Thursday, September 02, 2010


Is the Campbell Government in charge of the Basi Virk trial?

BC Mary comment: This item from "The Real Story" is interesting for the way in which it places the BC government in charge of the Basi Virk Trial. We all know that the Campbell Government is central to the story of how BC Rail went from public ownership into private pockets. But this is the first time I have seen "BC Liberals" or the "Campbell Government" portrayed in this active role. Here's a quote: 

The next Basi Virk shoe to drop?

The Real Story (Ian) - Sept. 1, 2010


... What if the trial doesn’t come back?  What if the BC Liberals offer the defence a deal it has to accept?

I’ve heard some whisperings of that for years and disregarded them.  To be sure, they came to nothing.

But now it makes some political sense.  Chief of Staff Martyn Brown’s testimony was a disaster for the government.  He made ‘taking the 5th, look like an honourable move.  I didn’t talk to a single observer who believed Mr. Brown’s repeated refrain… “I don’t remember that.”

Aside from the actual goings on in the trial, the BC Liberals are more than twenty points down, heading into recall campaigns, dealing with the anti-HST petition and likely electing a new leader sometime over the next year.  Can their government sustain any more hits?  That must be the question they’re asking every day as they prepare for the fall.

And hits there will be from this trial.  The Basi-Virk defence has accumulated tens of thousands of government documents.  Some of what they’ve alluded to in the early questioning before the jury, suggests fireworks if that evidence makes it to court.

Call me crazy but I think the BC Liberals might just be desperate enough to cave, toughing out the cries that will come for a public inquiry, based on the perilous situation the BC Liberals are in.  You have to admit, stranger things have already happened in this case.

And if my idle speculation comes true?  It will be the biggest cover-up in Canadian history, our very own Watergate.

Click HERE to read the full column by Ian at The Real Story. 


In the newspapers and television news this morning, those that participated in splitting the $810 to pay for the FOI costs of when the HST became known to Hansen and Campbell and BC MLA company, is most revealing, not just on how out of touch with reality the BC Liberals are but for the news media as well.

Darrell Evans freedom-of-information advocate says that its clearly in the public's interest (to know everything about when the HST was being considered) "The government is using these fees to impair access to public records".

My goodness the BC Rail trial seems to be going on for eons and the one bunch of guys who haven't been called to Court Room 54, and who would appear to know more about the when of BC Rail was being sold off, would be the Finance department bureaucrats. These buffoons would know, would have sent out numerous emails on the subject of the sale of BC Rail, AND the BC Liberals would have read their briefing notes with glee shortly after their election of what was already in the works.

Just who the heck is running our British Columbia governments? Those that we elect, or salaried employees in Victoria?



Libs' denials beggar belief

They fumble, they bumble, but still they won't be humble

By Michael Smyth, The Province September 2, 2010


Fierce competitors banded together for the truth

By Michael Smyth, The Province September 2, 2010

The release of 140 pages of bombshell internal government documents on the HST was the result of an unusual co-operative effort by B.C.'s major news organizations.

Last year, several big newsrooms filed freedom-of-information requests with the government, seeking pre-election documents related to the HST.

The government responded that it would not release the records unless the media paid more than $800 to cover document-search costs.
Mary, given the coverage of the HST briefing notes etc. yesterday, especially in the Sun, I'd be interested in your opinion on whether Palmer and the rest of the PostMedia crew have been unshackled a bit in terms of their ability to criticize the govt.

I wasn't too surprised when I found the news in the Globe covered by Justine Hunter, with similar info from the CBC, but I was expecting to find little or nothing in the Sun. Has the leopard changed its spots...?

It's only a hunch, but I've had the feeling for the past while that the former CanWest media is slowly changing course.

I don't for a moment believe that the leopard has changed its spots.

