Wednesday, December 29, 2010

 

BC Rail. A Society in Breakdown. British Columbia's Hip-High Corruption. Part One.

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By Robin Mathews
December 29, 2010


Only one … only one of the centres of rot in the Breakdown of British Columbia society is a boiling and seething quagmire of corruption that Gordon Campbell and associates (in cabinet, in the BC Liberal Party, in the RCMP, and in private corporations) want covered over… fast.

That centre of rot is the octopus-armed BC Rail Scandal. Its flash-point is the Basi, Virk, and Basi trial, closed down, abruptly, shockingly, on October 18, 2010. Closed down, maybe … but refusing to go away, and spilling over the transom … and out … into the court of public opinion…. 

The reasons are simple.

The corrupt process by which BC Rail was transferred to the CNR (2002-2004) involved a gigantic theft of assets owned by the people of British Columbia.  The theft involved – at the highest levels - breach of trust, disinformation, deception, a process of planned destruction of BC Rail’s real value, pig-troughing greed by Campbell connections, and a fake “partnership” (dissembled and misrepresented) which was, in fact, a 900-plus year lease to CNR.

AND, the transfer included a bizarre tax retrieval clause that may cost the people of British Columbia more than the Gordon Campbell government claims it received for BC Rail.

The on-going trial in the court of public opinion reflects rage that the investigation required has not yet been conducted.  That investigation, undertaken, will very likely produce criminal charges against cabinet members, leading corporate actors … and officers of the RCMP.

We have learned those things from the material disclosed to the accused and their lawyers during years of pre-trial wrangling (and calculated delay). 

To forestall use of that material, apparently, the Crown has announced it will be asking the Court (on January 11, 2011) to require the return of all disclosure documents provided to the accused and their [Defence] lawyers. That unnatural request - and the unnatural haste - provide substantial evidence that nearly all the people named as involved (above) are terrified of the time-bomb ticking in the evidence presently in the hands of the accused  (now the convicted) and their lawyers.

The investigation which must take place, and hasn’t yet, is well begun in the disclosure material acquired and held by ‘the Defence’.  That is the reason I formally asked – some months ago – that (then) RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass undertake criminal investigations of Gordon Campbell and associates in the transfer of BC Rail to the CNR.

I assume that is, also, why Gary Bass refused to act.

(a) The recent publication of the Dave Basi memos of 2003 confirms  information that was being laid out by Defence lawyers in pre-trial – that the accused were the instruments of their superiors.  (b) The disclosure of 2004 search warrants, on the order of Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie – for the most part – does two things.

It goes some way to suggest the three accused were grubby self-seekers, reinforcing the Crown’s essential position.  But it reveals something else of real importance that is backed up by the Dave Basi memos. The disclosure reveals that the special protection of Erik Bornmann (‘star’ Crown witness) was very strange, that other white men connected to him were apparently deeply involved in highly questionable activity and were never charged – and that further investigation might well have unearthed a good deal more.  In that corner alone.

Erik Bornmann and the other principals of Pilot House lobby group – and Dave Basi and Bob Virk – were mostly, incidentally, active Provincial and/or Federal Liberals. All the white participants – like the ‘superiors’ of Basi and Virk, like all the important white men on the BC Rail Board and the Campbell-appointed BC Rail Evaluation Committee, and others, slipped through the BC Rail Scandal investigation net unscathed.  One can only assume that it is the colour of their skin that made it impossible for Dave Basi and Bob Virk to slip through.

The fact that the two main men accused, Dave Basi and Bob Virk, were never interviewed and questioned by police officers goes a very, very long way to support the Defence claim that they were ‘set up’ to take a fall and to distract attention from the more heinous, more damaging activities of their superiors.

If they had been given the chance for a full questioning – as Erik Bornmann was in a very long testimony – investigation of, and then charges against some of Basi’s and Virk’s superiors almost certainly would have had to result.  That fact is key.  That may explain the almost bizarre fact that the two brown men were never interviewed by police.

In the light of the coming January 11, 2011 appearance of the Crown before Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie to request the return of all disclosure documents by the Defence to Crown, we should look at (a) the convicted, (b) the Crown (c) the judiciary involved, (d) the RCMP, (e) the Mainstream Press and Media, (f) the Liberal Party, and (g) the NDP.

First the convicted.  Dave Basi and Bob Virk, Order in Council appointed cabinet aides to, respectively, minister of finance Gary Collins and minister of transportation Judith Reid (and responsible to Gordon Campbell and Martyn Brown, Campbell’s Chief of Staff, as well) were two of ‘the three brown men’ originally charged in December of 2004.  The other was Aneal Basi a media officer and cousin of Dave Basi.

