Saturday, April 10, 2010

 

B.C. Rail: Madam Justice MacKenzie's outrageous publication ban

.
Did I tell you about my macabre joke -- the one where I was momentarily devastated to learn (at the 2nd medical consultation after ALL the test results were in hand) that I am NOT going to die soon??  For 3 weeks, I had accepted the prospect of death. and I was comfortable with that -- if that's what was in the cards. And I certainly didn't want my darling daughter to cry all night ever again. I wanted my last weeks to be happy weeks.

Why did I think my life was ending? First was being told I have cancer. 2) Then the Oncologist's remark that there are a few dark patches showing on the bone scan. 3)  finding cancer in two other places. 4) the Oncologists' decision not to operate.

The part I missed, I guess, is that all the doctors and techs were so upbeat. Yes, the doctors are wonderful (it's a teaching hospital where I'm treated, so everything is spelled out twice -- once for me and again in medical terminology for the M.D. student accompanying us) and at no time did they speak of or imply that The End is Nigher Than I Thought. [Only the A-hole (precise medical terminology) spoke of doom as he - let's call him #5) -  rejoiced at my early demise.]

Fact is: I was completely comfortable with knowing I would soon die. A bit scared about how it would all end ... yes ... but there were several major changes happening in my life and this seemed like part of the pattern. I was OK with the news. I wanted my family to be OK too, and to treat this as an interesting journey.  The prospect of dying does concentrate the mind wonderfully (just as Samuel Johnson said, in the 18th century).



As I wondered how to make best use of my remaining time,  bammo: thoughts of the huge publication ban which Madam Justice MacKenzie had just flung like a toxic cloud over Basi-Virk issues.

The very morning I was to attend that final big medical consultation I had an idea. The way I figured it, Madam J-Mac. had just aimed a toxic spray over

EVERYBODY in the BC Rail trial ... lawyers, the accused, the media and the public ...

and we had all been floored, planked, buzzing in circles

asking "Oh Lord, what does it all mean?"

when in fact we should be declaring our honest views, our deeply-held opinions about our railway, our court, our government.

I mean wtf not??? Isn't that what good citizens do? I think so. 

There may in fact be nothing wrong with her ruling -- coming, as it does, from the Great Book. But the way she issued that edict ... why did she issue an edict which (some say) doesn't depart from normal routine?? Which, of course, kept people asking "What does it all mean?"

And then she re-proclaimed it, with a minor correction. I am convinced that Madam J-Mac was issuing a serious warning -- of some kind -- because people still didn't feel certain that they understood its meaning ... they still felt threatened by it. And to be on the safe side, they tried to avoid mention of BC Rail and/or Basi-Virk. Read Bill Tieleman's good reports on this. He figured he wasn't allowed to even mention who was in court (lawyers or the public) on the last day of public hearings. Imagine that ... and do the words "Zimbabwe" or "Somalia" spring to mind? 

So I began to think that B.C. citizens must not sit quietly with bags over our heads while Madam J-Mac tells us to "Keep movin' along ... silently." Why the heck should we? It's our railroad and our court.

Frankly, the more I concentrated my mind on the BC Rail trial, the more I found Madam J-Mac's court contemptible. Not all courts. Not the Canadian court system. Her specific court hearing this specific trial.  Much, much more admirable was Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett's remark in the self-same trial that the public interest was a top priority.

So I began to draft my inflammatory editorial, telling myself that I wouldn't live to see myself cited, arrested, and facing a Supreme Court trial for Contempt of Court. I'd be sorta, like, safe. Ha!


My wonderful little family had gathered beside me. Even my little grandson (12) asked to stay home from school so he could be with me. My darling daughter. And my ex-husband.  Maybe it was that image: 3 generations looking toward the future ... a future in which governments could with a wink and a nod, shut down the courts of justice with publication bans.

So ... just before we left the house, I looked again at the draft editorial which I had written about MacKenzie's cockeyed ruling (yep, that's what I had called it) ... and thinking w.t.f. not? ... I punched the PUBLISH button before I ran out the door to attend this critical medical conference.

I was smiling. "Maybe I'll be cited for Contempt of Court," I thought, "but the way BC courts move, I'll be long gone before it gets to trial ... ha!"

And so we gathered -- my precious little family seeming so small in the huge hospital -- and then the reports, the summary, the advice ... those dark bits on the bone? probably arthritis. The big, big news was that the treatment -- only a tiny pill taken once a day -- was shown to be 100% responsive ... so that I'd be kept on it -- nothing more -- for "two or three years" and then, if necessary, "we'd consider chemo."  To monitor progress, another CT Scan in 3 months.

