Monday, November 22, 2010

 

Congratulations to Laila Yuile, Mark Hume, and The Globe and Mail

.
BC Mary comment: today, November 22, 2010, is a breakthrough day in Bloggerworld. Today we can open The Globe and Mail newspaper, turn to the column of Mark Hume, and read more about the brilliant research work being done by Laila Yuile 

http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/

It's the first time respectful recognition has been given by Big Media to the valuable work being done by bloggers.

Read about that HERE.

  
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/mark-hume/government-accused-of-shadow-toll-on-sea-to-sky-highway/article1807991/comments/ 


Find Laila's blog by clicking on her link at left margin of this page.

Congratulations to Laila, and High Fives to all bloggers (we know who you are) who work so hard to get the facts out in the open where all citizens can be more aware of what's happening in Beautiful B.C. A tip o'the tuque to Mark Hume as well as to The Globe. 


Continuing on the topic of bloggers working to get the facts out in public, here's something from "BC Revolution" (a blog not known to me previously) which deserved much wider distribution at the time it appeared, particularly in view of repeated misinformation in Big Media who kept saying that the Dec. 28, 2003 raids on the BC Legislature was about BC Rail. It wasn't. It was an investigation into Organized Crime, and about Jasmohan Singh Bains, thought to be the new Mr Big on the West Coast at that time. Very, very little is ever said about that ... in fact, nothing whatever appeared in Big Media when Bains went to trial in Victoria (a few blocks down the street from Victoria Times Colonist), was found guilty, and was sentenced to 9 years in prison + large fine. But BC Revolution had the story HERE

http://www.bcrevolution.ca/bc_government.htm

bc revolution
[Undated, but probably 2003 or early 2004]

Legislature raids, linked to drug trade, came after lengthy
organized-crime investigation: RCMP



Police investigating organized crime connections in the sale of B.C. marijuana say they came across a lengthy trail of various other crimes! A possible link to the Victoria Police Department has also been uncovered.

Police raided the B.C. legislature offices of two senior cabinet ministers Sunday [December 28/03] after an organized-crime probe turned up information of more potential wrongdoing, RCMP said Monday. [BC Mary says: Probably Dec. 29, 2003]

Police raided the legislature offices of B.C. Finance Minister Gary Collins and Transportation Minister Judith Reid on Sunday.

Ward said the raid was based on information specifically related to an organized-crime drug case, as well as unrelated information discovered as a by-product of a 20-month drug investigation.

"In addition, a search warrant was executed at the home of one of those officials," he said.

RCMP also executed search warrants at the home offices of two people living in Vancouver and at the offices of a company doing business in Vancouver and Victoria, he said.

Bob Virk (who works with Transportation Minister Judith Reid ...) and David Basi (with B.C. Finance Minister Gary Collins) are related by marriage and are among Indo-Canadian Liberal activists who also happen to support federal minister Paul Martin. [The Feds just finished increasing the penalties for growing marijuana which experts all conclude served only to raise the value of the natural herb; particularly in the US where the drug is traded pound for pound for cocaine]

What began 20 months ago as a joint RCMP-Victoria police investigation into the sale of B.C. marijuana in the U.S. has ballooned into a massive police probe that reaches into the highest ranks of the provincial Liberal party.

Details are slowly beginning to emerge about an investigation that has already involved some of the biggest names in provincial and federal politics, including the husband of Deputy Premier Christy Clark.

While some of those involved so far are well-known Liberal activists at provincial and federal levels, Ward stressed the parties themselves are not under investigation at the moment.

Ward said an investigation was launched by police in the spring of 2002 into the involvement of organized crime in the sale of B.C.-grown marijuana in the U.S. in exchange for cocaine, which was then re-sold in Canada.

But in the course of its investigation, Ward said, police came across evidence of other crimes -- which led to Sunday's raid on the offices of two ministerial assistants at the legislature. {Snip} ...

Both Basi and Virk were political appointees given their jobs by cabinet.

