Saturday, July 02, 2011
Palmer says: " ... having fought to gain access to the [BC Rail] material, the BC Auditor-General wouldn't hesitate to take on the government a second time if necessary." And he adds: "Now that Doyle has managed to scale the stonewall, one can only hope that his curiosity on behalf of the public will extend to every aspect of this dubious transaction."
BC Mary comment: This is a new Vaughn Palmer. He appears ready to consider that BC's media-assisted secrecy has been a gift to the Campbell Gang while it was desperately seeking to take over BC Rail. Vaughn Palmer seems almost like he's understanding how the failure to inform the public laid the groundwork for the virtual theft of a railway vital to the BC economy ...
Blessings upon Palmer for that, I would say, if only ... if only Stephen Harper hadn't just appointed Gordon Campbell to the cushiest job in the English-speaking world. Why would Harper do that? Were Harper (Reform) and Campbell (Social Credit) soul-mates all along? If so, we need to know more about that.
Being appointed to the position of Canada's High Commissioner to Britain is a prize, not a job. It's the most important political appointment in Canadian diplomacy. The address is 1 Grosvenor Square -- actually on Trafalgar Square -- almost as prestigious as the Queen's address in Buckingham Palace. This prize is political, not diplomatic. Political and -- I would say -- corporate. It's Old Boys Heaven. This is the public bonding of the current prime minister of Canada, with the most tainted premier in Canada.
And it's all going down as we speak ... didn't the Harper Gang just give away the priceless Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL for $15 million on a quid pro quo to provide $65m tax dollars for developing stuff which AECL has led the world in developing)? And didn't somebody say it was an outrageous deal "just like the AVRO ARROW? And did I just imagine that this was announced during the official visit of the undeniably delightful Royal Newlyweds ... who are legally and legitimately here in Canada bedazzling us in our news and thoughts?
Plenty for B.C.'s auditor-general to consider
Now that he has access to the BC Rail information he wanted, John Doyle still has a lot of work to do
By Vaughn Palmer,
Vancouver Sun - July 2, 2011
Auditor-General John Doyle launched his examination of the openended policy of covering legal bills for accused public servants after last fall's settlement in the BC Rail case.
Court proceedings ended abruptly in mid-October with guilty pleas on corruption charges from Dave Basi and Bob Virk, the two ex-government aides whose legal bills had been covered throughout.
The running tab totalled $6 million. As part of the settlement, the Liberal government waived any obligation for the two to repay any part of the bill, never mind that government policy supposedly required repayment in the event of a conviction.
Galvanized by reporting of the details and by public concerns about same, Doyle descended on the ministry of the attorneygeneral seeking information in his capacity as independent watchdog of the public purse.
The first formal request, filed Nov. 29, sought all relevant documents relating to the indemnification policy in general and to its application in the BC Rail case in particular.
"The information," as a subsequent court application paraphrased it, "would be used to consider the rationale for paying the fees and to better understand how monies were to be accounted for and how they will be presented in the government's financial statements." All in the name of gauging "the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the indemnity process" as a whole.
From the outset, the auditorgeneral made it clear that his office "would protect the confidentiality of all documents provided," as per the requirements of his own enabling legislation.
Initially, it appeared the government would cooperate. But after weeks of back-and-forth, the legal services branch of the attorney-general's ministry balked, arguing that all of the material was covered by a confidentiality agreement with Basi and Virk.
Not the first stonewall to be erected in this case. But one that was more than a passing convenience to the Liberals, given the lingering controversy over the policy and how it was applied.
Doyle, to his credit, was not prepared to let the government hide behind that excuse. After several additional attempts to negotiate access to the documents were also met with failure, he proceeded to court.
The hearing was held in B.C. Supreme Court earlier this week and on Thursday, Doyle obtained access on the very basis he'd sought, namely comprehensively and confidentially.
Worth noting too that by the time the matter ended up before the judge, the two exaides had written to say they were not opposed to Doyle gaining access to any information about the policy and its application in their case.
The government sent a lawyer into court anyway, but he did not take a position on most of the matters before the court. In which regard, taxpayers may wish to reflect on the irony that they were once again picking up the tab for all sides in a BC Rail-related proceeding.
As for how Doyle will proceed, it is not entirely clear. Normally he would have closed off his vetting of the public accounts for the last fiscal year by the end of June.
