Thursday, December 23, 2010


Basi memos show need for BC Rail Inquiry - North Shore News

BC Mary comment: Elizabeth James of North Shore News sums it up neatly ... why we should join in the demand for a Public Inquiry. There's a way to join forces: go to Facebook at and search "Basi-Virk Public Inquiry" to find the page and join the demand for a Public Inquiry into how Canada's 3rd largest railway slipped from public ownership into private pockets.


Basi memos show need for B.C. Rail inquiry

By Elizabeth James
Special To North Shore News
December 22, 2010

"Over the next week or so I will release one 'Memo-to-file' per day. They are authored by Dave Basi alone, in his own words, and after he wrote each instalment they were witnessed by Victoria lawyer George Jones, Q.C. whose unimpeachable integrity is without question and whose signature I have verified."

Political journalist/analyst Alex G. Tsakumis, Dec. 14, 2010

So began Alex Tsakumis' Christmas gift to British Columbians who had been concerned that the termination of the Basi-Virk trial meant they would never know the true story of the B.C. Rail deal.

As Tsakumis explained, he received "part of the information from a police source," while "Other information came from a source very familiar with the prosecution."

The memos were written by Dave Basi who, at the time, was ministerial assistant to then finance minister Gary Collins.

The memos are "dated from Oct. 6, 2003 and extend almost two months to Nov. 25, 2003 (the day after the sale of B.C. Rail to CN was formalized.)"

So far, only four of almost a dozen memos have been released, but already their content is enough to justify a clarion call for a commission of inquiry.

British Columbians are owed a full, sworn exposé of the political shenanigans that led to the dealing away of a critical public asset -- B.C. Rail -- into the hands of CN Rail by way of a 990-year lease.

{Snip} ... 

As we demand that public inquiry, we need to answer these two questions for ourselves:

On Oct. 18, 2010, did Dave Basi and Bob Virk decide to plead guilty because the deal offered them house arrest for two years, a stay of the money-laundering charges against Aneal Basi and their $6 million in legal fees to be paid by the taxpayers?

Or did they cop the guilty plea before Justice Anne MacKenzie because Dave Basi was tired of the self-incriminating charade and knew he had Plan B in his back pocket?

You will be the judge; and after you have read all of Basi's memos-to-file, I'll be interested to know your decisions.

So what's to be learned from the material posted to date?

On Oct. 6, 2003, 49 days before the sale was consummated, Basi writes, "Had a meeting with the Minister (Collins) today about bc rail."

"The government needs a political win with the bc rail deal. We do not want to be left holding the bag without another option if the preferred bidder CN starts playing hard ball at the negotiating table." (Emphases throughout are mine.)

"The Minister wants me to continue back channelling with the various players to keep them on side and prevent them from going off the deep end.

"We are in the home stretch and really have to keep our eyes on the prize."

Ah yes; the players.

With apologies to Shakespeare, as we'll see along the way, Victoria was the stage and many men and women had their exits and their entrances and played many parts. In fact, Tsakumis's introductions to the memos makes the point that some players were, at one and the same time, donors, fundraisers and/or appointees to the Harper Conservatives, and to the Paul Martin and Campbell Liberals.

On Oct. 14, Basi writes:

"Briefed the Minister over the phone. . . . The Shippers are abuzz with rumours that they will be forced to look at CN's bid and told to accept the fact that this is going to happen. . . . The Minister can't tell them what to do but he agreed I can certainly encourage them to be critically supportive so they don't look like they are caving in to government pressure. . . ."

Many of the shippers were forestry companies along the line, whose workers opposed any deal that would see CN, a company they viewed as unfriendly to its employees, take over from B.C. Rail.

Basi goes on to say that the minister wanted to make his trip to Prince George trip the next day "productive and fruitful."

"He wants me to advise our friends that this is their chance to play a positive role . . . the sale is going to take place with or without them. . . ."

Then, after recording that he had advised Collins he had arranged for Lyall Knott and Paul Martin to meet Erik Bornmann for lunch the next day, Basi brings Bruce Clark -- brother of current B.C. Liberal leadership hopeful, Christy Clark -- on stage:

"The Minister wants me to . . . ensure that Bruce Clark doesn't take all the credit . . . for the hard work of our team. . . . I reminded the Minister that Bruce wants assurances from us that his friends at Washington Marine will not be led along the garden path in a sham process for the next item up for bid, the Roberts Bank line. . . ."

And so the saga continues.

In a brief scan of the third memo of Oct. 17, 2003, Basi introduces more players to the scene -- Bob Virk and the too-often-forgetful trial witness, Martyn Brown, who was prone to "going off the deep end all the time yelling at Bob and me. . ." -- and the "biggest frustration we have . . . the double-talk that seems to be coming out of everybody's mouth in the premier's office."