But I can't help hoping that the newsrooms of B.C. have realized that they had become objects of ridicule, rather than the strong right arm of honest government.
I have a terrible feeling that the msm pundits were literally cornered into thses tactics by us, the people. While that is good news, it is premature. Wait and see how they spin whatever new leader emerges from the ashes. You know damn well, Carole Taylor is their photogenic darling, complete with F#@k me pumps. They have no choice but to sacrifice Campbell and Hansen, to do anything else would be to reveal to all their complicity in the business practices of these neo-conservatives.
I have to agree with Kim that this is premature. The leopard changing its' spots? Time will tell, but in the meantime, I have pretty well lost all faith in their reporting. We now have so many excellent blogs that give us information, far more information than the supposed "public" media.
To all the bloggers, keep up the good work.
And Mary, keep up your good work. Hope all is well with you.
Carole Taylor - Sarah Palin with brains, and better fashion sense (and her own clothing budget). Problem is, we've got no Tina Fey....

Vaughan Palmer: Jack Webster had jowls too, and an ego even bigger than Palmer's but at least he was no toady, nor did he make a habit of lying and coddling and sucking up (well, except for Trudeau, oddly enough).

And re this from deeby: I'd be interested in your opinion on whether Palmer and the rest of the PostMedia crew have been unshackled a bit in terms of their ability to criticize the govt.

My eyes are getting bad; at first I thought the last word was "gods".

And they're just not the subject of ridicule; the feedback I'm getting, way out here on the Atlantic via emails from home, is that their laughingstocks among the general public. Nobody believes the Sun and Province news columns; they buy them for the movie reviews, sports etc....nothing more. And that includes people aware of politics....
Almost a full year ago another group made an FOI for the very same documents that have now surfaced due to the CBC request. At that time they were told that no such documents existed - or there were no "responsive" documents to be released.

This in spite of the fact that they were requested with such specificity that to be more detailed would have necessitated either an exact title or document number. So either they don't look very hard (the reply of no responsive documents was quick) or they lie.....could it be?

Thanks to the Kamloops detachment, we now know when it is that the video surveillance is working in RCMP lockups...... and it isn't when in custody beatings or deaths occur. This morning the RCMP are clear that nobody but them gets to see the video in question....
My gut instinct is that neither CanWest nor any of the MSM (and by extension, their masters) are changing their spots at all; I think they are switching strategies because they have a trainwreck (no pun intended re: BC Rail; I'm refering to the HST) on their hands that can't be salvaged. BC Liberals have become a liability, but they'll be reincarnated with new faces and resurfacing in a new form as soon as the public relaxes its vigilance - or gets distracted. A gloomy prospect, but after 10 years of neoliberal hell, that's what I think.
WOW Finally!
The great Pandora's Box is showing cracks in Gordo's Crime Family!
Let the SCBC come back into focus and have a HOUSE CLEANING of the criminals occupying OUR SCBC!

That's pretty much my view of these newly-enlightened former CanWest leopards, too.

I think it's only a temporary switch in strategy.

Besides, Curly, you really don't mean "neoliberal hell", do you?

I doubt that there's a genuine Liberal in a truckload of Campbell's colleagues.

They are old Socreds, old Reform, old Alliance, old C.C.R.A.P., etc., bunched up under the once-respected name of "Liberal". But they aren't Liberals.

Think of David Orchard and Peter MacKay briefly in charge of the old Progressive Conservative Party. Remember how Harper stole the old Progressive Conservative name, and made it the Conservative Party of Canada?

Remember Gordon Wilson, from whom Campbell stole the old BC Liberal name, its leadership; became Leader of the BC Opposition, buried Gordon Wilson's career, and finally made the BC Opposition (which had risen under Wilson's leadership) into Campbell's very own BC Liberal Party ... closely aligned with Harper federally.

I think this past 10 years will have to have a whole new name of its own.

Any suggestions?
Regarding why CanWest was in....In this case it was a Herd thing - not to mention an unintended consequence of the egregious FOI costs mentioned by NVG at the top of the thread....

Paul Willcocks had the story in the footnote a recent post of his own.