But presumably those will be delayed long enough for him to conduct at least a preliminary review of the line item regarding indemnities.
His legal counsel reiterated that the auditor-general would, of course, respect confidentiality, including anything touching on solicitor-client privilege. The only time the auditor-general goes public is when he is required to do so by his broad obligation to blow the whistle on doubtful bookkeeping and other financial shenanigans.
We may not hear more about what he found other than in a general sense.
But the public can take comfort that Doyle, having fought to gain access to the material, wouldn't hesitate to take on the government a second time if necessary.
His court action focused on the front end of the arrangement with Basi and Virk, namely the indemnity policy in general and how it was applied in their case. But there's also the matter of the decision to waive repayment.
The Financial Administration Act, the key law governing provincial finances, states that: "A debt or obligation to the government may not be forgiven without the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council" -that's the cabinet-"if the amount forgiven is $100,000 or more."
No such order was forthcoming to cancel the $6 million in outstanding legal bills for Basi and Virk. Instead it was done by the deputy minister of finance, on advice from the attorneygeneral's ministry that the outstanding legal bills were only a contingent liability, advanced by an indemnity, and thus not a debt or obligation.
Another convenient decision for the politicians. But as noted in this space when the arrangement was reported last October, one that ought to be assessed independently: "The auditor-general could review all the paperwork, interview the players, and render a verdict on whether the decision on the legal bills, however wellintended, struck the right balance in the public interest."
Now that Doyle has managed to scale the stonewall, one can only hope that his curiosity on behalf of the public will extend to every aspect of this dubious transaction.
and, just sayin' ...
Because, given the names he knows, but will not say, it would appear that Mr. Palmer is content to let Mr. Doyle start doing a job that he should have have been well on his way to completing a long time ago.
(my take, for anyone interested, is here)
If, as Palmer says, the two exaides had written to say they were not opposed to Doyle gaining access to any information about the policy and its application in their case, when why didnt the two aides simply waive privilege?
When they pled guilty, the debt became REAL, as per policy, had to be paid back by Basi and Virk.
As per the FAA, no one other than cabinet can forgive a debtor of more than 100K. What happened here was improper, unlawful and I the Attorney General will say as much, yet the sheeple will be so confused because of the bs they read in the papers, they wont care or notice.
I also think that he has taken the advice of Rafe Mair and is now ready to do the job 'we' pay him to do.
If we support him, 'they' can't afford to get rid of him.
was when somebody (I do believe it was Christy) said that he'd beeb sent to London to help the British put on a successful Olympics.
As for Campbell becoming Canadian High Commissioner at Canada House, that's just obscene; but then so is everything to do with him, huh? One interesting aspect to this is, as the details of the BC Rail case and other examples of his misconduct become exposed, the British press will be all over it.....
Will and Kate being used to give Harper some positive airtime is noxious, but is a reminder of how the monarchy is used to shore up the system of autocratic corruption that this not-quite-former-colony is run by.....
When the Auditor-General is stonewalled, the people don't stand a chance to be informed......the people aren't stonewalled, they are buried in concrete!
All Basi has to do is WAIVE privilege, so where is the THEY in that?
Why wont BASI (and VIRK) waive privilge?
That he wont, even though asked to (he was asked, wasnt he?), SCREAMS that Basi is the total "Pants on Fire" dude in the room here, not THEY.
You rightfully point out that Basi said he wanted all things out in the open.
Basi was playing us for fools when he said that he wanted things out in the open (as was he when he claimed innocence, cost us 6-18M and then plead guilty), becuase when given the chance, HE WONT WAIVE PRIVILEGE.
I say Basi is BUSTED, not THEY.
ROLE OF THE CROWN
In order for the Crown to accept charges and purue prosecution, two conditions must apply:
CHARGE APPROVAL GUIDELINES
1. whether there is a substantial likelihood of conviction and, if so,
2. whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.
Any professional accountant can tell you, "substantial" means 90%+ and would have to be set up as a LIABILITY!
Now the question, WHAT are lawyers doing recharaterizing accounting principles, when doing so offends their own GUIDLINES?
Basi/Virk/Basi sting us along on a wild goose chase, 7 yr, legal dream team unlimited budget odyssey costing 18,000,000 dollars, claiming their innocence, scowering the earth for that one document that will set them free.
