Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Little Moral Moments
in the Corrupt Swamp of B.C. Politics?
......... Don’t Believe It.
The June 26 photo is of B.C. premier Christy Clark looking, as usual, surprised and obstructionist. The Vancouver Metro newspaper story by Daniel Palmer is about Clark and the B.C. Rail Scandal: “Questions remain for premier in BC Rail scandal”. Clark has much to be obstructionist about. Obstructionism marks all the members of her cabinet. Shirley Bond smiles and smiles and obstructs Auditor General John Doyle who is seeking reasonable information about the $6 million court costs paid for men who admitted being guilty of crimes.
Rich Coleman, the always spinning and spinning Energy and Mines minister, never looks anything else than obstructionist. The Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark cabinet members have, sadly, almost every reason to look obstructionist - and to be obstructionist.
To survive, they have to obstruct almost every question asked about the BC Rail Scandal, the Magnificent Fraud of the BC Ferries, the Barbarous Demolition of BC Hydro, the desecration and sell-out of B.C. river energy, and the devilishly arcane and improper contracting of major infrastructure ventures in B.C. – to name only a few major matters.
No wonder Christy Clark wants to limit the conversation to families!
The half-told Vancouver Metro newspaper story stirs all the usual insanities, improbabilities, contradictions, and denials that hang on anything of importance to do with the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark Liberals.
In brief, a Conservative blogger has revealed (allegedly) a key document written by Dave Basi in 2003. Basi is one of the two men who accepted guilt (2010) in the BC Rail Scandal case held in B.C. Supreme Court. Their admission of guilt cut off cross-examination of some of the most powerful people in B.C. who might have told the court and the public enough to force a re-direction of charges more widely … and upwards.
Dave Basi is believed by some to have been paid off by the $6 million the Campbell/Christy Clark governments spent to absorb his court costs and those of Bobby Virk.
The third accused, Aneal Basi, faced charges of money laundering for something like six years – charges trumpetted over and over by the Mainstream Media. Then – almost on the last day of trial – Aneal Basi had all charges against him dropped. His costs were paid, I believe, by Legal Aid – and the public has never been told what those costs were. Mainstream Media have never asked, apparently. Mainstream Media never asks questions that might embarrass … power.
Since all charges against him were wiped, the public may assume Aneal Basi was massively slandered and libeled for years and years. The public might expect to hear about a gigantic libel case against all accusers and prosecutors, a libel case for millions of dollars. But all the public hears is … silence.
The fresh, new, startling revelation alleged is that Christy Clark (then deputy premier) was at the time of the bidding for BC Rail (2003-2004) breaking cabinet confidentiality and leaking all kinds of information to one set of bidders.
Except … as early as 2003 Search Warrants related to the events included Christy Clark and her doings. Allegations are that (then) Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm of the B.C. Supreme Court (in effect) protected Christy Clark. Her brother, however, was found with confidential cabinet documents. He was never charged. Of course.
Then – in an astounding piece of Napoleonism – Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm sealed the normally public Search Warrants for months … in fact forever. Because when he finally did release them, eighty per cent of the key information in them was blacked out. Associate Chief Justice Dohm gave the first indication that some members of the B.C. Supreme Court were willing to act outrageously, for unexplained reasons, in relation to the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR.
His behaviour was paralleled by that of the Chief Justice, the Associate Chief Justice, and the judge on the Basi, Virk, and Basi case. When those eminent jurists were informed that the Special Prosecutor on the case had been appointed illegitimately by violation of the legislation governing his appointment, thereby making the whole action he engaged in illegitimate, the eminent judges refused to act – but would not deny the truth of the information. Their significant behaviour seemed to point to the fact that they would distort the administration of justice in any way necessary to protect Gordon Campbell and his associates from justice.
The Special Prosecutor, William Berardino, was paid $10.7 millions for his work on the BC Rail Scandal. The Mainstream Press and Media (including TYEE) wouldn’t touch that part of the Scandal.
From almost the outset of pre-trial hearings in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case Defence counsel suggested investigation might well show Christy Clark involved in leaks attributed only to the accused. The RCMP – to this day – has refused all requests to conduct criminal investigation of the Gordon Campbell group that worked the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR. The refusal by the RCMP to investigate, I allege, may explain the new twenty-year contract it recently received to “police” the province.
The RCMP has failed completely in the BC Rail Scandal case. One of its major investigators was revealed to be brother-in-law of a top Liberal Party officer who was in frequent contact with Gordon Campbell during critical years. RCMP should have openly and publicly investigated all allegations connected to the relationship and all hints of impropriety.
The RCMP did nothing. It was apparently too busy protecting RCMP officers accused of violence (and even murder) to undertake investigation of alleged major corporate and government crime.
Back to the Vancouver Metro newspaper story.
The Conservative blogger who leaked the Basi document is famous for disliking Christy Clark. He may be seen by some as adding fuel to the flame-thrower used by Conservative MLA John van Dongen to burn out the truth about the $6 million paid (against all honest practice) for the legal costs of government employees found guilty of crime.
