Tuesday, April 06, 2010

 

BC Rail Scandal by Robin Mathews: Part 3

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This is the third part of a four part series on the BC Rail Scandal (the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to CNR by the Gordon Campbell government).  The first three parts (three letters) concern what I believe is the failure of major institutions in the administration of justice to fulfill their obligations to Canadians and to justice.  The first was a letter to RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass, the second to Attorney General Michael de Jong.


This third letter is to officers of the Supreme Court of B.C.  The fourth part of the series will be an attempt to place what I believe is the collapsing of democratic accountability in British Columbia into relation with a similar development in the whole Western world.




                                                             xxx Salsbury Drive,
                                                             Vancouver, B.C., V5L xxx.     
                                                             April 6, 2010

Chief Justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court
Robert Bauman, Associate Chief Justice Patrick
Dohm, Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie,
The Law Courts, 800 Smithe Street, 

Vancouver, B.C., V6Z 2E1

                                                            copies to RCMP Deputy    
                                                            Commissioner Gary Bass, B.C.
                                                            Attorney General Michael de Jong,
                                                            press, media … others.

Dear Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie and,
my Lords:

As “amicus curiae” (friend of the court) I reject your refusal to act on the  wrongful appointment of William Berardino as Special Crown Prosecutor in the BC Rail Scandal Basi, Virk, and Basi case.

Your agent H. L. McBride, Supreme Court Law Officer, replied to my letter of March 3 on March 17, 2010.  In it, he (or she) made the astonishing assertion that none of you three were involved in the appointment of Mr. Berardino – an irrelevance - and you have no authority to order his removal. 

Then – in the impersonal language of people dodging responsibility – H.L. McBride writes: “Accordingly, no action can be taken in response to your letter.”

That, I believe, is a fatuous, irresponsible reply, unbecoming to people holding positions of the highest trust in the country.

My letter asked you what steps I should take to present a motion (for removal) to the court.  You did not address my question.  You did not say who – in the matter – has authority to act if you do not.  In both cases, I insist, you have sought to retreat from your obligation.

In fact, the letter I received from the Court is not one from an administration which cares deeply about the pursuit of justice.  Rather – very plainly – it is the reply, as I see it, of a tightly knit group concerned most of all to protect its own allegiances and interests – which appear to have no relation to the fair administration of justice.

I must conclude that the top officers of the Supreme Court of British Columbia are willing that a criminal trial will proceed with the court – knowingly and approvingly – aware that the Special Crown Prosecutor is improperly filling the position.

In being so willing – since the matter has been brought formally before you and the Attorney General of B.C. – you, top officers of the court, open yourselves to a Defence motion (before, during, or after trial) asking for a declaration of mistrial.  The appointment of William Berardino was in violation of Crown Counsel/Prosecutor/Special Prosecutor legislation.  You support that violation, I allege, by refusing to act (in any way – even by answering my letter fairly, helpfully, and considerately).  You have, in addition, I believe – in support of the fair administration of justice – an obligation to report the violation to whatever agency is required to act.

A further complication exists.  Mr. Berardino is not the only appointee to the position.  Mr. Josiah Wood was, for some days, Special Crown Prosecutor.  There may have been others.  There must be a full and fair investigation of the appointment process - which I have asked the Attorney General to conduct and which I believe he refuses to conduct, and make public.  If it can be proved that William Berardino was appointed in a Wally Oppal-style Special Prosecutor shopping adventure by his former long-time partners and colleagues Attorney General Geoff Plant and Deputy Attorney General Allan Seckel – then the action against Basi, Virk, and Basi cannot be sustained, on that ground alone.

Nor can officers of the B.C Supreme Court claim uninvolvement with the matter in question.  You, Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm, have worked closely with William Berardino in matters relating to the BC Rail Scandal. 

You signed all the search warrants, I understand, for the “search warrant raids” of B.C. legislature offices and several other locations, December 28, 2003.  Improperly, in my judgement, you sealed the search warrants, denying them the public status search warrants normally have in democratic societies. 

Under pressure, you undertook to have a summary or synopsis or précis of the warrants prepared for the press.  You did not, yourself, prepare the summary or have an independent court officer undertake the task.  You had William Berardino do it – who was, of course, later to prepare charges against the accused,.  When, later, under pressure, you finally unsealed the search warrants you – in fact – did no such thing.

