Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Basi Virk Basi - this Morning in Courtroom 67 - March 31, 2009


By Robin Mathews

The morning was almost beyond belief.

Outward appearances, one more time, were smooth, well-dressed, and orderly. The universe was unfolding as it should...apparently. Nine lawyers, a judge, (with five or six in the gallery) were sitting before a document list from BC Rail. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett turned pages and turned pages and went on and on, saying 'document W is relevant, document X is relevant, document Y is not relevant and..and..and'.

What was going on was simple. And it was totally unnecessary.

In my judgement, it is happening (and will continue, more or less, to happen all day) because (as I see events) the Gordon Campbell government is doing everything it can to prevent the world from knowing the manipulations, misrepresentations, shady actions, and - even perhaps - lawless things done to fake BC Rail out of ownership by British Columbians and slip it into the ownership of CN.

If the cabinet and its connected agencies had conducted public business concerning BC Rail openly and transparently, they could have made all documents available long, long ago. (Why should government conduct of the people's business be so 'cloak and dagger', so in 'the shadows'? So secret?)

If the transactions within BC Rail itself concerning the alienation of BC Rail from ownership by the people of BC had been conducted openly and transparently, all the related documents could have been made available long, long ago. (What actions went on in BC Rail that need as much hiding as can be arranged?)

The documents would have been made freely available to the public as well as to the Defence lawyers for Basi, Virk, and Basi long ago. And so this morning's activity was part of a delaying and obstructing game, to these eyes.

If the B.C. public wanted to see plainly that the Gordon Campbell government has a great deal to hide, the public needed only to sit this morning and watch what might be called "fake justice" playing out in Courtroom 67.

This morning Defence got 80 new documents from BC Rail. Remember that BC Rail joined the protocol used to gather seventeen binders of documents (the 8000 pages) from government departments. Two of the binders were of BC Rail documents. Counsel for BC Rail objected to their inclusion as documents the Defence could use. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett upheld the BC Rail objections and ruled that a small number were privileged and the larger number were not relevant to the Defence of Basi, Virk, and Basi.

Upon consultation with the independent nominee who gathered the FOI documents as relevant, Defence applied to have them named relevant. Today, after Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett had ruled on the relevance or irrelevance of her previously named irrelevant documents, Court recessed for an hour so that Defence could consult again with the independent nominee and prepare, perhaps, another application to have the documents now named irrelevant reviewed.

Remember. This is happening, as I see it, because the Gordon Campbell government is unwilling to have the people of B.C. know about the steps taken to sell BC Rail, after solemn promises not to sell it.

In that regard some might believe, as I do, that Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett is not concerned enough about the people of British Columbia in the matter, is not nearly impatient enough with various kinds of delay.

Michael Bolton, for the Defence, said outside the courtroom, the documents in question were not uncovered by the RCMP in their investigations, but Defence believes they may have important relevance to the political agenda of the sale of BC Rail, as well as to various legal and accounting issues, and to the withdrawn port subdivision sale. We remember that the (withdrawn) sale of the Roberts Bank part of BC Rail is connected to allegations against the accused.

No mention of Patrick Kinsella - who may have have been working for both CN and BC Rail at the time - was made today. But there will no doubt be more action on that file before a long time has passed. On everybody's mind there are questions. What did he do for either side or both sides? What was his contract? Or what were his contracts? What direct connections did he have with Gordon Campbell (known as a friend)? What were his instructions from either side of the sale - and did they conflict?

Questions. Questions.



Sub judice, the Stonewally version

In the BUSINESS section of today's Vancouver Sun, there's as nifty a piece of comeuppance as we're likely to see this side of paradise. To see and hear Wally's performance -- the basis for Palmer's column -- go to Sean Holman's news site, Public Eye Online. Recommended. - BC Mary.


Stonewally delves into the world of sub judice

Attorney-general again fends off questions about Kinsella


The New Democratic Party Opposition raised another issue in the Patrick Kinsella affair Monday, hoping to chisel an opening in the stonewall the government has constructed around its relationship with the prominent B.C. Liberal party insider.

Kinsella's own organization has boasted about its role in helping privately owned Accenture land a $1.4-billion outsourcing deal with publicly owned BC Hydro. What about it? the New Democrats challenged Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom.

But as invariably happens when Kinsella's name is raised in the legislature, Attorney-General Wally Oppal delivered one of his preemptive "the matter is before the courts" answers.

But, but, but protested Opposition MLAs {Snip} ....

[Then Attorney-General Wally Oppal says to Vaughn Palmer:]

"The sub judice rule -- why don't you write a column about that one day, instead of skating around the outside? You're the guy to do it.

"The media have done a pretty poor job of explaining the sub judice rule. It is easier for you guys to call me Stonewally. Why don't you take the time and explain the rule and the historical origins of the rule? The media have abysmally failed to do that."

Good suggestion, Mr. Attorney. Sub judice and how it applies to matters before the house, coming right up. {Snip} ...

Wow. Give it a read.



Basi Virk Basi today 10:00 AM

File #23299

- Aneal Basi
- HMTQ vs Limited Access
- Bobby Virk

Vancouver Supreme Court today March 31, 2009, 10:00 AM.


Monday, March 30, 2009


" I oppose the sale of B.C. Rail."

Monday November 17, 2003 - Morning Sitting
Hansard Volume 18, Number 6

Second Reading of Bills


P. Nettleton: I rise in support of this bill, which is a private member's bill intended to stop the sale of B.C. Rail.

My perspective is a little different, I think, from the members of the opposition, in that my first encounter with folks in Prince George who had strong feelings with respect to B.C. Rail dates back to 1996 during the election campaign, when I was going door to door with my wife. I hadn't lived in that part of the country terribly long at the time, so for me it was an introduction of myself, and it was also an opportunity to listen and learn from folks in terms of what was important to them.

