Wednesday, May 04, 2011
October 18, 2010 re-visited
BC Mary comment: In actual fact, it wasn't the federal election on May 2, 2011 that made me sick. I started to get sick en route to the polling station which is odd, because the symptoms matched up so well with the election results which came 9 hours later.
So with an ice-pack on my head, and wrapped in a warm blanket, I watched the country I love, taken apart and put back together in a whole new way. It's been a grey, dark grey time. I simply can't imagine that this is how Canadians wanted things to turn out.
I'm happy for Lizzy May turfing the repugnant Gary Lunn from Saanich and the Islands. I'm proud of Jack Layton who walked -- head up -- into a barrage of "Ewww, his health ... ?" and laughed, brandishing his cane to good effect. I'm glad that there are good people left in place in the federal Liberal Party. I'm delighted that Quebec could show us what it means to vote with their hearts. I think Quebec showed us, too, that they know what Harper is up to.
Because ... everybody I talk to says: "How did this happen? Everybody I know hates Harper and hates what he's doing!!"
Well, darned if I know how it happened. All I know is that the tragic loss of BC Rail was the first event to open my eyes to the evil forces operating among us. What the elected-on-lies government did to BC Rail 2003 was wrong, deceitful, treacherous and it was, I insist, the template to be used for many of the evils which followed. And now, apparently, will continue. All this talk about building more prisons isn't for bigtime Organized Criminals, you know.
It sickens me, knowing that there will be many other tragedies to follow ... it's the Third World War which will one day, I feel sure, be better known as "Corporations Against The Public."
Did anyone else feel the similarity between the shock of the May 2, 2011 Election ... and ... the shock of October 18, 2010 (the day the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial was brutally stopped)?
Here's something Vaughn Palmer wrote for Times Colonist on October 18, 2010 ...
By Vaughn Palmer
Times Colonist - October 18, 2010
VICTORIA--As Premier Gordon Campbell prepared to sign off on the sale-in-all-but-name of BC Rail, one of the three finalists in the bidding for the government-owned railway cried foul and quit the process.
Canadian Pacific Railway in a letter to the premier's office flatly accused the government of giving rival CN Rail "preferred access" to the BCR list of shippers and thereby the inside track.
"This is a clear breach of general process fairness and a violation of the intent of the specific process," wrote CP vice-president for legal affairs Marcella Szell. "This lack of fairness put CPR at a significant disadvantage as another competitor in the bid process had the ability to discuss contracts, rates and service with the key shippers on the route."
That was Nov. 17, 2003. A week later those concerns were revealed to be anything but hypothetical as the Campbell government gave the nod to CN Rail for what it characterized as the only offer in the $1 billion range.
CN boss Hunter Harrison put the terms differently in a conference call with financial analysts: "$750 to buy the business," a further $250 million for the BCR "accumulated operating losses."
Those would be translated into credits and used to reduce CN corporate income taxes. In the event Revenue Canada balked, B.C. agreed to make up the difference, an indemnity that is still carried on the books.
So from the outset the deal was tainted by suspicions that the Liberals had preferred CN all along because of a flashy $1 billion price tag that was not precisely as advertised.
The deal was further dogged by Campbell's incredible triple-cross on the fate of the railway.
During the 1996 provincial election, the then rookie leader of the B.C. Liberals had flatly vowed to "sell BC Rail and use the proceeds to pay down the provincial debt." When he lost, Campbell acknowledged that the privatization threat was a prime factor in the near shutout of Liberals in the northern and central Interior seats served by the railway.
"Our BC Rail policy was wrong for northerners," he admitted in a follow-up speech to a party convention. "We cannot forget these lessons as we move forward and we will not forget them."
The show of contrition translated into 180-degree reversal in the 2001 platform: "A B.C. Liberal government will not sell or privatize B.C. Rail." Then not long after taking office, Campbell set the wheels in motion to do just that, albeit via the fig leaf cover of a multi-phase 990-year lease.