"You mean ... ? "  But I knew already ... I ain't gonna die anytime soon. I had outwitted myself. Dang! Oh come on now ... I thought. If you had enough courage to face death a few hours ago and to write a bit of truth to power ... wouldn't you be even better able to do that now? Well yeah ... so here goes with another re-write. My original posting doesn't seem so inflammatory now ... which just goes to show the effect of Madam J-Mac's draconian warning. Intended or not, I had felt intimidated. Others did too.  

Good people are still revisiting, revising, and trying to properly understand Madam Justice MacKenzie's huge publication ban on Basi-Virk (BC Rail) issues. Mainstream media seem only too happy to stop saying anything about the case, the railway, the accused men, or the trial. A co-incidence? I don't think so.

But in my opinion, the main damage has been done: there's apparently no plan whatever for mainstream media coverage of the BC Rail Trial -- such as was laid on for the Pickton Pig Farm Trial.  And the excuse for that? There's a publication ban.

Why is there a publication ban? Shouldn't Justice MacKenzie have to give a reason ... and a very good reason ... before she tries to muzzle the media on Case #23299?

And doesn't the tainted sale of a large, vital railway once owned by the citizens of B.C. require a full and open testing at trial? 


Well, I wasn't cited ... nor will anyone be cited, if you ask me ... because I'm pretty sure Justice MacKenzie's edict couldn't possibly stand up in court.  Also ... who in power would challenge a ruling to silence the evidence of corruption in the unpopular sale of BC Rail?

Who indeed ... except for the people who once owned the railway which some have called "the steel backbone of British Columbia"? The people can challenge this Supreme Court's anti-democratic ruling simply by speaking up and speaking out. (Remember she said we couldn't. At least, I think that's what her cockeyed ruling says.)

If you ask me, I believe that Anne MacKenzie has placed herself in a position where contempt for the BC Supreme Court is the only reasonable response. And here's an excellent example from a citizen responding to a Vancouver Sun article:

THE NEW BC LIBERAL OWNED AND OPERATED JUDGE ON THE BASI-VIRK TRIAL HAS ISSUED A COMPLETE MEDIA BAN ON ALL COMMENT ON THE BASI-VIRK TRIAL, NO MATTER HOW BIZARRE AND CONVOLUTED THE PROCEEDINGS, UNTIL THE TRIAL IS OVER? HOW'S YOUR $10 A WEEK TAXCUT NOW,


It would be very good for a healthy democracy if people from all corners of British Columbia wrote or spoke out forthrightly about anything that tries to prevent the people of B.C. from knowing what's going on in the BC Rail trial.  Don't wait, as I did, for the day when you think your life is over and it's the last best thing you can do for the future.

The good news is that if Madam J-Mac cites us for Contempt of Her Court because we've expressed our opinions ... well then, wouldn't we have real evidence of the suppression of news? Right out in the open? News that justice in B.C. can be seen NOT being done?

But suppose we sit quietly obeying an outrageously boneheaded edict which bans citizens showing responsibility for justice in an informed democracy. That would mean B.C. may never again hope to see a free press or a fair trial. -- BC Mary.

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Comments:
Good news on your health and I offer my encouragement to you not only regarding your health, but on the courtroom issue as well. I also believe that the owners of the asset have a right to know everything and if not, why not.
Give us the credit to be intelligent enough to figure out who the villains really are. Keep up the good work.
 
cfvua,

many thanks for your encouraging words ...

I hope you laughed a bit ... my family and I have laughed many times about the way my jaw dropped when the doctor's wonderful words sank in ...

But I take your meaning very seriously about the "owners of the asset" having a right to know everything ... and if not why not.

I hope there will be many people in the public gallery when this trial does begin.
.
 
I'm also glad to hear that your health is in better shape than you thought. Your act of censorship defiance is also an inspiration I think.
 
Wonderful news Mary. So happy for you and your family. Your news puts a sparkle to my day!

Now about your urging us to do something, and not to cower in fear of a publication ban... Does a publication ban extend to "informational" signs carried by individuals? Don't think so.

I will offer my suggestion again that, everyone who can, gather at the Wosk Centre in Vancouver April 23-24, or the night of Friday, April 23 at The Westin Bayshore where Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada will be keynote speaker.

