Saturday, December 17, 2011
Investigating the legitimacy of the Berardino appointment to the BC Rail case
Canadian Canary's comment on "B.C. Chief Justice. Playing to the Gallery":
Mr. Mathews, you say no one is asking to have the legitimacy of Bernardino's appointment investigated. Could we appeal to you to send a letter to the Auditor General re Bernardino, or have you done that already?
It seems that request should at least be on record with the Auditor General's office. I would do it myself as an ordinary citizen, but you are much more knowledgeable about the Special Proscecutor in the BVB/BC Rail case.
Alex Tsakumis might also be someone who could do that, having some specific knowledge about Bernardino. However, he seems to focus his towering anger on Christy Clark almost exclusively, particular his evidence. Also, Mr. Tsakumis is rather vague on Bernardino, admitting that he was in conflict of interest as Special Prosecutor, but that he likes Bernardino personally -- a compromising balancing act, I think.
So you're the only one who I can think of who could/should make the request to the Auditor General to investigate the appointment of Bernardino as special prosecutor.
Finally, special disgust must be reserved for the BC NDP, especially Leonard Krog and Mike Farnworth for their willingness to protect wrong-doing at the highest levels, and playing footsie with Mike de Jong in his whitewash of Bernardino's appointment. This isn't the first or last time the NDP rubber-stamped the Liberals' decisions or stayed quiet in the background.
This is the party that wants to form the next government of BC?!?
People who are putting their faith in the NDP to call a public inquiry will have a rude awakening. The BC NDP have had multiple major opportunities on different issues to prove they aren't as craven and self-serving as other parties but they drop the ball most of the time.
Sadly, I don't believe we can trust the NDP to do the right thing on behalf of the people of BC -- in the BVB/BC Rail matter or any other. They will also work in the interests of their friends and "base" supporters, not in the interests of the public.
I'm in a conundrum. Never voted for Campbell/Liberals -- saw through that deceptive destructive megalomaniac long before he started to get caught out. Had high hopes for the NDP, especially when Horgan emerged as a possible leader, but Dix and Sihota prevailed. Now we're seeing the sad return to the worst of the hard left, who will turn out to be untrustworthy dictators as much as the hard right (Harper) but in different areas.
BC Mary forwards Canadian Canary's comment to Robin Mathews:
From: Mary Mackie
Date: December 17, 2011
To: Robin Mathews
Subject: re BC Chief justice
Here's a thoughtful response to your column. If agreeable to you, I'd like to post your reply to him.
Robin Mathews replies:
Dear BC Mary. You know that I don't, as a rule, reply to comments on articles. But since you ask for a reply in this case, I reply.
In normal circumstances, the person to request investigation and resolution from is the Attorney General of the province: called 'the chief law officer of the Crown'. I, of course, made that request. The assistant deputy Attorney General wrote to me that the matter was sub judice and so he couldn't comment. Mr. W. G. Gillen's reply was in error. Over the period of the Basi, Virk, and Basi case the Gordon Campbell Attorney General's office repeatedly replied to questions about any aspect of the B.C. Rail Scandal (often in the legislature) by saying the matter was sub judice when it often was not. And so I wrote again to the Attorney General and asked for a reply directly from him, pointing out that the reply from the assistant deputy Attorney General was in error.
The Attorney General never answered my letter.
A matter is considered "sub judice" when an action in court is in process, is not decided. The appointment of Willliam Berardino in December of 2003 was never sub judice. He was conducting the prosecution but his status was never "in process" in any court. And - I believe - W. G. Gillen knew that as well as I did.
Consider: if an Attorney General and a Deputy Attorney General - both closely associated with the Special Prosecutor appointed - violate the legislation governing the appointment of Special Prosecutors, their successors are not going to open up the appointment to public scrutiny unless they are moved aside so it may be opened up. By directly or tacitly accepting the illegitimate appointment, all succeeding Attorneys General, I allege, become accessories, all are engaged in the wrongdoing.
You ask, I believe, too much of the Auditor General. That is not surprising since there is nowhere else to go. The RCMP has refused to investigate the BC Rail Scandal and the Gordon Campbell cabinet involvement in it. The Mainstream Press and Media has been shamefully irresponsible. You see the response of the Supreme Court of British Columbia to clear, irrefutable evidence of the improper presence of the Special Prosecutor in the courtroom.
