Tuesday, December 21, 2010

 

BC Rail Political Corruption Trial must move into a Public Inquiry. Sign up here!

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Christy Clark's Bad Trip?

Try as she might to wave it on, her BC Rail scandal train has not left the station.

By Bill Tieleman
TheTyee.ca - December 21, 2010


BC Mary comment: I'd like to say again that I'm not participating in these election campaigns -- not for the new BC premier -- and not for the new BC premier, if you catch my drift. Partisan politics between the "Get Rich Quick Party" and the "Hello down there, wakey wakey, Party!" is what got us into this mess. The time has come for the citizens of British Columbia to be brought into the process of public responsibility. We'll only get this one last chance. 

A public inquiry must examine how such a massive public asset as the nation's 3rd largest railway slipped out of our hands ... and into the private pockets of a corporation already under a foreign flag.

A public inquiry must reveal how the terms of such an outrageous deal could still be kept secret from us -- even when some of those terms provided for re-possession on the 5th anniversary (July 14, 2009).

A pubic inquiry can reveal how Big Media failed to bring the public into the process of oversight in these important matters. I believe that Big Media must have observed criminality in progress and did nothing. If we fail this duty, we need not expect to be rewarded; quite the opposite. Things could only go downhill from here, without decisive action such as a Public Inquiry.

Bill Tieleman's excellent story includes the access-point for mobilizing:  "Go to www.Facebook.com," he writes. "Search "Basi-Virk Public Inquiry". And we can each take a step toward  the demand for a Public Inquiry starting with "Basi-Virk" but I hope, expanding to finding out what happened to our railway. Because the giveaway of BC Rail was only the beginning. Look at the crippling of that crown jewel, BC Hydro, as it's being deliberately prepared for treachery. Or consider what was done to BC Ferries. And there's more -- not forgetting Gordo's newly-crafted Monster Ministry of Natural Resource Operations -- a One-Stop Shop designed for easier take-overs of our public assets.

So in view of the British Columbia dilemma, I say: don't bother me with piddling details as to whether Christie Clark isn't half as bad as Falcon, or whether Leonard (gack...!) Krog is anything but a lazy oaf ... it damwell doesn't matter anymore. It.just.doesn't.matter.

We, the citizens, have work to do. We must learn how to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, find consensus, face the awesome issues set loose on the province we love, and clean up this mess. That's the truth as I see it.

To keep squabbling over who's good, or who's bad ... jumpin' jehosaphat ... what's the point?

Either find consensus and face the horrible truth together ... or ... there will be nothing left of the British Columbia we knew. 


Bill Tieleman's full column is HERE.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2010/12/21/ChristyClark/



Excerpt:

The surprise guilty pleas of David Basi and Bob Virk in October and the BC Liberal government's quick decision to not only authorize paying their former ministerial aides' $6 million legal bills but also to reject calls for a public inquiry is simply outrageous.

That's why I've created a new Facebook page -- Basi-Virk Public Inquiry -- to give British Columbians who want to know what really happened in the $1-billion privatization of BC Rail a chance to express their opinions.

Go to www.Facebook.com and search "Basi-Virk Public Inquiry" to find the page and join up -- with enough support it will be hard for Clark and other BC Liberal leadership candidates Kevin Falcon, George Abbott, Mike de Jong and Moira Stilwell to become premier while ignoring voters demanding answers.


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Michael Smyth seems to agree with BC Mary. He writes:

BC Rail probe is a bold move

By Michael Smyth
The Province - Dec. 21, 2010

Read the story HERE.

http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/Rail+probe+bold+move/4006956/story.html?cid=megadrop_story

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Comment by cfvua  ... 

Glad you got your computer running again Mary.