Most startling of all was a comment that may yet prove prophetic: "I voiced my concerns again with the Minister that it will be a miracle if we don't end up being sued in court by jilted bidders at the end of the process."

Things get hotter -- and, as Tsakumis describes, scarier -- for Basi in the fourth memo of Oct. 23, 2003 when the names come down fast and furious.

Basi becomes worried that the balancing act was in danger of falling apart because, in his words, "Everybody involved seems to have their own agenda and personal self interest."

Then, after Collins "cautions" him for voicing his opinion that, "if things go sideways and CN proceeds to break every promise this will be something the Premier will wear not us," Basi continues, "The Minister advised that we can score a big political win by getting contractual guarantees in writing. CN will only do this if they know there are other bidders waiting outside the door if they decide to play hardball and walk away from the deal."

If readers are not yet sick at heart at the depths to which their government has sunk, the remaining memos should do the trick.

From what Basi had the foresight -- self-protection? -- to write and have witnessed, it is clear that he saw the premier's "lease, partnership, new investment etc," of B.C. Rail as "a sale pure and simple."

In light of these memos, and the history of a trial inexplicably terminated after a seven-year investigation, it is essential that British Columbians demand an immediate public inquiry.

Everyone responsible for the egregious disposition of a publicly owned railway into the private hands of CN Rail must be held to account -- not just the two who played bit parts on the stage.

Source is HERE:


BC Mary comment:  Not to be overlooked -- the actual reading of the Search Warrants #1, #2, #3, #4 for the raids on the BC Legislature. Amazing information there, as to what police already knew even before they went into the offices of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transportation on a quiet Sunday morning, December 28, 2003. 

See also what The Galloping Beaver and friends are saying HERE:


And here, here, and here:

Nowhere To Run To Baby....Nowhere To Hide
By RossK

This issue, which has more precisely emerged as a tax 'indemnity' that CN Rail ' bought' as part of the old BC Rail's alleged 'debt', was apparently critical for getting the deal nailed down in the end (and was almost certainly ... 

Source is HERE:


Gordon Christy Clark Campbell for Premier
By Grant G

BC Rail is Campbell`s shame, he lied, he sold our asset, of all the players involved in the corrupt BC Rail deal none are more entwined than Christy Clark and her family, her ex-husband Mark Marrisen, Bruce Clark and Patrick Kinsella ...

The Straight goods - HERE


Blog Borg Collective: "participatory democracy" - a process ...

I wonder when someone is going to start up the BC Rail Inquiry Initiative? Or is that a Criminal matter that is under review by a Special Prosecutor? 

Posted by North Van's Grumps ...
Blog Borg Collective - HERE


Was justice served in the Basi Virk trial? ...

The question to Dave Basi was did he have connections to organized crime. .... Dave Basi took lobbyist's bribes for years, court documents state ...

Read more HERE:


The train wreck that keeps on wrecking
By Dave
The Galloping Beaver

The sale (OK 99 year lease) of BC Rail is still fresh in everybody's minds. [BCM adds: 990-year-lease.] Truthfully, it's smelly and the sudden turn of Basi and Virk to a guilty plea will never be something easily swallowed. Somewhere, somehow, a deal was made ...

The Galloping Beaver is HERE


A plague on both their houses

By Tony Eberts
Royal City Record - Dec. 24, 2010

Dear Editor:

This year's big political storm saw the ruling B.C. Liberals collapse under the weight of the bungled HST introduction, assorted lies, the B.C. Rail corruption scandal, environmental degradation and a continuing show of arrogant, dictatorial leadership.

The NDP also bungled, falling into a noisy leadership battle.

But already most of the political commentators seem to have forgotten almost everything but the fun of pre-judging leadership candidates and gossiping about the individuals who are in or who may soon be in the races.
Astoundingly, some have concluded that the rotten performance that brought down Gordon Campbell is no more important than the internal bickering of the NDP.

The pundits who clearly favour the right-wing policies of the B.C. Liberals are pushing the skewed notion that all the sins of the party will be washed away in the glorious baptism of a new leader - even though that leader is bound to be a Campbell-trained politician ...

Read more HERE.


Two things:

1. Seeing the stunning details in these does make you wonder what were no the emails deleted by the Premier's Office and their American document-destruction subcontractor.

2. I wish Tsakumis wouldn't gatekeep like and just release ALL the memos. Enough with the slow teeth-extraction business - sort of like the WikiLeaks strip-tease, in fact - and tell the people what they want to know.