The more the public receives information involving the men and the charges against them, the more the treatment of ‘the three brown men’appears to be, in simple terms, racist.

Pale people on all sides of them somehow escaped investigation, escaped charges, escaped … everything.  Statements made, apparently emanating from Crown sources, had Dave Basi admitting to having given Bruce Clark confidential (BC Rail) information of use to his client, Washington Marine.  Pale Bruce Clark is brother of (then) cabinet minister pale Christy Clark. Dave Basi affirms that he was instructed to provide the information to Bruce Clark by at least one (white) superior.

None of Basi’s superiors have ever appeared as under suspicion in Crown materials made public.  Bruce Clark has passed unscathed through the process.  His sister, Christy Clark, has not, apparently, faced questioning by the RCMP although she was a member of cabinet when he received confidential information – which was found in his residence.

When the first search warrants were being acted upon, it is reported that Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm wouldn’t permit a “raid” on Christy Clark’s residence.  Her residence had, apparently, to be telephoned in advance. (Most people about to have their property searched would be happy to be given advance notice of the search.)  The search warrants for December 28, 2003 are still about 80 percent blacked out – only the warrants for Basi and Virk are almost completely uncensored.

That strikes me, first, as improper judicial behaviour since, normally, search warrants become public property very shortly after they have been served.  It strikes me, secondly, as suggesting racist treatment of Basi and Virk.  The search warrants were issued for December 28, 2003.  The charges were not laid until late December 2004 – and yet Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm released the warrants, seriously censored and blacked out (except for the sections on Basi and Virk), in early September of 2004.  Investigation must have gone on, therefore, for another four months, and yet, Dohm seemed to know in September that only the two brown men would be charged, and only their information in the warrants was bared.

The search warrant file asserts that most of the censoring was the result of “Mandatory Criminal Code provisions”.  Whether that is in dispute or not, the history of the original search warrants needs careful examination – and they need, now, to be released as the search warrants of 2004 have been released, almost uncensored, by Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie.

The question of racism in British Columbia practiced by political parties, moreover, must be examined.  The use of Indo-Canadians as fodder for bulk membership use is outrageously racist.  To take a racial group, to buy party memberships for some illicitly, and then to deliver those people to nomination meetings to vote for people they may never have heard of is gross exploitation.  It is flagrantly dishonest. It is an insult to the democratic process.

Gordon Campbell is alleged (by Judy Tyabji) to have gained his leadership by such Indo-Canadian bulk membership use.  When Paul Martin was seeking a federal “dream team” of candidates from B.C., wide use of Indo-Canadian bulk memberships is alleged to have been used.

The response that the practice was used by “the Basi boys” provides no argument.  Racist practice may be engaged in by people of the exploited race…and that has been the case throughout history.  Indeed, Christy Clark is rumoured to have lost the nomination race against Sam Sullivan to become Vancouver NPA mayoral candidate (shortly after she left the cabinet) partly because the Indo-Canadian alleged to be delivering votes to Sam Sullivan was able to deliver more Indo-Canadian voters than Christy Clark could get.

The Liberal Party in B.C. appears, at its highest levels, to be willing to exploit a racial minority for political advantage, however legitimate or illegitimate the exploitation is.  If that is truly the case, then racist exploitation of Basi, Virk, and Basi would occur to many in the Party to be perfectly normal.  If that happened – and I believe it did – then all the actions against Basi, Virk, and Basi would be an affront to Canadian democracy, law, and justice.

 Next: “The Crown” - The Special (Crown) Prosecutor.  In British Columbia police officers cannot lay charges.  Charges can only be laid by Crown Prosecutors.  In the BC Rail Scandal trial of Basi, Virk, and Basi a Special Crown Prosecutor was appointed – and, of course, would be the person who somehow passed by all the other (white) people who many believe should have been charged. He passed by all the white others, it seems, and settled upon only ‘the three brown men’ to lay charges against.

What came clear during the pre-trial part of the process was that the Special Prosecutor, William Berardino, was appointed in violation of the legislation governing the process of appointment.  Essentially, the legislation requires that the appointee in such a matter be free of connection to elected officers, civil servants, police, etc.  – that the appointee even be free of the potential for the perception of bias in his/her role.

William Berardino was appointed by an Attorney General’s ministry in which the minister, Geoff Plant, had been a partner and colleague of Mr. Berardino for seven years, and the Deputy Attorney General, Allan Seckel, had been a partner and colleague of Mr. Berardino for eleven years…and only a few years before.

The appointment process in the case has not been investigated, and must be for very obvious reasons.  It is alleged, moreover, that for a short time Josiah Wood was Special Prosecutor appointed – and then he disappeared.  We know that at the time of the search warrant raids on the legislature David Harris of Berardino and Harris was advising RCMP about the public statement it would make about the “raids”.  We know that, after that, William Berardino acted as Special Prosecutor.