Basi is a prominent organizer for provincial and federal Liberal parties and is a well known supporter of MinisterPaul Martin.

The legislature was just one of several premises searched by the RCMP and Victoria police during the weekend.

Also searched was the home office of Mark Marissen, husband of Deputy Premier Christie Clark, and Pilothouse Public Affairs Group, a private lobbying firm doing business in Victoria and Vancouver.

Marissen, who is a long-time supporter of Paul Martin confirmed Monday that police visited his home, where he operates Burrard Communications, his personal business.

Marissen, who was Martin's campaign chairman in B.C. and will now lead the federal election campaign here, would not comment on the ramifications to the federal Liberal party of key insiders being drawn into the scandal.

He said only that the B.C. chapter of the party "has to figure out what our next steps are."

While her husband talked to police Sunday, Clark said she "has not been questioned or interviewed".

Also raided over the weekend were the two offices of Pilothouse Public Affairs Group.

Pilothouse's two directors are Brian Kieran and Erik Bornman.

Kieran has an office in Victoria while Bornman works out of his home in Vancouver.

According to Pilothouse's Web site, Bornman has more than "a decade of political experience inside both the B.C. Liberal party and the Liberal party of Canada."

"I've been made aware of the concerns that these circumstances have raised. I don't fully understand all the issues, and at this time I am simply trying to collect further information that I will be discussing with our advisers," said Bornman, who worked as an aide for Martin when the "prime minister" was finance minister.

Bornman is currently communications director for the B.C. chapter of the federal Liberal party.

RCMP Sgt. John Ward said nine search warrants were executed on Sunday. Ward said the information that police presented to the courts to obtain the search warrants has been sealed.

While no arrests have been made in connection with the weekend raids, Ward said nine people -- three in Toronto and six in Victoria and Vancouver -- were arrested "about 10 days ago" in connection with the sale of marijuana.

Victoria police chief Paul Battershill confirmed the drug investigation is connected to the suspension with pay on Dec. 15 of Victoria police Constable Ravinder Dosanjh.

Battershill said there is an "indirect relationship" between the suspended officer and either Virk or Basi.

The drug probe is targeting a suspected influential Victoria trafficker related to Victoria Police Officer Dosanjh.

The alleged trafficker is also a relative of a Vancouver resident who has worked on provincial and federal Liberal campaigns and was involved in Martin's B.C. campaign.

Speaking by phone from Maui, Hawaii, Premier Gordon Campbell said he is concerned about the investigation and the taint it could have on his government.

"Obviously it's troubling to everyone," he said.

Campbell said he has every confidence in Collins and Reid and doesn't believe they need to return to B.C. from their vacations, as the NDP [Themselves decimated in the last election for their own numerous brushes with criminal activities involving high level Ministries] allegedly "demanded". [Curious statement! "numerous brushes with criminal activities" such as building a back porch? - BC Mary.]

Coleman said he didn't think the raid would damage "his consistent message about getting tough on crime". [That would lower the price of the bud after all]

Ward guessed that the province's marijuana industry alone is worth about $6 billion a year. A figure which reflex [sic] the self-serving policies produced by both the police and various levels of federal and provincial governments which experts admit only serves to make the product highly lucrative to organized crime. See link for related story

Over two dozen officers -- including uniformed Victoria police and plainclothes RCMP -- were involved in Sunday's search of the legislature.

The officers took several hours to search the large offices of Collins and Reid, and the smaller offices of their entire staff, before emerging with nearly three dozen large cardboard boxes that needed an entire [white] van to carry.

Vancouver lawyer William Berardino has once again been appointed "an independent special prosecutor" in the case, which is a common procedure when criminal investigations may involve politicians. This makes cover up easier, when you have a 'go to guy' we can rely on - said a crown source who wished to remain anonymous.

Police Chief Battershill said the investigation is "likely to take several months".

"We're in for a lengthy investigation," he said. "It will take several months to develop before the entire file is presented to the special prosecutor."


More on the primary players so far.....