Only one Liberal admitted the truth. "Did we break that promise?" asked MLA Blair Lekstrom on the eve of the 2005 election. "Yes we did, plain and simple."
Plain and simple Lekstrom has since exited the cabinet room over another Campbell-authored controversy, the dubious handling of the harmonized sales tax.
For all the controversy over the broken promise on the railway, the actual sale did not prove to be as much of a factor at the polls as the threat to do so had been in the mid-1990s. True, it probably contributed to the Liberals losing the two seats in the Cariboo in 2005. They've since regained one of those, and otherwise the region served by the CN-acquired service has continued to elect Liberals.
Still the deal festered in the political arena because of the court case arising out of the police raid at the legislature buildings a few weeks after the sale was announced.
The proceedings flared into the headlines from time to time, either because of sporadic release of material in court or sheer speculation mounted by the defence. When the court finally proceeded to actual testing of evidence this year, there were emerging indications of its long-suspected potential to further taint the sale.
For instance, this fall the court explored the hefty payments to members of the executive team and board of directors at what was, for all intents and purposes, a non-existent railway. Were they kept on salary as a precaution against CN changing its mind and asking for its money back? Or out concern for the tales they might tell if they were let go?
And given the parade of witnesses yet to come, such as former cabinet minister Gary Collins, the potential for greater embarrassments was always there.
Against that backdrop, came last week's recommendation to Attorney-General Mike de Jong to let the defendants in the case off the hook for their outstanding legal bills, estimated to be in the millions of dollars.
It was the final piece in a deal that saw the defendants agree to plead guilty and the case brought to a sudden finish in court Monday.
In weighing the recommendation, de Jong no doubt considered the merits of ending an unconscionably long court case and the view of the legal services branch that the defendants, wrung dry by years of proceedings, would be unlikely to pay up in any event.
But it might also have occurred to him that were he to approve the government's share of the deal, it could help banish the B.C. Rail controversy from the headlines once and for all.
Read more HERE:
BC people will not forgive, nor forget Campbell's lies and deceit. He did steal the BCR and he did sell it. Letters show, Campbell bossed the job, right from the start to the finish. Campbell is just like Harper, a control freak.
What has happened to our province and country, made me sick too.
I think I know what you mean: that the people with power are using their power in tragic ways,
and all too often they paint OTHERS as the offenders, saying we're apathetic ... or we belong to a union or we belong to the wrong church ... whatever: it's the Harper-Campbell-Christy coalition now.
So 8:19 ... let's never forget that YoU and thousands of others understand what British Columbia means, and we will never forget.
I hope you write again. Like, what will you do next?
"Why are the public given ordinary pencils to mark their ballots ? "
An old fashioned lead pencil mark is readily erased - where as an ink marker cannot be !
Is this to allow results to be determined ??? How much scrutiny is involved in keeping the ballots safe until they are counted ???
Given that Harper has been soooo prssing for control - has any corruption been carried out re voting ??? We know that we cannot trust the Conservative government !
Just a thought on wondering why the old fashioned, easily erased, lead pencils are still being used for ballot marking ???
The same doubts crossed my mind ... actually wondering if our dumb-ox simple system had been tampered with.
For me, the answer came early. From my position in the line-up waiting to vote, I watched an elderly couple who had brought NO identification with them except for their Voting Card which had their former, obsolete address on it. Groan ... it was Wait, wait, wait ... as they were questioned, vouched for, sworn in, and finally given their ballots -- one each -- which they took separately to the voting booth.
But the old lady got fuddled ... came out appealing for help.
They called her husband, who went to her rescue (accompanied by one of the voting staff).
Quick as a flash, another person arrived -- A SCRUTINEER -- who lived up to the name -- asking Who was that man? Why had he entered the voting booth with another person? Did one of the voting staff accompany him to see that the old lady had actually been the one who voted?
The Scrutineers just wanted to know, she said.
