Saturday, October 02, 2010
BC Rail Political Corruption Trial: it's Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010, the beginning of another lengthy "recess" ...
BC Mary comment: Bear with me. It's a Saturday. It's the start of another 12-day hiatus in the most important trial B.C. has ever known. And after reading this Guardian report, I am thinking there's more than one way to stage a coup. We in British Columbia need to face this, because undoubtedly the Campbell Gang will be voted OUT in the next election. Anyone can see this coming. And even though the Do-Nothing-Gang will take over ...
I'm not ready to say that the BC coup is taking the form of the bumbling show trial known now (thanks to National Post) as the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial. But here's a clue: how is it that one side (the so-called Crown Prosecutor's side) is so favoured by the presiding judge that days go by without any expectation of "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" being told (one Crown witness has toddled off to a birthday party in Toronto, for cryin' out loud! and "it isn't his fault" says the judge!) ... while over in the glass box in which the three Accused men who will sit for months, months, and months, have been sharply reprimanded for showing facial expressions.
I'm thinking that British Columbia has had its repeated warnings that all is not well in the governance of our beloved province. I'm wondering if others will see echoes of the British Columbia experience in the events described in the article below ...
Let me put it more plainly: will the Campbell Gang go quietly? Or will a new war break out with the intention of crippling the new government before it gets a chance to open certain files?
Ecuador's Correa haunted by Honduras
In June of last year, when the Honduran military overthrew the social-democratic government of Manuel Zelaya, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador took it personally. "We have intelligence reports that say that after Zelaya, I'm next," said Correa.
On Thursday, it turned out to be true. Some analysts are still insisting that what happened was just a police protest over possible benefit cuts that got out of hand. But to anyone who watched the prolonged, pitched gun-battle on TV last night, when the armed forces finally rescued President Correa from the hospital where he was trapped by the police, this did not look like a protest. It was an attempt to overthrow the government.
The co-ordinated actions in various cities, the takeover of Quito's airport by a section of the armed forces – all this indicated a planned coup attempt. And although it failed, at various points during the day it was not so clear what the outcome would be.
The government pointed a finger at a former president and army colonel, Lucio Gutierrez, and he was on television yesterday calling for the ousting of Correa. He accused the president of everything from supporting the Farc (the guerilla group fighting Colombia's government), to wrecking the economy.
The coup might have had a chance if Correa were not so popular. Despite his enemies in high places, the president's approval rating was 67% in Quito a couple of weeks ago. His government has doubled spending on healthcare (pdf), significantly increased other social spending, and successfully defaulted on $3.2bn of foreign debt that was found to be illegitimately contracted. Ecuador's economy managed to squeak through 2009 without a recession, and is projected to grow about 2.5% this year. Correa, an economist, has had to use heterodox and creative methods to keep the economy growing in the face of external shocks because the country does not have its own currency. (Ecuador adopted the dollar in 2000, which means that it can do little in the way of monetary policy and has no control over its exchange rate.)
Correa had warned that he might try to temporarily dissolve the congress in order to break an impasse in the legislature, something that he has the right to request under the new constitution – though it would have to be approved by the constitutional court. This probably gave the pro-coup forces something they saw as a pretext. It is reminiscent of the coup in Honduras, when Zelaya's support for a non-binding referendum on a constituent assembly was falsely reported by the media – both Honduran and international – as a bid to extend his presidency.
Media manipulation has a big role in Ecuador, too, with most of the media controlled by rightwing interests opposed to the government. This has helped build a base of people – analogous to those who get all of their information from Fox News in the United States, but proportionately larger – who believe that Correa is a dictator trying to turn his country into a clone of communist Cuba.
The US state department issued a two-sentence statement from secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who late Thursday urged "all Ecuadoreans to come together and to work within the framework of Ecuador's democratic institutions to reach a rapid and peaceful restoration of order." Unlike the White House statement in response to the Honduran coup last year, it also expressed "full support" for the elected president. This is an improvement, although it is unlikely that it reflects a change in Washington's policy toward Latin America.
The Obama administration did everything it could to support the coup government in Honduras last year, and, in fact, is still trying to convince the South American governments – including Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina and the collective organisation ofUNASUR – to recognise the government there. South America refuses to recognise the Lobo government because it was elected under a dictatorship that did not allow for a free or fair contest. The rest of the hemisphere also wants some guarantees that would stop the killing of journalists and political activists there, which has continued and even got worse under the "elected" government.
As the South American governments feared, Washington's support for the coup government in Honduras over the last year has encouraged and increased the likelihood of rightwing coups against democratic left governments in the region. This attempt in Ecuador has failed, but there will be likely be more threats in the months and years ahead.