Basi and Virk are important political appointees, hired directly by the Campbell cabinet. Both are key Liberal Party insiders. Both had input into some of the most sensitive and important files in government.

As Collins' right-hand man, Basi was involved in critical budget preparations. Collins is also the government house leader, making Basi a central steward of the Liberals' legislative agenda as well.

Make no mistake: Dave Basi was one of the most important, well-connected and ambitious staffers in the legislature. The raid on his office and seizure of his personal files is a devastating blow to the Campbell government (not to mention the federal Liberal Party, where he was also an important power player in B.C.)

Virk was less influential than Basi, but he was a key government contact for one of Campbell's most controversial policy initiatives: the privatization of B.C. Rail.

Significantly, it was also revealed yesterday that the Vancouver office of lobbyist Erik Bornman was raided. Bornman is listed in the government's official lobbyist registry as a "representative of an American railroad company" that had sought control of B.C. Rail.

Police sources had suggested that much of the trade of BC Marijuana is done via train, where off loading of product is done in remote areas only accessible by train and four wheel drive vehicles or helicopter.


Liberal tried to 'sway' police

May 16/07
RCMP told that charges against aides would embarrass party, defence tells corruption trial

The head of the B.C. Liberal party told police in 2005 he didn't want charges laid against senior aides to Liberal cabinet ministers because it would be embarrassing for the party, a defence lawyer alleged Tuesday.

The politically explosive defence allegation, which suggests the party weighed in on an active police investigation, is the latest bombshell to emerge at the pre-trial proceedings of three former government aides. They're accused of fraud, breach of trust and money laundering in connection with the government's controversial $1-billion privatization sale of BC Rail four years ago. [Click headline for full story]

Basi played role in handling Gordon Campbell's drunk-driving charge, trial hears - By Keith Fraser, The Province June 16, 2010

RCMP think they are above the law, and provide defence key to defending corrupt politician.

Police tapped premier's call - RCMP had targeted political aide, but ended up hearing Campbell, minister

Miro Cernetig, CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, October 31, 2006

VANCOUVER -- The RCMP inadvertently eavesdropped on a private conversation between B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and then-finance minister Gary Collins in 2003, B.C. Supreme Court was told yesterday.

The RCMP had sought the wiretap in November 2003 to monitor the conversations of David Basi, Collins' former top adviser. At the time, Basi was the subject of a police drug investigation that eventually resulted in a police raid of the legislature.

But, according to Basi's lawyer, Kevin McCullough, he found out that police ended up listening in on Campbell and Collins -- likely because Collins used Basi's phone, something he said is a common practice in politics. McCullough
made the revelations in court yesterday, where Basi is fighting charges of influence-peddling to help a company mount a $1-billion bid for the publicly owned B.C. Rail.

McCullough said the premier and Collins never knew the phone was tapped. No details of the conversation were given and neither the premier nor Collins were ever suspects in the case.

But McCullough used the incident to take aim at the RCMP, who he accused of doing a poor job of disclosing evidence that he needs -- and is entitled to -- to mount a defence.

The defence is alleging "significant errors" have "plagued the disclosure" of evidence in the prosecution of the once-influential Liberal insider Basi, along with Bobby Virk and Aneal Basi.

McCullough also alleged yesterday that after being refused twice by the courts for permission to tap a B.C. government cellphone, the RCMP pushed through a third request in 2003 by not telling the judge the phone was actually registered at the legislature.

In their first two tries to have Basi's government phone wiretapped, investigators were stymied by two judges on the grounds it would impinge on "parliamentary privilege" because a ministerial phone was involved, said McCullough. But on the third try, McCullough said, the RCMP changed the address on the wiretap application from the legislature to another address. He said they never told the judge their previous wiretap requests had been turned down by the court.

In another revelation, which the defence said it only learned about after months of requests, McCullough revealed the RCMP met with then-Speaker Claude Richmond in a hangar at the Kamloops airport. They wanted to explain the reasons for the raid on the legislature and Richmond asked for a written note, court documents show.