The occasion is the 100th Anniversary of the BRITISH COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEAL JUDGES’ AND LAWYERS’ BCCA CENTENARY CONFERENCE PROGRAM. We couldn't be served up a better opportunity for this matter to personally Speak Truth To Power.

Come with placards bearing choice facts about this bizarre travesty of justice occurring under our noses (and their noses).

Also, this would be one way to publicize the degree of our opposition to the rule of law being corrupted by unelected officials. Even if the MSM ignores such a public outcry, the assembled legal elite cannot, and at very least they will be embarrassed. You know how they hate to be embarrassed.

This event is tailor-made for a public demonstration, at least by those of us alert to the crumbling of our societal framework right under our feet, and the knowledge of the impact that will have on the future, for us and forthcoming generations.
 
Mary, your news had made my whole week, never mind a day!

As for the rest of your article, I say "bloody brilliant!" It's time for us to stand up and stay standing in the fight for our rights for REAL justice. Ya know the kind...SEEN to be done. Our silence in the past has been shown to be a mistake of monumental proportion, it seems the more mannerly and obedient we are...the more they move the line toward removal of even more freedom.

Unfortunately, the only places we may find the truth during this trial is on the blogs of those with a heart and mind like yours - and they're far too few. Will the others be willing to print what they know, will they stand up for freedom...or stand down for "law", even if that law is obviously draconian and anti-law to my way of thinking. Who knows? I guess we'll find out soon enough!
 
Great news on your health Mary.

You know, after reading and re-reading S. 648:1 and S.647 I had come to the conclusion that it was only if the jury was not in court listening to evidence that this ruling would apply. The word "separate" being the operative word.
Therefore I had no intention of not reporting the trial at my blog. My only problem was who could I trust to give me the information as I may not make it to Vancouver before the trial is over. Go to jail? Bin there done that.
 
Mary, I seem to have the feeling that most ordinary citizens feel that the justice system protects the accused at the expense of the victims.

Could it be because it is true?

So, what else is new?

islandcynic
 
Great news about your health Mary - for all of us.
 
* the office of the freedom of information and privacy commissioner has found it's in the public interest for the government to release records of phone calls from members of the premier's office to provincial Liberal insider Patrick Kinsella. But the premier's office has ignored that finding, continuing to refuse to release that information unless a hefty fee is paid; p eye
 
Mary--

To steal a phrase from the headband's husband, this news is....

Faaaaaaaaaantastic!!!!!


______
Yours, not Justice Mackenzie's order, of course.

Still, it is important to remember that once the trial starts things should be wide open once again (at least when the jury is present).

Thus, it will be important for as many of your readers and correspondents as possible to be there to bear witness and report back to us because, as you have demonstrated over and over and over again, we cannot rely on the local proMedia to bring us the real story of what happens at Robson and Smithe.

.
 
Friday & Saturday

April 23 & 24


Wosk Centre & Bayshore Inn


Placards are important:

BC RAIL and CLEAN GOVERNMENT

are among the issues.
 
To borrow from the comment of "p eye" above ... here's one of the major legal issues which should interest the Chief Justice and others when they're in Vancouver on April 23 & 24:

* the office of the freedom of information and privacy commissioner has found it's in the public interest for the government to release records of phone calls from members of the premier's office to provincial Liberal insider Patrick Kinsella. But the premier's office has ignored that finding, continuing to refuse to release that information unless a hefty fee is paid; p eye

This might require a pamphlet as well as a placard ...

[And surely to gosh the Gordo Gang doesn't expect us to pay them for this public service???]
.
 
Damn you Mary...You know I hate to cry,your wonderful story has caused salty,watery drips to fall over my paperwork!

Our Prayers were answered.
 
A huge hug Mary.

Welcome back to the rest of your life.
 
Note the Supreme Court Canada Basi case
http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/case-dossier/cms-sgd/dock-regi-eng.aspx?32719