This is child’s play for BC. The appointment of Judges and special prosecutors, appointments to the position of Attorney General with subsequent resignations, even Wally Oppal’s latest assignment as the lead to investigate the Pickton inquiry stinks worse than the rotting corpses of dozens of innocent aboriginals. How dare this BC Government appoint such an ass to such a sensitive issue? Does no one remember his “shopping for a prosecutor” to handle the case against Bountiful? The Government was successfully sued for his actions. This however isn’t the real corruption it is simply more buffoonery.
The real corruption begins with the BC Media; Black Press, Pacific Press and Canwest’s Global TV (BCTV) with their never ending refusal to address the real issues of political corruption in BC. If BC is the rightful owner of the Gold Medal for Canadian Political Corruption, then it is this group of media ‘doctors’ who administered the performance enhancing drugs just like Coach Charles Francis and Dr. Jamie Astaphan did for Ben Johnson ...
Mcleans blatantly even lied in an attempt to exclude the Gordon Campbell drunk fest of corruption. Take this quote;
” Certainly, Quebec doesn’t have a monopoly on bad behaviour. It was in British Columbia that three premiers - Bill Vander Zalm, Mike Harcourt and Glen Clark - were punted from office in short order for a variety of shenanigans by their governments in the 1990s.”
Now this statement should have Gordon spitting mad. How dare they state Harcourt was punted from office! Only one of these men was actually “Punted” and that was Vanderzalm after a conflict of interest report by Ted Hughes found he had mixed private business with his public office. He apparently took a paper bag full of money from a Hotel room during a real estate deal.
Harcourt quit in 1996 after complaining about the media constantly attacking without cause. He was cleared of every allegation from ‘Bingo gate’ to ‘Hydro gate’ yet on almost every TV news cast for years the BC public had to watch Tony Parsons and others purse their lips in a scowl when they said NDPeeee and read every newspaper report on how bad BC was.
Then there was Glen Clark. He succeeded Harcourt and won a second term to the shock and outrage of the BC media who had treated Gordon Campbell as the coming savior. So was he “punted from office” as Macleans claims? Well one might make that argument as he did resign after admitting to letting a contractor, connected to a casino application, build a sundeck on his vacation cottage. But the reality is he resigned when BCTV arrived just before the RCMP raided his home focusing their cameras in on his family behind the curtains to catch famous images of a family in crisis. Who wouldn’t resign when the RCMP colluded with the opposition party and the media to crush every semblance of your family’s dignity? The BC media continues to ignore the fact that this Casino application faced a competitor, a former RCMP.
Today in BC we have a political criminal corruption trial in play and it has been for over three years. It began with an RCMP raid on the BC Legislature almost ten years ago. This followed almost exactly one year after the Premier was charged with another BC criminal offence, drunk driving, in Hawaii.
The trial is so rife with potential influence and political appointments even attempting to begin detailing the facts makes the general public role their eyes and find something else to read. It is so convoluted and involved only the most legally and politically astute can seem to follow the shell game set up by the broken BC government and judiciary.
The special prosecutor is in a serious conflict of interest position that should have a potential independent media crying foul on every front page and a lead story on every newscast. Just like Tony constantly repeating “Bingogate” and Hydrogate” and “the NDPeee” at the start of every morning, afternoon and evening broadcast for years, they should be screaming “BC Railgate!” The current Judge also seems compromised. Just why did the first Judge get removed (promoted to the Appeal Court) from the case at the beginning of the actual trial? Did Madam Justice Bennett begin to understand the facts and issue unfavourable rulings, like “hey, just who ordered the destruction of the evidence in the Premiers office (email records) just prior to the election?” and maybe her decision that the influential ‘Patrick Kinsella’ must appear and answer questions. Read more here.
Another serious question is why is there a media ban on the publication of any evidence of the most serious crime in Canadian Politics. Neither the Defence nor the prosecution asked for this media ban. It was just imposed and maintained by these ‘impartial’ Judges.
And Macleans even forgot to mention the two Cabinet Ministers and their Ministry’s being watched by CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Services) for infiltration and subversion by foreign operatives. It is interesting how the Premier in his recent speech to the UBCM mentions two cabinet ministers, in a reference to congratulating them for their work. Bill Bennett and Pat Bell are the two Ministries we have isolated as the most suspect by following the lead of the head of CSIS, Richard Fadden. Read about this here.
I suppose if we reach back in time we can find an even more corrupt regime anywhere but as for today? With the appointments and disappointments, the exposure and non disclosure, the manipulations and machinations of the BC Government, Media and Court system, there is nothing today across Canada that should have Macleans crying corruption except BC.
