Tuesday, April 13, 2010

 

Let the Mounties explain

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This Globe and Mail editorial makes a West Coaster think of Basi, Virk, and Basi ... and to wonder how far ahead the BC Rail trial would be, right now, if we addressed the RCMP in these terms.  Or if the RCMP had felt confident enough to have done so themselves.

The Guergis-Jaffer affair is a small thing by comparison with the BC Rail affair. Very, very small. And yet we never saw in all these years (6 years) this kind of approach to the vital elements leading up to the trial ... except when we read Prof. Mathews' statements about the necessity for police to act in the BC Rail case. I have to wonder why, how, who is  behind the BC Rail scenes making that kind of baffling difference in our vital affairs? 

So far as I can see: Robin Mathews is our West Coast Globe and Mail on the subject of RCMP integrity in the BCRail affair.

Have a look ... and please share your thoughts.  - BC Mary.
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Let the Mounties explain ...

Editorial
The Globe and Mail - April 12, 2010

The RCMP should expeditiously make public the nature of the serious allegations against Helena Guergis, the former minister of state for the status of women and the now independent MP for Simcoe-Grey. It is one of the functions of police forces, rather than of first ministers or other members of the cabinet, to clearly but prudently summarize to the public what a suspected, or charged, person is thought to have done.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper acted properly in passing on the claims made against Ms. Guergis to the RCMP. It is not within the normal duties or skills of a prime minister to formulate and announce suspicions of criminal wrongdoing, while avoiding the shoals of prejudicing a possible future trial, on the one hand, and of compromising a current investigation, on the other. This task is rightly to be expected from the expertise of the police.

Ms. Guergis was a minister of the Crown, and the Canadian public are indeed entitled to be informed of the character of the allegations against her. The RCMP should do so sooner rather than later. It is true that the force revised its procedures after its investigation of possible leaks by politicians of a prospective change of policy on income trusts, but that was in the midst of the 2005 election, which is not the present situation.

Thanks to a sensible policy of the law, police are sheltered by a legal privilege from defamation lawsuits for announcement of investigations and charges, for good reason. It is their duty to inform the public of what they believe to be well founded suspicions, and citizens need to be able to scrutinize the conduct of the police and of the judicial process as a whole.
  [Emphasis added. - BC Mary.]

Indeed, members of Parliament are also sheltered from defamation actions for what they say in the House of Commons. But that is to enable free debate – always subject to the House’s own rules – on matters of public policy, rather than to denounce individuals, though this may often be reasonably incidental to legislative discussion. Parliament is not usually the proper place to unveil criminal investigations or charges.

Moreover, Ms. Guergis’s former portfolio, concerned as it is with gender-based analysis, was not one of those most vulnerable to criminal behaviour or consequently of the most urgent interest to the public. A minister of justice may try to obstruct prosecutions; a minister of finance may try to use budgetary measures for corrupt purposes. A minister of public works may be tempted to award government contracts to cronies.

Mr. Harper acted rightly by communicating the allegations against Ms. Guergis to the police. In their turn, the RCMP should be prompt in disclosing these allegations. Though they might be well advised to err on the side of speed in this case, they must still exercise their judgment.

Full editorial and comments HERE.

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In another news report today, the detail-work done by Star reporters on Rahim Jaffer's background creates a  fascinatingly informative article. It's the kind of rough-and-tumble honesty we need to see in West Coast media ...  journalism speaking to power.  Journalism that says: this is what we see, so we're  reporting it. 

Here's one small excerpt from:

Former MP Rahim Jaffer connected to alleged conman:

... Gillani was visibly drunk; Jaffer was not, though he drank steadily.

Jaffer is known in Ottawa, where the Edmonton native was an MP for a decade, as a party animal. To those assembled at Harbour 60 though, Jaffer explained that he could not stay out all night. He had borrowed his wife’s Ford Escape, parked it at the Kipling Street house, and Mihelic had driven him to Harbour 60 in the Porsche. Jaffer said his wife, Helena Guergis, the minister of state for the status of women, was returning from a business trip and he had to get home to the house they shared in Angus.

The night progressed from cocktails to wine to liqueurs.

The women were supplied by 23-year-old Jasmine of high class escort agency Cachet Ladies. Gillani tells his friends he is engaged to Jasmine, whom he met a year ago on an escort date ...

The full article is HERE.

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Comments:
Well Mary, I see a couple of things here.

First, Ontario it seems, has a media source worth reading/listening to (we can only wish!)..who appears not to fear those they write about. They also appear to be willing to dig for the truth - I doubt the Jaffer story is anywhere near finished. It would be nice to hear and see CBC's Tony Parsons start digging into the BC Rail theft, but I won't hold my breath. Sad though...he'd know a great deal about where the bones are buried.

Second, it appears the level of corruption in Canadian politics is escalating to a dangerous level. As much as I dislike Harper, and tend to see him as Gordo's comrade in arms - in this instance, he did the right thing. Kudos to him for that, and for bouncing her ass.

