Sunday, November 21, 2010


BC Liberals tainted without BC Rail Inqury

By Iain Hunter
Times Colonist - November 21, 2010
(Small voice from off-stage: Bravo, Iain!! Brava Lucinda!)

... Snip

... It has to do with public morality: The duty of those holding high public office to serve only the public interest, to earn and keep the public trust upon which true governance depends.

Campbell, by his own admission, has lost that trust. It's easy enough to blame things like the HST, the carbon tax, the treatment of the vulnerable or Olympic profligacy for this.

But the skulduggery surrounding the sale of B.C. Rail, its stillborn court aftermath, with dropped charges and gag orders, offend us even more, or should. Those of us who aren't interested only in personal political fortunes or ambitions are left to fill in many blanks.

We could, as Deep Throat advised, "follow the money." The $25,695 that Dave Basi took for leaking confidential information while the railway was on offer, and that he has been ordered to return as part of a "fine," seems to be a lot for what it bought.

It's a curious, unround sum. Was it was meant to be shared with others? Was it Basi's share of a larger bribe?

It has been claimed that it's "customary" for governments to pay the defence costs of an employee charged with an offence. So it is, but for something the employee does as part of his or her employment.

Does the government pay court costs for ministerial aides who rob banks? Was accepting a "benefit" in Basi's job description?

And what happens to those truckloads of documents Victoria police carted from the legislative buildings all those years ago? Mike Geoghegan, a lobbying friend, has said Basi is fighting to keep files the government disclosed to his lawyers that might "shed some light" on the railway privatization deal and is "passionate about not seeing those documents returned." Maybe self-serving rubbish, but something that should be watched.

Why does the attorney general, whose constitutional responsibilities raise him above the cabinet cabal, try to give the impression that others are making decisions that he should be making?

Bennett has said the premier has called on deputy ministers to do things without telling their ministers. Did that play in the B.C. Rail case?

Campbell has been called a dictator, but in theory he's the prime of several ministers. His decisions have been decisions of cabinet. His record is the record of every member of his government. That's why it won't be easy for any minister who applies to succeed him to profess virginity.

It should be obvious for a government seeking closure that a public inquiry is necessary when the Crown itself is suspected by so many of being an unindicted co-conspirator.

It should also be obvious for a party seeking renewal. The golf-and-country-club types on the executive of a party not above suspicion in this affair should hold their own inquisition, and if necessary a Soviet-style purge, before going through the leadership exercise set for February.

I know bloggers are a vituperative lot, but what they're expressing is a complete loss of trust in Campbell and, by extension, his government and his party.

Trust has been lost, too, in the courts and what are scathingly referred to as the "mainstream media" which, I must say, seem to have bobbed down the current and are floating in an eddy on this one.

Public trust flows both ways: It must be earned by those in office and it must be sought by those who put them there.


This is a great column. Its the $25,695 question.

Basi's share of a larger bribe?

Just how large of a bribe is Iain Hunter suggesting?
For sure, Iain Hunter has now had two successive columns focusing on BC Rail the Campbell record.

Let's hope he keeps it up.

I certainly hope so too.

Also hope he answers the N.V.G. question which I forwarded to him.
Just how large of a bribe is Iain Hunter suggesting?

Try multiplying that until it becomes a round number; then you'd have an idea how many parts the bribe was cut into....

I tried.

$25,695 multiplied 39 times, came to $1,037,205.

So 39 Bribees who could blow the whistle on the chief negotiators of the BC Rail deal ...

I dunno. Needs help, Skookum.
I guess Iain, and/or his bosses couldn't stand the general slagging of the mainstream media anymore.

As to the $25,695, it appears to me to be some sort of "favor" payment. As in a Down Payment on a house or maybe to pay off a mortgage.
Just a thought.
Last thing we need is this bunch of crooks holding an inquiry into themselves and BC Rail. Who you gonna trust?
Great article by Iain Hunter.

It could be that the bribe was intentionally not set at a round number - it could then be written off and hidden as some kind of expense etc. $25,000. for instance would look more a donation ......