And re that bit about not winding up in court being sued by the othder bidders....if CP and BNSF don't have the balls (apparently not), the implication is clear that a suit is called for. And it makes me wonder which class action firm in the US can haul CN's American stockholders into court on behalf of the British Columbia public for disenfranchisement and illegally-obtained goods (and oh, heck, let's get some damages too).

Sounds like WMG was walking a fine line re an insider deal on the Robert's Bank line. How much money, again, was the net profit they made on picking up the Fast Cats much was it again? $6 million? Yeah, uh-huh, and that fiasco was blamed on the NDP, but it was Campbell who gave the baby away....

A public inquiry shouldn't be limited to BC Rail. How did Accenture wind up with 1/3 of BC Hydro - was there a tendering process? How much did Accenture donate to th Liberals in advance of that? etc.

It's not just how many other rigged bidding processes there were, it's also how many untendered contracts there were, and what kind of friends-with-benefits arrangements between those contractors and the Liberal Party were.

Do like the bit about keeping Clark from taking "credit" for the deal's finalizing...opens a window on personality traits, often shared within families....

And Mary, I'm OK with a Canadian judge (or judges) presiding over an inquiry, so long as they have NO Liberal Party connections, NO Conservative Party connections, and come from as far away as possible (Newfoundland, presumably). Prior to 1982, this would (or could) have gone to the Law Lords.....

And actually, I think I could deal with ACJ Bennett, who seems to be one of the only moral, publicly-minded justices we've seen in connection with this case so far.

I can't count the times you've made my day or anticipated events we hadn't even imagined before.

Thank you for the unique contributions you have given to the readers of The Legislature Raids.

Merry Christmas, Skookum, and a very Happy New British Columbia Year. I'm very glad you're home again.

And to all the special other commentors -- which is just about everyone, each in your special way -- thank you,

and a very happy Christmas to you too.

Let's hope and pray that it's a Happy New Year for British Columbia.
So much to read everywhere and no time to do it, LOL, Merry Christmas Mary and your family.

Reading AGT memos, I did not under stand what back channeling meant. More makes sense once I understood.

For Others. In business, back-channeling is an organizational practice that involves bypassing recognized or official communication processes, usually by sharing information anonymously up the reporting structure at least two levels, bypassing the chain of command in order to create vulnerability at the level(s) skipped. It is a means by which lower-level members can manipulate perceived power differentials with a superior through a more senior accommodating manager in the organization.[citation needed]
Skookum, I echo Mary's sentiments. Missed you for the last couple weeks. Good to see you back.

May i suggest that we all be wise when reading Tsukamis and his slow-burning wiki-leaks-like showing off of some sworn memos by none other than big Dave Basi. (Somebody should call that lawyer, George Jones, and ask him to confirm his witnessing of these documents--and when? might also be another good question to put to him.

Still, some of the info is surely factual, as far as it goes; but, the narrative is mostly contrived in order to lead the reader astray--because there is a cover-up still very much at work here and they want us to look in another direction.

Isn't the release of these memos of Basi's timely to the point of incredulity? Why now--?

All of sudden, providence shines down on the rain-soaked streets of Victoria, and just like that we get a hidden lawyer with a heart of gold who happens to gain a conscience and delivers himself of the burden of a bunch of files sworn out by Dave Basi. Then another good ole' boy takes them into his posession and starts dribbling out snippets of data--which he has explicitly reserved the right to edit and/or censore of any truth he so chooses--all well after the trial is shut down. These notes could have been made available at any time. Why wait till now? We needed all of it and more five years ago. We don not need to be kept in some white-hot suspense while the gordo slips out of town and the window for recovering our Railway is closing by the day.

And why spin the release as you please Alex-"G"?

Well, because they are his attempt to infiltrate the burgeoning opposition and to then subvert it by controlling the story line and delimiting it to acceptable risks and recoverable loss for those perpetrators still lurking in the shows.

Anyone remember how Dan Rather's downfall came--?

George Bush the lesser was not active in that national guard regiment as required all those years before. The secretary who wrote the record swore to the fact that she had typed out the fact that the prince was a.w.o.l. for long stretches. But, when Rather held up the document thought to be the very one to verify the secretary's testimony, he was holding up what was soon-after shown to be a forgery of the original. The original never surfaced. And that was all it took to kill the truth behind the document. The main media dropped it; and Rather had to resign sometime later.

Be well but careful, good people.
I nothing wrong with Basi's or the Minister's conduct. THey appear to have BC's interest at heart. They are wanting to keep all the bidders at the table to keep interest in BC Rail at full boil, and potentially the price BC will realise.

