Monday, January 29, 2007
Former President of B.C. Liberal Party subpoenaed 3 months before resigning
Former Liberal president to testify
By BILL TIELEMAN, 24 HOURS
29 January 2007
The president of the Liberal Party of Canada's B.C. branch was under subpoena for over three months to testify in the upcoming breach of trust
trial of former provincial government aides David Basi and Bob Virk before resigning his position in January.
Lobbyist Jamie Elmhirst quit as president Jan. 15 but was subpoenaed by police Oct. 4, 2006 to testify. His letter of resignation to the party makes no mention of the subpoena, instead stating he was leaving to concentrate on his business and upcoming wedding.
Elmhirst, a former aide to B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and former federal Liberal cabinet minister David Anderson, was a business partner of Erik Bornmann and Brian Kieran in the now-defunct Victoria lobby firm
Pilothouse Public Affairs.
Both Bornmann and Kieran will testify as crown witnesses against Basi, Virk and B.C. Liberal government communications aide Aneal Basi in the trial starting April 2.
On Dec. 28, 2003, the same day police searched the B.C. Legislature and other locations, a search warrant was executed on Pilothouse offices.
The charges allege that David Basi and Virk were bribed to provide confidential information on the $1-billion privatization of BC Rail to Bornmann, who was a lobbyist for OmniTRAX, one of the bidders. Aneal Basi is accused of money laundering.
Information obtained by 24 hours shows police served Elmhirst and Kieran with subpoenas Oct. 4, 2006. Bornmann was subpoenaed on Sept. 28, 2006.
In an interview with 24 hours Elmhirst denied the subpoena had anything to do with his resignation as president.
"My reasons for resigning are contained in my letter," he said.
When asked if he informed the Liberal Party of Canada that he had been subpoenaed to testify in the Basi-Virk trial, Elmhirst said: "I don't have any comment on that."
But a national citizens' watchdog group says federal Liberal Party members should have been told about Elmhirst's upcoming role as a witness in the trial.
"The members of the party certainly have a right to know," Duff Conacher, coordinator of Democracy Watch, told 24 hours from Ottawa. "It's not something in that type of leadership position that should be kept from party members."
Elmhirst served as LPCBC president for two years.
Elmhirst took over as senior partner from Kieran on April 1, 2006 after Pilothouse was renamed K&E Public Affairs.
A variety of clients paid Elmhirst to lobby the provincial government in 2006 according to the Lobby Registry, including the New Car Dealers of BC, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, the British Columbia Association of Optometrists and the BC Dental Hygienists Association.
Elmhirst joined Mark Marissen, Paul Martin's former top BC supporter, in endorsing Stephane Dion for leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Marissen was Dion's National Campaign Director for the campaign and is now co-chair of the Liberal Party's National Election Readiness Committee.
Sincere thanks to Bill Tieleman for sharing this around on the morning it's published. Bill's blog is at http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/ and he's also at "24 Hours" as well as CKNW. - BC Mary.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Solicitor General's unfulfilled March 2003 promise to hold a public forum on organized crime involving judiciary, Crown prosecutors, police & public.
What was it like, I wondered, in the Legislative Assembly on the first day back at work only 6 weeks after the historic police raid of 28 December 2003? Here's the story. The 37th Parliament, 5th session, opened on 10 February 2004 with a prayer by Pastor Tim Schroeder of Trinity Baptist Church, Kelowna, who said (and this is God's truth, straight from Hansard):
Let's pray together.
Dear God, each time the phrase "Super, Natural British Columbia" rolls off our lips, it's a tribute to the fact that this incredible treasure is more than any of us can claim to have made. While we wouldn't ever have the audacity to suggest that when you made some other provinces you were having an off day, we would certainly declare that when you made this one, you were at your very best.
As this session of the Legislature begins, it's without any embarrassment that we ask for your help. As these men and women are faced not only with the honour but with the awesome responsibility of managing this treasure, I pray that you give each of them individually and that you give them collectively a measure of wisdom and courage and sensitivity that is beyond any of their natural abilities, and at the end of the term, this province will be an even more polished treasure than it was when it came into their care.
Next on the program was the Queen's Representative, top job in the B.C. Legislature. Her speech, traditionally written by the government, made no mention of the unprecedented raid on the B.C. Legislature, either. In fact, it reads like a jolly advertising campaign.
The new era has begun, read Iona Campangnola. The new government has repaired all previous damage and will thenceforth be bringing the best out of everything and everybody in B.C., including: Olympic history, the economy, employment, agriculture, environment, real estate and resources, land use, forests, oil and gas, health care! patient care! (if only we will agree to save every penny!), sport, music, culture, science, women, children, families, coalbed methane (including the Fartmobile), energy and mining, BCRail, Transportation and Northern development, new markets in China, pine beetles, tourism, education, and digital technology bringing broadband Internet access to everyone. Then Iona leaves the building. I don't blame her, having uttered not one syllable about the alarming raid only 6 weeks before, when 32 police sergeants had stormed their polished treasure and carried off what they had reason to believe was evidence of drug-dealing and organized crime.
Next the Honourable premier immediately set about managing things.
Hon. G. Campbell: I move that the select standing committees of the House for the present session be appointed for the following purposes:
1. Aboriginal Affairs;
3. Finance and Government Services;
5. Public Accounts;
6. Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills;
7. Crown Corporations;
which said committees shall severally be empowered to examine and inquire into all such matters and things as shall be referred to them by this House and to report from time to time their observations and opinions thereon, with power to send for persons, papers and records; and that a special committee be appointed to prepare and report, with all convenient speed, lists of members to compose the above select standing committees of this House under standing order 68(1), the committee to be composed of the Hon. G. Collins, Convener; Messrs. Wong, Krueger, Wilson, Nuraney and Manhas; Ms. McMahon, Ms. Orr and Ms. MacPhail.
J. MacPhail [Leader of the Opposition]: I rise today in support of this motion and to amend it. I move the following amendment, after which I will speak.
I move that the select standing committees of this House for the present session be appointed for the following purposes ... In addition to the seven that the Premier has just appointed, add an eighth: Attorney General–Solicitor General joint committee [as follows].
1. Aboriginal Affairs;
3. Finance and Government Services;
5. Public Accounts;
6. Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills;
7. Crown Corporations;
8. Attorney General-Solicitor General Joint Committee;
At certain times in the life of our province, issues of grave concern arise that demand the immediate attention of legislators, that demand strong leadership, that demand strong action. These issues rise above the daily partisan battles that we wage here in the Legislature. They are fundamental to the maintenance of a free, open and democratic society.
The spread of organized crime in British Columbia is just such an issue. Recently, every British Columbian watched as members of the RCMP organized crime and drug units descended on this building, carrying away boxes of evidence from the offices of senior political staff. Although we know little about what led to these raids on our most important democratic institution, we listened carefully to the words of RCMP Sgt. John Ward, who described the spread of organized crime as "a cancer eating away at the moral fabric of our society."
That's a graphic and alarming description of a disturbing phenomenon in the daily life of our province. The impact of organized crime activity is reflected in rising crime rates, in the prevalence of new, powerful and widely available drugs and in — we can only assume — the activities of those charged with protecting the public interest. That's why the opposition has brought forward this amendment to the motion before us to establish, this session, a joint Attorney General–Solicitor General standing committee of the House, a committee whose first task we may respectfully suggest would be to investigate organized crime in B.C. with a view to proposing practical solutions to halt its spread.
To assure the members opposite, I want to make it clear that the intent of this committee would not be to examine organized crime's links to this government. Indeed, that is the subject of a police investigation. Rather, the intent perhaps can best be understood…
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
J. MacPhail: …as our way of helping the Solicitor General keep his unfulfilled promise to hold a public forum on organized crime — a forum he said would involve the judiciary, the Crown prosecutors, police and the public — to examine fully how we can do a better job fighting organized crime. The Solicitor General will recall that he made that promise in March of last year at the Premier's annual congress.
At the time the opposition fully supported this initiative, but we have been disappointed in his failure to follow through. Therefore, we bring this motion forward, a motion that is in keeping with the new-era promise to give all MLAs and citizens a better voice in government through active legislative committees. The government side of the House should not feel threatened by this motion, although I suspect they already are — by their disappointing reaction. Rather, they should view it as an opportunity — an opportunity to help their government take a stand against organized crime, an opportunity to stand up for their communities, an opportunity to contribute to a public discussion of an important issue for their constituents.