One of the things that was brought to my attention during that campaign — as I say, it was the campaign of 1996 — was that B.C. Rail was an issue that ran very deep in terms of people's emotional attachment. During the course of that campaign, I also ran into a number of men — I don't know that I ran into any women, but certainly a number of men — who supported their families working for B.C. Rail. I recall some of them telling me, in fact: "You know, you seem like a decent enough guy, and the B.C. Liberal Party is a party that has a lot of appeal. But B.C. Rail is, for us, a big issue, and that's an issue on which we're going to cast our vote." This meant, in fact, that the vote would be cast not for the B.C. Liberals but rather for the NDP.

That was my first introduction to B.C. Rail and, as I say, the strong sentiment not only in Prince George but beyond with respect to the issue of B.C. Rail and the sale of B.C. Rail. The election of 1996 — for those of us that were there, and I know there are a few members here who were there in 1996 and were fortunate enough to be elected in 1996 — certainly didn't have the result that I had expected, in that I was the only member elected as a B.C. Liberal in the north. Certainly, B.C. Rail was part of that outcome, I expect.

Following the election — the election which saw a majority NDP government and a very strong but nevertheless unsuccessful B.C. Liberal opposition — one of the things that happened was the then Leader of the Opposition, who is now Premier, met with us. I recall him meeting with me in Prince George and assigning roles to members of the then opposition, now government, to take on critic portfolios. I remember meeting with the Leader of the Opposition, and he assigned to me the role as critic of B.C. Rail. So I gladly took that task on.

For those of us here that recall what it was like to be a critic, I think there were a lot of benefits in terms of really digging deep into a given ministry, or a subset of a ministry in this case. B.C. Rail, of course, fell within the ministry for which the then minister, Dan Miller, was responsible, which involved northern interests, energy and mines, and so forth. I gladly took on that role. Again, as I say, it had been brought to my attention during the course of the election. I knew that the then Leader of the Opposition had committed to the province as a whole that he would sell B.C. Rail, and there was some sense in which that was problematic, particularly for those candidates of the north that were defeated.

Being a critic involved doing a number of things beyond just asking questions during the estimates process. It involved the opportunity to travel to North Vancouver and meet with the then head and CEO of CN and head of B.C. Rail, Paul McElligott, and his board. Paul McElligott, who is now the CEO of TimberWest, was really a free enterprise kind of guy. Under his watch, B.C. Rail was really run in very much a free enterprise type of setting, as much as one can achieve that within the context of a Crown corporation. It was highly diversified; it involved much more than just the railbeds. It involved BCR Ventures, which involved joint ventures in mining and so forth throughout the north. It had a real estate arm, it had a telecommunications arm, and it had Vancouver Wharves. In any event it was highly diversified, highly successful, and paid large dividends to the provincial government at the time — millions of dollars every year. Well, not every year, but certainly it generated millions of dollars, and on occasion it was tapped for those moneys.

It was interesting to meet with Mr. McElligott to get some sense of the challenges with respect to B.C. Rail. One of the things we did as critics, of course, was report out to the other opposition members with respect to our findings as to the direction, in this instance, of B.C. Rail.

My position personally hasn't changed with respect to B.C. Rail. I understand, I think, something of the emotional attachment with respect to B.C. Rail from men and women who have in many cases worked their lives on B.C. Rail and have seen the north opened up to development and opportunity and growth, and so forth, as government has shown a commitment to the north by way of B.C. Rail over the years. My position certainly hasn't changed, but the Premier, the then Leader of the Opposition, following the election of 1996 publicly made an apology with respect to B.C. Rail. Our position — that is, the B.C. Liberals' position on B.C. Rail — firmly committed that we had learned our lesson. In fact, we would not sell B.C. Rail should we be successful in 2001.

Now, the B.C. Liberals talk about new-era commitments. I took that to be a commitment. I took the Premier, the man who's now the Premier, at his word — that when he said we would not sell B.C. Rail, he was as good as his word. That, we now know, is not the case. Shortly after the election of 2001, we see a government that has moved very quickly. There's been speculation as to why that might be, why there's been this flip-flop, this breaking of the commitment on B.C. Rail. I think the opposition has laid out rather carefully and in a way that people can understand some of the reasons why, perhaps, government is now moving as it is to sell B.C. Rail.

One of the things I will say quickly in closing, because I know I'm running out of time, is that the public sentiment with respect to B.C. Rail — the same sentiment that I encountered in 1996 going door to door in Prince George talking to people — hasn't changed. People are for the most part, along the line and certainly in Prince George and beyond, opposed to the sale of B.C. Rail — what's left of B.C. Rail, given that B.C. Rail now really is just the freight service. Everything else has been sold off, so B.C. Rail is not what it used to be.

That public sentiment hasn't changed, and I'm delighted to be able to stand here today in support of this bill which has been introduced by the opposition. Thank God there's something of an opposition here. I shudder to think what in fact would happen if there wasn't. I'm delighted to stand here for my constituents and say that I support this bill, and I oppose the sale of B.C. Rail.

These notes from the Hansard record of debate are-posted here, as a Thank You to that heroic figure who stood up for British Columbians at a time when he stood alone as an Independent M.L.A. for the northern riding of Prince George - Omineca. This is a a debt to remember. - BC Mary.