If I am missing something here please speak up; I see nothing wrong with Basi/Collins trying to keep a bidding war going for BC Rail. Clearly if no one else was interested, the price would come down. What the the sellers are trying to do is what any savy seller would do, try and drum up some exitement for their product.

You seem to see scancal here. I see a seller trying to get top dollar, the opposite to what I had originally thought, ie that BC Rail was given away. I now am thinking that other than Basi taking inducements along the way was the only crime, if you can call that a crime (elected officials take "donations to their campaign funds" all the time from developers, etc - whats the difference?)

Thank you for this piece.

You are indeed missing something.

Do you know what a "rigged sale" is?

For starters, it's illegal. Check out the Criminal Code of Canada.

However, I agree with you that according to the court transcripts, bribes were being routinely passed around during the Campbell years from 2001 onward.

That definitely does not make it a correct way to run a democratic government.

I'd be interested to know how you got the idea that if crimes continue to happen, then it's OK.

Like, if somebody paid a crook to cheat you, then you'd feel it's not a crime? I don't think so.

So ... you were just kidding us, right?
The competition bureau has an entire section on bidrigging and collusion,a serious offence investigated not only by the RCMP but the bureau itself. Anyone can file a report with them

IMO, the BC rail sale demonstates collusion,rather than bid rigging,which is defined differently under the law.

Anyways, I have a Christmas greeting and the Liberal Christmas Carol for you Mary, and your readers as well, over at my site!
Happy holidays to all!
Merry Christmas Mary!

And may you have a Happy, Healthy and Properous New Year.
BC Mary if what happened here were illegal, the "rigged sale" as you put it, would not the other bidders have called foul by now?

Did CP go to the RCMP and ask for charges to be laid? I dont think so, even now, after all this has come out. What gives?

If there is an injured party surely it would be the losing bidder, or the bidder who paid too much becuase of all the so-called rigging.

But I dont hear anything from the winning or losing biggers in this regard, so please, am I missing something here?

It does seem though, that the Govt said they would not sell the rail line when in fact they did just that, which I find disturbing, but knowing this full well, voters re elected this same govt.

Thank you for this; Merry Xmas!
JPC: The fact is that CP issued a statement when they withdrew from the bidding making it clear they felt the process was unfair. Then Charles Rivers Associates performed a phony "fairness review" without even interviewing affected parties. This review was so stinky that the two principles for CRA who did the work were later virtually disowned by CRA. One of them testified via video link from Nova Scotia or somewhere on the East Coast in the early days of the soon to be shut down phony BC Rail Corruption Trial.

People like you, who seem to believe the elite deserve the government they can afford to buy, are a major part of what is wrong with the world and why this current global crooked (not free enterprise at all but a oligarchy of corporate welfare) economy is not sustainable and will crumble from either hubris or violent revolution of the majority left out.
I dont beleive the elite deserve to behave like this. I am pist right off that BASI got the taxpayers to feed 18M into some lawyers pockets to delay and distrurb the truth from coming out.

But if as you say all that CP did in response was to send out a statement, then really, give it a break and move on. No one cares.

Beleive it of not, but NO one cares about bc rail. All the employees got jobs elswhere and I dare you to say otherwise; i am not saying we should or shouldnt, the fact is, no one does.

if Charles River's clients really cared, woudnt they have sued by now?

THINK before you post.

BASI was found guilty of a heinous crime, and he should be in jail for that, not roaming around hockey rinks watching his kids ice skate. But thats what he is doing, exactly, and trying to get eye contact and shake hands with everyone, which many seem to be willing to do, perhaps because BCers really are that stupid.
@JPC...You are blind as a bat, you can`t see nothing can you.

Next time a Government says it`s not going to do something pre-election...And when after the election the Government takes YOUR assets, bulldozes your home, un-buries your deceased reletives..

Costs you a fortune, treats YOU like garbage, breaks the law, hides behind it`s before the court for almost a decade until YOU are DEAD...

Don`t cry for help, don`t ask for help, just bend over and receive the glory!..

You missed everything...Don`t forget, practice your {Goosestepping}

Good day
January 28, 2003 report updated by George A. Clark of Actran Consulting 1999 for BC MoT on.... including this on BC Rail.

"Rebuilding the BC Rail passenger fleet. BC Rail’s equipment is near the end of its practical
service life, and the railway will be forced to discontinue its passenger service unless the railcars
are rebuilt or replaced within the next five years. The Cariboo Prospector is a non-commercial
service that is maintained as a matter of public policy with an annual loss of about $4 million. As
a result, BC Rail is not prepared to cover the cost of equipment renewal, and has approached the
Province for capital funding and re-instatement of operating subsidies."

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