want you, Gary Bass, to do something about it.
Has anyone done a FOI to see how many retired RCMP officers are now working for the TransLink/SkyTrain police?
There is a rumour that over 60% of the TransLink/SkyTrain police are retired RCMP officers and are double dipping, collecting both pension and police salary. This could amount to a police officer earning over $160,000 a year.
What was mentioned to the 'Eye' is that there is an inference that to get a transit police job, one should not investigate the government, it's agents, an/or its friends!
This is a massive scandal if true!