It goes like this:

"....The documents topped the news reports in all the major media in the province on Thursday, thanks to another government bungle. CBC Radio reporter Jeff Davies submitted the FOI request. The government said it would charge $800 to produce the material. Davies approached seven other news outlets to split the cost and all receive the documents at the same time. The result was an avalanche of bad news...."

Oops! You're absolutely right, Mary; I meant to say "NeoCon Hell"; I misspoke there. In fact, I totally agree with you and sometimes feel concern that the "Campbell version" of "Liberal" has irreparably tainted that brand.
The Dark Ages?
New name:

Campbell Soup

once again, I have to say "Me too!"

I wonder if Ignatieff fully realizes the problem.

I've wondered that also.
Please note that Canwest Media, both the Tv and papers have been sold to two separate purchasers with deep pockets and NOT remotely tied to the Aspers previous political stick handling.

There has been a distinct change in tone and this very definitely would account for it.

I have no doubt that the new boys at the helm fully understand WHY Canwest sank into the tank and will unshackle their journalists.

How best to capture the audience's attention again, than by reporting the whole news instead of the sanitized version.

Happy Labour Day weekend everyone!

It's a bit oversimplified, don't you think, to say that the new owners are "NOT remotely tied to the Aspers previous political stick-handling".

What about National Post?

Canwest entered creditor bankruptcy protection in late 2009, leading to a partial breakup of the company. Canwest's newspaper arm has been sold to a group of creditors led by National Post CEO Paul Godfrey, through a newly-formed company named Postmedia Network.[2] The company's remaining asset, its broadcasting arm, is in the process of being sold to Shaw Communications, pending various regulatory and court approvals.[3] The broadcasting division is expected to retain the Canwest corporate name following the sale, at least initially.

It's a tangled web, but I think we'd be wise to keep a close watch on how much their tone has actually changed.
This morning the RCMP are clear that nobody but them gets to see the video in question....

ROTFL (wiping tears from my eyes)

Boy, I bet the US Army guys from Abu Ghraib wish they could say the does Pamela Anderson about the home video from Tommy Lee's boat....
Maybe I am being "oversimplified" Mary & yes it will be interesting to see if the reporting style in the old Canwest stable changes.

I always felt that Paul Godfrey of the National Post often allowed a broader scope of good reporting, though at the time under the Asper 'thumb'.

Thus, I am encouraged with new ownership that this veteran newsman will put a new and much needed jounalistic integrity into the papers with him at the helm and no financial ties to the Asper family and their infamous politically biased "stick handling".

There is always hope and sometimes a slight shift at the helm makes a world of difference - sometimes in unexpected ways.
Liberal decade of theft and corruption...

Island Cynic,

May I suggest that you clarify ...

Since BC Liberals (Gordo's creation) are not Liberals,

how about "BC Liberal decade of theft and corruption"

or, short version:

"Gordo's decade of theft and corruption".
About the Kamloops sex tapes and the nude judge pics, this is one of those occasions when British-style paparazzi and dirt-diggers would serve valuable public services by staking out the S&M club known to be frequented by senior police, judges and prosecutors with a good long-range infrared lens or well as Gordo & Lara's apartment building and other locations.

A really aggressive reporter would, like the British News of the World reporters have done to the Royal Family, already hacked their way into phone voiceboxes and emails, including those that got disappeared, courtesy of the obliging US subcontractor in charge of document destruction for the Premier's Office....of course a REAL press would have fought the publication ban from its inception (including the original one) and ALSO have taken the government for task for "leasing" BC Rail to its main campaign contributor in the first place....after promising it would stay in public hands in order to get elected.

Maybe that's violating the publication ban by saying that, since it's not said from the stand by a witness in front of the jury; if that's contempt of the judge's order, bring on the shackles.....I"m only telling truths that everybody already knows, except those who refuse to hear.....