Were other Special Prosecutors appointed, and then left?  Did the Attorney General engage in “Special Prosecutor shopping” – seeking, that is, a Special Prosecutor who would do his bidding? (As (later) Attorney General Wally Oppal did in the Bountiful Bigamy affair?) Those questions need to be answered.

But whatever answers are supplied to those questions, the fact remains that the appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor was in violation of the legislation.  He was, in short, wrongfully appointed.  As wrongfully appointed, his actions in the case cannot be legitimate. 

That fact is serious because it means that his every action in the case against Basi, Virk, and Basi is and has been without credibility.  It means that he cannot, in fact, take the application before Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie on January 11, 2011 to have all the documents that have been disclosed to Defence returned to the Crown – for he is not, legitimately, “the Crown”.  And no one else may take the application either – for no one else has been named Special Prosecutor - “Crown” in the case. His team assistants have not been so named.

To add further serious complication to the matter, Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie has been fully informed of the wrongful appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor.  She has refused to act on the matter and is, as a result, accepting in her court a Special Prosecutor not properly authorized to be there.  There will be many who argue that she, as a result, loses her own legitimacy in the court.

Those things being true, the process entered into on January 11, 2011, will be ‘theatre’ merely.  The process cannot have legitimacy.

The role of the judiciary in the BC Rail Scandal pre-trial and trial of Basi, Virk, and Basi has been – obviously - complex and interesting.  I have just touched on a part of it here. PART TWO will begin with an examination of the judiciary’s role in the Breakdown of British Columbia Society, specifically in the BC Rail Scandal Basi, Virk, and Basi case.


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Skookum1 comment, cross-posted:


Anywhere organized crime flourishes there are links to the highest politicians: New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, Mexico, Colombia, Afghanistan ("heroin heroin heroin, that's the boy scout's marching song", as Tom Lehrer might quip about the allied occupation), China, Japan - you name it.

Money and politicians attract each other like flies to sh*t, and politicians don't care whose it is, unless they get caught red-handed.

As for whether BC Rail etc were "legal or illegal, hard to prove", that's kinda equivocation, suggestive of the "move along now" soundbites/textbites coming out of spinners in blogspace and out of politiicans' mouths. The bidding process we've already seen more than enough evidence - especially re CP and BNSF - to know was a tainted process, a sham. That's illegal, period. "Hard to prove" only because it's not been allowed in court by those who control our courts, or rig them.

Accenture's acquisition of part of BC Hydro was untendered, like all else it was a largely secret deal. And where governments keep secrets, there are crimes being hidden. It's axiomatic; that's why the secrets.

And is it constitutional for government agencies in Canada
to be owned and operated by foreign companies, from foreign soil? Is it really legal to outsource the government itself? Really?? Is that what the Free Trade deal meant?

Of course, our constitution is a toothless fat man only meant to shore up the existing system of patronage and pork barrel and centralized, autocratic corruption. The Republicans in the US must marvel at the king-like powers their Canadian counterparts (Harper, Campbell et al.) wild while in office.

And anywhere politicians hold near-absolute power, corruption is a given; it's what near-absolute and absolute power ARE. Corruption without check, with the mandate of power/authority, and therefore "legal or illegal, hard to prove".

So let's rephrase that - "legal or illegal.....easy to prove, hard to prosecute".

And "when is our government not our government?" When its services are being operated from foreign soil. When it serves not the interests of the people, or the nation, but only of its inner circle and those who funded their rise to power. And it doesn't matter which country, or which side of the street, that money comes from. Dirty money is still dirty money, just like foreign money is still foreign money. Money has no colour and no nationality, as the old line goes, it also has no morality, no sense of right or wrong. Except it knows that there's more money to be made by not being on the up-and-up than by being "straight". 
 
Just the same as in politics, as with the Indo-Liberal membership drives that helped Campbell take the leadership, then win in 2001. Where that money came from, where it went....."legal or illegal, who's to know". Cold hard cash often doesn't leave paper trails - and habitually tries not to.


It's not that something wasn't illegal or may not have been illegal, simply because it was those mandated with royal power who executed it. It's that they had the power to do that, and that the opposition (in the House or out here) was unable to stop them, and that the media are behaving like media in a totalitarian state, that's the issue.

If it all wasn't illegal, it should be made so. But those who use the "system" also are the ones in charge or writing its rules, and also in control of the public debate (well, until the internet and blogspace came along).

We need an independent judiciary, an independent police system, free from political control and barred from political involvement, and we need strict rules - and enforcement - on the buying of politicians by campaign donations from foreign donors using Canadian proxy companies.