As to why the media, RCMP, and legal system appear to be paralyzed when it comes to BC Rail - I suspect it's because they've been told to be. I'd be willing to bet that if the ENTIRE truth were known, we'd find the highest levels of Canadian and American politics and law, involved in it up to their necks. There's a reason the Paul Martin go-to boys are involved...and the CEO's of BC's stolen Crown agencies are now run by American muckymucks...think BC Ferries, and BC Rail...BC Hydro soon.

Essentially, (I think) we are in a lawless limbo here in BC. Our government and legal systems are so corrupted nothing short of burning them to the ground will clean them (so to speak)...we're an American banana-republic, with none of their legal protections. If the Crown corporation take-overs had happened in the US as has happened here, there would be prison sentences served. They want it ALL, without oversight. Campbell is their stooge, and is willing to sell not only his soul, but the heritage of every British Columbian past, present and future. Not that he has to worry - he won't be staying in BC once the final nail has been pounded into our SuperNatural coffin. Look out Maui! Or wherever.
 
And Leah, there's something else ... something really important.

We pretty much know the general outlines of how desperately bad the situation is in B.C.,

but

what we need more of ... desperately ... is a concept of what to do about it ...

how to push back ... and

how and where to get started.

I think the 100th anniversary celebration of the BC Court of Appeal,

in Vancouver ... April 23 & 24,

where many key figures in Law & Order will be gathering, will provide many opportunities to voice our concerns.

For the best 6 words to paint on my placard ... ?

For the most colourful pamphlet written up and ready to hand out at street-level?

For the most civil letter addressed to Chief Justice McLauchlin explaining BC's disastrous situation?

C'mon, Leah ... you can do it. Figure out some steps we can take to push back on the current situation.
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Shades of the Republicans and that bondage-busty hookers" it would be getting a lot more airplay and column inches....I'd venture "this sort of thing" is way more common in business (and politics) than those who don't get caught would ever admit to.

And I wonder if "going after the brown guys", to use the language of the editor of the Indo-Canadian Times, is also a factor here.

I mean, c'mon folks, it's not like there's not other politicians and corpoate people don't hire escorts on a regular basis. What do you think makes those operations profitable? Not people on limited income...but very often people wanting to please someone else....and politics is all about that (as is any job in sales, which is what politics really is....)
 
In Toronto, former associates of Gillani speculate that Jaffer has “rolled over” on Gillani, provided evidence, and in return was given a good deal on his drug, speeding and drunk driving charges.

"Never trust a politician. Especially an ex-politician"

That's in some script or novel somewhere, the lines came to me as I read that. They were from one gang boss to another, concerning somseone who had just left the room. Might have been one of the Godfather series I think....another line somewhere, or meaning, again from one criminal to another goes, speaking of politicians, "they're bigger scum than we are, but not as ready to do jail time. They always squeal."

Kinda makes you wish CN would "roll over" on the BC government ( = Gordon Campbell) as CNron has suggested may happen. To avoid having their whole board charged, I mean.....for criminal conspiracy; they're worth billions, Gordon Campbell isn't.
 
Maybe we should encourage the Toronto Star to send this reporter out to BC to cover the BVB trial. It would be interesting if they also chose to ignore the publication ban, as they are in Ontario, after all....unless there are any jurors who are Ontarian, or located in Ontario, there would seem to be a reason to justify that ban east of, oh, the Great Lakes.

I'd bet, also, that the Star's publishers and editors would be more willing to challenge the ban as a freedom of the press, freedom of expression benchmark case; something CanWest papers clearly don't want to do....or would have done so already, long ago, before the first publication ban.....
 
If I were carrying a placard, it would say:

Justice McLachlin - Your BC House of Law Needs Cleaning!

with the back reading:

Emails? What Emails? Law? Whose Law?

Another for the other hand:

CanWest Bankruptcy - The BEST thing FOR BC!

with the back reading:

R.I.P British Columbia Media.

A sandwich board with the web addresses of the most pertinent BC Bloggers should also be brought to everyones attention. Say one in plain sight of the Law Courts, another farther down the street...

"I believe that judges have the duty to insist that legislative and executive branches of government conform to certain, established and fundamental norms, even in times of trouble," Justice McLachlin said.

How many times have our legislative and executive branches of government thrown that theory out the door, with impunity?
 
Now you're talkin', Leah.

* Sandwich boards (both sides)

* Placards (both sides)

* Info sheets for hand-outs

* Songs. Anybody know some Raging Grannies?

* People. Doesn't need to be crowds ... even 6 nice people will be seen and heard if they display the messages.
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BC Mary said:

People. Doesn't need to be crowds ... even 6 nice people will be seen and heard if they display the messages.

Yes, that's exactly right. Of course, more is better, but a few intelligent, reasonable, determined and dignified people can carry the day.

Excellent idea. Those who can attend, should attend and make their presence felt and their messages seen.

CC
 
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)."

hmmm and:

"RCMP - bumblers, or in on the action?"

Granted, that last one's a little risky....

But, however the wording:

"BC Rail case needs intervention from a higher power"

"Justice for the people. Not for the powers that be."

though really it's the powers that be that need to be brought before justice, rather than working outside it, and re-jigging the justice system to suit itself...
 
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