I"m also curious and of course there's no answer, about that father-of-the-prosecutor who was sitting behind Basi and Virk and listening to their conversation. It's not just "what did he hear and who did he tell it to?" - but it strikes me that it's quite probable that he was carrying a recording device and, unlike Robin M, wasn't honest about that; since his conduct wasn't honest in the first place....

There's too much grease and dirt around this trial, but that's "business as usual" in British Columbia, and it's "business as usual" that's really the subject of this case, not one particular dirty deal rotting in the swamp of BC government/corporate politics.

Let the trial go on, to hell with a deal between the government and the defence; I want to hear what the CEOs of Canadian Pacific and Burlington Northern have to say; I also want to hear Dave and Bobby tell their tale, not be bought out by a "golden ticket" and promises of some barbeques on Savary and some back-door golden handshakes to keep their handsome mouths shut.

AT the very least you guys (Dave and Bobby, who I hope are reading this), we're waiting for a "tell all" book....if they're offering you some backdoor bonuses to keep your mouths shut, you're doing your legacy a disservice....if you ever want to be taken seriously in politics again, it's time to tell the WHOLE truth, whether from the stand or in an on-air interview or in a book....

Inquiring minds want to know.....

The deal is clearly illegal and should be overturned, that much is certain at this point. But you won't find a politically-appointed judge with any real cojones to do's just not "the Canadian way".....
To: "lonely at the bottom",

Please try again. Send a new comment without including any statements which could be considered libel.
If all the Liberals of this province have given Gordon Campbell a pass to use their party name(elected 3 times), then it should be OK to use it in reference to describing the decade of incompetence, destruction of social policy, theft and deceit. Gordo may have been the creator, but all willfully followed.


Liberal decade of theft and corruption.

island cynic:

I take your point about "all the Liberals in this province" etc. It made me think about that change-over.

So let me play the game a bit.

Were you aware of the Liberal Party as it functioned in BC before Gordo?

Can you tell us the date on which (ahem ... excuse a bit of mischief here ... ) the revitalization of the Liberal Party in BC happened ... ??

My point being that I don't think people were aware of what had been done at the time.

My point also being that there is still a federal Liberal Party in which some admirable citizens are at work. Credit should be given, i.m.o., to Michael Ignatieff for NOT having this kind of reeking baggage.

My point also being that it's unfortunate for the federal Liberals to carry the blame for what the Socred/Reform/Alliance/CRAP/LINO/"Liberal" has done to their brand-name in British Columbia.
Commission of Inquiry into the appointment process for judges to the Court of Quebec, municipal courts and the Tribunal administratif du Québec. Headed by Commissioner Michel Bastarache, former Supreme Court Justice, the inquiry was established by Quebec Premier Jean Charest to look into allegations of partisan interference in the nomination of judges within the province. (September 1, 2010)

Watching this closely, and what is happening in Our Province of BC.
. . . .and further to your point BC Mary:

. . . being that it's unfortunate for the federal Liberals to carry the blame for what the Socred/Reform/Alliance/CRAP/LINO/"Liberal" has done to their brand-name in British Columbia.

Thousands of other British Columbians continue to find it disturbing and remember well, what VanderZalm did to the BC Social Credit Party during his era of corruption. He decimated the Party for his own back room politics with many of the same players we see around Campbell.

In no way was the Zalm a "Socred". It was the beginning of the downfall of BC when this disgraceful former Premier got his hands on power.

He is an opportunist par extraordinaire in an old political cesspool that has wreaked havoc on BC for too long in the backrooms.

It is disturbing to see the NDP acting from political expediency siddling up to the man they helped throw out of office for good reason tainting their own integrity.

People are judged by the company they keep. BCers are tired of this kind of superficial politics.

Let's see some real morals and a solid economic/social platform from a real leader with integrity and people will follow, don't you think?

How did Vander Zalm get into this conversation?

Can you clarify that for us?
BC Mary I'd be happy to clarify for you:

- I agree with your point re: the Federal Libs "carrying the blame" for their brand name in British Columbia" . . . when the label isn't reflective of what the Campbell regime really is - a 'Club' of vested interests. Politics is irrelevant.