You beleive him; I dont.
They dont find that one document. They dont have their day in court. They plead guilty instead.
You are heart broken; I am torn about the 18M diverted into lawyers pockets instead of: Education, Health, Social Services, Autism Programs, Womens Sheltes, Drug ReHab, the list goes on.
When transcrips are provided to the press, inlcuding the one where Basi is boasting like a peacock, after hooking up another with a prostitute, Basi says he was only joking.
DO you stil beleive this guy? I dont, never did.
Then Basi has the gall to say he is all for disclosure; he wants to preserve the court records for a Public Inquiry.
Then when given the chance to disclose the secrets respecting the deal that saw him plead guilty, do no jail time, AND not have to pay his legal bills, BASI AND VIRK REFUSE TO WAIVE PRIVILEGE.
I feel BURNED. You should too. Call your MLA and demand disclosure NOW!!
THey cannot get away with euthenising our money like this!!
Im just saying:
Basi/Virk/Basi sting us along on a wild goose chase, 7 yr, legal dream team unlimited budget odyssey costing 18,000,000 dollars, claiming their innocence, scowering the earth for that one document that will set them free.
You beleive him; I dont.
You believe anything you're told to, apparently. The host of documents that were not allowed to be presented because of the truncation of the trial, the mass of material held in boxes now re-appropriated by the Crown and in evidence known to have been destroyed by the Premier's Office. The damning evidence and questions that came out simply from the first two witnesses, the alarm spreading through cabinet, railway and bank CEOs, and the Premier's rumoured mistress, all terrified to take the stand, including the Preem himself.
This goose chase was not staged by Basi and Virk, who were only its victims, it was staged by a government unwilling to expose the whole scope of its dirty dealing on BC Rail. It doesn't really whether or not Basi and Virk were or were not guilty on the petty charge of a 120k bribe (in the form of seats to football games and other trivia) and it doesn't matter this relatively paltry 6 million dollar cabinet-engineered buyout. The evidence we need we already have - the letters from CP and BNSF that the BC Rail was DIRTY, DIRTY, DIRTY.
You're just another BC Liberal dissembler trying to make it sound like this whole thing is only about BAsi and Virk, and not wanting to see the billion-dollar railway deal (more like five billion, in terms of value, and who knows how much in terms of backroom grease to the Liberals who helped pull it off).
Yeah I want full disclosure, all f**king right, I sure do. Of the BC Rail contracts, of the evidence that the trial was shut down to prevent being exposed, of Justice Mackenzie's background and the details of who appointed her and elevated her and why, and of why Bruce Clark, Patrick Kinsella, and David McLean and all the others were not charged for equal or greater crimes than the petty malfeasance of Basi and Virk.....
You're just a poop-sweeper picking up after the parade, pretending that the poop is important and that those who dropped even more and continue to do so aren't.
Your tirade is the equivalent of demanding that the kid selling lid-bags of pot on the street corner is the only important criminal, while you pretend that those with the grow-op in the bank building behind it are innocent like sweet little lambs.
"Write your MLA" when they're BC Liberal cretins who took part in the dirty deal that gave away a public asset to one of their party's most prominent backer is a crock of shit, as are you.
I'm curious, are you a paid shill, or just a dupe or a patsy?
You would have us beleive that there is a document, an email, a letter, a contract that somehow excuses Basi from taking bribes? From laundering money through his cousin?
Basi could have had his day in Court. He chose to plead guilty instead, as he should have 7 yrs prior.
delays in the case were caused by Basi's expensive and legal dream team.
delays in justice, including the bribes he took from Duncan and Young, were just delays and there was never any doubt that Campbell or Collins had anything to do with those bribes, or would you have us beleive there were documents that would have indicated otherwise, if only basi was allowed to scower the earth another 7 yrs with his taxpayer funded dream team?
Squeeky clean, them brown eyes sure aint.
The issue is NOT Basi and Virk, it is that charges were laid only against them and no other charges were laid; charges of all kinds, including ones that should have been laid against the current Premier's brother (and her ex-husband) for illegally having cabinet documents, but the "Big Kahoona" is the very clear evidence and statements from other competitors in the bidding process that it was tainted. And this is the MAIN DEAL, not the red-herring side issue with OmniTRAX, but the giveaway to CN.....a couple of game tickets in Denver don't compare to the hidden contracts and secret meetings and unknown payola that saw us ROBBED of a very valuable public asset.