The only search warrants that were completely revealed, as I remember, were those of Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, who were later the only ones  (with the addition of Aneal Basi) to be charged. 

A reasonable British Columbian might well see in that peculiar fact an intention – before investigation was complete – to fix only on certain people against whom charges would be laid.  That points to “targetting” of accused before any matter whatsoever was given in the Basi, Virk, and Basi “proceedings”, before, that is, they were charged and proceedings initiated.

More and more in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case, many informed British Columbians believe the three accused have been “targetted” out of a much larger group deserving accusation.  The lawyer for the Bush family, in another case (Canadian Press, May 14, 2007), is reported to believe that in the distressing death of an apparently innocent 22 year old in Houston, B.C., the RCMP “targetted” Ian Bush.  The idea, then, of targetting seems not to be unique - with the RCMP - to the Basi, Virk, and Basi investigation.

I believe I may be forbidden by the draconian assault on free expression, called a Court publication ban, imposed by you, Madam Justice MacKenzie,  from instancing later connections between Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm and William Berardino since they occurred during the proceedings to which you refer in the publication ban.

But there is no need to do so.  The evidence of a wrongful appointment is clear.  The suspicion of “Special Prosecutor shopping” is compelling, and requires full investigation.  The close relation of Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm and William Berardino – before court procedures even began – is on public record.

At a time when all aspects of the administration of justice in British
Columbia are under dark suspicion, your refusal to engage with the matters I have placed before you – even to the point of giving me reasonable information - concerning the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter can only more deeply erode public faith in the judiciary. 

I have upbraided Gary Bass, RCMP Deputy Commissioner, for refusing to undertake criminal investigation of Gordon Campbell and associates in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to CNR.  Now he is involved in what may, perhaps, reasonably be seen as an attempt to buy the RCMP free of criminal charges that would be laid against any other Canadians.

“Ottawa”, the RCMP and Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass have just paid Sofia Cisowski a large sum of money to stop a civil case proceeding over the alleged killing of Robert Dziekanski by RCMP officers in the Vancouver International Airport, October 14, 2007.

A part of the agreement is the suppression of Zofia Cisowski’s right of free speech.  Not only has she agreed to cease all civil actions, she has also agreed not to call, anymore, for criminal trial of the four officers involved in the death of her son.        

In short, “Ottawa” (meaning the taxpayers of Canada) are paying – as I see it - a stiff price to help prevent a criminal case against RCMP officers being started– a case that would certainly be brought against any ordinary Canadians found in the same situation as the RCMP officers involved.

Most informed Canadians, I am sure, believe that if a camera had been operating in the police office at Houston, B.C. on October 29, 2005 when Ian Bush was shot in the back of the head by RCMP Constable Paul Koester, “Ottawa” would be paying another large sum to prevent a criminal trial being held. 

Have there been criminal cases that have been successfully covered up by the RCMP before the public has even had knowledge of them?

How much blood from RCMP murder of the innocent is on the hands of Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass?

The refusal of Deputy Commissioner Bass to undertake criminal investigation of Gordon Campbell and associates in the BC Rail Scandal is all of a piece with what most British Columbians believe is his cover-up and/or attempted cover-up (as most senior officer of the Force in British Columbia) of particular incidents of RCMP wrong doing.
And it all, I regret, seems to point to a collapse of democratic trust that is a major threat to the freedoms of Canadians.

Evidence crying out for full RCMP criminal investigation of Gordon Campbell and associates in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to CNR fills pages of Hansard record.  Much has been unearthed by individuals.  And  volumes of court materials now under publication ban by you, Madam Justice MacKenzie – evidence that may not be cited – support the call, I insist, for criminal investigation.

The draconian publication ban ostensibly protects jurers in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case from suffering ‘information contamination’ in relation to the trial. 

Accidentally, incidentally, coincidentally, by chance - the ban also restricts reference to materials that point to the need for criminal investigation of Gordon Campbell and associates in the BC Rail Scandal matter.

I do not believe the trial of Basi, Virk, and Basi may begin on May 3, 2010 under the present circumstances.  As a Canadian deeply concerned with threats to the fair administration of justice in British Columbia, I ask you, again, to act on the wrongful appointment of a Special Crown Prosecutor in the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter.

I shall wait with pleasure for a prompt, considerate, and informative reply.