But there's very little doubt there's drug money connected to BC politicians, knowingly or not. There's too much drug money flowing in the BC economy for there NOT to be. And organized crime ain't stupid, whether it's a homegrown gang or one of the big cartels or the Cosa Nostra or the triads: they know how to buy power, and are old pros at it. They run protection rackets themselves; doling out some largesse to politicians and bureaucrats is something like a protection racket; they're buying cover, as well as power......
Immoral, illegal, unconstitutional - we can prove all of that, even without a money trail. We just don't have media, courts, police or any independent recourse to investigate and bring it to heel. We don't have power, and money is power.....and money, as we all know, is the root of all evil.

I wonder if the Christian fundamentalist faction in the BC Liberal camp (said to be lining up behind Falcon) has that in their catechism? Or are they utterly Calvinist, that material success is a sign of your spiritual superiority and God's blessing? That corrupt money is OK, so long as it's doing God's business?

I've heard a few people quip that they have more faith in the Hells Angels than they do in politicians....and more than one person; in fact it's a constant theme, people operate under the assumption that the politicians are greased, not just by foreign companies, but by organized crime. And when not, they just behave like organized crime, in the Queen's name.
 
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Comments:
Might i suggest that we also pay some very special regard to Patty "Palm Springs" Dohm.

It's going to be hard to find him round town. Still, he was clearly the point-man in this case of cover-up.

He saw/read everything and now holds the master key to unlocking the whole truth about what has been done, and not done, in the name of Justice.
 
I beleive the reason the two brown men were never interviewed by police was because to do so would breach their charter rights since criminal charges were being contemplated if not already laid.
 
First let me state that I agree with so much of what you have written about deception,conflicts of interest,withheld information, basically corruption so mind boggling that I think it will take more than one but many astute and honest minds to unravel the full extent of it. In a lot of ways it is almost incomprehensible how far reaching and how deeply it ran through all involved even beyond the deed itself but through the very trial that was supposed to deal with the matter in a manner to bring truth but brought nothing more than further corruption. It has been a shameful exercise by all involved and very disheartening.
They continue to disrespect the people who are owed some truth by denying us that the need exists for an inquiry.
I fail however to make the link that would move me to make this a matter of race. I agree that there is very good reason to believe that these people were earmarked to take the fall and cover up the real issues facing government officials but can't find the connect to make me believe one's colour was a factor in it. In my mind there were many victims in this robbery of public assets namely the people of B.C. whether black or white, red or yellow. To slant this as a racist action seems to diminish the damage to all British Colombians by insinuating it was an act aimed at a certain race or colour of person wich I find certainly not the case.
By any stretch of the imagination Mr Basi and Virk received sentences of leniency and compensation far beyond someone who as you hint were being picked on because of race.It is shocking that the public was crapped on again by having to pay their legal fees and for the mockery that was that trial.
I have the utmost respect for your writings and need to bring these matters to the forefront but for one aspect, I agree wholeheartedly, but would hate to see truth get sidetracked and knocked of coarse by slanting it unecessarily.
Don F.
 
For What It's Worth,

You make a very good point, and it's a point we seem to overlook year after year.

But Paddy Dohm was on the Legislature Raids case right from the Search Warrant stage, and the early examination of the documents seized as a result of the Legislature raids.

Strange, that we haven't followed that more closely.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Very interesting thoughts, a perspective that I too have thought about..
I know this has probably been answered before, but I missed it. why or were the drug charges against A. Basi dropped?
 
I whole heartedly agree with Don's statement as it relates to the racial aspect of Robin's article.

I see no reason for race to enter this situation at all, it detracts from the facts presented. Whether red, yellow, brown, white or all the rainbow colours in between...the fact is there has been a major theft aided, and abetted, by those sworn to uphold the law as I see it.

I don't care what colour they are, I care that the law has been decimated and made a laughing stock...I care that future generations are quickly becoming destitute at the hands of those not fit to tie the shoes, or change the diapers of those not yet born.

I care, that they do not care enough to correct what everyone knows to be wrong - yet sit in their ivory towers each day finding great amusement in our sadness.

As for Mr. Dohm - he'd be the first to hit the witness stand if I were allowed to start the call. With full treatment as a hostile witness. How many ways are there to say "a disgrace to the bench, and the robe"? At least, that's how I see it...and I can easily be proved wrong by producing ALL search warrants in a fully un-redacted state for the enlightenment of all who give a damn.
 
Just curious - was ACJ Dohm a contributor to the Liberal Party? A member?
 
Prof. Mathews, I concur with Don F. that there is no factual basis (as yet) for your claim of racism. However, I am more concerned that, by focusing everything through the lens of racism, you diminish the real impact of the deceitful, fraudulent and criminal corruption of the Liberal government, the judiciary, and law enforcement in BC.