Saturday, March 28, 2009


March 28, 2009 - Gary Mason, Ian Bailey, Les Leyne, Times Colonist editorial, Neal Hall

As election looms, new revelations about BC Rail stir up waters
Gary Mason
The Globe and Mail - March 28, 2009

VANCOUVER — B.C. Liberals are hoping new questions regarding Premier Gordon Campbell's involvement in the controversial sale of BC Rail back in 2003 fade away – just as they did then.

But it may be different this time ...

Read Gary Mason's complete column HERE. Recommended.


BC Premier sticks to 'no comment'
Ian Bailey
The Globe and Mail - March 28, 2009

Politically correct. Might help if readers act fast and leave comments, before The Globe and Mail closes off further submissions.

Read Ian Bailey's complete column HERE.


BC Rail needed management smarts
Les Leyne
Times Colonist - March 28, 2009

The reader of this next column may require boxing gloves. But if you can take the punch-up, it's a useful test of where the issues are important, and where they are not. Of course, it leaves out the question of "How did we lose BC Rail?", but here are two gems from the pen of Les Leyne:

Quote: ... but here's something that needs to be said: His [Kinsella's] $297,000 contract with B.C. Rail was a flat-out farce. And the explanation given for it is an even bigger farce. Imagine a government-owned entity hiring the ranking government relations expert in B.C. in order to get advice on how to deal with the government.

On what planet does that scenario make any sense? Since when do Crown corporations need government relations advice?

Quote: B.C. Rail, in an unsigned statement, said the contract ran 49 months, from 2001 to 2005, and he was paid $6,000 a month. But the whole core review exercise -- that searching examination of everything government was doing -- didn't even last half that long. It was a distant memory by 2005.

The management geniuses kept shelling out $6,000 a month for outside advice for about two years after the conclusion of the project on which they were seeking advice.

If nothing else, the contract and the justification explain why B.C. Rail was such a dead loss as a business enterprise. The management was so completely bereft of business smarts they had to hire outside help to tell them how to get along with their only shareholder.

And if you buy their ridiculous story, they kept him around for years longer than needed.

It leads to a paradoxical conclusion: The sale of B.C. Rail was a good deal, if only because it rescued the company from management that didn't even know how to deal with the government, let alone run a railway properly.

Read Les Leyne's complete paradoxical column HERE.

Excuse me, Les: BC Rail was NOT a dead loss. Not even close. Where'd you get that idea? - BC Mary


We need answers on Kinsella's role
Times Colonist - March 28, 2009

Quote: ... It is important to avoid prejudicing the accuseds' rights to a fair trial; it's also important to recognize the public interest in the sale and its handling.

And it is possible to reconcile the two. The trial is not being heard by a jury, which provides more latitude for answers. Judges are considered able to ignore information that is not relevant or admissible in reaching their decisions, unless it is extremely prejudicial. ...

Full editorial HERE.

Apart from the usual back-handed swipes at the Opposition -- as if the New Democrat Opposition had sold BC Rail in a secret deal -- this is an interesting new statement to be coming at this time from a CanWest newspaper. It poses the new question: is it really possible to ride a horse in two opposite directions at the same time?? - BC Mary.

Kinsella worked for both sides, lawyer says
NDP hits Liberals over BC Rail deal
Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - March 27, 2009.

Read the full story HERE.


Friday, March 27, 2009


Aneal Basi in Victoria court today

File #145212 - Aneal Basi
J.M. Doyle, Counsel
Room 103, Victoria Law Courts
March 27 , 2009 at 9:00 AM

Public Access Adult Court list

Count 1a - Care or control vehicle or vessel while impaired,
Count 1b - Care or control vehicle or vessel with over .08


Take a look at this, says
North Van's Grumps. I did. Amazing!

Click HERE to see what Supreme Court has on file.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


Robin Mathews: morning, March 26, 2009 when Courtroom 67 exploded

Morning in Courtroom 67
Robin Mathews - March 26, 2009

This morning exploded. Saying that some of the things referred to in his morning submission will be important later, Kevin MCCullough, for the Defence, launched into revelations of the tight connection between the legal and the political in the BC Rail Scandal as it relates to the accused in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case.

That is just the connection the Campbell forces have been attempting, many believe, to avoid at all costs. McCullough will continue with that theme this afternoon. This morning he pulled into the web of interaction people like Kevin Mahoney, VP of BC Rail, Chris Trumpy, member of the Evaluation Committee (and point man for the deal for the Gordon Campbell government), D. McLean, president of BCR, and (the now-famous) Patrick Kinsella - who, it appears, had surprising roles in the matter. (More below)

The matters McCullough laid before the court tangle the Gordon Campbell forces in an apparent web of manipulation and micromanagement both before and after the announcement of the sale of BC Rail.

The court was fuller than usual for the occasion, with ten counsel present and fifteen observers in the gallery.

McCullough divided the area of discussion into five categories. Roughly before the announcement of the sale and after it. After the date of the announcement of the winning bidder, November 25, 2003, there were problems with the transaction, and we now know, McCullough asserted, that in May, June, and July of 2004 the deal was going off the rails.

McCullough made clear that the position of Defence is that - in the whole playing out of the bidding, the allegation of a "consolation prize" for OmniTrax to stay in the bidding, and the alleged connection of that to Gary Collins, then Finance Minister - that the three accused were following the orders of their masters. Don't assume, McCullough said to the judge, that Bob Virk gave anybody anything. (Referring, I assume, to the charges against him.)

McCullough alleged that the micromanagement of the whole issue involved leaks, information given and then withdrawn - the process wholly controlled by a political agenda. The leaks, McCullough said, were not coming from Basi, Virk, and Basi, as alleged.