                                                                            respectfully,


                                                                            Robin Mathews 


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Canadian Canary has left a new comment on your post:

Attention all who are interested in the BC judicial system.

On April 23 and 24, 2010 in Vancouver, the legal establishment will gather to celebrate the:

100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE
BRITISH COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEAL
JUDGES’ AND LAWYERS’ BCCA CENTENARY
CONFERENCE PROGRAM

Venue: MORRIS J. WOSK CENTRE FOR DIALOGUE


I suggest that as many of us who can, attend. And for others who may not be able to afford or be allowed, to attend, that they organize an "information session" outside with placards displaying key concerns regarding BC's justice system.

The conference’s CENTENARY GALA DINNER will be held Friday, April 23, 2010 from 6 pm to 10 pm at The Westin Bayshore. It's sold out because the Keynote Speaker is Chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin. Chief Justice McLachlin may be very interested in the issues that concerned citizens have about BC's justice system. I envision "information placards" surrounding the transparent walls of The Bayshore. How illuminating it would be!

Some of the topics in the regular conference include:
* Effect of Disruptive Technologies and Social Developments on the Legal System
* Evolving Challenges for Courts in Democracies
* Confidence in the Justice System in British Columbia
* Media and Public Perceptions of the Judiciary

One of the conference speakers is Prof. Judith Resnick. If that's Judy Resnick, then we might see some interesting sparks fly!

This might be one fine opportunity, and the timing couldn't be better.

CC


More HERE


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Comments:
Attention all who are interested in the BC judicial system.

On April 23 and 24, 2010 in Vancouver, the legal establishment will gather to celebrate the:

100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE
BRITISH COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEAL
JUDGES’ AND LAWYERS’ BCCA CENTENARY
CONFERENCE PROGRAM

Venue: MORRIS J. WOSK CENTRE FOR DIALOGUE

http://bcca100.ca/wp-content/themes/BCCA/pdf/BCCA_AcademicProgram_Fri&Sat_Mar18.pdf

I suggest that as many of us who can, attend. And for others who may not be able to afford or be allowed, to attend, that they organize an "information session" outside with placards displaying key concerns regarding BC's justice system.

The conference’s CENTENARY GALA DINNER will be held Friday, April 23, 2010 from 6 pm to 10 pm at The Westin Bayshor. It's sold out because the Keynote Speaker is Chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin. Chief Justice McLachlin may be very interested in the issues that concerned citizens have about BC's justice system. I envision "information placards" surrounding the transparent walls of The Bayshore. How illuminating it would be!

Some of the topics in the regular conference include:
* Effect of Disruptive Technologies and Social Developments on the Legal System
* Evolving Challenges for Courts in Democracies
* Confidence in the Justice System in British Columbia
* Media and Public Perceptions of the Judiciary

One of the conference speakers is Prof. Judith Resnick. If that's Judy Resnick, then we might see some interesting sparks fly!

This might be one fine opportunity, and the timing couldn't be better.

CC
 
Canadian Canary

Many thanks for sending us this information ... and the wonderful suggestions for positive action.

I have cross-posted it to the main page so that nobody will miss seeing it.

And just think: only a few days later, jury selection is scheduled to begin for the BC Rail / Basi Virk trial.

I wonder if you're thinking of Judy Rebick (and yes there might be some interesting sparks flying if Rebick is speaking) ... but I googled

Prof. Judith Resnick and it looks as if she's from Yale University U.S.A. which is a bit odd too -- and makes me wonder what that's all about.

So thanks again C.C. for this rallying point in these troubled times.
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Sorry, you're right Mary. I got my Judy's mixed up!

Yale University, what's up with that, you ask? Harmonizing with the U.S.

BC has already been very active in "harmonizing", across Canada, our province's brutal and deceptive elder laws, and has agencies set up to "harmonize" with the U.S. as well.

The so-called "Canadian Centre for Elder Law" is one of those quietly deceptive and secretive organizations doing just that. They're not Canadian, but rather a group of BC lawyers set up by Campbell government appointees (from the BC Law Reform Group) to change elder laws so that the burgeoning wave of boomers can be fleeced of their wealth, with lawyers there to reap the fees associated with all the legal entrapments seniors will get caught in. The CCEL has "partnered" with several U.S. groups who share their goal.

Unfortunately, once you scratch beneath the surface of this group and its companion organizations, you will learn that they have little interest in or compassion for the elderly themselves.