There will always be a need for public scrutiny of this government's activities on this matter. Just last week the Solicitor General announced integrating the Organized Crime Agency with the RCMP, but integrating with the RCMP means there will no longer be a service plan forthcoming from the agency responsible for organized crime in this province. Therefore, unless we have this legislative standing committee, there will be no legislative scrutiny because of that action of the Organized Crime Agency. It will be through a standing committee such as this that information regarding the adequacy of funding and resources for organized crime fighters will be found.
We cannot hide from this issue. We cannot ignore it and hope that it just goes away. Now is the time to match rhetoric with action and to get serious about our collective responsibility to tackle a mounting, dangerous problem that affects us all. I strongly encourage and hope that every member of this House will support this motion. ...snip....
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. members, we are voting on the amendment proposed by the Leader of the Opposition. It reads as follows, under item 8, "the Attorney General–Solicitor General Joint Committee" so that the amended motion reads that this committee is incorporated.
Amendment negatived on the following division:
YEAS — 3 [The NDP Opposition at that time]
NAYS — 74 [The entire Campbell government, at that time.]
So isn't it fair to ask if this orchestrated silence on the BCRail case set the standard as the first clear lesson to the media that discussion of the Basi, Virk, Basi case was not welcomed by the B.C. government? And recalling recent journalistic efforts to laugh off the ridiculous notion of organized crime, was this why all investigation stopped?
Saturday, January 27, 2007
"I want to investigate things for myself ..."
We are fortunate to have been offered this rare view by Bhupinder Mattu of a Basi, Virk, Basi pre-trial hearing in BC Supreme Court. What I found particularly significant is this young UBC student's assessment of the Crown Prosecutor. - BC Mary.
This case could adversely affect the Liberal agenda of privatization if it is heard properly and reported properly. What, and how many, dirty backroom dealings went on in the process of selling BC Rail? This trial could shine light on them and force closer scrutiny of future government deals.
For a government that could be/is in the midst of trying to privatize all, or parts of, BC Rail, BC Gas, BC Hydro and BC Ferries this would be very unwelcome attention. This trial could put that process at risk.
At the end of the day all government actions go through Campbell and if all the misdeeds associated with this deal come to light that will reflect poorly on him. Not to give anyone misconceptions of the man, he does have some redeeming qualities. He let Gary Collins and Christy Clark get out of the way of the oncoming train (no pun intended) before it got too late.
I wanted to investigate things regarding this trial for myself and went to a court hearing on October 30 with a couple of friends. I was only able to attend the first day of the hearing regarding disclosure of evidence but came away feeling certain that this case was being influenced by outside sources.
The day I was there consisted of over five hours of the defense (McCullough mainly) outlining every one of the thousands of documents he felt he was not given adequate time to analyze in order to prepare for this case. This continued for the full week. It felt like the court was staging this in order to be able to declare a mistrial later. And I have to thank my friend, Jean-Francois, who alerted me to observe the body language of the Crown Prosecutor.
No doubt the documents requested were important for a fair trial but the irony is that outlining the documents in the detail they were described in took away even more time from the case. Here the justice should have cut short this circus and just granted the defense access to the project room and the other documents it needed in order to prepare.
While all this was going on, special prosecutor, Berardino, looked on like a scolded dog whimpering a weak response whenever he could muster the courage to do so, which was not often. It was not so much what Berardino said in response to the defense; it was the body language he used that conveyed a clearer message. It looked like Berardino was already defeated and the hearing was a mere formality on the way to the inevitable mistrial, or whatever it is the Liberals have planned, that this case is destined for.
The hearing I attended showed the cohesion between two cogs in the Campbell machine: the media and the courts, united in their common goal to further the Liberal agenda.
During breaks at the hearing I attended, Vaughn Palmer and the defense council could be seen fraternizing outside the courtroom while the defense were loathe to give anyone else a second of their time. McCullough was quick to brush off a friend's inquiries regarding the hearing, saying he was not supposed to talk to him, but was more liberal with his time when it came to Palmer. Isn't it funny that our media members here are named so fittingly (wink)? McCullough probably wrote half of Vaughn's article right there.
I hope this trial is conducted in the impartial manner it is supposed to be, but something tells me it will not be. I mean how often does the key witness send flowers to the defendant he is set up to witness against in the middle of an investigation?
Many thanks, Bhupinder. Next hearing is 26 February ... OK?
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Criminal Government in B.C. Growing ... and Growing Resistance To It
BY ROBIN MATHEWS
Excerpt from his full story in Vive le Canada
... In the chaos of criminality which is the present state of B.C. an opposition is appearing and growing - generated very largely from people outside the structures I have described above and possessing a growing militancy. The existence of that growing opposition might be signalled by one person, a subscription analyst of B.C. affairs - John Twigg, who has been reporting from the Victoria legislature for some years. Twigg sells his analyses to people who want the thoughts of a constant, intelligent observer of public affairs in B.C. He would probably call himself non-partisan and objective. I believe he tries to be those things. I see him as a naturally small "c" conservative.
In his "B.C Politics Trendwatch" for this month Twigg does a beginning of the year summary of Gordon Campbell's government. Twigg (a decent human being) is deeply, morally offended by what he sees and records. He records and records and records, admitting he is only scratching the surface of default, wrong-doing, sleight-of-hand, misrule, breach of trust. The things I call "government crime".
Twigg's language is not complimentary. He uses sharp expressions. The opinion poll-Paradise presented to B.C. people may be "a deliberately manufactured deceit". The premier is "the increasingly arrogant [Gordon] Campbell", operating a "crazy stewardship" over health care, presiding over "management scandals and policy blunders". The dirty sale of B.C Rail, for Twigg, involved "games played by millionaires and billionaires using partisan hacks to obtain valuable public assets". Basi, Basi, and Virk - the cabinet aides charged largely out of the B.C. Rail events, whose trial has been delayed - perhaps criminally - until April 2 (now, more than three and a quarter years after being charged) are, writes Twigg, "really only small fry caught up in much bigger games".
And, after all, will the trial of the three men ever take place? Will their "handlers" ever face charges? Or is this merely an April Fool's joke by the Gordon Campbell circle presented by the Honourable Madame Justice Elizabeth Bennett? She was, remember, judge in the trial of Glen Clark, the set of events I call "the fraudulent RCMP investigation and trial of Glen Clark, B.C. premier". I continue to call for a full scale, Royal Commission-level investigation and inquiry into the whole set of events which destroyed Glen Clark's political role in the Province and set up Gordon Campbell to operate the corporate despotism we now enjoy ...
Full story at Vive le Canada
Thank you, Robin. I have used only that part which touches on the BC Rail trial of Basi, Virk, Basi, but I can recommend every paragraph in your long report on the state of the province as John Twigg sees it from the Press Gallery of the B.C. Legislature.
Mark Marissen, Bill Cunningham come to Indo-Canadians with begging bowl
MARISSEN COMES TO INDO-CANADIANS WITH BEGGING BOWL - BUT COMMUNITY DEMANDS PROPER REPRESENTATION
By RATTAN MALL
Federal Liberal bosses in B.C. - Mark Marissen and Bill Cunnigham - are back playing games with the Indo-Canadian community, just as The VOICE has warned the community in its December 30 issue in an article entitled: "Decent Indo-Canadians should beware of Mark Marissen's manipulations."
The same old Paul Martin gang has taken over the reins of power in this province and they don't seem to have learned anything as some Indo-
Canadians found out to their dismay a couple of weeks ago at a December 7 meeting at Vancouver's Fraserview Hall.
The top federal Liberal leadership candidates - Stephane Dion, who won the leadership contest, Gerard Kennedy and Bob Rae - have racked up huge debts that run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whom do they turn to now? Indo-Canadians!
That is why Marissen and his gang summoned some Indo-Canadians to suggest that they get about 1,000 supporters to hold a $100-a-plate fundraiser. That would net them a cool $100,000.
Though some Indo-Canadians, including, I am told, an M.P. from Surrey, were quite ready to lick the boots of these white masters, some showed some backbone and resisted these dictators. They wanted to know why the Indo-Canadians had to be exploited in this way. Some suggested that the Chinese-Canadians and others also be included in a bigger fundraiser where tickets could be $10 per plate.