The RCMP had to get permission for the legislature raid from RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zacardelli. The defence wants to see his correspondence. The defence is also arguing it should be allowed into the RCMP's "Project Room" to inventory tens of thousands of pages of documents and wiretap transcripts.

It also argues it didn't receive an inventory of the evidence and that evidence has been "misfiled" or overlooked, making it difficult to mount a defence.

Basi and Virk plead guilty to four counts in surprise court move - By Keith Fraser, The Province October 19, 2010

Basi and Virk plead guilty but wont have to repay massive legal bill to taxpayers - By Michael Smyth, The Province October 18, 2010

[Bill referred to above estimated to be approaching 20 million, including police and legal cost] This is how government officials firewall themselves from criminal activities, while promising to protect those they put in charge of their illegal operations...

Corruption trial bill is $18 million


Real estate holdings suggest Basi has assets

_______________

More on RCMP systemic corruption and arrogance - click link.

RCMP Terrorists invade High Schools

Victoria cop obstructed justice
Constable counselled cousin to lie in case linked to 2003 legislature raids

Gerry Bellett, CanWest News Service, Louise Dickson, Times Colonist CanWest News Service; Times Colonist - Thursday, October 12, 2006
Victoria police officer Ravinder (Rob) Singh Dosanjh has been found guilty of obstruction of justice in a case linked to the December 2003 police raids on the B.C. legislature.

In North Vancouver provincial court yesterday, Judge Carol Baird Ellan found Dosanjh counselled his cousin to lie about the ownership of $35,000 in suspected drug money found in his cousin's home during an undercover operation. He dismissed claims by Dosanjh that his taped telephone conversation with his cousin Mandeep Sandhu on Dec. 9, 2003, was an attempt to console him and give him "false hope" that he would get the money back.

The conversation came after police raided Sandhu's home earlier that day and confiscated the cash and three ounces of marijuana.

According to evidence, Victoria police had suspected Sandhu of being a drug dealer since the late 1990s, and friends within the department had warned Dosanjh -- who was on the force 13 years -- to stay away from his younger cousin. By early 2003, the police department came to fear that Dosanjh was leaking information to Sandhu and set up an undercover operation with the assistance of the RCMP's anti-corruption unit.

That operation led to the December 2003 raid. A drug charge laid against Sandhu as a result of the raid has since been stayed.


http://www.bcrevolution.ca/bc_government.htm

bc revolution

Legislature raids, linked to drug trade, came after lengthy
organized-crime investigation: RCMP


Police investigating organized crime connections in the sale of B.C. marijuana say they came across a lengthy trail of various other crimes! A possible link to the Victoria Police Department has also been uncovered.

BC Mary comment:  Readers should go to the source, which is both extensive and easier to read.


I'd like to add some lingering concerns.  1) why did the facts get turned around in Big Media so that Organized Crime stopped being mentioned? See Raid on Legislature was about illegal drugs. And Bains wasn't mentioned?  Who decided to withhold that information? Or even to alter that information?


2) why did the Victoria Police Chief, Paul Battershill, take such a beating from the Victoria media until he took early retirement and moved to Kelowna where even in bankruptcy CanWest found expense money so that more non-news could be used against the man who, it seemed to me, was everything we look/hope for in a good cop. What was that all about? 

3) RCMP Staff Sgt John Ward took a beating from Big Medea, too, for (ha ha, ho ho, they said) thinking that Organized Crime had anything to do with the police raiding the BC Legislature. 


That trial surely isn't over. And excuse me for asking, but why on earth doesn't that Dingbat Opposition make a Public Inquiry -- or even a "Third Party Review" of the $6million pay-out to Basi, Virk, Basi lawyers, a central issue right now? Why, in fact, aren't those Dingbats pressing for a Legislative session where things like this could be aired?

4) Also, for those inclined to do research, have a look at Robert Prior, Director of Federal Prosecutions for BC.

5) And really ... it makes me wonder how much of that stuff went on behind the scenes throughout the Basi-Virk trial until it became the BC Rail Trial and finally became, in the term coined by The National Post, "The BC Rail Political Corruption Trial".