Order by, PUBLICATION BAN FROM THE Supreme Court of British Columbia - Please note the following. The accused in this proceeding have elected to be tried by judge and jury. Accordingly, Madam Justice MacKenzie of the Supreme Court of British Columbia has issued a publication ban order pursuant to s. 648 of the Criminal Code and the Court's inherent jurisdiction. Section 648 is an automatic publication ban which expires when the jury retires to consider its verdict. The Court's inherent jurisdiction was invoked to cover the period from when the jury retires to consider its verdict to when the jury renders its verdict.
The publication ban prohibits the publication in any document or broadcast or transmission of evidence, submissions, rulings and reasons for judgment given in this proceeding in the absence of the jury. This publication ban will expire when the jury renders its verdict.
As a result of this publication ban order, the reasons for judgment [R. c. Basi, 2009 CSC 52, [2009] 3 R.C.S. 389] which were previously published on the LexUm website have been removed.
(and this posted there "The reasons for this decision have been temporarily removed from the site following a publication ban pronounced on March 4, 2010 by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The Court has published the following announcement on their website:).... same as below

http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/2009/2009scc52/2009scc52.html
cont
-----
 
Mary Mary Mary!!!! I am so Happy for You and your family, I could not even bring myself to comment to You when You first told Us. I laughed and a tear fell wilst reading this morning.

Check this out, this page talks about Pickton Trial. I like this advice by

DAN BURNETT is one of Canada's leading media lawyers. He frequently lectures on media law issues for reporters and journalism students. He represents several media outlets on issues including publication bans, He writes here
http://www.journalismethics.ca/media_law/burnett.htm
"
"The temptation to simply put down the pencils” when the jury is absent would be a mistake, because the ban is only temporary until the jury retires to consider its verdict (or until verdict if the judge exercises his discretion to make such an order). Therefore, if the case comes to an abrupt end due to a plea or other development, the information from voir dire will become the sole record of much of the evidence. Also, when the trial is over, the information from voir dire that the jury did not hear can be a fascinating series of news stories."
 
Not for publication unless You see fit.

This is Tax court decision. Note how CN works.

SLX Canada Limited (“Canada”) was incorporated to handle Canadian National Railway’s (“CN”) leased rolling stock for extended periods of time: to deal with lenders, primarily insurance companies and equipment suppliers, and to deal with options to purchase by CN when the equipment came off lease [that intent being to keep the rolling stock off CN’s balance sheet]. All operational expenses of Canada were to be the responsibility of SLX Management Inc. (“Management”) pursuant to a Management Agreement between Management and Canada. Canada was owned 51 percent by CN, 16.66 percent by Management, 16.66 percent by a David Smith and 16.66 percent by DLG Consulting. The Appellant Paul Miller (“Miller”) was the President, sole shareholder and director of Management. Smith was Vice-President of Management.

Miller was originally an employee of CN. Lease residuals on CN rolling stock turned out to be a problem for CN. Miller developed a method of dealing with this CN problem through Canada. Canada was a company without employees but with physical assets of up to $500 million. These assets included rail cars, locomotives and the leases for this type of equipment.

http://decision.tcc-cci.gc.ca/en/2010/2010tcc148/2010tcc148.html
 
No wonder GC and CN got on so well together - they're birds of a feather. Truly a match made in hell to my way of thinkin'.
 
Here's some signs, or items for a single sign maybe:

*Emails? What emails??
*Lobbyist? Who's a lobbyist? Isn't unlicensed lobbying illegal?
*Third Party" status for political consultants who work on election campaigns while at the same time work both sides in the vending of a public assets should not be immune from prosection/investigation
*IF OmniMAX paid 100,000 for the booby prize what did CN pay for th grand prize?
*Unseal the warrants! Are warrants signed in Palm Springs valid in British Columbia?
*What's the prececdent for Justice Dohm's impromptu interruption/appearance at the trial hearings? Was he a person of interest, or just an interloper?
*CN and BNSF and Ferroequus say the sale was corrupt, that the bidding was rigged? Why to the RCMP not care?
*Fraud, collusion, racketeering - all cloaked by abuse of privilege, invoked at the highest level
*"I can't comment before the matter is before the courts" (new slogan of the BC Liberal Party)
*Justice Bennett unsealed the original publication ban for the sake of the public interest. Justice Mackenzie has re-sealed the case
*Special Prosecutor has made partisan donations and has close ties to current and past Attorneys-General and A-G staff
*Cooking books is illegal, so is lying about financial records to shareholds (=taxpayers). Even if you do that lying from the government benches.
*Jail for politicians who lie to get elected. Jail for politicians who connive public assets into their friends' hands by illegal means
*Who really owns CN anyway? Why is it called a Canadian company when the majority of its shareholders are American?
*Charges need to be laid, but not for people who break the publication ban to talk about why
*Basi, Virk and Basi - henchmen or fall guys? Or just scapegoats?
*Crown assets, private deals - SHOW US THE CONTRACT!!
*Political nepotism and insider influence - "business as usual" in British Columbia

With the right kind of questions on those signs you could really stir up the olives in all those martinis quite a bit.