That this morally and legally corrupt government and their sidekick public authorities (law enforcement, judiciary, et al) might stoop to such tactics as using readily available groups such as racial or ethnic communities is merely a side-issue.

I don’t entirely dispute your hypothesis that there is racism at play here, but it may be less a matter of racism than simply naked, crass opportunism. The East-Indian diaspora here in BC is an easily exploitable, conveniently-packaged, and easily-managed group with which to achieve ends to means.

Gordon Campbell and his corporate bosses, and the BC judiciary (hello Wally) have simply exploited the compulsive tendency of the East-Indian diaspora to act as one against whomever they perceive to be their enemies. Campbell & Co. have cleverly used the "machine" that is the Indo-Canadian block, the machine which exists because the diaspora is so recent that it still bears the strong imprint of the festering ethnic wars of the Indian sub-continent. [Readers please understand I am generalizing, as I know full well that not every BC citizen of East-Indian origin is of that mind-set.]

So Professor Mathews, you may well be right that the fall guys were deliberately chosen for their race, but so what? In doing so, you detract from the central issue here, the utter corruption of this government, not just in financial terms, but in terms much more insidious, invasive and dangerous to every BC citizen.

Please focus on those things, and leave the racism speculation (for that's all it can be at this time), for another day. In the end, the corrupt government and judiciary is by far the greater of two evils because it harms us all, whether we are brown, white, red, yellow, black or beige.

As always, I am grateful for your determination, keen analysis and insight. I look forward to your next installment.
 
I seem to remember way back that there was more than one attempt at getting a warrant signed. I believe the problem was that the legislature was named in the warrant. When they finally got a judge (Dohm?) to sign one all that was used was the adress of the building. And there was a big to-do in the beginning to get the warrant quashed.
 
BC is corrupt, as corrupt as any dictatorship can be.

The RCMP, a once venerated police force, the envy of the world, has now devolved into gestapo-esque good squad, with a license to kill.

The courts, have turned into a local joke, where judges seem to be unfit, even to judge a beauty contest.

The Fifth Estate or the mainstream media, are nothing more than selling channel hucksters, who so pervert the news that any resemblance between the news and reported and the truth is nothing more than a coincidence!

BC is nothing more than a den of quislings, thieves, pimps, flim-flam artists and terrorists, where doing business legally is seen as a joke.

No wonder BC and particularly Vancouver is seen as on of the major drug Capitols of the world!
 
Looks like my pressure on Meisner is bearing fruit...

Cheers




http://www.opinion250.com/blog/view/18842/1/one+more+time+on+the+benefits+of+selling+bc+rail?
 
"Storm the Bastille!"
Backlash against the imposition of the HST is just the first roar.

Is there not a leader yet ready to call a stop to "business as usual" for even a day of protest in this province?
Perhaps certain academics like Robin Matthew and union leaders and ordinary citizens across the province can put their heads together.I believe the NDP has a leadership role to play here. This of course would be no G20 summit so no need to call out the enforcement folks. Just a public, united democratic, citizen's call for a public enquiry of this whole mess!!!
 
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Two things I'd like to say about racism in the Basi, Virk, Basi affair.

1) If block-voting is based upon ethnic choices ... and is organized by an ambitious young citizen of the same ethnic origin ...

not only organized but dealt with in ways which are self-promotional for that young citizen's career,

that's racism.

That's bald-faced racism in its rawest form ... the more cruel because they did it to themselves. Probably, right now, ethnic block-voting is happening again in the pathetic race for some unworthy Campbellite to become the new BC premier.


Therefore,

2) it would be wrong to turn our faces away from those citizens. How is it that we feel good about pretending we don't see votes being gathered this way? Or a certain group of citizens who aren't being coached in the ways of independent voting?


Finally, would you believe Bobby Singh Virk if you heard him say that "Racism is the elephant in the room." Because Virk did say that to Robin Mathews one day in the corridors of the BC Supreme Court.
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I would not beleive Bobby Virk, dont doubt he said that, but am surprised Mathews would beleive such nonsense.
 
That was very well put, Mary (above).

You pretty much settled that issue once and for all, at least around here.

Now where were we, again--?

Oh--and here's wishing you the Top o' the Season.
 
Bobby Virk is like many East Indians I know. The second they dont get their way, they claim racism. Jesuz, what rot! I thought Mathews was smarter than that but clearly he is not and I agree with much he has to say, but I cannot take him seriously when he plays into that BS racsim card that Virk and many many other East Indians play.

Is that why Basi and Virk had their legal fees paid for by the state, becuase they were brown? Is that why they walk free?

Hmm, same thing sort of happedn to OJ didnt it?
 