Which, of course, is how it should be. But it's not to say that some skank hasn't thought of a way to mess with other ballots in other ways.
Thanks for your comment, Thanks.
Hey, what's wrong with forgery? Apparently it is government policy in Canada, ask Bev Odious!
Spiteful Steve the Illegitemate, that's who he is to me. SEAL Team 6, you are needed in Calgary Southwest!
(painfull watching this She was so unprepared)
I'd like to give you an example of an FOI we've received since Premier Clark became Premier. On April 20 we received a response to our request to the criminal justice branch for all records regarding the B.C. Rail sale corruption trial and the Basi-Virk case. This case was no longer before the courts, so that excuse was no longer available to this government, but we were provided zero records all the same
On top of severing every single record, the Attorney General Ministry also made this very interesting statement. "The special prosecutor was initially considering preparing a report for public release. However, in light of the significant release of materials from the B.C. Rail corruption proceedings to accredited media, they concluded that such a report at this time became unnecessary since much of the information to include in such a report was already in the public domain."
So the public was going to get a full report from the prosecutor on the B.C. Rail sale corruption trial, but because some information was made available to some media outlets, this new Premier Clark-led government, so committed to open government, has now decided that the public will not get the full public report from the special prosecutor.
Can the minister explain how such a policy can be justified, given the Premier's statements that open government was one of her top priorities?
CSA - 20110504 PM 023/bjm/1605
Hon. S. Cadieux: We do administer the act, and we process close to 8,000 requests a year, 93 percent of which we process on time. But decisions about the records that fall within the scope of the request rest with the program ministry, so for this particular item you've raised, I would suggest that you raise it with the Ministry of Attorney General.
"It seems to me that there's plenty of information out there for the minister and the Premier to act on immediately. The action to refuse to review the payout of the Basi-Virk legal fees from the B.C. Rail scandal also seems to be an obstacle to any kind of sense of transparency and sense of trust that people might have in the words of the Premier regarding open government."
----While watching The Leg. I get excited when the NDP continually throw in comments relating to BC Rail.
I've had some kind of mystery-ailment which I think may be related to tap-water ... whatever it is, it leaves me with a headache, hard to concentrate ...
So I wish I had you working on this new conundrum -- so similar to the old conundrum with Bill Berardino,
this time it's about the legal status of Stephen Harper in view of his being found guilty of Contempt of Parliament. It means looking into how the media fails over and over ... and how Harper-like it is to simply ignore these awkward failures and continue to enjoy the perks of being King.
It makes a person dizzy with disbelief, that Canada can be going downhill so fast, so easily, so craftily planned.
Right now I'm trying to find the exact statement by the Speaker of the House which declares Harper guilty ... amazing how it must've been written in invisible ink.
In a highly-anticipated ruling, Milliken on Wednesday said that this government’s stonewalling was “unsettling.” Worse still was the refusal to provide an explanation for denying a perfectly legitimate request.
“There is no doubt that an order to produce documents is not being fully complied with and this is a serious matter that goes to the House’s undoubted role in holding the government to account,” he said, as opposition MPs pounded their desks in approval.
Milliken also ruled against embattled International Aid Minister Bev Oda, who is accused of lying to Parliament with a tortured explanation of a political decision to deny funding to a long-standing charitable organization, KAIROS, that often disagreed with Conservative policies
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
The Speaker's Ruling and Why Canadians cannot afford a Majority Harper Government
Today the Speaker of our Parliament tabled his ruling on the issue of whether the Harper government had thumbed its nose at Parliament by refusing to table documents requested by a Committee of the House, and by not providing reasons for such refusal for the Committee to consider.
This is the essence of the Speaker's ruling:
"However, there is no doubt that an order to produce documents is not being fully complied with, and this is a serious matter that goes to the heart of the House's undoubted role in holding the government to account... For these reasons, the Chair finds that there are sufficient grounds for a finding of a prima facie question of privilege in this matter."
Looking for the actual statement at Gov. page. for Mar 09 2011
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