Also, Ujjal Dosanjh, M.P. for Vancouver South, who was parachuted into his riding after the Marissen gang sabotaged Herb Dhaliwal's campaign by using Shinder Purewal, was not present at the meeting. Some found that a bit odd. Indo-Canadians are mighty pissed off that while these white politicians used them in the leadership race, no Indo-Canadian was appointed as co-chair of the party's B.C. election readiness committee. **** snip *****
So decent Indo-Canadians have to be wary of this man once again - and if anyone experiences bullying or sabotage from him, please do not hesitate to contact The VOICE. Of course, there are other Indo-Canadians who will allow themselves to be used by him - just like Shinder Purewal, who Marissen and the notorious so-called Basi boys used to sabotage Dhaliwal in his Vancouver South riding in 2002, and Gulzar Cheema did in 2004 federal election, only to make utter fools of themselves.
Purewal was ordered to step aside so that NDP deserter Ujjal Dosanjh could be parachuted into the riding and Cheema was badly humiliated by Conservative candidate Nina Grewal, a rookie in politics. Interestingly, even Marissen's wife, former deputy premier of B.C., Christy Clark, showed the same opportunism last year when she suddenly decided to try for the NPA nomination for Vancouver's mayor's election but lost to Sam Sullivan. All of her hubby's contacts and manipulative ways couldn't help her.
Then I referred to my article of January 3, 2004, in The VOICE entitled, "Raid at the B.C. Legislature: How Basi boys and Paul Martin's white B.C. boys disgraced Indo-Canadian community," in which I wrote: However, the equally big story that has emerged from this case is about the DISGRACE that the kind of BULLYING AND UNPRINCIPLED politics of the Basi boys has brought upon the Indo-Canadian community.
The most shocking episode was the way in which the highly respected Herb Dhaliwal was stabbed in the back by Shinder Purewal, who was put on the scene by the Basi boys, as the mainstream media itself has been reporting all week. The VOICE readers know how I had been exposing this filthy politics that was being openly encouraged by Prime Minister Paul Martin.
Martin's WHITE guys used us BROWN guys for their own selfish ambition - only to bring disgrace upon all of us. And we have only ourselves to blame. Martin's NAKED POWER GRAB to kick out Jean Chretien meant NO PRINCIPLES.
I also wrote the following: Marissen's UNDEMOCRATIC and DICTORIAL behaviour was also clearly reflected in the way Cheema was parachuted into the Fleetwood-Port Kells riding while bullying Surjit Kooner, a former Surrey school trustee, to quit and sabotaging Jaswinder Toor's nomination. In that incident, Marissen actually got back to me with his own version (The VOICE of March 27, 2004) in which he claimed that there had been a misunderstanding with Kooner and that Toor was late in filing his nomination. So I carried both Toor and Marissen's version in this paper - and you could clearly see how Toor's nomination was blatantly sabotaged. If you want to read all the details, you can go to the Archives section (December 30) at www.voiceonline.com.
I thank Rattan Mall for including us, though I gotta say that his view of B.C. politics is an absolute eye-popper, which makes me feel quite tame and colourless. - BC Mary
Monday, January 22, 2007
Threats to justice in British Columbia
Ian Mulgrew reports today in the Vancouver Sun that it's the Canadian legal system, not just Willy Pickton, on trial. He says that the guilt or innocence of Pickton is not the only question to be answered ... that "systemic, structural reforms have not kept pace with other advances over the last century" ... that "Canada's legal system has not changed significantly from its 19th century roots". It can't handle 21st century crime. I've wondered about that, too ... the documents in the BCRail case totalling over 100,000 and counting.
Nor would a 19th century trial be subjected to 350 journalists obsessed with the shock-value of the Pickton case. My concern is that the Pickton trial may prevent the BC Rail trial from receiving even the minimum of public attention, by flooding the news media with emotional, stomach-churning publicity when the BCRail Trial begins on April 2nd.
Ian Mulgrew, one of the best journalists writing today, declares that the Pickton case brings it all to the fore but that publication bans have prevented "an honest and open discussion of how the anachronisms and outdated legal culture have produced such a perverse process".
Mulgrew draws an ironic parallel with the medical profession. Any 19th century doctor, he writes, would be utterly lost, confused, and a danger to patients if dropped into a 21st century hospital. But a 19th century lawyer would be at home helping either the defence or the Crown at the Pickton trial.
Whereas a murder trial even half a century ago rarely took more than two weeks, today -- given the Constitutional precedents, scientific evidence, criminal pathology, (and the complexities of global business, in the BCRail case) -- it all adds up to a very different legal universe.
It is at this point, in Mulgrew's analysis, that we can see the problems inherent in the BCRail Trial. Mulgrew writes: "It is estimated that the presentation of tens of thousands of exhibits and the testimony of hundreds of witnesses at Pickton's trial will take a year, probably more." He questions the jurors' ability to synthesize so much information. I began to see the wisdom, in the BCRail Trial, of Basi, Virk, and Basi having chosen a trial by Judge only.
Mulgrew has written one of those rare analyses which honestly informs the reader about the society we inhabit. He concludes by saying: "What happens in New Westminster over the coming months will reverberate for decades to come -- not because the evidence rivals a horror movie, as the judge said, but because the process does".
In the question of the BCRail Trial, we are left to wonder uneasily: will the BCRail Trial reverberate throughout British Columbia for decades to come? In fact, will the BCRail trial be heard and studied throughout British Columbia, as it should be? Or, will we be left with the feeling that political expedience was an unacknowledged participant in the BC Rail case?
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Erik Bornmann and the Wikipedia battle
Bill Tieleman has generously given permission for me to use part of his story here today. For his full write-up, go to: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/
Erik Bornmann creates controversy wherever he goes - including the online Wikipedia encyclopedia.
Bornmann is scheduled to testify as the key crown witness against former BC Liberal provincial government ministerial aides David Basi, Bob Virk and former government communications aide Aneal Basi in a BC Supreme Court trial starting April 2.
But in the meantime a ferocious battle has been raging at Wikipedia for almost a year over an entry about Bornmann, as well as on the BC Legislature Raids. In fact, the BC Legislature Raids article on Wikipedia does not even mention Bornmann's name, despite his key role in the case!
Bornmann, who faces a "good character" hearing in front of Ontario's Law Society of Upper Canada, where he hopes to practice law, obviously has supporters who are attempting to make the Wikipedia article as non-descript as possible by omitting much controversial information about Bornmann.
I was recently made aware of this to and fro war over words because several articles I've written over the past three years in the Tyee, 24 hours and previously the Georgia Straight were attacked and references removed from Wikipedia by persons unknown.
Wikipedia's unique open-ended approach to information is commendable. Contributors are encouraged to add to or edit existing material in a cooperative quest for knowledge.
Unfortunately, the open nature of the website also leaves it vulnerable to highly biased and motivated individuals to dramatically alter content to suit their interests.
A clear record of what has been happening at Wikipedia on the Erik Bornmann article is documented and available for all to see at
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Vancouver Sun covers murder trial with a special team dedicated to the case. Will the B.C. Rail trial be treated any differently?
For those who have searched the CanWest media for any mention of the BCRail Trial, it may come as a surprise to read the Sun's appraisal of itself as taking a "leading role in coverage" of another trial. Will the Robert Pickton trial overshadow the BCRail Trial? But if the BC Rail Trial receives similar preparation and similar coverage, we can feel confident of the even-handed fairness of the B.C. judicial system. - BC Mary.
From: Vancouver Sun
By Randy Shore
January 20, 2007
The Vancouver Sun continues its leading role in coverage of the Robert Pickton trial with a special team of reporters, photographers and editors dedicated to the case. Starting Monday, we will have extensive coverage inside and outside of the courthouse, with instant news updates throughout the day on www.vancouversun.com. In addition, Sun legal affairs columnist Ian Mulgrew will bring his analysis to the opening days of the trial. Etc.
If the following dates aren't provided by the leading role the Vancouver Sun is playing on behalf of the public in the BC Rail Trial, they are repeated here:
February 26 - Application for further disclosure
March 5 - Charter of Rights challenge of warrants and wiretaps
March 7 - Hearing to update progress on disclosure (project room)
April 2 - The trial scheduled to actually begin, Year 2007.