A friend of mine recently sent me some photos of the line from Dawson Creek BC to Hythe Alberta, showing the state of disrepair that it has reached. Trees and weeds growing up and the un-attended trestles near Pouce Coupe. Never has a train travelled this route since the big deal went down and I mean down. I will attempt to forward them later.  [BC Mary comment: And this, in itself, is a deal-breaker according to my understanding of the partially-released agreement between BCRail and CN. It's possible that BC could have re-possessed BC Rail on that clause alone. The BC Opposition's Justice Critic should have pressed this point home on the 5th anniversary date of the deal, July 14, 2009. A group of us asked him to do so. He, Leonard Krog, stonewalled, did a fancy dance, then said he couldn't. Final proof, in my opinion, that partisan politics doesn't serve the public interest.]

As a resident of the Northeast I know that every time I purchase fuel that it costs me more as it has to arrive by truck or what little comes by rail from refineries in Fort Saskatchewan or Edmonton must go to Prince George first, then all the way back north or about 500 additional Kilometres. I don't think that CN does this for free.

I send out a big thank you to every liberal voter for allowing their leader to enable this to happen. You could have punted the guy, just like you just did(sort of) over the HST. Some of the premier material was presenting itself(themselves)last week up here, but to paid up audiences only. Very weak attendance to the meetings. I think they got the message, that even on "friendly" turf, nobody wants them around.

Thanks to you and the others that have kept this thing "on the air" so to speak. Keep fighting the good fight to get to a full inquiry and punishment of all involved.

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Comments:
http://www.merrittnews.net/article/20101220/MERRITT0304/101229999/0/merritt/new-reasons-the-bc-rail-scandal-shouldnt-be-forgotten
 
Kudos to you Mary for urging us to leave partisan politics behind. I believe the state of politics today is responsible for the rape of our resources, and for the apathy and sense of impotence experienced by many average citizens in this province.

To turn this ship around, I think we need to educate the population about the responsibilities of being a citizen, and the ramifications if we all just ignore those responsibilities. By "population" I don't just mean young people, I mean the vast majority of the citizenry who either never learned about the precious gift of democracy or who somehow forgot its value.

Let's start with the media who are forever claiming that "no one wants an election". Oh really, and what evidence do they have for that -- a couple of man-on-the-street interviews?? They're essentially telling our young people that elections are wrong. And some older people who should know better just eat that up and run with it. How easy it is for those who wish to rob us of our democratic system, to lead the citizenry by the nose, simply by saying "elections cost money!". Well, so does dictatorship, and that costs a hell of a lot more.

I'd like to suggest that each of us challenge the media every time we hear that refrain "no one wants an election". Demand to know how they know that.

Ask the media why they aren't digging a little deeper to help inform the public about how much it is costing us to not have elections, to have decisions master-minded behind the scenes by political operatives – perhaps who've had their palms greased, or who expect to be the recipient of a nice cushy job in the corporate sector as a lobbyist after their "tour" through the halls of government as unelected decision-makers.

Ask the media to do some work on the cost to us as a society, to our children's generation of having the public "talked out of" having elections.
 
Glad you got your computer running again Mary. A friend of mine recently sent me some photos of the line from Dawson Creek BC to Hythe Alberta, showing the state of disrepair that it has reached. Trees and weeds growing up and the un-attended trestles near Pouce Coupe. Never has a train travelled this route since the big deal went down and I mean down. I will attempt to forward them later. As a resident of the Northeast I know that every time I purchase fuel that it costs me more as it has to arrive by truck or what little comes by rail from refineries in Fort Saskatchewan or Edmonton must go to Prince George first, then all the way back north or about 500 additional Kilometres. I don't think that CN does this for free. I send out a big thank you to every liberal voter for allowing their leader to enable this to happen. You could have punted the guy, just like you just did(sort of) over the HST. Some of the premier material was presenting itself(themselves)last week up here, but to paid up audiences only. Very weak attendance to the meetings. I think they got the message, that even on "friendly" turf, nobody wants them around.
Thanks to you and the others that have kept this thing "on the air" so to speak. Keep fighting the good fight to get to a full inquiry and punishment of all involved.
 
There's no reason a B.C. Rail inquiry could not be confined to the most crucial issues of public importance, to produce a tightly focused review that would not burn taxpayers to a crisp.

