Wednesday, March 23, 2011

 

Beware: This isn't a Public Inquiry into the sale of BC Rail. This isn't even BC Rail policy

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From Vancouver Sun ... 


Liberals to have an outside expert review controversial BC Rail policy


Expect someone with an impeccable reputation to lead the investigation


By Vaughn Palmer

Vancouver Sun -- March 18, 2011


BC Mary comment: Do these liars never quit? This is a red herring. Don't be fooled. This may be an exercise in good housekeeping. It needs doing, but it's no big deal. It's most definitely not a "controversial BC Rail policy!" 

Beware: this bit of legislative tidying up  will be passed off as the Public Inquiry we want into the sale of BC Rail ... and it isn't.


It absolutely isn't. 

We can't let Ms Clark get away with this.

British Columbians still need a Public Inquiry into all aspects of the sale of BC Rail.

Read Vaughn Palmer's column HERE:

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Liberals+have+outside+expert+review+controversial+Rail+policy/4462659/story.html#ixzz1HTxPMEFY

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Michael Smyth on January 5, 2011 wrote ...

Toward a BC Rail Inquiry

... Why did B.C. taxpayers get burned to a crisp to halt a criminal trial that threatened to embarrass so many powerful people?

All crucial questions. But de Jong threw cold water on Abbott's idea of an independent outside review of the settlement when he said he had already ordered an internal review of the matter. "I'm surprised George didn't know that," de Jong told me.

Really, Mike? Maybe Abbott didn't know about your internal review because you didn't tell him. In fact, if de Jong ever announced this internal review of the Basi-Virk plea bargain, he sure did it in a low-key way, because I don't remember it, either.

De Jong now goes to great pains to say he wasn't involved in the plea bargain, saying he didn't want to interfere in a politically charged case that was overseen by an independent special prosecutor.

But make no mistake: The decision to pay Basi's and Virk's $6-million legal tab was not a decision of the special prosecutor, it was a decision of the government. And Mike de Jong was the minister responsible.

Meanwhile, I still no reason why an independent review of the B.C. Rail file could not be done in a cost-effective manner. Here's an idea: get Thomas Braidwood to do a tightly-focused independent review of the case, including the plea bargain. He is respected. He did a great job on the Robert Dziekanski case. And he did it without running up a Basi-sized bill for his services. Sign him up. And let's get some answers.

 Read more HERE.

http://communities.canada.com/theprovince/blogs/victoriassecrets/archive/2011/01/05/toward-a-b-c-rail-inquiry.aspx

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G West comment cross-posted ...

The problem is not with the policy of course. The problem is the way that policy has been bent and perverted to suit the ends of the guilty parties.

By guilty parties I refer collectively to Messrs Basi and Virk (who have certainly benefited) AND to the person or persons unknown who, purposely and with forethought, have 'bent' the rules with respect to how government funds are meant to be spent and accounted for.

Am I incorrect Mary, in my recollection that, some time ago, there was an article the media (G&M perhaps) which showed that the crown had registered an 'interest' or a mortgage against properties owned by Mr Basi (and perhaps by Mr Virk)?

If that is the case, the suggestion that the crown had no prospect of recovering any of the funds advanced for the guilty parties' defence is absurd.

When that charge was registered, the policy was being followed: The subsequent decision to stop applying the policy (and the details of how this was accomplished) are facts which can and should be determined by a conscious and responsible press.

That kind of indemnification could not have been accomplished without assessing the funds against a particular vote in the financial records and/or by means of an order in council.

That nobody in the paid press has done this kind of investigation is very telling.

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BC Mary comment: In reply to your question, G West, yes there was a report that the government had registered the appropriate interest against one or more of the houses owned by Dave Basi. Obviously done prudently, early in the trial, as a means of recouping some (if not all) of the government funds being paid to keep the Defence lawyers working.  Your conclusion is important: "The subsequent decision to stop applying the policy (and the details of how this was accomplished) are facts which can and should be determined by a conscious and responsible press."