Further comments at http://houseofinfamy.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Robin Mathews to Stephane Dion: your BC Liberal team has enemies all over the place
Robin Mathews writes passionately, politically, and at length this week about the federal Liberal Party of Canada and the B.C. Liberal Party. The complete story is at: Vive le Canada. Posted below is the segment which deals with events surrounding Basi, Virk, and Basi at the centre of The Legislature Raids. We owe Robin immense thanks for his analysis of the events which shape our civil society. And no, it isn't always a pretty picture. - BC Mary.
Full story at Vive le Canada. Excerpt begins here:
SIXTH PART. THE RCMP RAIDS ON BC LEGISLATURE OFFICES. AFTERMATH.
..... To be loyal to Gordon Campbell Liberalism, for instance, as Christy Clark showed she was, and as Mark Marissen did too - is to be as far from Canadian liberalism and even from the best of Canadian Liberalism as it is possible to be.
I said "things spill over. Nastily, Unpredictably." Look at it. Gordon Campbell sold B.C. Rail in a dirty, secret set of sell-outs. He needed help. He got it. Some people were chased and charged - but no one in the Campbell cabinet or among the close "outsiders" was touched. Christy Clark's brother is said to have been found by the RCMP with cabinet documents he shouldn't have had. So?
The RCMP has been accused of obstructing release of evidence to the Defence in the Basi, Basi, Virk trial. So?
The Special Prosecutor, William Berardino, was once a partner of the Attorney General in the Gordon Campbell government who appointed him to deal with all things connected to the Legislature raids - and Berardino has not been famous for pushing the trial forward or for finding elite Liberals to charge. So?
So there have to be bad feelings all over the place.
Basi, Basi, and Virk, the three men charged as a result of the legislature "raids" (and their associates), moreover, are not beloved by all of the Indo-Canadian community. Many are furious at the dirty deal given Herb Dhaliwal and the smear delivered to the Indo-Canadian community by the bulk membership scandals and the criminal charges against the three connected to the legislature raids. Some Indo-Canadians wouldn't mind at all balancing up the score. Some would feel they'd done a good day's work if they could deck Mark Marissen.
Stephane Dion's B.C. team has enemies all over the place. And one of those enemies - it is possible to speculate - might be able at some time to step into the public arena with new evidence to re-ignite the claim that the Liberal Party is too dirty to be the government of Canada.
Stephane Dion has a fight on his hands whatever happens, for the Hard Right, the George Bush Canadians want power as they've never wanted it before. They want to hold on to reactionary power in a reactionary time. They will be very happy to say: "Okay, show us the rules, and we'll show you how to use them fraudulently to get power".
As well, with no connection whatever to the Stephen Harper party, Auditor General Sheila Fraser could drop a new, tasty piece of information about Martin-time corruption, just as the election starts.
As well, with no connection whatever to the Stephen Harper party, Beverly Busson, Stephen Harper's "interim" choice as RCMP Commissioner who is filling disgraced Guiliano Zaccardelli's position, might just start, publicly, (as Zaccardelli did before her) a criminal investigation of an innocent top Liberal, in the midst of the election.
Beverly Busson was B.C. top cop through what I call "the fraudulent RCMP investigation and trial of Glen Clark, B.C. premier". She was appointed Deputy Commissioner during Zaccardelli's time as Commissioner, so he must have approved of her. She had nothing to say when my complaint (over the Glen Clark investigation) to the Commissioner of Public Complaints Against the RCMP was wrongfully closed down by two of her experienced officers. She was top cop the years (2004-2006) the RCMP was, allegedly, stalling the Basi, Basi, Virk case and failing to find any other suspects than the three Indo-Canadians.
Why did Stephen Harper appoint her?
Because a reactionary government always likes (a) wars, (b) paramilitary power (c) a tamed and cooperative police force, (d) and every sign that IT is running the police. Stephen Harper liked being seen with Guiliano Zaccardelli. Harper's appointment of Beverly Busson as successor looks almost too reactionary to be true.
If Stephane Dion has his head screwed on tight, he'll change his B.C. tactics. He'll come to B.C., meet ordinary people and offer real "liberal" options for future policy. He won't stay at Mark Marissen's and Christy Clark's "downtown Vancouver home". He won't spend time in Gordon Campbell's company. In fact, he'll ask Marissen and Clark to take a two-year trip abroad, somewhere, anywhere - far from Canada. He'll ask them to drop out of their connections to the Liberal Party - and to get lost, maybe in Yvkusigsatt, or Torva, or Tonlerepou.
Quite simply - and primarily - because of the ugly political atmosphere in B.C., Dion would be smart to ask that favour even if Mark Marissen is as pure as the driven snow, without a flaw, unmarked by error, a model of political purity.
If, however, there is only a thin wall protecting some elite Liberals in B.C. from incriminating information, and if that wall comes down - and there is dirt, and it is close to or touches Mark Marissen, Stephane Dion should watch out. The cry will be: "Look at them. Look at the guy. Dion's right hand man. His leadership campaign manager, his co-chair for the Liberal Party election campaign. Still up to the old Liberal tricks. Still the dirty Liberals".
The lighted fuse to a B.C. Liberal keg of dynamite could reach its destination and everything good Dion wants for Canada could be blown off the face of the earth.
Thank you, Robin.
Basi, Virk, Basi trial date: 2 April 2007
Defence to Challenge Wiretap Evidence, Search Warrants Used In BC Legislature and Other Raids, reports Bill Tieleman.
At a BC Supreme Court hearing this morning [15 January 2007] Justice Elizabeth Bennett set a date of April 2 for trial of David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi - on a variety of charges, including breach of trust in connection with the $1 billion privatization of BC Rail.
And lawyers for the defence indicated that they will challenge the wiretap evidence and the search warrants executed over three years ago on December 28, 2003 on the BC Legislature and other private and commercial premises through a Charter of Rights challenge to be heard on March 5.
Defence lawyers will also file another disclosure application on February 26, seeking more information from the Crown.
In a short 20-minute session marked by cooperation between defence and prosecution lawyers, Justice Bennett set March 7 at 9 a.m. for an update on progress on disclosure of evidence in the RCMP Project Room, as granted in a previous hearing.
The examination of Project Room information should be completed in a couple of days, Justice Bennett was told.
Bill Tieleman could not attend the 15 January hearing but says, "I am indebted to a reporter who was there for this update information. CKNW Radio AM 980 ran several stories today on the hearing."
For further updates, go to: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/
From another source, which was able to find the CKNW story:
The search warrant that allowed police to raid the Legislature more than three years ago will be part of a constitutional challenge when the highly-publicized case comes to court in April. Three former government aides face corruption charges as a result of the raids. Defence lawyer Michael Bolton says he will challenge the validity of the search warrant and the authorization to conduct telephone wiretaps when the case starts on April 2nd.
The comments by Bolton that followed said that they would challenge the constitutional validity of two things:
1) The wiretapping (and resulting evidence)
2) The warrants for the raid itself (and resulting evidence)
"So it looks like the perfect bait and switch. The defence will be arguing constitutional law, most likely to the complete exclusion of any discussion about the actual facts of the case," says our secret source.
The Legislature Raids web-site was struck by lightning (or something) about an hour ago, wiping out this posting in its original form plus all the comments, some of which were excellent and I hope the posters will replace them. Now, back to work:
It's a rare and wonderful day when all three leading CanWest newspapers report on the B.C. Rail Trial. Here are excerpts, plus a final one from New York:
Vancouver Sun, 16 January 2007
Trio who figured in legislature raid to stand trial
Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun
Three former B.C. government officials will stand trial April 2, more than three years after allegations of influence-peddling, money laundering and breach of trust resulted in a police raid on the B.C. legislature.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett set the date Monday after reaching an agreement with the defence team that it would not seek any further adjournments in a trial that has been delayed by the defence needing more time to study the tens of thousands of documents produced by the Crown as evidence.
Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, who were ministerial assistants to the Liberal government, are charged with a variety of offences relating to the $1-billion sale of BC Rail to Canadian National Railways.
The Province, Vancouver, 16 January 2007
New pothole on road to Basi-Virk trial irks judge
By Keith Fraser,
The judge hearing the much-delayed corruption case arising from the December 2003 police raid on the B.C. legislature became exasperated yesterday at another adjournment request.
"I'm not sure why you need so much time," said B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett after special prosecutor Bill Berardino requested yet another delay.