As much as Smyth sounds like he's all for an inquiry, and even mocking the Liberals some over it, he's still doing what all other MSM columnists ahve done - talk about costs, and restricting the scope of the investigation. As always the MSM are trying to lead the debate into a carefully calculated cul-de-sac.

And a federal judge - selected by the federal Tories? No way. By the Council of the Confederation (the first-ministers' ad hoc, extra-constitutional body they've created for themslves)? No way. Maybe a judge appointed by another provincial attorney-general? Don't trust the impartiality of any such proceeding, or the person presiding.

The case involves American companies - not just railway bidders - but also the records-destruction contractor and CIBC World Markets and Charles River Associates - and one certain company dominated by American shareholders. American ties to principals in the government are also of issue, and in the wider context of lobbying activity be Liberal "consultants" acting on behalf of American companies, with implications that Bornmann's behaviour was not isolated or unique....well, geez, this seems to be to be a cross-border case, both criminal and civil.

And as I've said before, I have a lot more faith in an American court than I do in ours, to see this dealt with openly and thoroughly; and unrestricted by Canadian propriety or the penchant for muzzling and misdirection with is the specialty of the "pundits", be it Smyth or Palmer or Mason etc. A case that was brought into court and raked over the coals in the American media ours would no longer be able to ignore - they would probably complain that the Americans are interfering with our sovereignty . Which is pretty funny, given they've had no problems with Campbell and his -ites doing that, nor Harper and his -ites.

This was a rigged sale, with impact on US stock prices and company law. The SEC or the courts, or Congressional/Senate committees, even a grand jury, are needed to look into this. We know we can't trust our own country for honesty; it's not like the US can be all that trusted too, but at least they'll be impartial and not bound by Canadian traditions of keeping a tight lipped, the foreluck tugged, and the head low.

And yeah, the Liberals are ignoring the BC Rail scandal to their mortal peril; in their pride they think they can sweep it under the plush rug once again; but they've never successfully done that, as we can see. Ignoring the poison in your heart is a sure-fire recipe for self-destruction. The rout of the NDP in 2001, and of the Socreds in 1991, and of the Coalition in 1952, is about to be repeated. And there's not much they can do about it - unless Moira Stilwell turns into Joan of Arc and sees the cross of a public inquiry hanging in the sky, with Gordo draped on it in agony.

I still think we should bring back the stocks and pillory for political corruption crimes....
 
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BC Citizens have work to do, in this strange new world ...

and Canadian Canary has just provided an excellent comment which will help us understand how to do it.


Anonymous 5:12 provides another excellent boost. The link takes us to Merritt News which has re-posted Paul Willcocks' column "BC Rail Must Not Be Forgotten" ...

BC Mary added a footnote.

I hope that many people will pick up on Bill Tieleman's advice on joining the demand for a Public Inquiry. Not just joining, but sending the info. around to others.

We can do this. And more.

The BC Rail Political Corruption Trial isn't over until the people say it's over. The people, not the political campaigners who want us to forget.
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"He, Leonard Krog, stonewalled, did a fancy dance, then said he couldn't. Final proof, in my opinion, that partisan politics doesn't serve the public interest."

Mary, did you ever consider that the statement above (and I too remember petitioning Krog at the time to no avail) is more a reflection of the LACK of actual partisanship exemplified by the Carole James idea of an NDP that would rather go along to get along than represent the people and the supposed ideals of the party of social justice, equality, public health care and public education.

Partisanship for sure won't work if all you have is ONE PARTY with two light variations trying to cater to the same special interests like the current/recent BC NDP/BC LIEberals scatching each others' backs out of some kind of civility or the demopublican party in the USA. When the two only or main parties with an opportunity to govern seem more like two sides of the same coin, partisanship is a meaningless word.
 
Skookum1,

We can't stop there.

Yes, yes, yes ... all sorts of obstacles ... but yes, yes, yes we need not be floored by this.