The powers of the Auditor General do not extend to ordering what should be police investigation of possible wrongdoing. The job of his office is to oversee expenditure of public money to make sure it happens with integrity and responsibility. If, in the process, the findings of the Auditor General's office should reveal what appears to be criminal negligence, then the members of the legislature to whom the Auditor General's Reports are made, and the Mainstream Press and Media on behalf of the general public, should call upon the RCMP to investigate for wrongdoing.
For all the years of the Gordon Campell/Christy Clark Liberal government, I believe, the Auditor General's annual reports have carried a designation which indicates serious uncertainty about the government's book-keeping. (That is putting the matter with great delicacy!) The Opposition and the Mainstream Press and Media should, by now, have demanded investigation either by fully empowered Public Inquiry or by the RCMP.
Remember that the RCMP is in negotiation for a twenty year policing contract with a government that it should be investigating for widespread corruption. Remember that allegations were made - as the basis of the Defence strategy - that the accused in the BC Rail Scandal, Dave Basi, Bobby Virk, and Aneal Basi, were "targetted" and had the charges against them "tailored". If that is true, the only possible people who could "target" and "tailor" have to be the investigating police and the Prosecutor with whom they consulted. Remember that the trial of Basi, Virk, and Basi fell apart when Defence asked of Martyn Brown - long-time Gordon Campbell chief of staff - what he knew of the relation between investigating RCMP officer Kevin DeBruykere, his brother-in-law (then) BC Liberal Party Executive Director Kelly Reichert, and Gordon Campbell, (then) premier.
Before answers to that question and to many, many others of key importance could be given, the trial was shut down.
The Auditor General, I am sure, understands there may be many contradictions in the operation of the Appointments Process to Find Special (Crown) Prosecutors. The revelation that there may be as many as a hundred other cases where "special arrangements" may have been made that may parallel the "deal" made with the accused, Basi, Virk, and Basi, suggests that. I doubt that the Auditor General's powers extend to the matter of the APPOINTMENT of Special (Crown) Prosecutors, since that is not essentially a "money matter" - unless government friends over the years received outrageous payment for services. If "deals", made dubiously or not recorded properly in accounts, were made (as is alleged in the Basi/Virk case) to spend taxpayers' money to pay for costs of convicted wrongdoers connected to police, civil service, legislature members, and/or members of cabinet - then the Auditor General can reveal them in full detail.
It is then the responsibility of the Opposition, the RCMP, the Mainstream Press and Media, and the higher courts of the province to provide the remedies required. They have all massively failed the people of British Columbia. The Auditor General, alas, is not the Atlas who can shoulder all of their responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of his office.
BC Mary comment: speaking of responsibility, consider this:
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Campaign Research Con cats are out of the bag
Campaign Research client and House Speaker Andrew Scheer ruled it "reprehensible" while Campaign Research client and Con House Leader Peter Van Loan defended it as "vital free speech", but Campaign Research cofounder Nick Kouvalis put it best when he described his firm's now infamous phone calls to Lib MP Irwin Cotler's constituents :
“We’re in the business of getting Conservatives elected and ending Liberal careers. We’re good at it.”
Since 2003. For 39 Conservative candidates in the last federal election alone.
Kouvalis, who managed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's successful campaign, was also election day chair for Kitchener-Waterloo Con MP Peter Braid.
Other Campaign Research staff currently include the other co-founder Richard Ciano, now running for presidency of the Ontario Con Party, and Aaron Lee-Wudrick, campaign manager for Con MP Peter Braid.
In 2009, Ciano, Wudrick and Braid participated in a series of workshops hosted by the Ontario Progressive Conservative Campus Association and the Preston Manning's Manning Centre for Building Democracy, where Ciano was Executive Director of Practical Politics til Feb 2010 . At one such training session in February 2009, Wudrick and Ryan O'Connor, 9th VP of the Ontario Con Party, were taped instructing students to set up Con-friendly "shell organizations" and "front groups" :
"With the apparent support of representatives from both the Ontario Progressive Conservatives and the Conservative Party of Canada, the OPCCA is attempting to covertly influence the political climate of Ontario's university campuses.