A "problem" with the deal arose. The sale was announced in late November 2003. And then on December 28 2003 the media was aware that the search warrant "raids" on legislature offices connected to BC Rail. In February of 2004, the RCMP conducted some interviews and in March the sale of Roberts Bank spurline was cancelled because the process had been contaminated.

How, McCullough asked, could the government continue with the sale? If one part of the sale was poisoned, he suggested, both parts had to be.

[On March 2, 2004, the BC Federation of Labour called for a halt to the sale. "Until the public is fully satisfied there were no criminal acrivities involving BC Rail, the sale of BC Rail must be stopped" the Federation demanded.]

What Defence didn't know in early days was that the "problem" arose. The deal, as McCullough put it, was "coming apart". In May of 2004, after the announcement, CN, said McCullough, "was walking". And so on May 19, 2004 Kevin Mahoney e-mailed Chris Trumpy to tell him that Patrick Kinsella had learned from the president of CN Rail that the deal was in jeopardy. He asked what "they" can do, and referred, McCullough said, to Martyn Brown, Gordon Campbell's chief of staff.

Here we have, said McCullough, the vice-president of BC Rail e-mailing Trumpy that Kinsella has received a call from the president of CN asking anything "they" can do, which is needed now. Kinsella apparently was going to speak to Martyn Brown.

How real is this? Trumpy asks in reply. I have it, Mahnoney says, directly from Kinsella.

That brought the Kinsella involvement into dizzying perspective.

The Discovery package of documents, McCullough said, from the Crown for 2003, apparently showed Kinsella identified as a political advisor to the CN. Between 2002 and 2005, however, we know he was employed by BC Rail.

The "problem" arose, apparently, because - without consulting CN - Gordon Campbell made a television appearance in which he attempted to placate the Northern B.C. population about the deal with CN. In the presentation, Campbell apparently stated that the rail track was not in the sale. CN was alarmed because they would lose money, tax advantages and rail scheduling opportunities if that were so. Kinsella, McCullough alleged, was at that time the point man for CN.

Then in 2004 the whole matter of Kinsella's payments from BC Rail came up in pre-auditing procedures, And there the revelations of the past two weeks about payments to both Progressive Holdings and the Progressive Group were revealed. Both names standing, apparently, for Patrick Kinsella - who it is alleged was retained as a lobbyist.

As Gary Mason put it in the Globe and Mail today (March 26 09 A8), "The New Democratic Party...will undoubtedly want to focus on the increasing appearance that Mr. Kinsella was helping CN Rail with its ultimately successful bid to buy BC Rail at the same time as he was working for the seller." That is especially true since McCullough reported that Kinsella, McLean, and others met in the Premier's office about such matters - drawing Gordon Campbell into direct relations with the sale. The tight connection between the legal and the political in the BC Rail Scandal may, in fact, prove to be tight enough to strangle Gordon Campbell in the coming weeks.

[*The (related) ALR case in court today at 2:00 p.m. is, I am informed, to be put over for about two weeks in a brief meeting this afternoon. - RM.]



Bill Tieleman's news from the explosive Basi Virk Basi hearing today in BC Supreme Court


Basi-Virk Bombshells: Defence alleges Kinsella, CN + Gordon Campbell met on BC; Kinsella worked for CN & BC Rail at same time; govt suppressed FOIs

See Bill's early report here.



Vaughn Palmer, Gary Mason, Neal Hall, Mark Hume, Justine Hunter, CBC News on March 26, 2009

Liberals stall on lobbyist reforms, stonewall on mounting Kinsella questions

Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun - March 26, 2009

Surprisingly tough words from Palmer. Recommended.


Whiff of scandal envelops sale of BC Rail

Globe and Mail - March 26, 2009

Read the full column here.

Globe and Mail's Comments thread on this story closed very quickly. The 25 comments are inaccessible. I've asked Gary if he knows why. - BC Mary.

Kinsella working "both sides of the street" BC Rail deal, MLA charges

Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - March 26, 2009

Quote: ... “This is five months after the deal has been signed,” McCullough said. “You’ve got CN on the verge of backing out and who do they go to? Patrick Kinsella, who was the campaign manager of the Liberals [in provincial election campaigns] in 2001 and 2005.”

McCullough said the documents suggest CN “was on the verge of walking” away from the BC Rail deal when it realized it would not get a “tax windfall” if the B.C. government retained ownership of the tracks. He pointed out the BC Rail deal wasn’t finalized until July 2004.

Read Neal Hall's complete news story here. Recommended.


Premier's closest advisor drawn into BC Rail scandal

Mark Hume, Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail - March 26, 2009

Quote: ... “It's clear that the whole BC Rail deal, and the mess surrounding it, goes right up into the Premier's office,” Leonard Krog, the NDP Opposition justice critic, said outside court ...

Read the full column here.


Liberal lobbyist may be key player in Basi-Virk corruption case

CBC News - March 26, 2009

Quote: "We have information now that indicates the premier, Patrick Kinsella and the head of CN were all in the room together," he said ...

Read the full CBC News report here.



Big day in BC Supreme Court ...

There are 2-1/2 pages of Vancouver Supreme Court listings which are best viewed by clicking onto "Van Court Direct" in the left margin. There you will see listings for two separate trials.

File #23299 - 10:00 AM - Aneal Basi, Bobby Virk, Limited Access

File #134750-1 - 2:00 PM - Room 53 - Dave Basi (A.L.R.)

Several sources have already published comments that the March 26, 2009 meeting(s) will be important steps forward in the BC Rail trial.

Best advice: check the Vancouver Supreme Court listings by double-clicking on "Van Court Direct" in the left margin. - BC Mary.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Robin Mathews: "The Smoking Gun?"

"The Smoking Gun?" Do the 8000 Freedom of Information pages released trap Gordon Campbell in evidence of crime?

