Thursday, October 14, 2010

 

"A troubling decision" on the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial

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By Rafe Mair

Rafe-on-line - Oct. 14, 2010
 www.rafeonline.com


The decision by Crown Counsel Bill Beradino to reduce his witness list in the Basi-Virk trial is disturbing, very disturbing indeed. This case is, of course, all about the “lease” of BC Rail to CN and the Campbell government’s role in it.

Mr Berardino has a huge experience in litigation, having been involved in many serious cases, some representing the government of BC. And this is where the problem comes.

The cynic would look at the Basi-Virk case and say “no wonder Berardino is reducing the witness list – he doesn’t want to put former Minister Gary Collins on the witness stand and subject him to be cross examined by defence counsel and perhaps embarrass the Campbell government”.

It’s already been alleged that Berardino is pulling his punches because his real client is the Campbell government, not the Crown as prosecutor. It’s in those last few lines where the trouble arises.

The Crown Prosecutors Act provides that special prosecutors by[be] appointed by the Deputy Attorney-General, not the A/G himself [Rafe has corrected himself here, saying "In my recent mailout about the Basi-Virk trial where you see Deputy Attorney-General it ought to have said

 
Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Criminal Justice Branch;

This does not in any way change anything I suggested. In fact it strengthens the article and is really a distinction, not a difference"]
but is the average member going to believe that the Attorney-General didn’t have anything to say about this appointment? Remember, I’m not saying that the Attorney-General did interfere, just that to the bloke on the bus who doesn’t trust governments and especially doesn’t trust this one, such an allegation strains credulity to the breaking point.

When that bloke on the bus considers that Mr Berardino often gets work from the government he might well think, however wrongly is not the point, that Berardino might have future business on his mind. So far as I know, there is not a particle of evidence to support such a thought but the point here is that to some it might well appear to be so.

This is especially troubling as the case seems to be moving towards investigation into the government’s role in the awarding BC Rail to CN.

The Crown Counsel Act was supposed to eliminate the appearance of a conflict of interest in the appointment of Crown Counsel by having the selection left up to the deputy attorney-general, but as I have said, it does no such thing. Under our system the attorney-general is on the one hand the to advise to the Crown and on the other is a partisan politician. To suggest that a partisan Attorney-General does not discuss cases like this with the Attorney-General is a tough sell.

There is an answer to this and it comes out of the UK where they have a Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) which is completely outside the government. While it’s true that the Director must be appointed by the government, once he is appointed he can be and is independent of that government. That’s because the traditionally it has been a public service position and not political.

BC already has a way to handle these sensitive appointments – have a multi partisan committee advise the House unanimously then have the House make the appointment with that appointee responsible not to the Attorney-General or any other member of government but to the House itself. This method has been extremely successful with the Ombudsman, Auditor-General and similar offices.

Such an officer would then not have any allegiance to either the government or a law firm.

The decision of Mr Berardino to reduce his witness list, including we’re told Gary Collins, may well be an appropriate decision but it looks like hell which brings to mind the famous dictum if Lord Hewart in  Rex v Sussex Justices; Ex parte McCarthy:

“… it is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance, that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

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BC Mary comment: Many thanks to Rafe Mair for his point of view. It supports the position taken by Prof. Mathews. I was particularly struck by Rafe's line:

This is especially troubling as the case seems to be moving towards investigation into the government’s role in the awarding BC Rail to CN.

and wondered if Rafe -- or others -- see any kind of link between "moving towards investigation into the government's role in awarding BC Rail to CN" and this same premier addressing the province on TV on October 27. 

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Comment by Canadian Canary cross-posted ... 

Mr. Mair has written a very insightful, and useful, article.

I would like to make one point however. Mr. Mair suggests that the current multi-partisan committee system for appointing the Ombudsman and other similar government watchdog agency heads means that these appointees do "not have any allegiance to either the government or a law firm."

That is incorrect.

The current Ombudsperson, Kim Carter, signed an "accord" with the current government that forbids her from releasing any report to the public or to the opposition members of the legislature without first releasing it to the current government, AND that any report or information she does produce will not be released to the public or the legislature – without the approval of the government. If, for example, the government doesn't want to release a report, it won't get released. Pure and simple.

[Apologies that I was unable to find the specific accord wording this morning, so please note that my description of the accord is approximate, but I think it is a fair summarization of this odious and deceptively-named "accord".]

This "accord" was an invention of the Campbell administration.

An instructive contrast is the BC Children's Advocate, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond. She refused to sign this accord document (most other "watchdog" agency heads have signed it).

In the spring of 2010, the Children's Advocate had a very public dispute with the government when the government refused to provide her with information necessary to do her job. Ms. Turpel-Lafond took the BC government to court and won. However, the result was a "negotiated" effort in which the Children's Advocate was "persuaded" to sign the "accord", albeit a modified version.