What sickens me about this country is there are idiots like you prepared to do the dirty work to allow your bosses to get away with what they do. You're a shill, a dissembler, nothing more than a piece of puff who's allowing himself to be used for probably not a very large paycheque to keep the heat off the big political cheeses. Ranting about Basi when the real criminals are Campbell and Clark and Kinsella is only so much more BC Liberal hocus-pocus.
The documents we weren't allowed to see and analyze - that's where the evidence is; it's not about exonerating Basi, it's about convicting Campbell. And you don't want to go anywhere near THAT, do you?
You're either a fool, or evil, and a f**king waste of time.
Yes, the original taps on the phones into the office of the effing Finance Ministry were because of Basi's coke dealing cousin. However the police uncovered an even bigger can of criminal worms involved in the criminal rigged disposal of the formerly public asset BC Rail.
Unfortunately for the citizens of BC, the bigger criminals, with the compliance of the culpable and useless media in our province have managed to divert attention to the relatively minor offenses committed by Basi and Virk and so far avoid being held accountable.
So AnonoKnowItAll, either you are a fool, if you are helping with the cover up on your own or just a PAB bot doing what you are paid to do.
Richard Nixon is rolling over in his grave with jealousy because this is EXACTLY like it would have been if only the Watergate plumbers had been held accountable for the sins of the Nixon administration. It wasn't easy there, but in the end it cost the Vice President, various US Attorney Generals and ultimately forced the resignation of the President. Meanwhile our chief crook gets a posh appointment to go live on the public dime in London - one of the few cities in the world even more expensive to live in than Vancouver.
BTW, BC Rail was just the start or the template - the same crap is going on with BC Hydro and the rest of what once belonged to the people of British Columbia and unless this gang of criminals is stopped the resources of our blessed province will be owned lock, stock and barrel by the friends of the criminal organization currently posing as the BC Liberal government, whether the capo wears pants or a pantsuit.
Start with Campbell's Hawaii pic's, add MacLean, Clark, Berardino, MacKenzie, Bass etc. etc., and have them posted on the bulletin boards of every post office and cop shop in Canada.(or on line in the blogoshere?)
Incidentally, the police pic's of the scapegoat bottom dwellers and cannon fodder, aka Basi, Virk, Virk and Bains should be readily available through FOI.
It's hard enough to keep 'track' of all the names, so a picture or two would be good.
We should some day do the same for the Ferry Fire Sale, The Illicit Power Pirates and the Hydro Heist, not to mention The Rigged Red Light Cameras or the Smart Meter Scam (hydro, gas?, water?)or the P3 Thefts BY Conversion.
Gawd, is there no end their criminality?
If Basi and Virk really wanted to help dislose the stink, as you would have us beleive, then they would WAIVE PRIVILEGE.
Yet they havent done that have they?
But lets pretend for a moment there were.
Why would the Crown provide put such documents into the defence's hands when you and I both know fine and well the use of such documents would not be relevant to a defence from accepting bribes?
Its not relevant and it makes sense that it didnt happen.
- Skookum, 6 July 2011 7:52 AM
Yet you aint sickened by Basi and Virk?
Why dont you ask BASI/VIRK/BASI to WAIVE PRIVILEGE so we all can see the rot that lies within?
You have no proof of anything.
We're sickened, those of us with half a brain, by the loss of a very valuable public asset in a wholly illegal and unmandated bidding process/sale that unloaded it in the hands of foreign owners. Who cares about some friggin' game tickets in Denver??
You're talking 6 million dollars. I'm talking 5 billion.
Why don't you ask for a full public inquiry and a disclosure of all documents, including the BC Rail contracts that we're still not allowed to see, "so that we can all see the rot that lies within".
You're somebody's dog. I feel sorry for you. When not feeling contempt, that is.
Campbell, Clark, Clark, Kinsella, et al, were never was charged with any crime. Only Basi Virk Basi were.
You would want the trial to change subject away from Basi Virk Basi, but 7 yrs later, and millions of documents later, nothing remained that would point the finger away from those charged, and they plead guilty.
6 million dollars is a crime, imo. Just ask any school board who had to close an elementary school to save $400,000 in janitorial and overhead.