The question is dodged. It is skirted. Irregularities are recorded. Suggestions are put forward about "possible corruption", broken promises, abuse of power. Breach of trust there was. But the "C" word is not used: crime.

And then Michael Smyth, provincial affairs columnist for the Vancouver Province, reports (March 15 09) that e-mails included in the 8000 pages - among three former NDP cabinet members, and one referring to Paul Nettleton, caucus-ousted Liberal MLA, are all declared fake by three of the people involved.

Fake e-mails - and, therefore fake information - attributed to former NDP cabinet ministers, stuffed into the 8000 pages which, at the time, were to go to the Defence in the Basi, Virk, and Basi fraud and breach of trust case?

Complete fakes? Nettleton, according to Michael Smyth, thinks they connect to "the sale of BC Rail itself". "This is about possible corruption and broken promises by the leader of the Liberal Party," said Nettleton.

The mind boggles. Did all three forget? We look for some explanation that the e-mails aren't fake. The 8000 pages contain many blank pages the Campbell forces have refused to release, even though the independent nominee marked them as relevant to the Basi, Virk, and Basi case. Do the released pages contain fake e-mails, placed there as cover-up, smoke screen, something else?

And if the e-mails referred to are fake, what else in the 8000 page package is also fake? Have other things been planted there to provide false leads?

Maybe asking all those questions will go nowhere. Maybe the question should be a simple one: in the sale of BC Rail did the Gordon Campbell forces break the law? Did they commit crime?

Did the real and visible (moral) breaches of trust constitute breaches of the law, in fact?

There is growing suspicion that they did. In a piece posted on March 24, BC Mary asks how to interpret the fact claimed by Paul Nettleton (to Michael Smyth) that, in 2001 - while BC Rail was staunchly said not to be for sale (and long before sale was even mooted publicly, later, in 2003) - MLAs were called to Gordon Campbell's office and told to get "on-side and on-message" with the sale. Not only, at that early stage, did Nettleton learn, he alleges, "we were going to break our promise" but also that "we were aligning ourselves with CN".

It seems like collusion, BC Mary thinks. When placed with other evidence in the 8000 pages of what looks very like 'working together' to deceive, the sense of collusion grows.

The definition she found of "collusion" is impressive. I will quote it again, fully (from Wikipedia), as she wrote about it.

"'Collusion is an agreement, usually secretive, which occurs between two or more persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically involving fraud or gaining an unfair advantage. It is an agreement among firms to divide the market, set prices, or limit production It can involve "wage fixing, kickbacks, or misrepresenting the independence of the relationship between colluding parties.' ...All acts affected by collusion are considered void. [Examples, such as bid-rigging, are provided.]"

To begin: breach of trust was flagrant. We think of it usually as Gordon Campbell, pre-election, promising not to privatize BC Rail, and then doing it. But the breach of trust appears much worse than that - though that is bad enough - and it allegedly involves (as Nettleton suggests) a very large number of people allegedly agreeing to or being forced to accept the process of preparing and selling BC Rail to CN (colluding?).

After taking office, Nettleton alleges, the Campbell forces moved into the sale process almost immediately - while for months and months after, in fact, lying to the public. The 8000 pages contain the evidence that "the party line" was that BC Rail was not for sale while the sale was being prepared. Is that not breach of trust after public promises not to privatize and while continuing to tell the public the BC Rail was not for sale?

I quoted from the hand-written notes of Yvette Wells in my last column - Executive Director of the Crown Agencies Secretariat. Her notes from those key meetings, as I interpret them, suggest - very strongly - premeditated, organized, on-going activity to deceive about sale intentions, and to misrepresent the independence of the relationship between CN and the Gordon Campbell forces - and therefore, directly or indirectly to assist a manipulated bidding process.

The breach of trust intensifies many believed (and believe) as the bidding was undertaken. Was the public treated to a fake bidding process to cover-up the (already determined) sale to CN Rail?

Not only, some might allege, was the public treated to a fake bidding process. So were the other bidders and involved organizations. Were BNSF, CPR, Ferroequus, and OmniTRAX invited to trust a process of bidding that was, in fact, fake? Was their trust violated by the Gordon Campbell forces? The first two withdrew with strong statements of dissatisfaction about the fairness and ethical conduct of the process - one even, it seems, implicating CIBC World Markets. The third smelled a rat and wrote to Gordon Campbell that it wouldn't even bid.

OmniTRAX remained in the bidding, apparently. But a cloud is believed by some to hang over its role (whatever its innocence may be) because of charges in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case that touch upon its role in the bidding. And the cloud relates, Defence alleges, to the (pre-determined?) sale of BC Rail to CN.

Opposition critics of all stripes have been challenging the Gordon Campbell forces to "tell the truth". Perhaps they should be looking at the meaning, in law, of breach of trust.

Section 122 of the Criminal Code reads: "Every official who, in connection with the duties of his office, commits fraud or a breach of trust is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding five years whether or not the fraud or breach of trust would be an offence if it were committed in relation to a private person."

Of breach of trust (sect. 122, Criminal Code), the Ontario Court of Appeal said that the meaning of breach of trust by a public officer is "wide enough to cover any breach of the appropriate standard of responsibility and conduct demanded of the accused by the nature of his office. As a result the question to be determined in each case is whether or not the public official in question breached the public trust placed in him or her by the electorate".

If such were proved to be the case, the person in question would have to resign, and he or she would face up to five years in prison. And, presumably, if "collusion" were also proved - according to BC Mary's research - the sale of BC Rail to CN would have to be considered void.