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Here is The Globe and Mail report which G West remembers:

B.C. holds five-year-old mortgage on Basi’s home

ROBERT MATAS
The Globe and Mail - Oct. 21, 2010

VANCOUVER—

The B.C. government struck a deal with former political aide Dave Basi five years ago to advance him funds for legal fees, and if necessary recoup that money by forcing the sale of his $857,000 family home.

That deal, undisclosed until now, contradicts claims by B.C. Attorney-General Mike de Jong that the government – as part of a settlement in the long-running political corruption case – agreed to pay $6-million in legal fees because Mr. Basi and his fellow defendant, Bobby Virk, had no ability to pay. “The government won’t pursue what isn’t there,” Mr. de Jong said at the time of the settlement on Monday ,,,

Read the details HERE.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/bc-holds-five-year-old-mortgage-on-basis-home/article1766399/

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Comments:
You are correct Mary and Vaughn Palmer should be ashamed of himself for this ridiculous endorsement and the writing of such an article.
This fiasco will shine absolutely no light on the BC rail corruption but only policy that could possibly allowed for the payment of Basi/Virk legal fees. It's a sham and nothing more and exactly what I would expect from Christy and the liberals, let's make them think we are doing something but it can't deal with BC Rail of which I am guilty! We can't settle for that sorry Christy.
This is nothing short of an insult to any self respecting thinking person and they really should be ashamed, as should Vaughn Palmer!
Don
 
Vaughn Palmer's arrogance seems of late, to know no bounds.
Here we have a once respected journalist that has lowered his standards to those of an extremely biased employer that is acting as funnel for government (BC Liberal) propaganda - over and above that already manufactured by the PAB.

I do believe Palmers influence and reputation are diminishing to the point of him qualifying as a "has been". People no lomgger take him seriously - along with Keith Baldry and others of the same ilk.

What a pathetic group of "so called experts" British Columbia has produced. The older they get the less logic is produced - only to be replaced by party propaganda.

Than you
 
Palmer has turned into such a Liberal hack. I keep hoping he will pull his head out of you know where, only to be disappointed yet again! I can see the person with the "impeccable reputation" being none other than Gordon Campbell! Vaughn will drivel on about how qualified he is to lead the investigation... Only in B.C.!!!!!!!
 
The problem is not with the policy of course. The problem is the way that policy has been bent and perverted to suit the ends of the guilty parties.

By guilty parties I refer collectively to Messrs Basi and Virk (who have certainly benefited) AND to the person or persons unknown who, purposely and with forethought, have 'bent' the rules with respect to how government funds are meant to be spent and accounted for.

Am I incorrect Mary, in my recollection that, some time ago, there was an article the media (G&M perhaps) which showed that the crown had registered an 'interest' or a mortgage against properties owned by Mr Basi (and perhaps by Mr Virk)?

If that is the case, the suggestion that the crown had no prospect of recovering any of the funds advanced for the guilty parties' defence is absurd.

When that charge was registered, the policy was being followed: The subsequent decision to stop applying the policy (and the details of how this was accomplished) are facts which can and should be determined by a conscious and responsible press.

That kind of indemnification could not have been accomplished without assessing the funds against a particular vote in the financial records and/or by means of an order in council.

That nobody in the paid press has done this kind of investigation is very telling.
 
So now we have a new government trying to appease the asses with crumbs. The spin here (with Palmer and Penner)is so obvious it almost makes me ill.

The people want a full inquiry into the giveaway of our railway. Not just a whitewash review of a policy implemented years ago that said the government would pay legal expenses of employees found innocent of charges against them.
How much more simple can that be?
Guilty, Pay your own way. Innocent, the taxpayer pays for you. Talk about a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. reviewing a simple policy instead of the total screwing of the population.
 
