Friday, May 14, 2010
The BC Rail trial begins on Monday, May 17, 2010.
Canada: A Chance to Begin National Rebirth – Now.
By Robin Mathews
Friday, May 14, 2010
A chance has come to Canadians, in a courtroom of the British Columbia Supreme Court … now … to begin undoing the disastrous sell-out of public wealth that has been the major policy of the Gordon Campbell (and – less visibly but determinedly – the Stephen Harper) regime.
Let me repeat – the chance to take real action, within the law, and with the chance of major effect, is present in the BC Supreme Court right NOW. The history of major resource and infrastructure sell-out over the last ten years has produced a moment for action … and it is now.
The policy of extravagant sell-out has just been taken on by Ontario - through an almost unbelievable Goldman Sachs-Ontario government agreement to dump into private hands 49% of “Crown assets, including public power, liquor stores, and the lottery commission”. (The 49% will stay that amount for the shortest time you may imagine.)
Ish Theilheimer of Global Research and Straight Goods News quotes Ontario NDP environment critic Peter Tabuns. Staggered at the use of Goldman Sachs “after their role in destabilizing Greece and the world economy”, Tabuns says: “We are talking about the sale of the most lucrative and amongst the most strategic of Ontario’s assets.”
Jay Spark writes: “Transport, security, energy, and WATER are all essential parts…. (In) 5-10 years, Sir John A’s Canada will be only a vaguely remembered entre-temps to ‘manifest destiny’.”
Those items are precisely what the Campbell group has sold off and is selling off in British Columbia – and is working on selling off more.
The opportunity to fight back, now, arises out of the B.C., Campbell group’s corrupt transfer of (publicly owned) BC Rail to (U.S. privately-owned) CNR. Out of that contorted (and I allege criminally effected – but resolutely RCMP uninvestigated) transfer a single set of accusations against lower order cabinet aides has made its pre-trial, years-long march (from 2004) to trial – to start on May 17, 2010.
But there is a HUGE hitch in the validity of the trial.
In 2003, in violation of all prosecutorial legislation [in particular legislation creating the role of Special (Crown) Prosecutor] a former, close business partner and colleague of the Attorney General Geoff Plant and the Deputy Attorney General Allan Seckel was appointed Special Crown Prosecutor. Because cabinet aides were the investigated and accused, the Attorney General and his Deputy HAD TO BE “interested” parties in the accusations, and – therefore – their ministry could not appoint anyone from the private legal sector who was identified with them - to be Special Prosecutor.
Nonetheless, their ministry went ahead and appointed their former partner and colleague of many years. William Berardino filled the position – complicating the “potential for perception of bias” - over the years. Not only did he contribute in 2005 to the election campaign of the successor to Geoff Plant as Attorney General. He was placed by the premier in direct relation with Allan Seckel in the vetting of cabinet documents for disclosure in the Spring of 2007 – Allan Seckel was partner and colleague of William Berardino for eleven years before he [Seckel] was made Deputy Attorney General and Berardino was appointed.
In addition, the conduct of William Berardino in the pre-trial hearings might lead some reasonable Canadians to believe they perceived (that there was “a perception of”) bias in his conduct in the matter.
So blatantly a violation was the appointment of William Berardino that when I had the facts, I wrote to the Attorney General and asked to have Mr. Berardino removed from the role. The assistant deputy Attorney General replied to me. The Attorney General will not reply to me– despite a follow-up letter directly to him. The adAG simply – and completely falsely – stated that the 2003 appointment was presently (?) sub judice AND HE REFUSED TO COMMENT ON THE APPOINTMENT. He refused, I believe, to comment because he knows it was in flagrant violation of the legislation.
I then wrote to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of B.C., the Associate Chief Justice, and the presiding judge in the BC Rail Scandal case (known as the case against Basi, Virk, and Basi). I laid out the facts for the senior B.C. Supreme Court officers. The reply I received from an agent of the court said that the Court officers addressed had no part in the appointment of the Special Crown Prosecutor … and so would do nothing. In effect THEY, TOO, REFUSED TO COMMENT ON THE APPOINTMENT. That, I believe, made it possible for them to avoid supporting the appointment – which was improper. I wrote back to the Associate Chief Justice, Anne MacKenzie, who is also the presiding judge on the case, to re-state the absolute responsibility upon her to act in the matter. She will not reply.