By trying to maintain it was never about anything else than Basi and Virk you're just reiterating the reality that elected officials were exempted from investigation, even though they were directly involved with these guys; the corrupt behaviour of the Liberals vis a vis CN and vice versa we know about, charges were never laid, nor proper investigation made; evidence was destroyed, hidden, redacted, put under publication bans, all to keep Campbell, the Clarks, Kinsella and the rest from being charged. The BVB case was always a way to keep the smokescreen up so as to not investigate the MUCH BIGGER CRIMES of a fraudulent bidding process skewed in favour of the government's main political backers....
You disgust me.
charges were never laid against Campbell/Clarke/ or any other perons becuase the police didnt see any reason to recommend charges to the crown, except against BVB, as based on the evidence gathered.
The BVB case is not a smokescreen. The police who advanced the charges to the crown had no plitical agenda. If they had, no charges of any kind would have been recommended in the first place, and certainly no warrant granted to permit the police to kick down the doors of the parliament building would have been granted.
The stink begins with the selection of prosecutor, and the changes in the judges, and is capped off by the secret deal that saw the astronomical legal fees of BV paid for by you and I, fees that weremore than Inderjit SIgn Reyit's Air India bombing charges.
And yet you believe BV. WHY? When they have ever told the truth?
He has lied to us at least 4 times
1. Theylied to us when he accepted bribes as an employee, when they knew that was against the ethics and law
2. THey lied to us for 5 yrs when they plead innocent, when they knew he was guilty and eventually plead guilty
3. They lied when he said we was only joking when tap evidence was made public re a prostitute Basi had set up for an underling "WHo IS YOUR DADDY?"
4. Basi lied when he plead innocent to the bribes taken from the Developers, only to plead guilty years later after strining us along
5. Basi lied to us when he said he wanted to preserve the records for a Public Inquiry, yet refuses to waive innocence so we the people can see have some disclosure re his plea bargin that saw hin saved harmless from 6M in legal bills.
6. And what about the so-called innocence re the shawnigan Gro Op basi was charged for? Another lie?
How many more lies does he need to tell before you stop beleiving everything Basi says?
It is known that B&V were recruited by their political bosses to pretend that the bidding was still open to others than CN for no other reason than to shield Gordon Campbell from being exposed for gifting his 'friend' David MacLean.
You know this, I know this and anybody and everybody who is not hornswoggled by the the co-opted BC media knows this.
So just who is it that you think you are kidding?
Also, David MacLean is not a 'real' friend to the dupe Campbell, or anybody else, for that matter.
MacLean has a long history of using his 'friends' to increase the MacLean Family fortunes.
You are CKDA, right? And you are playing stupid which, I must say, gets on my nerves. Like, HOW can anybody be so stupid?
I believe the question for Dave Basi is: "Why not waive any right of privilege over the documents in question"?
I.m.o., Dave Basi is still playing the game of politics.
YOU, you poor sap, are the one buying into that.
And may I just add this: I have huge respect for Skookum1 and the skill with which he reads the history and then applies it in straightforward fashion. For you to suggest that Skookum1 is following some sleazy scheme dreamt up by Dave Basi ... well, I'd larf if it didn't make me want to weep for such stupidity.
C'mon, pal. Wake up. Admit it: British Columbia needs and deserves a FULL PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO THE SALE OF BC RAIL.
CKDA/Anony-idiot is engaging in non sequiturs and insults, tools in trade of propagandists and character assassins.
And oh, there are documents all right, thousands of them and it seems literally millions.....makes one wonder what kind of superman ACJ Dohm was to read them all and try and hide their contents with his black felt pen.
The key documents we really want to see are the BC Rail "sale" contracts, which remain "confidential" and "privileged". And we want to see the documents prevented from being addressed in the pre-trial hearings whose presentation was blocked by Patrick Kinsella's lawyer, on the basis that he was a so-called "third party", even though he was the main broker of the deal for both sides.
We'd also like to see Lara Dauphinee's resume, and something more about her than her runs for charity and details of what she wore at the latest society ball.
We'd also like to see ACJ Mackenzie's resume......
And, of course, Berardino's signature, if so, on the pay-out and backroom agreements that were used to shut down the trial...and who else's signatures were on them.
perhaps CKDA's, whatever his real name is.....
-Yah you are, and it screams loud and clear.
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