Friday, March 30, 2012
Musical Chairs in
...Corrupt British Columbia.
by - Robin Mathews
The phrase “like rats leaving a sinking ship” can’t help coming to mind with the switch of MLA John van Dongen from his role as seventeen-year Liberal loyalist to a new, shiny incarnation in the Conservative Party of B.C.
Mr. Van Dongen crossed the B.C. House this week, (March 26, 2012) joining a Party he didn’t represent to get elected. He hasn’t signified that he’ll resign and run as a Conservative to validate his seat. And he was welcomed by John Cummins, B.C. Conservative leader, happy to have him – in fact unelected – sitting in the legislature as a Conservative (the only).
One journalist reminded Cummins that his position when in federal politics was that “House Crossers” should resign and re-run. Cummins, it seems, had forgotten….
British Columbia’s governing alliance – at least since the Second World War – has frequently been formed of all things Right of the CCF/NDP. (Keep the raging Socialists from getting their hands on political power!)
Except the B.C. NDP is, now, far from Socialist, let alone “raging”, as corporate lap-dog Adrian Dix makes clear on almost every public appearance. He will take power in 2013 … and British Columbians will hardly notice the change.
Embattled Boadicea, Liberal premier Christy Clark, said van Dongen’s move will only help the NDP. True. But not for any reasons she wants to offer. Mainstream Media voices say there will be no more defections. We’ll see. Even van Dongen’s leaving lets the NDP say that any rotten apple that falls from the Liberal tree is grabbed up and hugged to John Cummin’s bosom. The more they fall and are hugged into the Conservative Party, the more the NDP can say “Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Try to tell them apart.”
If there is one thing British Columbians are growing certain of, it’s that the Liberal Caucus, one and all, have to go. Cummins and Co. know that. But if the leaving Conservatives-playing-Liberal try to tuck themselves into the John Cummins creation, that Party will lose, too. Tough choices for John Cummins. Where do the hard rock Conservatives who are in the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark party go…? Today Kevin Falcon [present Liberal finance minister and a natural for the Conservative Party] says he is thinking of stepping aside in 2013, the dailies tell us.
The Party that wants to hold power for 25 years will begin with criminal investigations into BC Rail, BC Hydro, BC Ferries, Public Private Partnership Infrastructure deals, River Energy contracts … to start. That will reveal the heaving, corrupt, steamy stew that is B.C. A Party that sets about – really – to clean will stay and stay in power.
But sell-out, greed, fear, and love of power will probably prevent that from happening.
Which brings us back to John van Dongen. He has crossed the House in search of purity. A known Fraser Valley Christian, he knows his New Testament (Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9).
“Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
The Liberal leader, Christy Clark, he has said – in and out of the legislature – has not faced the need for change, has not been a good administrator, has not been honest about the BC Rail Scandal, has not been transparent about the outrageous payment of “$6 million in legal fees [paid to Defence], completely contrary to government policy”. Those are legal costs paid for convicted Dave Basi and Bob Virk by government, with cabinet approval, to slam shut the BC Rail trial and – many believe – save the skins of (a) major cabinet operatives, (b) private corporate dealers in on the scam (c) the BC Liberal government and Party.
Van Dongen does not, of course, mention the $10.7 million paid to the Special (Crown) Prosecutor whose illegitimate appointment invalidates ALL the Crown’s work in the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter. No one, so far, will touch that burning brand.
So deeply is John van Dongen moved by the spirit of purity, so beset is his conscience by moral perturbation that he has hired North Vancouver lawyer Roger McConchie to review BC Rail matters involving Basi, Virk, and Basi and then to advise him.
That might be called “Gilbert and Sullivan in Hell”.
Regulars in the nearly four year Basi, Virk, and Basi pre-trial/trial grew familiar with Roger McConchie. He appeared whenever the Globe and Mail (and like others) wanted to contest publication bans and other kinds of restrictions on information. He spoke always for what we name “the Mainstream Press and Media”. I have no remembrance of him speaking meaningfully and directly on behalf of British Columbians, the public, you and me … insisting on our right to see all documents on public record. I may be wrong.
At the end of the trial, as has been pointed out, Mr. McConchie reviewed ‘thousands’ of Prosecution documents with the Globe and Mail in order to get release of the material “to the public”. Why the release was set up … and made … is hotly contested. It was not a release of all materials, by any means. And it was not a release to the public.
Some say, and I believe them, that the release “to the public” was a complete sham, a piece of theatre, “smoke and mirrors”. It was, in fact, a release of selected material to a chosen few, dependable, insider, tamed Mainstream journalists.
It was made, I believe, to smear the two convicted men (who seemed to be getting off very, very lightly), Dave Basi and Bob Virk. And it was made, I believe, to throw up a smokescreen in front of the major wrongdoers in cabinet and in corporate boardrooms.