The elephant in the room is that the people of BC had to pay 6-18M for Basi Virks lawyers only to have them admit guilt and not spend one day inside a jail, thats the elephant!
 
Mary, your posting at 4:30 PM leaves the impression that the root of the whole BC Rail government corruption scandal is racism ("the elephant in the room"). I don't buy it.

There is no evidence, period. That Bobby Virk once said that to Robin Mathews is no proof of anything.

As I said previously, I don't discount the possibility that racism may very well be a factor in who the fall guys were, but really, do you see Walleye Offal being pitched to the wolves by the Campbellites? Nope. And, what about Basi's cuz, Aneal Basi? How come he got the get-out-of-jail-free card? As for Bobby & Dave, a $6 million dollar taxpayer gift to cover their legal fees (despite having admitted guilt) is a pretty strange and wonderful example of racism.

The logic doesn't hold. Racism is abhorrent, but that's not the issue here. Let's not get distracted or we'll lose precious momentum and focus.

Racism may be a big issue for Bobby Virk and Dave Basi, but it's a minor element in the government and judicial corruption that is killing BC.

To divert our attention away from the dirty deeds done by public officials in government and public bodies, and by the judiciary, to focus instead on possible, unproven motives is just what they'd like the public to do. Diversion is the magician's favourite trick. Let's not fall for it.
 
Very interesting (to me) is the fact that most commenters have chosen to turn away from items #1 and #2 of what I wrote,

apparently not wishing to discuss the issue in its immediate relationship to the whole community ...

and choose instead to squabble about details.

Many thanks to "For what it's worth" for those kindly thoughts. Very much appreciated.

Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned Bobby Virk but I did so, thinking others would be interested.

Which is kind of intriguing, too, isn't it?
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Racism is a good subject to get us squabbling over details and blur our focus on the main subject. Let's pretend we are all Canadian here. Canadian is not a color, race or religion. Canadian is not hyphenated. Canadians have suffered a theft and the guilty parties need to be identified and punished. Restitution must be made. Once that is done then we will have time for other problems.

Happy New Year to all real Canadians and those who wish to be.
 
Mary, I don't believe I "turned away" from your items #1 and #2. My post directly addressed your contention that racism is/was somehow a key factor in the BC Rail government corruption scandal, and further, that we should be doing something about it.

If I saw evidence of racism, in this matter, or in any other, I would call it, loud and clear. I simply haven't seen any evidence of it.

Your point #2 raises a further concern for me. It seems to imply that you are saying people like me who don't agree that racism is a key factor in the grand theft/larceny of BC Rail from the citizens of BC are therefore "turning our faces away from" the Indo-Canadian community in BC, the "bloc voters" referred to in my earlier posting.

I don't agree that I am turning my face away from people who are being drawn, perhaps unknowingly, into ill-informed bloc voting. I was merely trying to draw people's attention to another perspective on the "racism" theory i.e. that it isn't racism, but opportunism that is often directed to whatever ethnic bloc may exist in any given region. In the lower mainland, it's the Indo-Canadian bloc. Is it wrong for politicos to do that? Of course it is! But that's not the issue here. The issue is the theft of BC Rail, and the corrupt judiciary protecting the thieves.

And, for the record, in response to your question, "Would I believe Bobby Virk if he said "Racism is the elephant in the room."? No, I wouldn't, not merely on his word alone. I'm not doubting Robin Mathews that Virk said that to him, I'm simply doubting the veracity of Virk's statement.

I'd be surprised if anyone would believe Virk on his word alone. Given that the man admitted being involved in corruption, taking slush/hush money while in the employ of the government and it's political operatives, and that he lied for 5 or 6 years saying he was not guilty then abruptly changed his mind, why on earth should anyone believe him, merely because he once said something to one person?

There could be lots of reasons why Virk chose to say that to Robin Mathews. He may have wanted to throw him a curve ball. He may have wanted to throw him off the track and onto the "scent" of some red herring. He may have wanted some sympathy. He may even have wanted to get back at people he feels double-crossed him. Who knows?

There could be any number of reasons why Virk said that. But, all Virk did was utter some words. There's been no proof from him or anyone else that "racism" is a key factor in the BC Rail Grand Theft.
 
Well said Canadian Canary, I agree with you 100%. Thank you for this.
 
CC,

This is an example of citizens squabbling with one another ... and being distracted from the real issues.

Nowhere did I say -- or even suggest -- that "racism is/was somehow a key factor in the BC Rail government corruption scandal, and further, that we should be doing something about it."

I can't imagine what would you like to see as "proof" of racism in the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial.

But evidence does exist in plain view, of the known practice of self-inflicted racism, i.e., calling upon ethnic block voters who may or may not speak English, who may or may not understand the current electoral issues, but are controlled on an ethnic basis for the benefit of that ethnic controller -- and the political party he works for.