Berardino explained that he and the defence lawyers for the accused -- David Basi, Aneal Basi and Robert Virk -- had almost finished reviewing a massive amount of documents.
He suggested several dates as deadlines for defence applications before a new trial date of April 2.
"If these dates are set, I'm not going to hear we need another adjournment in the middle of March," commented the judge, before agreeing to the latest adjournment.
Victoria Times Colonist - 16 January 2007
Trial date set in legislature raid case
VANCOUVER-- Three former B.C. government officials will stand trial April 2 -- more than three years after allegations of influence peddling, money laundering and breach of trust resulted in a police raid on the B.C. legislature.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett set the date yesterday after reaching an agreement with the trio's defence team that they would not seek any further adjournments.
The start of the trial has been repeatedly delayed by the defence, which needed more time to study the tens of thousands of documents produced by the Crown as evidence.
Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, who were ministerial assistants to the Liberal government, are charged with a variety of offences relating to the $1-billion sale of B.C. Rail to the Canadian National Railways.
Basi's cousin Aneal Basi, a former public affairs officer with the government, is charged with two counts of money laundering.
The defence team told Bennett they'll challenge the wiretap authorizations that resulted in the police raids on the legislature and other premises and the seizing of massive amounts of documents.
Monday's Canadian Briefs
January 15, 2007
British Columbia legislature raid trial set for April; constitutional challenges expected
VICTORIA (AP) _ A search warrant that allowed police to conduct a raid on the British Columbia legislature more than three years ago will form part of a constitutional challenge when the highly publicized influence peddling case comes to court in April, a defense lawyer says.
The trial of three former British Columbia Liberal insiders was set for April 2 after a brief hearing Monday in Vancouver.
Defense lawyer Michael Bolton said he will include two constitutional challenges as part of his defense of David Basi, one of three former British Columbia Liberal officials charged after the unprecedented raid on the legislature in December 2003.
Two former senior cabinet assistants, Robert Virk and David Basi face several charges, including accepting a bribe, influence peddling, breach of trust and fraud. Aneal Basi faces two charges of money laundering.
Basi was a ministerial assistant for former finance minister Gary Collins. Virk was an aide to former transportation minister Judith Reid. Aneal Basi was a public affairs officer in the Transport Ministry.
The three men are all related.
Bolton said he will make constitutional arguments to challenge the legislature raid search warrant and court authorizations permitting certain wiretaps.
Can you spot the recklessly different terminology the U.S. media uses? It's the "L" word with which they describe the accused officials. Very unusual. - BC Mary.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Let every B.C. citizen hear the B.C. Rail case
Supreme Courtroom #20, the so-called Air India courtroom, features video monitors for evidence presentation, voice-activated video cameras, direct broadcast of proceedings to other locations in the courthouse (and presumably onto the Legislature Channel), digital recording and video conferencing.
In other words, B.C. Supreme Court on Smithe Street, Vancouver, is already set up to allow TV to carry the BC Rail trial to every interested citizen of British Columbia.
See photo: www.vancourier.com.issues02/083202/news/083202nn5.html
A single camera was allowed into B.C. Supreme Court for the trial of 9 South Korean men charged with people smuggling. "The experiment went well," said the presiding judge.
Many B.C. residents have current issues with the railway operations. Most of them live "up-country" and can't possibly attend daily court sessions when the B.C. Rail case comes to trial. But they could follow the evidence on TV.
Very few citizens can afford the time and expense of attending daily court sessions, even if there's an empty seat for us in the courtroom. But we could follow the evidence on TV.
Don't tell me that people aren't interested. Oh, yes we are! But we need half a chance to be properly informed. Given the inability of a biased media to report fairly on a $1 billion deal affecting a public asset, TV court showings are the only way to serve the people's best interests.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Cameras in Canada's courtrooms? So the public can see the Justice, the accused, the lawyers, and hear the evidence? Good idea!
Just think how determined people have to be, before they can find out just the date, the place, the court, the courtroom, and the time of day when a specific trial or even a specific pre-trial hearing is going to take place.
You have to wonder: should it be this challenging? I don't think so.
"The day is going to come where we have cameras in the courtrooms observing almost everything that is done in our justice system," said the Ontario Attorney General, Michael Bryant, recently. O speed the day!
I can't think of anything healthier for the Province of British Columbia, than to feel that we'll be made fully aware of each piece of evidence presented -- or not presented -- at the trial of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Udhe Basi, Bob Virk, and Aneal Basi. No more scrabbling through the pages of the Vancouver Sun. No more thinking the story might show up tomorrow ... only it doesn't. With cameras, we'd be right there in the courtroom.
And why shouldn't we be? When they say "Her Majesty the Queen" ... that's fancy talk for us, you and me. For the people of this country. So we should be able to see and hear and consider every word that's spoken in evidence surrounding the charges concerning our railway. The heck with those wonky artists' renditions of the accused. Let us see them, hear them. The Supreme Court justice too. And the lawyers. Allow us the courtesy of making up our own minds whether justice was done.
So far as I know -- from having made a note of it at the last pre-trial conference, but not confirmed -- the next Basi, Virk, Basi pre-trial conference will take place at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Monday 15 January 2007.
A wise person has told me not to expect a trial date to be agreed upon quite yet. But that's exactly what I do hope for. You too, I bet.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Spiderman does Wikipedia? Who knows?
Public Eye OnLine - Sean Holman
9 January 2007
HISTORY CAN BE REWRITTEN!
Former Pilothouse Public Affairs Inc. lobbyist Erik Bornman has become, by any measure, a notable figure in British Columbia political history. After all, according to search warrants released last April, he is alleged to have "received information and documents" from David Basi "in exchange for payments" which were forwarded to the then ministerial assistant. But it seems some Wikipedia readers have a different view.
Those readers recently debated whether the online encyclopedia should delete an entry about Mr. Bornman published in the online encyclopedia - an entry that had become increasingly controversial due to the inclusion of allegedly libelous and biased material. Some believed those concerns about that material were reason enough for deletion. But others made the more curious argument Mr. Bornman wasn't "notable" with one reader writing there was "no value in this entry until this person and his testimony shows significant importance and usefulness in relation to the other convicting evidence" in the legislative raid case. In the end though, a Wikipedia administrator decided to keep the entry, pruning any unreferenced information.
Which aroused an indignant shout from normally mild-mannered Bill Tieleman, who said:
Interesting that the Wikipedia item on Erik Bornman doesn't cite any of my extensive reports for The Tyee at www.thetyee.ca or for 24 hours newspaper http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/ or previously for the Georgia Straight www.straight.com
No mention of his "Spiderman" antics, no mention of his withdrawal from articling at Liberal & Paul Martin leadership donor McCarthy Tetrault in Toronto, no mention of his "good character" hearing by the Law Society of Upper Canada - in short, Wikipedia comes up way short on the facts - not opinions - on Erik Bornmann.
Posted by Bill Tieleman on January 9, 2007 11:28 AM
Interesting comments are piling up on Public Eye OnLine.
Monday, January 08, 2007
The 15 Jan. 2007, pre-trial conference may finally fix the trial date for Basi, Virk, Basi
One week from today, on 15 January 2007, the lawyers for the Crown (that's us) and the lawyers for the accused (that's Dave Basi, Bob Virk, Aneal Basi) will meet again in B.C. Supreme Court, Vancouver, for what may be the final pre-trial conference -- the one which nails down the date of the most important trial in British Columbia history.
Many months ago, we were so sure that the B.C. Rail case would come to trial on 5 June 2006, that Bill Tieleman's pre-trial report still reads like fresh, hot news. It is reproduced below, with thanks to Bill. It's worthwhile to look up the original story in The Tyee because there's a lot of good information in many comments following on after Bill's report. The astute reader will even detect the origins (within those comments) of The Legislature Raids as we discussed the difficulties of finding enough information to be able to follow the Basi, Virk, Basi story intelligently.
- BC Mary
Leg Raid Case: New Charges, New Questions
Scandal keeps growing
Influence peddling on big land deal alleged.
By Bill Tieleman
The Tyee - April 4, 2006 - TheTyee.ca
New criminal charges against David Basi and new information released Monday raise troubling new questions about British Columbia's largest and longest-running political scandal - the "raid on the legislature" case.
Perhaps the biggest question is this - what the hell is going on here?
Former provincial ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk and former communications aide Aneal Basi all face a variety of charges stemming back two and a half years to December 28, 2003.