A similar news item on the CTV web-site: Consultant becomes target over BC Rail meetings, appears on the CTV web-site, including a YouTube showing the Opposition hammering government on BCRail, Stonewally and Premier Gamble non-replying, and police inside the Legislative buildings hauling those mysterious boxes out of the offices. Both the news article and the voice-over have a remarkable new tone, as they
claim something interesting may develop in BC Supreme Court tomorrow. Recommended. - BC Mary


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


"We were aligning ourselves with CN ... " approx. June 2001

Michael Smyth's The Province column for March 15 contains two comments from a former Liberal BC Rail critic which should cause the Basi Virk defence lawyers' eyes to light up.

Quote: ... Nettleton said he was called into Campbell's office shortly after the Liberals' winning campaign, along with other MLAs from rail-dependent Prince George, and told to get "on-side and on-message" with the sale.

So that's May 2001 + a month? two months? My guess is that "shortly after" means within a month. That puts Gordon Campbell in the bully-pulpit in June 2001. A new premier with 77 MLAs facing an Opposition of 2 MLAs. Nettleton, who had been Campbell's critic for BC Rail in Opposition, remembers that meeting:

Quote: ... "To my surprise and dismay, it became clear we were going to break our promise and we were aligning ourselves with CN," said Nettleton.

So Gordon Campbell had allegedly already decided -- and had presumably/allegedly vetted the arrangement with CN -- to shift BC Rail from public BC ownership into CN's private ownership.



By June 2001.

To divest the province of BC Rail.

And to align his government with CN to do that.


How else can we interpret the words of an MLA who fought hard against selling BC Rail, and who advised his Liberal leader against selling BC Rail, when he says "To my surprise and dismay ... we were aligning ourselves with CN"?

I looked up the word "collusion". Wikipedia is quite clear about it:

Collusion is an agreement, usually secretive, which occurs between two or more persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically involving fraud or gaining an unfair advantage. It is an agreement among firms to divide the market, set prices, or limit production. ... It can involve "wage fixing, kickbacks, or misrepresenting the independence of the relationship between the colluding parties." ... All acts affected by collusion are considered void. [Examples, such as bid-rigging, are provided.]

I have asked Michael for Paul Nettleton's phone number or e.mail address but I doubt that a working journalist would reveal those. If anyone knows how to contact Nettleton (and some of us have tried, over the years), could you please let me know?

Meantime, many thanks to Michael Smyth for contacting Paul Nettleton and writing this column. Talk about the Law of Unintended Consequences. It was probably because of those fake e.mails that Michael must've asked Paul: did you write one of them? Paul said no, but figured that it might've been a dirty trick devised to draw attention away from something else ... ah yes, we've heard about those, too.

Read more about After 'fake' e-mails, rail trial can't come soon enough by Michael Smyth HERE.

- BC Mary.


Monday, March 23, 2009


Heartland $3 Bill‏ - BC Rail Money!


Face - Dick Tater

What was lost

These Three Dollar Bills from the imaginary Heartland/Hurtland currency were submitted by Eddie Mazur. He created these bills "back in 2003 when (he) was a member of the "Stop the Sale of BC Rail" committee here in Prince George."

As the obverse view reminds us, not only has BC Rail gone missing, thanks to the drinkin', lyin', and stealin' Mr. Gamble - but CN should be changed to CINO (Canadian In Name Only).

Thank you for sharing these Eddie!

(click directly on each image for a larger view)

Big Thanks from BC Mary to Kootcoot who managed to subdue this BCRail engine and post it here for Eddie Mazur, who hopes that his phony $3. bill will not be forgotten in the (ahem ...) coming weeks. Sorry to sound partisan but it's impossible to think of BC Rail's giveaway under its still-secret terms without also thinking of Premier Gamble. - BC Mary



Today March 23, 2009, 10:00 AM, Vancouver Supreme Court

File #23299-5 (Basi, Virk, Basi)

Limited Access & others vs HMTQ.
Application for records


Whoa Nelly ... !!

Gary E took a second look and here's a second opinion on what happened in Vancouver Supreme Court today. Frankly, this seems extremely disrespectful of the public ...

Gary E has left a new comment on your post "Today March 23, 2009, 10:00 AM, Vancouver Supreme ...":

So Mary, another disappearing act on Case #23299

I saw it this morning scheduled for 10:00 AM. Went to the completed list tonight at 5:30 and nothing. Went back to the schedule and it had disappeared from there as well. Any word from anyone on what happened?


Friday, March 20, 2009


Building a propaganda case for destroying BC Rail

Robin Mathews

Questions nag ... and nag ... about the corrupt sale of BC Rail. Corrupt. Gordon Campbell made an election promise not to sell BC Rail. Then the Campbell forces set about, semi-secretly, to break trust, under terms which excluded BC interests and that used a process which two participant bidders described as unfair.

CPR and BNSF withdrew, the latter citing "serious questions of ethics and fairness". BNSF (November 24, 2003) also complained of the "failure of CIBC to follow the process that CIBC and the government said would be followed".

Paul Nettleton, thrust out of Liberal caucus for fighting the dismemberment of BC Hydro, remarked about the sale of BC Rail on January 6, 2004, on CKPG that "the process wasn't fair. It wasn't open. It wasn't transparent".

When, out of a hat, the Campbell forces pulled a U.S. corporation "to complete" a "fairness report" (Charles River Associates), satisfaction was not achieved. Peter Rickershauser, for BNSF, found the report unsatisfactory on many counts - one of the most obvious: Charles River Associates didn't bother to interview the bidding companies involved! Also BNSF recorded that the Gordon Campbell forces did not reveal to bidders a major term of consideration.