'Nuff on this subject for now, just wanted to tear the lid off this other stealth bomb that Campbell has unleashed on a largely unwitting population.

CC
 
Judith Resnik's p.r. kit from Yale's site:

http://www.law.yale.edu/faculty/JResnik.htm

Make of it what you will.

I daresay she has no idea what some of her hosts are up to, or what they're really about....
 
We all know that George Bush the Lesser could never have gotten into Yale without the assistance of reverse affirmative action, ie as a legacy from his fascist forebears. But it doesn't say much for the institution that four years at Yale couldn't put a dent in his ignorance.
 
Sorry to go all off-topic again....But....

Sean Holman has just just dropped another bombshell in the ever widening BC Rail-like 'Casino Royale' scandal.

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Is that really what the proposed casino's name is? LOL. The movie Casino Royale was an outrageous farce/spoof - any gambler should know better than to take on a name like that, it's bad luck.....

I think the script even involved corrupt politicians and/or racketeering....
 
http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/bc-place-roof-inquiry-needed/
 
I agree with the first comment that it would serve the public interest for members of the public to attend both the Wosk Centre and the Westin Bayshore.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to do so myself as I have another unavoidable commitment, however I can say from experience (that is, my one picketing experience) that it takes very few bodies to have a visible impact at events of this sort.

The one thing I happen to know about Yale is that a former Yale Professor of Law, Fred Rodell (who refused to become a member of the bar himself), was the author of "Woe unto you, lawyers", perhaps the ultimate indictment of the legal establishment. There is a transcription of this short book online. I would say that it should be required reading for every prospective law student and every person contemplating engaging the services of a lawyer.
 
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Special thanks to Chris Budgell for a very positive suggestion.

So ... "very few bodies ... have a visible impact at events of this sort" ...

Very good advice: that each one of us takes personal responsibility for being there -- with placard if possible -- saying that BC Rail (Basi & Virk) is still on our minds and

finding out what happened to BC Rail is in the public interest.

Thanks again, Chris.
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Mary,

An interesting site I came across;

http://cnron.blogspot.com/

BCR Piglet
 
Very interesting BCR Piglet...this bears some investigation...birds of a feather flock together.

Definitely requires some checking out
 
Could the long arm of the law finally be waking up here in BC? Our Solicitor General Kash Heed has resigned!

Wonder which crony picks up the crumbs this time... .
 
from the CNron site:

He wants a spot on the board so his lawyer will be paid for the lawsuit aginst the BC govt and the purchase of the BC rail. CN paid off officials in BC government to leak the bids on the BC rail and won the purchase with this knowledge. HH may bring the BC government down over this, but then again that don't bother him just the fact he may have to dig into his own money for a lawyer.

"He" is Hunter Harrison:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Harrison

CNron may only be paraphrasing what is in this and other BC blogs; or he may have separate information.

I think it would be good if he kept his eyes open for payments to/from BC politicians and/or civil servants.....
 
Two things about the Kash Heed Affair:

*Who was appointed as Special Prosecutor and what's their background?

*the targeted Chinese-language marketing, aimed at Chinese values/beliefs so as to demonize the NDP, raises the question of what's in non-English election brochures as a whole, and is there any law demanding factual accuracy in any election brochure? What's in the Chinese-language media about IPPs and BC Hydro? What's in the Chinese-language media about BVB/BC Rail? What's in the Chinese-language media about Olympic spending/cuts? There are too many such votes for this to not be an important aspect of BC politics now; the Libs and their consultants know it well; clearly someone designed Heed's brochure - the brochure allegedly created/circulated by Heed's campaign (since he maintains he has done nothing wrong....yawn) - who was "in the know" about how to scare Chinese voters away from the NDP.....

And why resign only your cabinet post when you should resign your seat? - since it's come out that the campaign materials circulated were not only illegal but inflammatorily false??

I"m surprised that he's even made a statement; the usual Liberal byline is "I can't comment because the matter is before the courts"....
 
another sign idea:

6 years, 3 judges, two railways, a one-man government - and four million victims of corporate-political crime..... Return BC Rail to public hands; the sale was corrupt (and we're still not sure what's on the actual contract)

Kinda wordy, but lawyers are used to reading fine print, no?
 
No. I think the placard has to be in big letters and understood at a glance.

Give us back BC Rail maybe?
 
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