On that date, Canadians were shocked by television footage of police officers carting box after box out of the legislature in a case that allegedly involved not only the $1 billion BC Rail privatization deal, but drug trafficking, influence peddling, breach of trust and fraud.
David Basi, his brother-in-law Virk and his cousin all face trial in B.C. Supreme Court starting June 5.
On Monday, a large volume of information related to several search warrants was released to the media. Included are allegations that lobbyists Erik Bornman and Brian Kieran of Pilothouse Public Affairs paid almost $30,000 to the accused in exchange for confidential government information on part of the BC Rail deal.
New key witness
On top of that, new and apparently unrelated charges were also laid against David Basi and two other men who allegedly were all involved in illegal activities to influence the removal of land from the Agricultural Land Reserve for a major Sooke-area development.
And it became clear that former Province newspaper columnist Kieran had joined Bornman in becoming key witnesses for the crown. Neither man faces any charges, despite allegations in the police information that they provided money and benefits in return for confidential government information from Basi and Virk.
As always, it should be stressed that information in the police "Information To Obtain A Search Warrant" and in the "Warrant To Search" documents released are only allegations and unproven in court. The presumption of innocence is critical to our judicial system - and to the rights of the accused.
But by now, the public should be deeply concerned about not only what may or may not have happened, but how police and the courts are handling this case.
One question that the June trial may or may not answer is about the different treatment afforded key individuals in the influence peddling case.
The three accused, all Indo-Canadians, have lost their well-paid government jobs and are surviving, according to one source, only because of support from friends and family.
Meanwhile, no charges are facing the two lobbyists involved, who allegedly paid benefits for information useful to their clients. Also not facing charges are several other individuals connected to the case, all of whom happen to be Caucasians.
Return of 'Spiderman'
In fact, Erik Bornman is now a University of B.C. law student articling in Toronto at the prestigious firm of McCarthy Tetrault, which donated $118,000 to the federal leadership campaign of former Liberal Party Prime Minister Paul Martin, who Bornman once worked for when Martin was finance minister.
Bornman, the budding lawyer, earned the nickname "Spiderman" after he once entered a locked federal Liberal Party in B.C. office through the ceiling.
And Kieran, still an active lobbyist, has announced his "inevitable retirement" after a highly lucrative career promoting the interests of major multinational forest companies and other firms to the BC Liberals and before that, the BC NDP government.
Kieran's successor at Pilothouse, now renamed K&E Public Affairs, is Jamie Elmhirst, currently president of the Liberal Party of Canada in B.C. and a longtime Gordon Campbell Liberal supporter, as well. Pilothouse's offices were also searched by police in the investigation.
Bornman and Kieran were at one time registered as lobbyists for OmniTRAX, the US-based rail company that bid for BC Rail against eventual winner CN Rail. Another bidder, CP Rail, bailed out of the bidding because it claimed there was a "clear breach" of fairness in the process, due to other bidders receiving confidential information.
As well as representing OmniTRAX, Bornman was a registered lobbyist for the Employers Forum of BC, the Council of Forest Industries, the Western Canadian Shippers Coalition, the Broe Companies, Inc. (owners of OmniTRAX), the BC Real Estate Association, Famous Players, the Certified General Accountants Association of BC and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, according to the B.C. government's lobbyist web site. Kieran also represented most of those firms and some others.
Sooke land deal
The new charges that were laid Monday against Basi, James Seymour Duncan and Anthony Ralph Young allege that Basi accepted $50,000 for his assistance in excluding property from the Agricultural Land Reserve.
That property formed the giant Sunriver Estates, a project of 650 residential units on 382 acres being built in five phases through 2007. It is owned by Shambrook Hills Development Corp.
In an interview Monday, former Sooke councilor Tom Marino said the project was removed from the ALR before he became a council member, but that both Duncan and Young had subsequently appeared there occasionally with requests related to the development. Marino, former leader of the Democratic Reform Party of B.C., said he did not know either man personally.
The Sunriver Estates development was highly controversial in 2001-2002 when it was proposed and a local Sooke community group, WRATH - Worried Residents Against Tax Hikes in Sooke campaigned against the ALR exclusion.
The Sooke News Mirror strongly criticized the town council in a May 30, 2001 editorial for reversing Sooke policy in order to consider supporting the exclusion.
"This week, our municipal government decided to renege on a freshly-minted policy which stated that it would only consider Agriculture Land Reserve exclusions on property within the core area until the Official Community Plan review process is completed," the News Mirror wrote.
"Despite this policy, council has decided to allow Shambrook Hills Development Corp. - which has its sights set on converting the 386-acre Phillips farm property into a residential development - plead its case for ALR exclusion," the paper concluded.
The Agricultural Land Commission itself has been the subject of considerable controversy during the B.C. Liberal government's term of office, with claims of political interference dogging its decisions.
Basi lawyer denies charges
David Basi's lawyer Michael Bolton immediately dismissed the charges against his client, saying it made no sense for anyone to believe that a ministerial assistant in the finance ministry could have any influence on ALR decisions.
Bolton said Basi would plead not guilty to the new charges and predicted he would be exonerated.
Meanwhile, other evidence released by the courts details how Basi's cousin Aneal allegedly "laundered" payments from Bornman to Basi through his own bank accounts.
A police search warrant ITO alleges that Aneal Basi received cheques from Bornman and his company Pacific Public Affairs Corporation for "contract writing services" and then passed equal amounts on to David Basi.
"A review of the cheque stubs and cancelled cheques written by Bornman demonstrated a pattern of corresponding deposits or transfers into the accounts of Basi immediately or shortly after a cheque, written by Bornman and payable to Aneal Basi, was cashed in TD Canada Trust account XXXXX," the police document alleges.
Other police documents for the humorously named "Project Everywhichway" show that David Basi's home telephone, B.C. government office, cell phone and home computer account were all the subjects of electronic surveillance.
Trip with rail bidder
The documents also appear to show that by July 2004, Bornman was cooperating with the police investigation.
"As part of the investigation, Erik Bornmann in an interview provided information relating to the passage of money to David Basi through Aneal Basi," it reads. The next four pages are completely blacked out by court authorities, until the statement resumes with: "That on May 10, 2004, Erik Bornman supplied to Commercial Crime investigators cheques payable to Aneal Basi from 2002 as well as the cheques payable to Aneal Basi during 2003 that were not located and seized during the execution of warrants on December 28, 2003."
That leaves no doubt what Bornman's role will be as a key crown witness during the trial.
Another interesting aspect of the new search warrant information is that it reveals David Basi and Bob Virk and their wives Interjit and Armijit traveled to Denver, Colorado to attend a Denver Broncos football game with Gary Rennick, the former Chief Operating Officer of OmniTRAX, one of the bidders in the privatization of BC Rail.
The document alleges that David Basi told his boss, former BC Liberal Finance Minister Gary Collins, that the trip was paid for by personal funds and was not related to government business.
But in fact, the police allege that "Basi received funds totaling $3000 from Brian Kieran on or about December 9, 2002. It is believed that these funds were solicited by Basi to cover the cost of airfares for Basi, Inderjit Basi, Virk and Armijit Virk."
Who will testify?
So once again, British Columbians have more information but also more doubts about what really happened in this province's largest political scandal story.
There still remain even more unanswered questions. A host of other prominent B.C. and federal Liberals are connected to David Basi - will they be testifying at his trial?
What about the role of Bruce Clark, a federal Liberal executive member in BC, brother of former Deputy Premier Christy Clark and brother-in-law of Mark Marissen, Paul Martin's former top advisor in B.C.? Bruce Clark's home office was searched as part of the legislature raid activities and earlier police search warrant ITO documents claimed that documents pertaining to the BC Rail Roberts Bank privatization deal were passed by Basi to Clark.
Will former Finance Minister Gary Collins or former Transportation Minister Judith Reid be called to testify in the trial of their former ministerial aides?
Will executives from CN Rail, CP Rail and OmniTRAX also testify about their lobbying activities?
One thing is clear, however - the lucrative and secretive Wild West world of lobbying the B.C. government will never be the same after this trial.
Thanks again, Bill.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Nothing to do with politics but Bertuzzi did have the guts to face Moore, it was Moore who turned his back. You have to watch the whole play not just the last 3 seconds.