How high would we have to go, to find a guarantee of judicial impartiality in a hearing? The Hague?

And if The Hague, let's get started.

I was thinking, at first, of the UN and finding that the UN has been vilified to the point of uselessness ... by whom? Yes, by your choice of justice, I'm afraid.

I certainly do agree that it must be led by a judge from outside BC ... but not necessarily outside Canada.

But first: British Columbians must make it clear that they want a Public Inquiry ...

meantime, it's none too soon to focus on who, what, where, how, when.
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Skookum1,

How about Ontario's legal minds? I certainly haven't noticed the Ontario media being particularly interested, much less biased, in BC's dilemma. So we could call that "neutral" with a Canadian viewpoint.

Here's something Robin Mathews wrote:


The BC Rail Scandal (Basi, Virk, And Basi) At Its Fifth Anniversary


The BC Rail Scandal (Basi, Virk, and Basi) At Its Fifth Anniversary. The Supreme Court of B.C. Clouds of Suspicion.

The fifth anniversary date of the Search Warrant “raids” on B.C. legislature offices draws near, and the charges that have resulted continue in pre-trial hearings that go on… and on… and on – to the point that many observers believe skullduggery is at work in the, apparently, endless delay.

At the same time, Ontario has produced an important Report on such overly long and complex criminal cases it calls “megatrials”. Written by a former top judge, Patrick LeSage, and a University of Toronto law professor, Michael Code, the Report, of course, is tailored to the precise state of Ontario’s courts. But it addresses problems that any close observer of the Basi, Virk, and Basi pre-trial hearings recognizes in an instant ...

... the writers of the Ontario Report are not at all happy with what they call the “complacent culture” that has taken over the court system. In their long and serious Report – by the way - they never refer to the public, its right to know, and the increasingly private, secret, and shuttered activities Supreme Court criminal cases have become. That situation awaits another report.
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The UN just might be the right place to start Mary...especially as Campbell has still not resolved their issues with labor in BC. He's still the only premier of this country to ever have 9 charges not resolved - so they would obviously know to look deeper, push harder, and naming names won't be an issue with them.
 
Koot,

It's partisan politics.

Krog might not represent the New Democratic Party but he's flying under their flag.

He couldn't get away with such dismal performance if he had the courage to sit as an Independent.

So it's "partisan politics" any way you dice it. Fake, fake, fake. We gotta get past it.
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If i might be permitted to offer this little glimpse of an insight i had. It goes like this:

In my view, Krog is a part player--a partisan, as Mary states--in that he played his "role".

But he did not act in opposition, as we might have expected in a representative democracy.

Rather, he was supporting the lead actor, gordo, as if he were assuming the character of a flat-foil character playing to the fully-rounded campbell.

And they were one-n-all, and all-for-one, giving performances in a staged drama; at the Globe Theatre, if you Will.

We all nwo the one. It's the one where the plot involves a wholesale robbery and a cover-up all 'round. Very tragic, indeed.

Now we can see why their true partisanship is not towards one another, but comes in opposition to us, in playing up their illusion to the audience, to the paying public, whom they endlessly seek to relieve of their monies and assets, so as to distribute the filthy lucre among themselves after the curatins are drawn and the doors are locked out front.

They alll know that everyone involved will get their just desserts when the time is right.

Let's just see where Krog ends up.
 
remember Carol James voted, along with the Liberals, to raise her own pay.

James did not make her vote conditional, ie you raise minimum wages at the same time, you replace all Compass employees with CUPE or BCGEU employees at the hospital, you quitg exporting raw logs, you get to the bottom of who was at fault respecting the sinking of the queen of the north. None of these.

Instead, she happily flip flopped on the MLA pay raise issue and voted YES to raise her own salary, but when the media caught alhold of that, she made up this story that the raise would be donated to charity.

Naturally the NDP scrapped their policy of donating a controversial pay raise to charity

Talk about a bunch of hypocrates!

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/05/22/bc-ndp-mla-accept-pay-raise.html
 
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