That last fact was spotted by the Alberta/B.C. company Ferroequus which refused even to bid because, it appears, it believed it was being misled about government requirements (in order to get lots of bidders who could be said to have "failed" in the bidding?).

A reasonable observer might conclude that the sale of BC Rail was seriously tainted because the Gordon Campbell forces were determined to misrepresent its real state, to pretend it was a huge liability, to organize civil servants, management of BC Rail, perhaps CIBC World Markets, perhaps many others to propagandize, on the basis of "cooked" information, for a sale, and then to sell it to political friends - whatever the cost to B.C.

Over and over, at the time, critics accused the Campbell forces of using accounting tricks to claim BC Rail was losing money and of setting it up, falsely, for destruction. Paul Nettleton backs up their position. On January 6, 2004, Nettleton (on radio) told an interviewer this:

"The inner working of the Campbell administration really is all about micromanagement, control over cabinet [and] caucus, with a healthy dose of intimidation. They certainly tried to intimidate me. When they failed they resorted to enticement from the highest levels in an attempt to silence me. The person they used was David Basi."

In the hand-written pages by Yvette Wells, Director of the Crown Agencies Secretariat, light shines through, revealing a group building a propaganda case for destroying BC Rail while pretending not to do so.

April 17, 2003. "Can we back up debt spiral [at BCR] with evidence?"

May 12, 2003. "shouldn't talk about purchase/sale".

May 13, 2003. "Have we made the product sound too good?"

May 17, 2003. "Some concern that there is a deal with CN - CIBC has dealt well with this not being the case. Want to ensure this is not communicated."

They didn't talk about "purchase/sale", because orders were out.

On June 6, 2003 (to the village of Pemberton) Gordon Campbell wrote of a "new partnership".

He wrote on September 3 to the Ferroequus Railway Co. of an "investment partnership with CN", and on November 25, 2003, again, of "a new BC Rail Investment Partnership". On June 8, 2004, Kevin Falcon wrote of "BC Rail's partnership with CN Rail." Examples are everywhere.

BC Rail did not enter a partnership with CN. All statements of the kind quoted may fairly be considered concerted attempts to mislead British Columbians, concerted activity involving moral breach of trust.

Messages poured in to Gordon Campbell. One: "This is not a partnership. It is a total sell-out of a Crown corporation owned by the taxpayers." Another: "I didn't realize you were a liar." One writer challenged falsifications about the solvency of BCR: "Why do you keep dodging the issue?" Yet another: "doesn't it bother you that you were elected based on a complete deception?" Anger at betrayal of trust was expressed over and over and over.

The Gordon Campbell forces charged on, obviously engaging in a betrayal of the electorate. What is more, to maintain the breach of trust the Campbell forces had to engage in heavy damage control - what Paul Nettleton called "micromanagement, control over cabinet [and] caucus, with a healthy dose of intimidation."

Many people believed (and believe) the sellout was a crime, highly organized and executed. But they couldn't get at it because the Campbell forces - many believed - controlled the law, the police, and the courts. Search as people might, they couldn't find a law, an instrument they could use to meet the activities of the Campbell forces. The Campbell forces were confident no one would.

There was - no doubt - breach of trust by public officers. That is a primary fact. As Sgt. John Ward of the RCMP was quoted as saying on December 30, 2003 just after the "raid" on the legislature, "organized crime has many, many faces".

Then something happened the Campbell forces hadn't planned for.

A 20-month investigation by Victoria police and RCMP began to move like a juggernaut. First a drug investigation, it became a commercial crime investigation, too, and then it landed in the legislature.

The investigation became so hydra-headed RCMP gave it the name "every-which-way". A key contact point in the legislature was, apparently, wire-taps on the telephone used by Dave Basi, powerful aide to the Gary Collins, Minister of Finance.

And, then, on December 28, 2003, search warrants were put in action to "raid" offices of the B.C. legislature, many homes, and offices in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. A year later Dave Basi, Bob Virk, and Aneal Basi were charged variously with counts of fraud, breach of trust, and money laundering.

On a BCTV program, December 29, 2003, Keith Baldrey recorded that "Bob Virk [is] in Transportation. Transportation is responsible for the BC Rail initiative and Finance had a larger role than most and that's again where Dave Basi comes in."

Almost all the other people visited or searched as a result of the warrants - many connected to both the Gordon Campbell and federal Liberals - have had the search warrants involving them all-but blanked out, as protection. Christie Clark, minister of education and deputy premier, was in line to have her home raided it is alleged. But it is alleged that Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm reasoned with police to have them telephone in advance and make an appointment to visit. Thoughtful of him.

The "something" that happened obviously galvanized the Campbell forces. The BC Rail sellout had hit what might be a network involving drug crime, breach of trust by public officers, bribery, money laundering, and perhaps much more. All of it might, perhaps surround, involve, connect to, and be part of - who knows? - the corrupt sale of BC Rail.

The BC Rail sellout had hit "crimes" that have "laws" to meet them - criminal laws. The Gordon Campbell forces couldn't stop the charges being laid, even if they wanted to, because there were so many investigators and investigations involved.

Had two kinds of organized crime, acting independently, suddenly met head-on? Or was one an arm of the larger organized crime network, suddenly trapped in dangerous waters? The Gordon Campbell forces became trapped. If the three men accused were acting under orders, one might theorize, everything had to be done to prevent trial so that cabinet members could avoid charges against them and so the government wouldn't fall.

If the three men accused were acting wholly independently - still everything had to be done to prevent trial. The digging up of evidence to defend the men would bare the sleaze and manipulation and breach of trust used by the Gordon Campbell forces to sell BC Rail corruptly. It would reveal the network of organization to produce the necessary "crimes without laws" to destroy BC Rail.