Presenters and participants are caught on tape advocating for the creation of front groups for the Conservative Party to masquerade as non-partisan grassroots organizations, influencing the political discourse on campus, stacking student elections with Party members, and conspiring to defeat non-profit organizations because of political differences, all with the intention of hiding their affiliations to the Party in the process."
(37:10) Aaron Lee-Wudrick : I say we, because, even though [Ryan O'Connor] was the forced neutral [as Student President] and me as the Tory president, it was all orchestrated obviously behind closed doors, and it actually worked out well because it looked like different groups of stakeholders, like I'm the outsider coming in, and you guys were just the responsible student government and we had other members of council, a guy he appointed to council, he got speaking rights but he wasn't an elected member, but just as another voice at the table, it made it look like there were all kinds of different corners where in fact we were all on the same team.
(42:14) Aaron Lee-Wudrick : Campus Radicals for Action on Zimbabwe Yes, or something like that, they were a great shell group. Feel free to use Campus Coalition for Liberty, that's ours so we have a logo and everything.
(50:05) Ryan O'Connor : When Aaron was doing the petition campaign, which "I knew nothing about;" I was printing them in my frickin office in student government, of course I knew about it, of course we were behind it, I couldn't take a public position on that issue because although I wasn't running for reelection, this was three months before the end of my mandate ... if we had made them an issue, no Tory would ever get elected to student government again.
Ryan O'Connor : Sometimes you can't attach the party's name to something. You just can't. If it's a really controversial issue on campus or something that might show up in the newspaper, you want to be careful. You just have your shell organization and have the Campus Coalition for Liberty and two other Tory front groups which are front organizations, all of those groups might actually qualify for funding too.
Aaron Lee-Wudrick : Don't think that the Party doesn't like that, because they do. They're things that will help the Party, but it looks like it's an organically-grown organization and it just stimulated from the grassroots spontaneously. They love that stuff. And they don't have to bear the burden of having any of it attached to their name."
You know, like pretending to be spontaneous grassroots fake twitterer Karen Philby or making anonymous calls to talk radio. (h/t Montreal Simon)
Plus ça change, plus c'est la fucking Con même chose, eh?
Bonus : Out here in BC, Campaign Research was "the single largest beneficiary of the HST contracts, pulling down $167,000 of the $250,000 total budget for "conducting telephone town hall meetings" related to the implementation of the controversial tax change".
They were hired on by BC rightwinger Suzanne Anton in her unsuccessful Vancouver mayoralty bid, and also set up a fake website mocking Christy Clark for signing up a cat as part of her party membership drive in their campaign work for her rival George Abbott :
In the source code, the author of the website was identified as Bo Chen, who works for Toronto-based Campaign Research
The Campaign Research Con cats are definitely out of the bag.
And special thanks to you Mr. Mathews for shedding more light on this nefarious, Byzantine process that is being used to obscure the truth and, most likely, major criminal actions by politicians and bureaucrats.
ps I double-checked the definition of Byzantine, and it fits perfectly:
"Of, relating to, or characterized by intrigue; scheming or devious. and
Of, relating to, or characterized by a devious and usually surreptitious manner of operation"
The Byzantine system we have now was put in place by the BC Liberals, and it appears that the BC NDP are happily playing the same game. Shame on them.
Open and transparent government -- what a sad mockery that piece of election fluff has become.
As I write, Vancouver attorney, Cameron Ward, faces over a dozen government attorneys and lawyers representing cops each day at the Missing Women's Inquiry. And some firms sit 2 to 3 attornies in some type of observation role. So its War v as many as 20 kiss-butt attornies. Guv hacks allowed a single Vancouver cop apologist to take the stand for 2 weeks solid, without real cross-examination. And that cop had nothing to do with the Missing Women case; he wrote a whitewash report, exhonerating his own while blaming supposedly corrected procedural errors. That's a nice way for saying: WHEN COPS WANT TO SIT ON THEIR BUTTS, FEMALE COMPLAINANTS ARE TREATED LIKE PERSONA NON GRATA IN BC. That is sickening and the NDP leaves all scrutiny to their cop friendly Criminologist, Jenny Kwan (who worked with Vancouver police during the Picton Feast), and Mike Farnsworth, whose Coquitlam campaign office looks like a Crime Watch franchise. Change is impossible.