I would suggest that such heavy-handed persuasion, backed by signing a document giving the government final say on everything the "watchdog" says publicly, is definitely allegiance to the government, and enforced allegiance at that.
Mr. Mair, the "watchdogs" of BC government have been put out to pasture, and are being fed pablum owing to a lack of teeth. At least they haven't been euthanized, yet.

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Bravo, Canadian Canary! - BC Mary 

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Corruption in BC? Say it ain't so ...

By Ian Reid
The Real Story - Oct 14, 2010.

See what the polls say ... HERE.

http://therealstory.ca/2010-10-13/bc-liberals/corruption-concerns-in-bc-say-it-aint-so

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Railgate Rewound - Codswallop our premier told us

by NVG
Blog Borg Collective - Oct. 14, 2010

Click here for the pictures which (today) are worth 100,000 documents:

http://blogborgcollective.blogspot.com/2010/10/railgate-rewoundcodswallop-our-premier.html

and here for Pacific Gazette's original commentary on these historic photos:

http://pacificgazette.blogspot.com/2010/10/railgate-rewoundcodswallop-our-premier.html

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BC Supreme Court abbreviations explanation found by NVG:


"HJ Hung Jury S Used when a jury is unable to reach a verdict."

Attorney General De Jong has finally come out with an explanation to all of the abbreviations that the Court uses.

I wouldn't try and second guess what will happen in Court Room #54, but for those who are following this particular trial, and others, here's [a] link to all of the abbreviations EXCEPT what is meant by "REG" under the heading of RM (room):

http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/courts/court-lists/criminal/tables/abbreviations.xls

The abbreviation file is found here near the bottom of the page.

http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/courts/court-lists/criminal/index.htm

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Comments:
Full props to Rafe on this piece! As a member (active or retired?) of the Holy Brotherhood of Lawyers, Rafe skates surprisingly close to the edge of the normally taboo disloyalty to the Brethren by carefully parsing his criticism of the state of (in)Justice
in British Columbia and deserves full marks for risking the wrath of his former colleagues with such statements as:

"When that bloke on the bus considers that Mr Berardino often gets work from the government he might well think, however wrongly is not the point, that Berardino might have future business on his mind. So far as I know, there is not a particle of evidence to support such a thought but the point here is that to some it might well appear to be so."

However Rafe exhibits an almost Pollyanna_ish naivetê with the following statement:

"BC already has a way to handle these sensitive appointments – have a multi partisan committee advise the House unanimously then have the House make the appointment with that appointee responsible not to the Attorney-General or any other member of government but to the House itself. This method has been extremely successful with the Ombudsman, Auditor-General and similar offices."

The Campbell Crime Family has on more than one occasion proven that they know how to circumvent or pervert supposedly non-partisan agencies as demonstrated by their castration of the BC Utilities Commission when it had the temerity to suggest Greener than Kermit Gordo's Rape of the Rivers scam wasn't in the public interest or the more recent unbridled attack on the supposedly ALL PARTY appointed and agreed on Chief Electoral Officer position with the seldom seen and almost secretly appointed Craig James re-organizing Elections BC to make it more compatible with the Campbellites' utter disregard for democracy.
 
Mr. Mair has written a very insightful, and useful, article.

I would like to make one point however. Mr. Mair suggests that the current multi-partisan committee system for appointing the Ombudsman and other similar government watchdog agency heads means that these appointees do "not have any allegiance to either the government or a law firm."

That is incorrect.

The current Ombudsperson, Kim Carter, signed an "accord" with the current government that forbids her from releasing any report to the public or to the opposition members of the legislature without first releasing it to the current government, AND that any report or information she does produce will not be released to the public or the legislature – without the approval of the government. If, for example, the government doesn't want to release a report, it won't get released. Pure and simple.

[Apologies that I was unable to find the specific accord wording this morning, so please note that my description of the accord is approximate, but I think it is a fair summarization of this odious and deceptively-named "accord".]

This "accord" was an invention of the Campbell administration.

An instructive contrast is the BC Children's Advocate, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond. She refused to sign this accord document (most other "watchdog" agency heads have signed it).

In the spring of 2010, the Children's Advocate had a very public dispute with the government when the government refused to provide her with information necessary to do her job. Ms. Turpel-Lafond took the BC government to court and won. However, the result was a "negotiated" effort in which the Children's Advocate was "persuaded" to sign the "accord", albeit a modified version.

I would suggest that such heavy-handed persuasion, backed by signing a document giving the government final say on everything the "watchdog" says publicly, is definitely allegiance to the government, and enforced allegiance at that.

Mr. Mair, the "watchdogs" of BC government have been put out to pasture, and are being fed pablum owing to a lack of teeth. At least they haven't been euthanized, yet.
 
CC, if I recall correctly haven't the Campbell Thugs passed legislation (or an Order in Council perhaps) that gives them complete discretion about whether or not to actually release the findings of a so-called "Public Inquiry?" In other words we could expect to pay for and/or be subpoenaed to testify before a "Public Inquiry" only to have the Campbellites decide that it isn't in the public's interest to actually share the findings with the public.