Those are strong allegations. They have a history. Observe:
Out of the corrupt fog called “the administration of justice” in British Columbia, the B.C. Supreme Court has set up (and maintains) a completely (in my judgement) fraudulent process. It is called “the journalist accreditation process”.
Under the eye of a Supreme Court judge a committee of Mainstream journalists ”serves” the Court, to vet anyone wanting journalist status in B.C. Supreme court trials. “Approved journalists” may take recorders into the court and may examine all materials placed “on public record”.
(1) All Canadians should be able to do both things in our “democratic”, “Open Court” system. They are denied their citizenship by corrupt courts, as I see it.
(2) The Mainstream Media committee members are servants of the Court and so contaminated. They both work for the Court and are – as representatives of “a free press and media” - supposed to criticize the Court and judges freely when they deem such action necessary. They live in conflict of interest.
In the nearly four years I attended the Basi, Virk, and Basi process, not one Mainstream Press and Media journalist EVER criticized a judge, though occasions inviting legitimate criticism were frequent.
(3) The fraudulent process permits the Mainstream Journalist committee to pick off their rivals. For nearly three years I reported things the Mainstream Press and Media journalists wouldn’t touch or were ordered by their bosses not to touch. When I applied (because I was forced to do so) for “accreditation” as a journalist after three years of steady reporting of the pre-trial, I was denied accreditation by journalists I had been showing up for three years as failing to do their job.
(4) My application to Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie (who was handling the case) was ignored. Instead, a court officer informed me I could – in fact – appeal a judgement made by court non-persons (journalists) acting on behalf of the court. I could apply, pay money, go through what is, in fact, an appeal process – without any certainty of being approved. I refused to have anything to do with such galloping Banana Republic fraud.
(5) The effect of the process is that the relation of court, judges, and Mainstream Press and Media is too close. One may feel – watching sensitive events in court – that each is “looking after” the other.
To my knowledge, Roger McConchie, the Law Society of B.C., the Canadian Bar Association, as well as the Canadian Judicial Council all are completely content with that “system”. It is plainly an affront to democratic freedom and the rule of law. Not one of them has spoken out publicly against it.
John van Dongen is employing Roger McConchie to advise him on matters involving the Basi, Virk, and Basi case, the payment by government of their Defence costs, and – who knows? – the possibility of involvement by premier Christy Clark in the shady and nefarious dealings that led to the accusations against the three accused. Defence counsel hinted at such a possibility in pre-trial hearings years ago.
Such is the passion for virtuous government felt by former cabinet minister and present MLA John van Dongen that he has hired Roger McConchie at his own expense!
Let us look back at John van Dongen’s seventeen years of loyalty to the B.C. Liberal Party.
He was there when co-chair and fund-raiser David McLean worked on Gordon Campbell’s 1996 campaign – and was major fund-raiser later, it is said. That is the David McLean who was president of CNR when BC Rail was “delivered” to CN in 2003-04. Mr. van Dongen didn’t seem, then, to have a moral qualm.
Mr. van Dongen was in cabinet while BC Hydro was being ripped apart. The Auditor General of B.C. hasn’t approved B.C. Hydro accounting practices for ten years! Mr. van Dongen – to my knowledge – never has asked a question on the matter.
He was there when a relation of Gordon Campbell was embroiled in a scandal in the ministry of Children and Families, was removed, was covered for, was whisked to trial in Prince George on a completely different charge – while something like $400,000.00 was “written off” by the ministry. Mr. van Dongen said nothing … asked (as far as I know) no questions of anyone.
He was there when BC Ferries was looted as a cash cow, transformed, and stripped of any responsibility to British Columbians. He was there when David Hahn, U.S.-sourced BC Ferries president, was revealed to have an annual salary of one million dollars a year! Not a word from Mr. van Dongen that I remember.
Mr. van Dongen was there in cabinet when – it is alleged – Gordon Campbell and his team went consciously to work to dessicate BC Rail, to destroy its profitability, and to make it look, falsely, a losing operation. He was in cabinet when those actions – which I believe constitute criminal breach of trust – were being carried out.
Mr. van Dongen didn’t – it seems – suffer even a slight moral twinge.
He was in cabinet in the first years of staggering revelations and allegations of high-level corruption made by Defence counsel in the Basi, Virk, and Basi BC Rail Scandal pre-trial hearings. He was an MLA for the full trial and its outrageous conclusion, a conclusion blessed by the illegitimately appointed Special Prosecutor and the sitting judge, Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie.
Through all those years and those highly dubious events … and more … John van Dongen remained silent. Silent.