We also know that Basi &/or his wife own other properties AND that, in February of 2011 that he/she/they completed the purchase of another property adjacent to a house the family already owned on Balfour Street in Victoria.

The suggestion that Mr Basi was indigent or near indigent is absurd...but, that's still NOT the real question the media should be asking.

The real question, once again, is how was the policy reversed: How was the debt (duly recorded and at least partly covered by a mortgage) which the crown was meant to recover from the defendants - as per the policy in force and effect - forgiven?

That money, or that 'financial' transaction had to be effected in some way and a record of that transaction (and any facilitating Order in Council signed by a member of the Executive Council) must exist.

People were involved and, for accounts of that size it cannot simply be a process of a couple of bureaucrats 'signing off' on $6 million; elected people were involved - people who owe a duty of due diligence to both the Legislature and the people of B.C.

Nobody in the press seems at all concerned about finding the paper trail and Ms Christine Clark seems only concerned about the policy and how it might be changed.

The policy is NOT the problem.

The problem is the lack of character displayed by the people charged with enforcing and following through on the policy.
 
"Impeccable reputation" - ?? What's that mean? Anything Palmer wants it to. ACJ Dohm, ACJ Mackenzie, SP Berardino, Campbell, Clark, Kinsella, Kenning, McLean - they all have "impeccable reputations" if the mainstream say it's so.

"Impeccable" means something like "without sinned", "not capable of sin".

Pride, avarice, deceit, malice...That's just for starters.

who was it? Sisyphus? No - whomever it was who wandered through Greece with a lamp looking for an honest man.

On the other hand, I'd love to see Socrates grill Dohm over his actions and his motives, and what justice is.
 
Maybe Vaughn Palmer is having a sly little joke on us, knowing it's probably impossible to find an honest man in official B.C. who will speak against current governments' greed and cheating.

It's so much like Harper this morning, completely evading the HUGE question of how he took a Canadian government into a crushing defeat because of his own dishonesty on a scale never seen before. No, he had nothing to tell the citizens about the cost of the things he was boasting about buying: 76 aircraft, more prisons, and something else. Nope, no way would he explain what these would cost -- but he, Big Stevie, was furious because Parliament wouldn't OK his agenda. Instead, he lied. He tells us that this election isn't about integrity ... it's about Ignatieff having a Hidden Agenda, blah blah blah ... Cripes, Hidden Agendas are so over. Is that the best he could do?

Worst of all, however, was the media -- almost hysterically eager to ask "the question" -- thus prolonging the false life of the Harper's invention: the Hidden Agenda. Damn near made me sick.

I bet they were all "accredited" journalists too.

Meantime, for those who can get a question to Harper, ask him: how much would it cost to build all those new prisons? Or to buy all those warplanes? And if he expects MPs to agree, and expects the taxpayers to foot the bill, what's wrong with telling the citizens these facts??
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you are only as strong as your weakest link.

IN respect of the liberals, the weakest link was BASI AND VIRK and the liberals ought to be ashamed of themselves for engaging such neophyte criminals into their home.

I demand Basi and Virk get hard jail time for what they did, and have to pay their legal fees themselves. I say the crown should APPEAL!!

BTW, who is continuing to pay the ongoing legal fees of BASI?
 
I used to wonder where they would find "customers" for Harper's shiny new prisons, with crime on the downtrend and all. Then some pundit explained that the perps committing all the "un-reported crime" would line up to turn themselves in, once their new digs were ready.
 
I just figured out how to fill one prison easy - and it doesn't have to be new or nice - with the "Harper Government (formerly Government of Canada) and the BC liaRs.

You gotta see the new (BC NDP) "cheeky" ad for Christy Crunch breakfast cereal.

It's high in HST

No health or medical benefits

"tastes mean"

Portion of each purchase goes toward BC Liberal Party Legal Fees

And best of all inside each box is a free Railroad Engine "giveaway."
 
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