If a reader can't see THAT, he/she may be unable, for some reason, to question other possibilities. And that's what we're doing here: questioning.

I find it particularly strange that readers are so swift to jump onto Virk ... how dare Virk speak? Virk is a crook therefore must have been lying ... etc. ... but paid no attention to the actual points raised about the abusive and blatant use of self-inflicted racism in current electoral practice. Electoral practices which shape the government we all live under.

I find it amazing that anyone would skip over that, then seize upon Virk as such a big problem. Surely you're joking when you say that Robin Mathews based his analysis upon believing "Virk on his word alone".

On the other hand, do you have a clear idea of the serious effects the custom of using ethnic block voting has upon our lives ... and the governments of the day?

This blog is about BC Rail. In my view, we dare not reject any aspect of that search, in our long and painful quest for the facts of the matter.

I've looked at the question of ethnicity as it relates to the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial. If I come to some firm conclusion about it, I'll let you know. I'm quite capable of doing so. I thought you knew that.

For now, I'd like to move on.
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Whether it can be proven or not that racism was behind the selective investigation/charges is kinda beside the point for now. Doing so will not re-open the investigation or get charges laid against the higher-ups.

But the perception that these prosecutions were racist is out there, particularly in the Indo-Canadian community.

So it could just very well be that the Indo-Canadian vote which propelled Campbell to power, courtesy the Basi Boys' organizational and "other" methods, just won't be there for the Liberals this time around, either in the leadership race, or at the hustings. Dave Basi to some is no doubt seen as a martyr, somebody duped by his white masters. It's not that that needs proving. It only needs saying, and enough people believing it, for the Indo-Liberal vote to evaporate. If it doesn't, it's going to line up behind one candidate - but which one at this point? The Clark camp are seen as those who betrayed Basi, for one thing, after using his sordid genius to get themselves where they are.....

Ethnic bloc-voting and bloc-thinking has to be brought to some kind of end. Exploiting "new Canadians" politically, as we have seen done over and over, federally and provincially, is a dangerous thing; it's time for the ethno-blocs to realize that their interests should be as Canadians, not as ethnic agendas/groups. Of course, our politicians exploit all Canadians, not just new ones.....
 
The perception thay these prosecutions were racist, so what?

I fully expected they to play the racism woe is dark little me card.

Basi and Virk were guilty, and eventually admitted their guilt.

So much for being picked on becuause of their brown skin.
 
Mary, I apologize if you found my remarks cavalier or irksome or ...???. Perhaps I should have taken more care in explaining my points.

I don't think that you and I are that far apart in our views on racism, only as we perceive them to be a factor in the BC Rail case. Or maybe we just got our communications wires crossed in the electronic ether.

I just didn't want the excellent efforts of yourself and Prof. Mathews to get derailed (pardon the pun) by taking the focus off the criminal deeds of Campbell's regime and their helpmates in the BC judiciary.

In my view, all of us who live in BC, whether recent immigrants or descendants of long-ago immigrants or native peoples have all been harmed by these criminals, not just one or two ethnic groups. For generations to come.

So my dear Mary, I would like to wish a very good New Year to you and Robin Mathews and to all who grace this and other fine blogs with their presence and their thoughts. The Legislature Raids blog is my touchstone to all that is decent and good in this corner of the globe that we call home.

Here's to 2011, the year in which miracles will occur. Keep the faith everyone.

CC
 
To Canadian Canary,

Blessings upon you, dear friend. That lovely message helps me feel better.

I'll be thinking of you, as I work on an especially gratifying story about Ben Meisner and the great battle he has waged on behalf of BC Rail.

I just love it ... and I think you will readily see that Meisner is an old-style journalist who goes searching for the truth and publishes it too.

It will be posted and ready for people as the New Year 2011 slides into our lives. I think Meisner's story will bring us pride, and hope.

Your message did that for me, too, C.C.

Every good wishes for a Happier New Year.
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I'm no guru politician expert. When I saw Basi and Virk being interviewed, at the time of their parole violation. They seemed very resentful, of the situation they found themselves in. The look on their faces, was even resentful and angry. Did they not say, if they kept their mouths shut, they would be taken care of? I guess this wasn't their idea of being taken care of, their reputations in ruin. My gut feeling is, they had to be paid, a ship load of money to keep their mouths shut. BC is a morass of corruption, right from the top of the food chain, right down to the bottom. Campbell at the top of course. The judicial system, the judges, the RCMP. What is there in BC, that isn't corrupt? Every dammed one of them involved, should be heavily fined, and Campbell for sure belongs in prison, and his assets seized.
 