As for politics, "I Have a Little List". Good list. Stuff on there I had forgotten about.
commentor: BC Maryposted: 12-27-2004
Thank you to: "I have a little list", for kick-starting our own B.C. investigation. There's so MUCH for any red-blooded investigative reporter to dig into, beginning with Liberal memberships and the way in which federal candidates were muscled into place. Then the proliferating Casinos -- who's authorizing them? and why at such break-neck speed? There are side-bars such as the curious break-in at Bruce Torrie's home. The facts appeared only once, never again, not even in Tyee. Here's the only announcement: [from:] Victoria Independent Media Center Did Basi's Boy's Burgle Bruce Torrie's Victoria Home? by Alan Rycroft and Bruce Torrie , via CCC • Friday February 06, 2004 NEWS RELEASE Liberal Lawyer's House Burglary Follows Briefings on Organized Crime VANCOUVER -- The Victoria home of Bruce Torrie was burgled last weekend, three weeks after he began briefing high-placed Liberals about the possible infiltration of the Liberal Party of Canada by organized crime. Bruce Torrie is the former Legal Counsel to the LIberal Party of Canada (B. C.) and the Liberal Party of B. C., as well as the former President of the Vancouver Centre Provincial Liberal Riding Association, and the former Policy Chair of the LIberal Party of B. C. "Police tell me that this was the work of professionals, who cut phone lines to disable the alarm system," said Torrie. "They left almost everything of real value, taking only three large jars of pocket change and a few other items. They found two secret hiding places in my home that I didn't even know existed, and turned my house upside down apparently looking for information." Torrie has been briefing high-placed LIberal Party officials and activists from his Vancouver home since January 9, and believes the burglary is related to his briefings. "After the RCMP raid on the B. C. Legislature, it's no secret that police are investigating organized crime at the highest levels of Canadian society," said Torrie. "I think organized crime was trying to find out what I know about their activities within the Liberal Party of Canada." Torrie believes that there are two crime rings fighting for control within the LIberal Party of Canada, and that several prominent politicians and party functionaries are "patsies or proxies for organized crime." Information: http://www.brucetorrie.ca Bruce Torrie, 604. 685 0222 RCMP, 250 474. 2264 (file no. 20041551) The burglary is being investigated by the RCMP. Media outlets wishing to gain access to the crime scene in Victoria are asked to schedule an appointment through Bruce Torrie. [End of quote] If anybody has any new information on this, please write. And write to the media. It's true, that very few letters are chosen for publication. But it's also true that every letter is read and tallied according to subject matter. Be brief, be polite, check for errors, but write! How else can the bastards know that the public truly does care about veracity, integrity, and the fate of the nation.
commentor: howard brownposted: 12-27-2004
Anybody notice that the then transportation minister Judith Reid was 'non-involved' elected official to beat a hasy path to the door?
commentor: Burgessposted: 12-27-2004
Everyone knows about Doug Walls and his 'salivating' over the billion plus dollar account that was about to end up in his hands. (Can you say 'skimming'?) How an account for his wife was set up to cover HIS ass from his creditors and and to keep his creditors away from the dollars HE was earning before being discharged by the courts. The kicker was the investigating powers gave this scam the okay.(This man never even gave a thought to the citizens of Prince George that ended up having their cars seized and salaries docked by HIS creditors.) Gordon Hooge had to know what was up because they worked out of the same office building and were personal friends. This guy let Hooge take the fall because it is all about him. Me, me, me and to hell with the rest of you. (Campbell stayed with the Walls in PG but our illustrious premier played 'dumb' when first questioned about his relationship to the Walls. Mendacity fits well here mr. premier.) For anyone interested check out The Public Eye on Brian Bonney. Another admitted bankrupt (see Burnaby Now and New Westminster Newsleader archives) To make a trite statement 'Those that can - run a business those that can't take out a membership with the liberal party and feed at the public trough. With the scandals that this liberal government has imposed on BC, and if gets re-elected, we the citizens will surely get what we deserve, another four years of criminal ineptitude and greedy hands on public monies. Trouble is what is the alternative? PS. And the fish farm fiasco was not even mentioned this time around.
commentor: relayerposted: 12-27-2004
As long as we're asking about the stories the media seems to be ignoring, what about the persistent reports that when Gordo got busted in Hawaii, he was there with his girlfriend? Which explains why she looked like she was ready to kill him at that pathetic news conference he gave when he got back.
commentor: Who knowsposted: 12-27-2004
I wonder if the $250K 3 month consulting gig that Tejinder Basi participated in a week before the leg raids last year might somehow be related.
commentor: relayerposted: 12-27-2004
explains why his WIFE looked the way she did. Sorry...
commentor: Garry/Richmondposted: 12-27-2004
There seems to be some aspects of the BC Rail deal that run parallel to the Watergate scandal. Illegal operations were involved in both affairs. Three BC Liberal aides were caught in the BC Rail deal while five Republican aides were caught during the burglary at Watergate hotel. In the Watergate scandal, the aides eventually implicated their superiors who eventually spent time in jail. There are still a lot of questions not answered in ther BC Rail deal. If the BC Rail deal was not compromised, why are these three aides being fired and charged with fraud, breach of trust and influence peddling? Why was the Robert Bank deal killed when the BC Rail deal was already signed? Which means the BC Rail was also criminally compromised because it was negotiated first. The people should know more.
commentor: Baileyposted: 12-27-2004
This is a very important story. It must be brought out into the light and be seen.
These people seem to be masters of the diversion, the misdirection, the sleight of hand. Roberts bank was likely trashed so spectacularly for the same reason a magician points at his right hand and releases a flock of pigeons while his left hand does the dirty work. To make you look away from the real deception. You can stare as hard as you like at that right hand but if you do, you never will see the trick.
Here's something for the little list. Parliamentary procedure dictates that governments must fall if certain things happen, failure to pass a money bill, or a big scandal. It cannot tolerate an American style fixed election date. When the BC Liberals set a fixed date, what they were saying was they refused to leave no matter what anybody said, no matter what they were caught doing or who they were caught doing it to.
If the next election results in a minority, like the one the Feds are dealing with, how will the opposition parties operate? They must be able to force an election, but the new law forbids it. Essentially it seems to mean that they will not go even if they lose, unless they're completely routed.
Another magical piece of mischief, destroying Parliament's ability to function while distracting the audience so they won't notice what's gone until it's too late. They clearly mean to hold on to power no matter what. Even if it costs us the very heart of what we are.
commentor: NAME WITHHELDposted: 12-27-2004
I heard the Premier was getting half of the cash/BC bud from the Basi ring in kickbacks and had been sending it to his buddy "Glenochio" at Pattison Motors to get it laundered and clipped, and that he and his pal/gal are regulars who whoop it up at secret party headquarters in Nanaimo in the New-Era Right-Wing NeoCon-Liberal Hell's Angels Bingo Parlour, (a former NDP gig), rumoured to be operated by Solitor General "Big Piggy" Coleman. Who knows, eh!
commentor: sgregsonposted: 12-28-2004
All seems a tad more serious than a dubious wooden deck. By rights this scandal should bring the BC Liberals a harsh defeat in May 05 - but after seeing Bush re-elected in the US we have to admit anything is possible.
commentor: Wonderwomanposted: 12-28-2004
Excellent article, Barbara. Everyone sees the obvious: the desperate attempt of the media to submerge this growing disgraceful scandal. Kuddos to all who posted comments above. If one scratches the surface, almost every initiative that Campbell has pushed directly benefits his tight circle of friends; including the Olympic venues with J. Poole holding the reigns, many key corporate interests sitting on the board with large land holdings in Whistler and the Sea to Sky Corrider and Furlong eminating from the Arbutus Club, owned by Mr. Ho; the casino expansion with the co-campaign chairman Kinsella's involvement along with other key Liberal/Conservatives (oh my - doesn't RAV take you right to the RiverRock Casino? Isn't the Casino going to pay for part of the Ice Rink venue taken from Simon Fraser for Richmond's benefit? Or is it for some other benefit other than the people of Richmond?) As for CN and an "inside deal": I heard a whisper that one of Campbell's friends from University heads up CN; could it be true? OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB THEY WEAVE. They have become blinded with their greed; too clever by half; too arrogant to see that the power of the people given the truth is a worthy opponent and will win every time. The Hon. W.A.C. Bennett understood the power of the people. He built B.C. Rail and established B.C. Hydro and other visionary PUBLIC enerprises for the benefit of the people of B.C. vs a select group of private interests. The actions that Campbell and his crew have taken against the best interests of the people of this province to benefit themselves, is truly a crime. Perhaps beyond all of our comprehensions, W.A.C. will have a hand in bringing them all down to the level where they belong.