Actually in Banana Republic BC there is no such thing as the "Public Interest" if it goes against the interests of the Campbell Cabal!
 
More interesting developments in this case. If the government and their legal Brother/Sisterhood friends continue on this evident path of short-cicuiting due process they are simply building the ultimate trap for themselves.

The BCRail case is just part of a growing cloud of troubles for them, and the storm is not far off.

On Tuesday I submitted to the Canadian Judicial Council an unprecedented complaint against the B.C. judiciary and the rest of the legal establishment. I expect a copy of it will be online later today.

The underlying problem is one that we keep alluding to but never quite spell out as starkly as we should. The legal establishment runs all the institutions that constitute our so-called justice system AND it has a powerful voice in pretty well every other institution or agency that governs our lives. The resulting conflict-of-interest is systemic. That is why they adamently refuse to acknowledge each specific instance of conflict-of-interest.

I believe that my complaint has adequately exposed the systemic problem, in which the Canadian Judicial Council itself is clearly implicated. I'm asking for a full public inquiry, and if it goes ahead it will have to be held in Vancouver. And when I say public I mean public.
 
Chris Budgell, please let us know where we can find the complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council online.

Your appreciation of the view from "thirty thousand feet" is essential material for the people of BC to be made aware of, and to think about.

When people do start to think about it, they may find that virtually every aspect of their lives is being affected, negatively, by this cabal of the self-annointed, so-called legal 'elite'.

Many thanks for your practical and important action. That isn't just words, it's deeds. We need more people to take more concrete and practical action.

I greatly appreciate you letting readers of this site know about your complaint.

CC

ps Kootcoot, I believe you're right about Gordo's GuvMint passing legislation to allow them to mess around with any and all public inquiry results. Also, you inspired me to pick up on your 'cabal' description. Seems quite apt to me.
 
"HJ Hung Jury S Used when a jury is unable to reach a verdict."

Attorney General De Jong has finally come out with an explanation to all of the abbreviations that the Court uses.

I wouldn't try and second guess what will happen in Court Room #54, but for those who are following this particular trial, and others, here's link to all of the abbreviations EXCEPT what is meant by "REG" under the heading of RM (room):

http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/courts/court-lists/criminal/tables/abbreviations.xls

The abbreviation file is found here near the bottom of the page.

http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/courts/court-lists/criminal/index.htm
 
My complaint to the CJC was posted online yesterday by the good people at uncharted.ca. The URL is -

http://www.uncharted.ca/images/users/ssigurdur/20101012_budgell_complaint_to_cjc.pdf

All I have from the CJC in reply so far is one word - "Received".
 
Thank you Chris Budgell. Got it.

You are to be commended. Please keep us informed of any subsequent progress.

Your complaint has very broad implications, for other specific complaints and for the administration of justice in BC in general.

CC
 
I'm not sure how long it will be before I get anything substantial back from the CJC, but I don't think they are likely to emulate the agencies I've dealt with here in B.C. that believe they can sit on a "complaint" forever.

If you are interested in what I've written while building this case there are two discussion "threads" at -
http://enmasse.ca/forums/viewforum.php?f=31 - "The Command and Control Orthodoxy" and its continuation, "Challenging ..."

A moment ago I found something more that confirms an important aspect of what I am fighting. The legal establishment is a rather incestuous place. I don't claim that being related to someone whose conduct or character is in question means one is automatically suspect, but the victims of malfeasance will invariably see an issue where entire families share so much power.

B.C. Supreme Court Judge Miriam Gropper, named in my complaint, is a former labour lawyer. I have just discovered an item that says her sister is B.C. Court of Appeal Judge Risa Levine and her brother Mitchell is a QC at Farris (farris.com), the firm retained by the City in the litigation against me:

http://www.jewishindependent.ca/archives/June05/archives05June24-12.html

That just one of the ten judges I have named is so well connected is a matter of some concern.
 
"Transit times

After CN acquired BC Rail in 2004, the Competition Tribunal asked the Agency to monitor CN’s transit times for delivery of railway cars along the former BC Rail lines from northern British Columbia to Vancouver interchanges. Since January 1, 2007, the Agency issued its eighth through eleventh transit reports to CN, the connecting carriers in Vancouver and the Competition Bureau, covering periods from April 1, 2007 through March 31, 2008"

http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/aux_bin.php?auxid=1020

BUT WHERE ARE THE REPORTS!!!!!?
 
Yeah, court day tomorrow.

Has anyone else seen this over at Rossk's?

The value of the $1B selling price is misleading as CN is receiving $800 M in tax
credits, and $151 M in the pension plan; also federal approval needed to approve
write-off of previous BC Rail expenditures as deductions;

Source: page 124 INTERRAPLAN INC. PEACE REGION RURAL COMMUNITY DIALOGUE JAN. 2004

http://www.ruralocp.ca/documents/RuralDialogue9Stakeholder-Industry_Transport.pdf
 
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