What any reasonable Canadian may conclude is that all the forces responsible for the administration of justice in British Columbia want the trial to go ahead on May 17 – with a jury deliberately kept ignorant of the improper appointment of William Berardino, Special Crown Prosecutor and major agent in the allegations of criminal wrong-doing being “tried” in the Supreme Court.
If the jury in the Basi, Virk, and Basi trial learns of the true situation, it will have no other choice than to say it is disabled – that it can neither hear evidence nor deliberate about a conviction until a new Special Prosecutor is appointed. That implies a completely rerun (and amplified) investigation … and (very probably) new accused being named.
The jury (and commentators) will have to point out that the Gordon Campbell group knowingly and deliberately appointed someone around whom a potential perception of bias almost inevitably would arise if the conditions of the appointment became public. And commentators will have to ask why the Gordon Campbell group took that risk?
The trial will take - trial judge Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie has stated – six to eight or nine weeks, probably.
Now Canadians may reasonably and lawfully organize. They may legitimately and properly enter the courtoom. Any one of them may correctly and properly (within the order of the trial) rise as “amicus curiae” (a friend of the court) and state that the jury must be told of the status of the Special Crown Prosecutor. [That process may unfold day after day, again and again, in the courtroom until the jury is fully informed of the situation.] A profoundly important role of the “amicus curiae” is to give to the court (judge and jury) information that is key to a trial of an accused person or persons, without which the trial of the accused would be flawed and imperfect – and the administration of justice brought into disrepute, and accused people wrongly judged and wrongly convicted or wrongly excused from conviction.
The role of the “amicus curiae” (the friend of the court) is an honoured part of our trial procedure recognized over a long history.
The opportunity for constitutionally proper action is there for Canadians to take. To that end, I wrote the following letter to Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie, which will be delivered to her today by Expresspost.
“May 13, 2010
The last letter I wrote to you concerning the impropriety of William Berardino continuing in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case as Special Crown Prosecutor because of the demonstrable violation of prosecutor legislation in his appointment has gone – as you very well know – unanswered by you.
You force me to record that I believe you are refusing to act in a matter in which you have an obligation to justice and to the people of Canada to take a firm public position and to declare Mr. Berardino’s loss of standing in the case.
You force me as well – out of a deep concern for the administration of justice in Canada and what I take to be your failure to protect its good name – to report to you that I may find myself called upon at some time during the trial to rise as amicus curiae (friend of the court) and insist that the jury cannot continue hearing evidence or undertake final deliberations until it is informed that Mr. Berardino was improperly appointed by the Ministry of the Attorney General to which he was related by years of partnership with both Geoff Plant, Attorney General, and Allan Seckel, Deputy Attorney General.
Mr. Berardino’s unacceptability goes deeper than that.
But I will not add material to this letter. I will if I choose to rise as amicus curiae in the court.
There it is, simply. There is the chance for Canadians, fully within the law, to begin to undo the disastrous sell-out of public wealth that has been the major policy of Gordon Campbell (and – less visibly but determinedly – the Stephen Harper) regime.
There is the chance for Canadians who care to organize … NOW. They can set on foot a wholly constitutional and proper action – as a responsible and conscionable body of people – to expose and open for examination the whole matter of (what I believe is the deliberately wrongful) sell-out of Canadian wealth. They need only demand that the jury in the trial of Basi, Virk, and Basi has the information that the jury must have in order to act responsibly … the full information about the appointment of William Berardino as Special Crown Prosecutor.
Of course in the case of this court, and those who seem to be manipulating the process by means of actions which I contend amount to obstruction of justice, it is with a heavy dose of sarcasm that I can refer to myself as a friend of this court. A friend of and seeker of justice, yes, but this court has earned my contempt, even if I haven't been charged as being in the contempt to which I plead guilty, with pride!