- Your thoughts triggered the same response in me and I'm sure others, in context to political history repeating itself down a wrong avenue

- VanderZalm tainted the brand name of "BC Social Credit". You included 'Socred' in your description of the BC Campbell Liberals;

- VanderZalm was never not remotely a 'Socred' in the true sense of what Socreds were prior to his reign of terror nor are the retreads from the VanderZalm era with Campbell now often mislabeled 'Socred'.

- Six degrees of separation are between the players that were around VanderZalm and the Club around Campbell - all opportunists that will use any political label to further hang on to power . . . which is what they did under the BC Lib label;

- Both the VanderZalm era and the Campbell gang imploded/are imploding in parallel chaos & corruption;

- the political jam BC finds itself in now, including the BC Rail scandal is because nothing changed behind the curtains in the backrooms not the least of whom is Martyn Brown, Campbell's Chief of Staff a former Zalmoid; then throw in the same bagmen/ lobbyists/backroom 'lawyers' doing the deals etc. etc.;

When you were questioning island cynic asking:

Were you aware of the Liberal Party as it functioned in BC before Gordo?

. . . I was simply reflecting on the same parallel issue about how VanderZalm (really a former BC Liberal) tainted the BC Social Credit Party - its founding principles and how it "functioned in BC" prior to the chaos created by the Zalm.

My general point that is very relevant from my vantage point, is that all of the current/past scandals and political upheaval created by Campbell & VanderZalm are due to the same root cause:

an unethical, selfish network of insiders that have operated under various party labels for their own best interests, destroying the Party's they use - all with the same membership list.

It is the height of hypocrisy for many of us, to see VanderZalm railing at Campbell like the pot calling the kettle black . . . while the NDP are in bed with him, knowing what the man truly represents - all very relevant to the current issues.

I believe the "conversation" is about BC Rail - including the web of political testicles/private interests and the political taint that has gripped British Columbia for decades with this same old operation.

Nothing has changed in the "game" yet the hypocrisy, including the use of political labels, continues and escalates with behind smoke and mirrors.

I hope this helps clarify.
Please feel free to remove my comment if you don't feel it is relevant to "this conversation" - that's fine with me.

Take care and Happy Labour Day to everyone.

Thank you for taking the time to help untangle the web of politics surrounding Bill Vander Zalm.

What puzzled me, was why you felt that Zalm was part of this conversation about whether or not the Campbell Government is in charge of the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial. That's an important point: is Gordo calling the shots in Courtroom 54?

I don't think Zalm is part of the BC Rail story.

As for all the political dirty tricks, you've approached that topic from the Zalm angle, whereas I had long ago reached a similar conclusion: that partisan politics are a chump's game, setting the citizens squabbling with one another (and keeping their minds OFF the real issues) ... rarely solving those real issues.

I think you've described that aspect very well.
Thanks, BC Mary for your reply.

When you wrote:

"What puzzled me, was why you felt that Zalm was part of this conversation about whether or not the Campbell Government is in charge of the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial."

To keep it simple: I was responding in context to your comment above as we all do more than the topic - something we all do during conversations on blogs where thoughts flow down various avenues.

I was responding in a larger context than the topic you refer to.

One typo (fruedian slip???) which I had to chukle out loud when I reread it:

I meant to say "political tentacles" not "testicles" - in context it is funny!
Two things:

1) if Bill Vander Zalm is an absolute stinker, but did manage to energize a good campaign for a positive public outcome ... isn't that a welcome development? I say Yes, it is.

2) unless somebody can show that Bill Vander Zalm is connected in some way to the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial, I'll be deleting any further distracting Zalm-talk.

We have very serious stuff ahead in a few more days. The BC Rail Political Corruption Trial gets under way again next Monday Sept. 13 in BC Supreme Court. And, if you ask me, that's where the rot gets exposed for what it is. At least, I hope so.

Keep the faith, Secondlook.
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