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Many thanks to E.M. again for another valuable comment cross-posted:

E.M. writes:

Completed court docket for last week. Of interest is the ban, Looks like they were in court on the 19th of NOV..aND GOING BACK DEC. 13 see below

23299 -27

Nov. 19 LTD Access
001
Vacate all remaining sealing order and publication bans
this is done twice
next appearance Dec. 13 2010, 10 am APP.

---Back to the 15th, that was for Basi violationing is conditions. This is what is listed for that day.
. 23299-25 Basi Udhe S in custody (Y) yes?

CCC121 1 c RGS Conditional Sentence 2 years less a day conditions
the same day it lists THEN
23299-1 LTD Access pub CCC 517 1 Inherent jurisdiction Cnt 03 ccc 121 1 c
Cnt 007 CCC 122 RGS Cond sent.

Wierd??? note 23299-25 and 23299-27
where is 23299-26?

http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/courts/court-lists/criminal/lists/Vancouver_Law_Courts-Completed_Supreme_Court_List.pdf

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Comments:
Completed court docket for last week. Of interest is the ban, Looks like they were in court on the 19th of NOV..aND GOING BACK DEC. 13 see below

23299 -27

Nov. 19 LTD Access
001
Vacate all remaining sealing order and publication bans
this is done twice
next appearance Dec. 13 2010, 10 am APP.
---Back to the 15th, that was for Basi violationing is conditions. This is what is listed for that day.
. 23299-25 Basi Udhe S in custody (Y) yes?

CCC121 1 c RGS Conditional Sentence 2 years less a day conditions
the same day it lists THEN
23299-1 LTD Access pub CCC 517 1 Inherent jurisdiction Cnt 03 ccc 121 1 c
Cnt 007 CCC 122 RGS Cond sent.

Wierd??? note 23299-25 and 23299-27
where is 23299-26?
http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/courts/court-lists/criminal/lists/Vancouver_Law_Courts-Completed_Supreme_Court_List.pdf
 
Trying to understand the procedure of removing the ban and the sealing order, I found myself at the court decision for Premiere Clark.Aug 99, I think the raid on his house was March 99
Chief Justice P.D. Dohm
I LOVE #19
[17] The position of the media here is that they seek disclosure of all materials. They argue that the original reasons for the sealing order have largely dissipated. They wish to disseminate some or all of the material presented in support of the search warrant and some or all of the allegations contained therein to the public. They argue that full public access to open hearings for any individual citizens, coupled with a publication ban, is not sufficient public access because the vast majority of citizens of the Province will be unable to attend the court proceedings.

[18] From the Crown's perspective, there is no longer an issue as to the confidentiality of the informer, there is no further electronic surveillance contemplated, and the police investigation will not, therefore, be compromised should the sealing order be lifted. However, the Crown acknowledges that privacy rights infringement remains a possibility. The Crown also referred to the issue of possible compromise of fair trial rights should an indictment be preferred. The Crown indicates that while it has not yet received its report and recommendations from the police, there is a reasonable possibility that charges will be laid.

[19] However, the Crown also acknowledges that public interest in the matter is especially keen. There is an application to quash the warrant executed at the Clark residence, which I have already dealt with this morning. There is ongoing criticism of the police. Indeed, a possible conspiracy between the police and the B.C. Liberal Party has been alluded to by members of government.

http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/Jdb-txt/SC/99/21/S99-2157.htm

So could it be the media asking for the ban and sealing prder to be removed?
 
"Vancouver lawyer William Berardino has once again been appointed "an independent special prosecutor" in the case, which is a common procedure when criminal investigations may involve politicians. This makes cover up easier, when you have a 'go to guy' we can rely on - said a crown source who wished to remain anonymous."
Wild Bill may NOT be the guy to rely on to "go to" court that often over the last few years, leaving that to his associates, but he certainly seems to have been the GO TO GUY for the Campbell Crime Family!
 
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