It could become a news issue if not just one or several people are cited for contempt of court for putting the truth out there, and because it was in front of judges and lawyers from other provinces might make it harder for BC's political slime to continue "damage control". In fact, a press release challenging the BCSC to prosecute could itself have impact, even if the court is wise (wiser than it maybe is) and doesn't do any such thing because of the repercussions of enforcing the ban.

I can't take part, I'm far far away, so just making suggestions.....somebody should invest in a pamphlet with all Robin's letters to those who claim to be in charge.....
 
Northern Light is an all-color portrait of one of North America’s most fascinating railways — BC Rail. With 303 full color photographs and 12 lavishly illustrated maps, this volume presents a retrospective of the entire BC Rail system during its 20-year life span between June 1984 and July 2004. In the of Northern Light may be found all the elements that made BC Rail so interesting. From its locomotives (including steam, diesel, and electric) to its unique Budd RDC passenger operations, BC Rail was a railway like no other. Besides just machinery, BC Rail’s right-of-way passed through some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery in North America. Perhaps the railway’s most valuable feature were the railroaders who performed their assigned duties with professionalism and a passion for railroading. The photographs of the machines, landscapes, and people included in Northern Light tell the whole story of British Columbia’s own railway. From the familiar to rare images of remote trackage never before photographed, it’s all here in one amazing volume.
 
Well golly-gee, Anonymous 10:16 ...

you're most welcome. Drop in and use my blog for free advertising anytime you please.

But I must say that I'd appreciate a proper greeting to my readers, identifying yourself as the author (?), the agent (?) or whatever ... concluding (just a quaint old Canadian-style idea) with possibly even a tiny word of thanks for the platform ...

How about try again, eh?
.
 
Oh. And 10:16,

it was also the custom of the trade when I was a working publisher, that

a free copy of a new book is sent to the editor ...

for review purposes.

And then the editor decides what will be written to describe the book. OK?
.
 
Skookum1's on the right track (bad pun). I like his ideas and initiative. More, please. Everyone.

Yes, one slogan per sign, and keep 'em short and pointy (i.e. to the point).

CC

Skookum1 said...
Here's some signs, or items for a single sign maybe:

*Emails? What emails??
*Lobbyist? Who's a lobbyist? Isn't unlicensed lobbying illegal?
*Third Party" status for political consultants who work on election campaigns while at the same time work both sides in the vending of a public assets should not be immune from prosection/investigation
*IF OmniMAX paid 100,000 for the booby prize what did CN pay for th grand prize?
*Unseal the warrants! Are warrants signed in Palm Springs valid in British Columbia?
*What's the prececdent for Justice Dohm's impromptu interruption/appearance at the trial hearings? Was he a person of interest, or just an interloper?
*CN and BNSF and Ferroequus say the sale was corrupt, that the bidding was rigged? Why to the RCMP not care?
*Fraud, collusion, racketeering - all cloaked by abuse of privilege, invoked at the highest level
*"I can't comment before the matter is before the courts" (new slogan of the BC Liberal Party)
*Justice Bennett unsealed the original publication ban for the sake of the public interest. Justice Mackenzie has re-sealed the case
*Special Prosecutor has made partisan donations and has close ties to current and past Attorneys-General and A-G staff
*Cooking books is illegal, so is lying about financial records to shareholds (=taxpayers). Even if you do that lying from the government benches.
*Jail for politicians who lie to get elected. Jail for politicians who connive public assets into their friends' hands by illegal means
*Who really owns CN anyway? Why is it called a Canadian company when the majority of its shareholders are American?
*Charges need to be laid, but not for people who break the publication ban to talk about why
*Basi, Virk and Basi - henchmen or fall guys? Or just scapegoats?
*Crown assets, private deals - SHOW US THE CONTRACT!!
*Political nepotism and insider influence - "business as usual" in British Columbia
 
About that book ... I had already heard that it's an excellent tribute to BC Rail, with photos aplenty, most in colour. Be prepared for a hefty price ... approx. $85., if I remember correctly.

A commenter sent this:

"Northern Lights" - A portrait of BC Rail
The title of the book is actually "Northern Light: A Portrait of BC Rail" and you can purchase it from White River Productions or from Karen's Books. ...
www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?15,2169037,older

=================

Hold on ... I'll look it up again. Back soon ...
.
 
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