Now he is no longer silent. Now he wants to find answers. Now? Why? The $6 million paid to Defence counsel of Dave Basi and Bob Virk was approved of by the Gordon Campbell cabinet. Does Mr. van Dongen want to pull Gordon Campbell down, now, from his eminence as Canadian High Commissioner in London? After nearly two decades of van Dongen faithful, silent loyalty?
Does Mr. van Dongen want to find ways to implicate Christy Clark in the lower levels of alleged BC Rail Scandal bribery, BC Rail information leaking, and related actions? If he could do so, that would wipe the B.C. Liberals in 2013 … for certain.
We are in murky depths here. Much more is happening than meets the eye.
Conservative voices in British Columbia are making themselves heard, are revealing that beneath their Liberal hides Conservative hearts are beating, and that they despise Liberal premier Christy Clark … that they want to get her.
Like gays ‘in the closet’ for twenty years, these Conservatives want to go on a huge Conservative PRIDE parade. They are mad, too. Christy is in the embrace of Stephen Harper – their ideal Conservative. They want to be in his embrace. They want to be able to reveal their real selves, their real neo-liberal, (neo-fascist?), public servant-hating, robocalling selves, standing in Stephen Harper’s shadow. Christy has taken Stephen’s aides and agents into her circle. Christy, the dumb Liberal, (they think) is playing Conservative, is schmoozing (in photo ops) with Stephen Harper. Liberal Gordon Campbell shouldn’t be Canadian High Commissioner to the Court of St. James! A Conservative should be in that post!
How can B.C. Conservatives break the unholy alliance between the Christy Clark Liberals and the Stephen Harper Conservatives? How can they get a British Columbia which is more Conservative than the ruling party in the House of Commons? By making Christy Clark too hot for Stephen Harper to handle. Even, perhaps, by making Gordon Campbell too hot to keep in London.
These are dark and murky depths, but they are the place where real struggles for power go on. John van Dongen has just announced that the Liberal/Conservative struggle for power on the Right has begun in British Columbia. All the media and pundit talk about John van Dongen’s virtuous desire for a cleansed political landscape is wonderful, refreshing, heady, Springtime intoxication. He may really want a cleansed political landscape … after all power on it is possessed by Stephen Harper-style British Columbia Conservatives.
We – who are not B.C. Conservatives – can only watch (and cover our backs). The Chinese curse is upon us: we live in interesting times.
If there aren't regular BC Rail updates here you'll lose your the audience, and the valuable archive that Mary left us will be relegated to the dusty shelves.
The postings don't all have to be lengthy tomes, in fact, better that most of them aren't. Is anyone able to carry on the research that Mary used to do on this subject? i.e. not turn it into a general blog on any subject
Hoping the site will carry on, through whomever, if possible. Even if nothing more than a permanently available archive blog. She brought the best investigative stuff to the surface, way more than Alex Tsakumis (she just didn't have the insider's contacts that he does).
Harper and his Conservatives, the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals and the BC Conservatives, all have interchangeable parts. One size fits all. Van Dongen is just spreading Harper's Fascist poison. I'm sure Harper wants to be rid of Christy. However, Harper won't permit, Campbell to be exposed for his theft and corrupt sale of the BCR. Campbell is Harper's henchman, and so is Boessenkool. All of them work for Harper and his fascist dictatorship.
There are records posted, that prove the election fraud and the robo-calls were from Harper and his Conservatives. There are also records that show, the Conservatives paid the bills.
I imagine Elections Canada will take far too long, to settle this dispute. There is no way we can permit Harper to, completely sell Canada out to China. BC is pretty much gone to the Chinese now.
Harper is also permitting China, to buy up the tar sands. China is bringing their own people, to work their vast tar sands projects, and the BC mines.
As Fadden of CSIS warned, China is making huge inroads into Canada. He was exactly right.
I am resubmitting your comment here, as this post wound up duplicate posted - I would also like to point out that this post was submitted by Robin Mathews, I merely did the posting for him. Mind you I'm not distancing myself from his assertions by any stretch of the imagination.
You are so right Koot.
We were also warned. If Harper ever wins a majority, we can kiss Canada good-bye. How right they were.
Harper as all fascist dictators do, always have the criminal element, to do his dirty work for him. He has the many times convicted criminal Bruce Carson working for him. Harper had, the criminal Gordon Campbell working for him. Harper has henchman Boessenkool working for him, within the BC Liberal camp.
I am totally with you on Van Dongen's defection to the Conservatives, they are all one and the same.
However, Harper is double tracking the Enbridge pipeline. Harper knows Christy will never be re-elected, so Harper has to push this through, before Christy gets booted out. There is going to be extreme disobedience over the Enbridge pipeline. over 80% of the BC citizens, are supporting the F.N. to keep those atrocities out of our province.
4 April, 2012 3:48 PM