Harcourt and Clark's days of Bingogate pale in comparison to the rigging of Casinos and funnelling of money to the Liberal Government election campaign funds. Read more here. Harcourt and Clarks days of Hydrogate pale in comparison to the sale of BC Hydro and the power potential of the truly publicly owned BC Rivers to private interests.
Yet the BC public are kept uninformed and the entire BC Rail Trial; a bizarre trial pushing ten years of screwed up nonsense involving a government building being raided. Even the public officials being suspected of international criminal intrigue remains of no interest to the BC Media; Black Press, Pacific Press and Canwest’s Global TV (BCTV).
Oh, the HST too, well that is just a distraction, like icing on a cake of mud the media gets to talk about while ignoring the filthy rotting mud underneath it all.
Yes Gordon you hold the Gold and your drug suppliers, your public manipulation machine should be rightfully acknowledged. It is a shame how Macleans refused to recognize what you rightfully own. Just like you stated in your speech to the UBCM;
” A long time ago, eight years, I came here. And at the end of my speech eight years ago, Ross Rebagliati was in the crowd and he had a gold medal and I held it up. I showed you what we could do.
See that gold medal? This is an Olympic gold medal for our Games.”
Yes Gordon it is a damn good thing you mention Ross. He claimed his pot drug test result was due to attending a party in Whistler where others were smoking it. Good BC bud. It is also a good thing there is so much of this gold medal winning pot in BC. It is what it appears the majority of the residents need to continue accepting and absorbing the joke BC has for what is commonly referred to as a Government and a media.
I say we all write Macleans and demand a retraction. BC deserves the rightful holder of the title, “Most corrupt Province in Canada".
"Ex-judge to work out funding for two gang trials
By Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun October 2, 2010
Former B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Brenner has been hired to work out government funding agreements for defence teams in the Surrey Six gang-murder case and in a murder conspiracy trial involving eight United Nations gangsters.
While lawyers' hourly rates in each case were never disclosed, Pickton defence lawyer Peter Ritchie argued in court in 2002 he should be paid at least $200 an hour out of public coffers. He called senior defence lawyers as witnesses, who said at the time they billed $300 to $500 an hour in complex legal cases."
BC Rail trial is complex, probably more so than anything else that has been on the government's "radar", and been missed.
Three defendants, six lawyers
One Crown, eight to nine lawyers
One Judge, recently promoted: BC Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice
No hard facts, like what is contained in financial statements for the BC Rail trial for Directors, but an outgoing associate chief justice (retiring judge) receives an annuity (pension) that represents two thirds of his salary of $292,000 for a total of $195,000.
Judge salary info above:
The Nanaimo blog story doesn't say its the Honourable Donald Brenner, QC retiring at age 75, and then goes back to practice law, and his latest client is the government..... but here's l aink to his Tribute, and retirement.
This is typical of the reporting done by MacLean's. They have very poor reporting and even worse opinion writers. Hence I do not buy the magazine.
On a side note, we in BC believe the article is incorrect as BC with Premier Gordon Campbell is the most corrupt province in the country. For example, shortly after the BC Utilities Commission (the govt body that oversaw energy transactions) denied the govt (BC HYdro) from purchasing electricity from Alcan, saying the purchase was not in the public interest; it was eliminated.
Then when "Elections BC" allowed the HST petition to go ahead and denied the BC Liberals from advertising during the campaign; the vice chair was forced into retirement by the acting chair without an all-party vote on the decision.
These two examples are enough, we won't get into favours given to major donors of the BC Liberals. Corruption is alive and well in BC
Is there evidence of breach of trust ?
Is there evidence of theft ?
If there is reasonable grounds to believe a crime is being committed or has been committed one can perform a citizens arrest. Under the power of citizens arrest it would probably suffice to get one hundred people together in each riding and make the arrests in each and every riding in the province.
Just a thought on how to get some justice done and bypass the corrupt system. The government is there to do things in the best interest of the people not to line theirs and their buddies pockets. We seem to forget they only rule by consent. Revoke that consent. Do and use nothing the government requires. Do no harm and commit no fraud.
The annual UBCM Convention is not open to the general public. Any
attendee wishing to participate in the event must be vetted by UBCM staff. As this event is of public importance the working media will be granted access to report on proceedings. To gain credentials as media one must prove employment as such based on:
1. Byline in print or on-line with recognized media source
(recognition by UBCM)
2. Letter from assignment editor of recognized media source
(recognition by UBCM)
3. Photo identification as working with recognized media source (recognition by UBCM)
4. Working for a website in existence and defined as “covering
related news” (recognition by UBCM
Breach of trust has been committed on the people of BC by the Liberals in the Sale of BC Rail and the gutting of BC Hydro and so I believe Section 122 of the Criminal Code applies.