The Republicans in the US must marvel at the king-like powers their Canadian counterparts (Harper, Campbell et al.) wild while in office.

I meant "wield while in office", of course, but still an interesting typo......."[and can go] wild when in office".

apparently at parties, too.....
Somehow I suspect on day if the Savary Island story comes out in detail, it may even be as much fun as Vander Zalm and Liliian, Faye Leung, Tan Yu and the Howard Hughes Suite at the Bayshore was.

Come to think of it, where is Faye? How's "Faye Leung for Premier" sound?

And I'm still waiting to see which party Bill might try for a nomination in? Any takers? Refed? BC First? Tories? Independent? Maybe not this time around, but he's on his way back huh? Suggestion: Falcon's riding, where he can get the Christian vote just as well as Kevy can....and is still a popular man and also way more media savvy than Falcon.

Redemption is a powerful force in politics, it shows lesson learned and at least a chance at integrity....he'd be interesting to have back in the House, even more in a coalition cabinet.

Coalition cabinet? Let's just say it would be interesting if there were more independents elected than those from both traditional parties combined. A Tory-Refed-BC First-plus a few independents, with a "distributed cabinet".

No secrets. No more lies. No more cheating. No more wheeling and dealing behind the pubilc's back. Not just a truth commission, but an inquiry with powers to convict. Parties and candidates who will say that have a shot at election, despite the warchest of the Liberals and the relatively small-cash fund of the NDP.

cont...
 
....cont

Sure would make hell on the Lieutenant-Governor in a house with no clear majority and up to six parties and a few independents. The new parties ultimately all share a common cause; to break the deadlock and wanton wastresly and mutual viciousness of the traditional bipolarity of extreme left and extreme right. I think they'd all look at each other and say, "y'know what, let's not cut a deal with either of them, let's form a government"....and the L-G, though appointed by Gordo, would have to listen. Or else.

Gonna take some great candidates to pull that off, and good organization and p.r. smarts/talent, and also voters looking at their riding, deciding which third party candidate has the best shot, and voting for them. Anbody but the Liberals, anybody but the NDP.

And outdo the Liberals on social media, they're a powerhouse at that; ironic they'd take a strategy from the Obama campaign huh? Other than signing up ethnic voters and the occasional dead one they haven't made the same effort to enlist new voters; closest to that is de Jong's 16 year old voter idea ("fine, give them the vote, but give them the same minimum wage as other citizens, too", I say). Advice to the new parties; try and mobilize new voters, the people who won't vote at all, or don't vote because they don't like either the Liberals or the NDP (they are legion). Broadening the voter base wiil also give credibility in the political arena to any new party or independent who accomplishes it, even moreso if they get elected.

The Punch and Judy show CAN be closed down with enough people mobilized and voting for the "anbody but" party-alliance (in fact, in key ridings, it might be a good idea for the third parties to pick one of their own who's most likely to win and consolidate their vote so as to get rid of the traditional-party MLAs/candidates.

Tall order; an election probably by fall. But if there was ever a time for new parties to establish themselves, it's this time around....
 
ANONYMOUS 4:53

Basi]s reputation in ruin?

Basi was fully and willinging engaged in a host of illegal/immoral activities:

1 Basi had a grow op in Shawnigan (is the stay of proceedings lifted yet? When will they try him for this?)

2 Basi took inducements from developers and was found guilty of that crime,

3 Basi leaked confidential info about the BC Rail deal and took bribes for that info.

Basi and Virk had 7 yrs to sumbit evidence that they were told by their masters to set up grow ops, take bribes from developers, take bribes from BC Rail bidders, launder money, leak info, behave illegally and they failed to do that.


Basi should be behind bars. I would not be surprised if one day he is when he gets caught doing more of the same.
 
Once again, JPC, I alert readers to the fact that this blog is about BC Rail ...

and, in my opinion, it devalues the discussion to heap continuing opprobrium upon Dave Basi.

We, as responsible citizens, have work to do.

In my heart, I believe that we could find evidence that certain "others" have played a central role in the allegedly criminal negotiations which robbed BC of its publicly-owned railway.

I believe in my heart that we could lay criminal charges against those certain "others".

Would you be able to focus upon finding the lawyer(s) or even the law books which will guide us in that?

On Jan. 11, 2011 in BC Supreme Court, Vancouver, there will be another move to seize -- and possibly destroy -- the documents held by the Defence lawyers in Case #23288.

This must not be allowed to happen. Please think about what you (and the rest of us) can do to protect the documents which will be significant in the Public Inquiry? And in the future history of British Columbia.
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Mary I was responding to the poster that wrote Basi and Virk had their "reputations in ruin" as a result of being taken care of in respect of the the BC Rail trial.

I am still furious that they would get off paying their legal fees of 6M.
 
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