As the president of UBC Stephen J. Toope (formerly Dean of Law at McGill University) wrote to Attorney General Shirley Bond (at her request), NO GOVERNMENT should pay the costs of criminally guilty employees. Governments, Toope pointed out, don’t hire employees to do criminal things.
Careful observers in British Columbia might disagree with Stephen J. Toope. Whatever, Christy Clark and Shirley Bond are doing everything they can to prevent the Auditor General and British Columbians from knowing HOW the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark governments paid the $6 million and covered their tracks. In addition, what did they pay, through Legal Aid, for the defence of Aneal Basi against whom all charges were dropped? Shouldn’t the public know that as well?
Astute observers might say there can be no accident in the fact that both the blogger revealing the document and John van Dongen are Conservatives. Mr. van Dongen has taken up the leaked document with energy. He has already gained intervener status to support the attempt of the Auditor General to force (through Supreme Court order) release of evidence relating to the $6 million pay-out. Shirley Bond and Christy Clark are doing all they can to stop the Auditor General.
Mr. van Dongen was for a long time a Liberal Party member and MLA and cabinet member from the Fraser Valley Bible Belt. He only recently, apparently, became a convert to Stephen Harper evangelical Conservatism. As a Liberal he seems to have lived in sin quite comfortably. One can understand how he might – at the saintly feet of Stephen Harper – suffer a dramatic rebirth into keen morality. From 2001 until 2009 he was a cabinet minister in the Gordon Campbell Liberal government.
Showing conventional cabinet solidarity, he was present for the sham privatization of BC Ferries. He was present for every step of the fraud and larceny involving BC Rail. He had to witness the disembowelling of BC Hydro which some believe involved criminal breach of trust … at least. Through all those things John van Dongen didn’t sigh a whisper of complaint. Indeed, he was Solicitor General in 2008-2009 when the RCMP was under constant fire in the BC Rail Scandal hearings in the B.C. Supreme Court. The Honourable John van Dongen did … nothing on that matter.
We have come to know that the saintly morality of people like Stephen Harper is often directly connected to desire for power, position, personal advantage, as well as to ideological tunnel-vision, mendacity, and a desire for revenge.
Neo-liberals in B.C. (the Liberal and Conservative parties) are terrified of the 2013 election year. Will the NDP win as a result of a Liberal/Conservative split vote? Can the Conservatives destroy the Christy Clark Liberals before 2013? And then can they run alone against the NDP with heavy Stephen Harper support? A long shot … but ….
If Christy Clark can be entirely besmirched, maybe the Liberals can be destroyed as a B.C. provincial party.
The sudden, saintly concerns of Mr. van Dongen must move the hearts of all British Columbians. “It’s an issue of ethics”, he is quoted as saying. Apparently unable to see almost any very major issue of ethics for fifteen years, Mr. van Dongen has suddenly seen the Light!!
The Mainstream Press and Media (owned and run by neo-liberals) may also be seeing the light: keeping the NDP from power may take special effort. Like helping to destroy Christy Clark.
Mainstream Press and Media never questioned the case-destroying, illegitimate appointment of the Special Prosecutor in the BC Rail Scandal. It never questioned judicial disasters that happened during the years of pre-trial and trial. It never asked about the dangerous role of the RCMP in the BC Rail Scandal. It never asked for criminal investigation of major actors in the drama. It never did anything but tacitly (to this observer) support lawlessness and fraud at the top. Now for the purest of reasons the Mainstream Press and Media (like John van Dongen) may suddenly have discovered morality and ethics – and may have begun to see the Light.
Don’t believe it.
Wondering if you could post a source for this?
If you think of Berardino's firm as working on the defense of Gordo, Ferret Collins and the rest of the government, which essentially they were, it should be obvious that money is no object, especially when it is OUR'S.
Obstructing justice, AND getting away with it (so far) ain't cheap!
I don't know if you realize that Robin was in the courtroom probably more than either judge individually and talked with most of the lawyers, media members who barred his accreditation and defendants during his faithful monitoring of the ongoing travesty.
If you go back through the over 2100 posts here on Mary's blog, you won't have many questions, other than the ones that the rest of us still have and have had ever since the Raid itself.
Another member of Berardino's team was Andrea McKay.
As to the expense of the government defense, errr, I mean the prosecution it is a matter of public record, available on the government's website and if you are that concerned you can go there a verify for yourself.....
The saga continues, what saga you might ask..
The Stupidfication of British Columbia.
Mary is smiling.
Very good and accurate article by Robin.
Thanks so much koot for taking this on. if i can help?
As I predicted, the mainstream media's attention (with help) has shifted from the theft of BC Rail from the public trust to the paltry issue of $6 million paid to the two ministerial aides who accepted bribes.
Pretty neat, to have concerns about the theft of a billion dollar asset disappear right in front of our eyes. Like magic!
Keep up the heat, and on the "conservative blogger" too. He's so full of it, something doesn't quite jell about him.
Can someone with more knowledge than me answer whether the citizens should be demanding a "public" inquiry or a "Judicial" inquiry of the selling of our publicly owned railroad? In my brief research, it appears maybe the judicial inquiry is the way to go?
Can someone explain this in better lay terms?
Mary, we will never give up! RIP