The only place I've found that exact number of $25,695. so far is in the BC Rail Consolidated Financial Statement listed as a total under Liabilities and Shareholder's Equity...for the year 2005...which doesn't fit with the timeline unless it was somehow a deferred 'expense' -
Because of something I read somewhere at sometime (I can't remember honestly) I think it is a dollar amount applied to a bunch of things like lunches and the trip to Denver (air/ hotel/ etc...). What strikes me as funny if that is the case is that all politicos expense lunches and think of how many Olympic tickets for example and other hosted events/ trip politicos and their friends attend all the time. This is part of doing business. But they had to convict Basi/ Virk of something... this is also why I think Basi's conscience is "clear" - he was just doing what other colleagues and friends and his bosses do often I expect. How could he know he'd get set up for it?
Dave Basi now admits he accepted benefits totalling $25,695 from Bornmann
Government accused of ‘shadow toll’ on Sea to Sky Highway

"Laila Yuile, a provocative writer and blogger who keeps a close watch on the B.C. government, has been drawing attention to documents that indicate a “shadow toll” exists on the dramatically scenic highway that links Vancouver to Whistler.

Although the government rejects that label, officials acknowledge that over the next 25 years, the province will pay about $75-million of public money to the Sea to Sky partnership that undertook the project.

And part of that money will be based on traffic volume."
A great breath of fresh air. An article that I deem worthy of reading, and in the media to boot!!!

Keep them coming...
I have always been curious why on the court docket sometimes it listed all three, Basi Basi, and Virk and also had one hidden Ltd access.

I commented on this the last day they were all in Court.

This makes it clear LTD Access was Messrs. Why doesnt He have a Lawyer listed?

The Deceision of Oct.

"[1] THE COURT: Almost seven years after the laying of the indictment alleging breaches of trust in this case, Messrs. Basi and Virk have entered pleas of guilty. Mr. Dave Basi has also pleaded guilty to one count under s. 121(1)(c) of the Criminal Code of accepting, without consent, a reward of money from a person dealing with government.

[2] Their changes of plea are the result of a negotiated agreement between Crown and defence who make a joint submission to the Court; that is, Crown and defence counsel agree on what are fit sentences for these offences."

Curious also is that with in this decision regarding The ALR charges.

[5] The facts on the additional count to which Mr. Basi has pleaded guilty are as read in orally by the Crown. This count concerns efforts by Mr. Basi on behalf of Shambrook Hills' application to take land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve. Mr. Basi was an official within the meaning of s. 118 of the Criminal Code, and contrary to his oath of office accepted $50,000 with respect to the application in February 2002.

[6] Mr. Basi met with Messrs. Duncan, Eden and another, and they expressed concerns about delay with their application. Mr. Basi advised them to speak to their local MLA. He said that he would also do so and would speak to other government officials on their behalf. Mr. Basi spoke to Tom Syer in the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management and others about the application but his actions did not influence the decision of the government.
Ya right!!!!!!!

--Why was YOUNGS name left out of decision?

Note Syers Tom Syers (2007)has been appointed Plutonic Power's Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs. Mr. Syer brings more than ten years of political experience to the company. Since 2001, he has held a variety of senior positions in the BC government including Ministerial Assistant to the Minister of Sustainable Resource Management as well as Premier Campbell's Deputy Chief of Staff for policy co-ordination and issues management.
Press release for Plutonic July 11 2007
Bill Irwin Key responsibilities have included review and approval of major project developments on provincial crown land and administration of a portfolio in excess of 30,000 land tenures in BC.


For those that haven't seen this decision
Here is a word EXIGENCY I had to look that word up at Miss Merriam's.

plural exigencies

Definition of EXIGENCY
1: that which is required in a particular situation usually used in plural exceptionally quick in responding to the exigencies of modern warfare 2a the quality or state of being exigent b a state of affairs that makes urgent demands a leader must act in any sudden exigency
Examples of EXIGENCY

First Known Use of EXIGENCY
Related to EXIGENCY
Synonyms: boiling point, breaking point, clutch, conjuncture, crisis, crossroad(s), crunch, crunch time, Dunkirk, emergency, extremity, flash point, head, juncture, tinderbox, zero hour

Why was I curious about the word

Read how the Judge used this word in Her last decision. (hopefully link in my previous comment.

"The Crown submits that the appropriate sentence must also take into account the fact that that the administration of justice has been spared an inordinately long jury trial with all the attendant risks that such long trials bring. Indeed, in this case we have already seen some of the exigencies that accompany a long jury trial.
Lawyers are good at using words, it doesn't mean they know what they mean.
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