commentor: MacLachlanposted: 12-28-2004
Although I am largely unaware of many of the sordid details of McLintock's piece, It does not suprise me. The most troubling aspect of McLintock's story (as well as the most entertaining and informative comments in response) is that the cancer with respect to political leadership goes largely unnoticed by the public at large. The trouble is that a critical mass of the electorate are far too preoccupied with their own bread and butter issues that they are only too happy to have mainstream media spoon-feeding be the sole source of their "information". Being so informed, they appear to be totally content with the sleezebags who somehow pass themselves off as responsible and moral leaders. So, the real question in this polity, as in any liberal democracy, is how to encourage more of the electorate to take a greater interest in the institutions that have a significant bearing on their lives, but more importantly, to hold political leaders to a much higher standard than what we have in either our provincial or federal political arenas? In the several decades I have followed politics I have never felt as disgusted with the process as what I feel now. Is this the result (and triumph) of corporate infiltration of both mainstream media and governmental institutions that the public (at large buys into a rationalist ethos that) settles for a far less than optimal status quo? Or is it that the public at large is terminally braindead to the extent that they are easily manipulated and therefore are fair game for for those who have the power and the will (not to mention the greed) to exploit that weakness?
commentor: Stink Watchposted: 12-28-2004
The timing of this story reminds me of the late November finding of budget surplus that just happened to be announced before the RAV financing was running out of time. You all know the re
On Thursday, November 16, 2006, at 12:56 AM, Lynn Smyth wrote:
Much agree, Mary and Jim ...Tina is posing some very good questions.
Here is a great article from Tyee, (Dec.24,2004.)...but it is the commentary that is really worth the read...sometimes I think Beers doesn't appreciate enough the level of commentary ;-)...anywaaaaay.....some really very good info and questions being asked in it:
This has been a very lonnnnng day... for many reasons. Wind, lightning, monsoon-like rain...and the run-off from the hills behind us has created a raging waterfall down the cliffs we live on.
Hope our house is not sitting on the low tide mark by morning.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day, right Scarlett?
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
MARK MARISSEN CONTROVERSY, as told by the Indo-Canadian VOICE ONLINE
This story may surprise many readers. It is written by an Indo-Canadian who fears (rightly or wrongly) that his community is being politically undermined. This is the only example I could find in which racism is mentioned, as portrayed in Gary Mason's 23 December 2006 story in The Globe and Mail. Sincere thanks to the editor of VOICE ONLINE for permission to republish his entire article (below). - BC Mary.
From Indo-Canadian VOICE ONLINE - 30 December 2006
MARK MARISSEN CONTROVERSY
Decent Indo-Canadians should beware of Mark Marissen's manipulations
By RATTAN MALL
Mark Marissen - the person who as former prime minister Paul Martin's chief hatchet man in B.C. sabotaged the highly respected former federal minister Herb Dhaliwal's nomination and parachuted Gulzar Cheema into the Fleetwood-Port Kells federal riding, bullying one Indo-Canadian candidate to quit and shamelessly sabotaging another Indo-Canadian's attempt to get democratically nominated from that riding - is back in power in the federal Liberal party because he was the newly elected leader Stephane Dion's campaign manager.
So decent Indo-Canadians have to be wary of this man once again - and if anyone experiences bullying or sabotage from him, please do not hesitate to contact The VOICE. Of course, there are other Indo-Canadians who will allow themselves to be used by him - just like Shinder Purewal, who Marissen and the notorious so-called Basi boys used to sabotage Dhaliwal in his Vancouver South riding in 2002, and Gulzar Cheema did in 2004 federal election, only to make utter fools of themselves. Purewal was ordered to step aside so that NDP deserter Ujjal Dosanjh could be parachuted into the riding and Cheema was badly humiliated by Conservative candidate Nina Grewal, a rookie in politics.
Interestingly, even Marissen's wife, former deputy premier of B.C., Christy Clark, showed the same opportunism last year when she suddenly decided to try for the NPA nomination for Vancouver's mayor's election but lost to Sam Sullivan. All of her hubby's contacts and manipulative ways couldn't help her.
But let me go into some of the details of Marissen's operations that The VOICE exposed and vehemently opposed over the past years.
For instance, [I wrote] in an article on January 3, 2004, in The VOICE entitled, "Raid at the B.C.Legilstaure: How Basi boys and Paul Martin's white B.C. boys disgraced Indo-Canadian community".
However, the equally big story that has emerged from this case is about the DISGRACE that the kind of BULLYING AND UNPRINCIPLED politics of the Basi boys has brought upon the Indo-Canadian community.
The most shocking episode was the way in which the highly respected Herb Dhaliwal was stabbed in the back by Shinder Purewal, who was put on the scene by the Basi boys, as the mainstream media itself has been reporting all week.
The VOICE readers know how I had been exposing this filthy politics that was being openly encouraged by Prime Minister Paul Martin.
Martin's WHITE guys used us BROWN guys for their own selfish ambition - only to bring disgrace upon all of us. And we have only ourselves to blame.
Martin's NAKED POWER GRAB to kick out Jean Chretien meant NO PRINCIPLES.
Is this the kind of Prime Minister we can be proud of?
In my honest and blunt (as always) opinion: Paul Martin himself is a disgrace!
I am reproducing all the relevant facts from my stories exposing this disgrace since October last year so that The VOICE readers can see what KIND OF PATTERN was developing all along - something that Martin and his closest advisors knew about. So when this scandal broke, many readers phoned to tell me HOW CORRECT this paper had been all along as usual.
In fact, The Globe and Mail newspaper, Canada's highly respected national paper, reported that "former Sheila Copps supporter Greg Wilson, a member of the B.C. Liberal executive from 1996 to 1999, said that Basi and his young Liberal friends were known as "Basi's Boys" - well-dressed young men who drove good cars and in no way resembled the typical T-shirt-and-jean-clad young Liberal.
"The Basi Boys were involved in a battle launched by Mr. Marissen that saw the Martin camp take over Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal's riding association last November, Mr. Wilson said.
"Mr. Dhaliwal, the first Indo-Canadian federal cabinet minister, was a staunch supporter of former prime minister Jean Chretien and the political minister for B.C. It was a humiliating defeat for him and revealed the divisions within his community as well as the Liberal Party.
"Meanwhile, Mr. Basi's ethnicity, organizational skills and aggressiveness made him an attractive prospect for a job in Ottawa with Mr. Martin."
The story also brings about the HYPOCRISY of the PROVINCIAL LIBERALS as well.
First of all, Premier Gordon Campbell had reportedly asked people working for the provincial party not to meddle in federal politics. Yet the Basi boys were doing so openly.
What is more, their boss was none other than the husband of Deputy Premier and Education Minister Christy Clark - Mark Marissen.
Meanwhile, Herb Dhaliwal is demanding that the Premier explain how two members of the political staff of his ministers were undermining a Cabinet Minister (Dhaliwal was then the federal Natural Resources Minister and the political minister for B.C.) even while they were being paid as full-time members of his provincial setup.
Dhaliwal pointed out that at that very time he was actually helping out Campbell's government with federal funds and other things. He said Campbell should ask his Finance and Transport ministers some tough questions about this.
However, with politicians being the kind of people they are, don't expect the ministers to come clean. The obvious answer will be that they weren't involved in Dhaliwal's riding.
Marissen's UNDEMOCRATIC and DICTORIAL behaviour was also clearly reflected in the way Cheema was parachuted into the Fleetwood-Port Kells riding while bullying Surjit Kooner, a former Surrey school trustee, to quit and sabotaging Jaswinder Toor's nomination.
In that incident, Marissen actually got back to me with his own version (The VOICE of March 27, 2004) in which he claimed that there had been a misunderstanding with Kooner and that Toor was late in filing his nomination.
So I carried both Toor and Marissen's version in this paper - and you could clearly see how Toor's nomination was blatantly sabotaged.
So that readers interested in having a second look at that controversy can judge for themselves, I am carrying those two articles again this week at www.voiceonline.com.
Read them carefully.