Theft has been committed on the people of BC by the Liberals in the sale of BC Rail which was done fraudulently after lying to the people of BC to get elected and also has been committed on the people of BC through the sweetheart deal to make BC Hydro buy power at prices way above market value from the Liberal cronies who were granted Run of the River Licences and so I believe Section 336 of the Criminal Code applies.
I'm sure others of you more knowledgeable of the Liberal shenanigans can come up with more crimes that we can arrest them for.
Admittedly, I am going blind in my left eye (until cataract surgery is done) ... but that doesn't explain why I can't remember seeing any reference to Ben Johnson on these pages.
Can you give more details?
As far as I recall, every single running in the Ben Johnson Olympic 100M final was black. The difference was that Ben Johnson won the gold, no one else came first. He did. Ben. THink before you post.
SO what is your point?
You are misleading the readers, and insulting their intellgence.
I heard rumour that Carl Lewis also tested positive for something banned, and the US Olympic team pressured the powers to be and Johnson was pinned and apparently, rightfully so becuase he did admit to it later on.
Did they allow sick time for Wille Picton? How about Robert Olson?
How can such an expensive and important case be delayed time and again at the mere whim/request of the defence becuase a defendant has the sniffles?
Is this provided for anywhere else in the world, or is the strategy here to drag this out as long as possible to put more and more of tax payer $$$ into lawyers pockets?
Will there be a tax payer funded Public Inquiry at the end of the day, and will Wally Oppal or Plante get to reside?
How much has this trial cost tax payers thus far?
How many more millions will it cost to see it to an end, and what will the expected appeals cost us all?
Can we afford this expensive, cumbersome, legal system?
Are there any alternatives?
Would you like to guarantee that our taxpayer money is wasted?
Because in my view, stopping this trial now would guarantee a complete victory for Gordon Campbell and a shattering loss of opportunity for the people who once owned BC Rail.
Stop and think: we've learned a lot from the evidence (slim as it is) given under oath so far. It can only improve, provided the trial continues.
there are things WE, the Citizens, can do to make sure that this trial reaches a useful conclusion.
For example: we can be in the Public Gallery whenever possible,
we can voice our support for all efforts to reveal the truth of the EVERYWHICHWAY forces at work behind this trial,
and we can refuse to cave in.
What is the tipping point?
Do we allow thousands of our children to go barefoot because all our money has been spent on lawyers to chase after a handfull of bad guys??
Do we make cuts to hospital services becuase we have spent a billion on Air India, Pickton, and BVB?
I sure dont want good money chasing after bad.
Have the accused have been provided with a budgetless defence?
Is there a limit a BC employee can have in respect of represenation when facing charges for something done during company time?
Is this level of defence available to all govt employees?
Anyway, what is the tipping point?
I am not in favour of spending millions of dollars on lawyers when education and health care are far more important.
As for Campbell and his BC Rail Promises, I didnt vote him in. Not the first time, and sure as heck not the last time.
Should we be looking for bargains when the province itself is at stake? I don't think so. Something precious is at risk here.
What kind of province will our children have in future if we don't seize this unique opportunity to clean it up now -- to preserve and protect it?
There's an old saying about the danger of knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing ...
People who faced the challenge of WW2 didn't debate whether it might cost too much before they embarked on that enormous battle.
Some things -- like British Columbia itself -- are too precious to just let it sink in a foul sea of corruption.
Just so people know: this blog is about BC Rail ... I'm going to start deleting distractions, such as side-issues.
We're into serious territory with the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial now. No time for wandering off into other debates.
Who's invited: The Public
Who has to attend: Lawyers
Who is not required to Attend: The Jury
Who is not required to Attend: Representatives for future Witnesses.
The topic: You have to attend to find out, and then zip your lips.
And there's the problem, the last two items. How can the Court ensure that there is a fair trial going on here, in Court Room #54, for the Defendants, when
there's no check at the double doors of whether or not information is being filtered back to other Witnesses, before they testify.
If only Martyn Brown was the last person to testify. He has already shown just how much he kept himself in the dark knowing that he would be the first witness for the Crown.
"Blair Lekstrom is the Energy Minister". - Martyn Brown
But what if Mr. Brown was the last person to testify for the Crown. Would he have squirreled himself away from all of the news from the moment the trial started?
Mr. Kenning, under oath, has stated that he has been following the news. What gives here? Is there a double standard of what the Witnesses are permitted to see? Is the Crown prepping their Witnesses before they testify one after another?
I'm new to blogging, how can we get in touch?