The fix appears, then, to have been in. Now, more than five years after the search warrant "raids" on B.C. legislature offices, the pre-trial hearings concerning the three accused are still limping and stumbling and faltering in the Supreme Court of B.C.

On May 7, 2007 Canadian Press released a story on the charges against the accused more or less presenting the position of the Prosecution. Putting aside the drug-related events, in "November 2003, police learned that [Dave] Basi was involved in alleged criminal matters related to the sale of Crown-owned B.C. Rail, Winteringham [lawyer for the Crown] said." [Notice Winteringham doesn't speak of an "investment partnership" but "the sale".]

"Bobby Virk, Basi's brother-in-law, who was an aide to then-transportation minister Judith Reid, is also facing fraud and breach of trust charges while Aneal Basi, another cousin, is charged with money-laundering in the B.C. Rail case."

"The Crown alleges that between May 2003 and December 2003 Basi and Virk received benefits from lobbyists at a firm called Pilothouse Public Affairs Group in exchange for providing them with confidential government documents regarding the sale of B.C. Rail."

"Pilothouse was representing OmniTRAX, an American company that was among the bidders for B.C. Rail."

In the same story Canadian Press reported that Defence counsel "has alleged that [Gary] Collins [Minister of Finance] promised OmniTRAX a 'consolation prize' to stay in the bidding to provide [for the Gordon Campbell forces] the appearance of a real bidding process", and perhaps to drive up the price of BC Rail. Defence alleges "the RCMP abruptly dropped investigating him [Collins] to focus on their clients" [Basi, Virk, and Basi].

"Winteringham said there was no consensus among police officers as to Collins's role and that various investigators had different views about whether he was even under investigation."

This member of the B.C. public who sits day after day in the B.C. Supreme Court to follow the matter, has drawn some conclusions.

(1) The BC Rail Scandal cases point to a serious break-down of democratic institutions in B.C. As we see, just for instance, Wally Oppal, Attorney General of the Province - "chief law officer of the Crown" - plays every kind of clown to keep information about the corrupt sale of BC Rail from the people of the Province. Gordon Campbell refuses even to admit questions are being asked. Someone else answers questions directed to him in the legislature.

(2) The break-down is pointed to over and over again in the pre-trial hearings.

(3) To me, the Special Crown Prosecutor has failed to advance the process, and has been a party to its delay.

(4) To me, the RCMP has delayed tediously, and then has disclosed materials requested in ways that are simply unacceptable. The RCMP has, as I see it, put almost every obstacle in the way of clean and direct reporting of investigation. The RCMP may be said - as I see their role - to have "Robert Dziekansky'd" the whole operation.

(5) To me, almost all agents serving or connected to the Gordon Campbell forces give the impression of obstructing and delaying proceedings - agents for the cabinet, the Liberal MLAs, the RCMP, and BC Rail.

(6) To me, the profound importance of the proceedings should have touched the presiding judge, Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett. I don't think it has. Seeing the huge importance and the implications of the BC Rail Scandal, she needed to seize upon the full meaning of 'the majesty of the law'. This, after all, is the most important public trial in B.C. history.

BC Rail is a possession of all the people British Columbia that has been alienated by breach of trust. Allegedly, in part, it has been alienated, too, by criminal breach of trust and - perhaps - by many more actions of criminal breach of trust than we have been allowed to see.

The role of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett should have been to inform British Columbians regularly and as fully as possible about all aspects of the case. To me, she has seriously failed to do that. To me, she has seemed to use special care to keep information from British Columbians.

Her role should have been to demand of cabinet, BC Rail, RCMP - on threat of Contempt of Court - that they provide full and open and expeditious cooperation. Her role should have been to demonstrate in no uncertain terms that - even when a government is involved - the process of justice will move without hindrance. As I see the matter, she has not done that. Why not? The very kindest explanation must be, I believe, that like the Roman emperor Nero, she fiddles (with the rule book and precedent and visible delaying tactics) while justice and the social order of British Columbia burn.

Finally, to me, there is a huge irony in the BC Rail Scandal. The Gordon Campbell forces have used elaborate breaches of trust to dump BC Rail and steal it from the people of the Province. They have done the same thing, secretly, against election promises, to BC Hydro. The Gordon Campbell forces, I believe, have robbed British Columbians of billions and billions of dollars worth of assets as well as present and future wealth - without facing a single criminal accusation. Instead, the spotlight in the Supreme Courtrooms of B.C. is on three cabinet aides who - amidst the flood of dishonesty the Province has been swimming in - are accused of benefiting to the tune of some tens of thousands of dollars.

What better indication can there be of the collapse of a just social order? Three men (whatever their guilt or innocence) are, I believe, being used as sacrificial goats behind whom masters of chicanery, manipulation, greed, and violation of trust posture as guardians of The Good. And they use - it seems to me - all the institutions devoted to the safety and security of the population to help them in their venal activities.



Victoria Law Courts Room 101 today, Aneal Basi ...

File #145212-1 - Aneal Basi.

Count 001 - CCC 253a - care or control vehicle/vessel while impaired
Count 002 - CCC 253b - care or control of vehicle/vessel with over .08

Victoria Law Courts, Room 101,
Friday March 20 2009 at 9:30 AM,
Counsel: J.M. Doyle.

The information (below) was posted today on a February 22, 2009 page where readers might miss seeing it. So I am re-posting the information here, exactly as received. - BC Mary.


"EM" wrote:

It is more clear today that Anneal Basi (Mar. 20 posting of Mary) is charged with impaired.
re "I don't know a thing about the private lives of Basi or Virk although I will add here that I encountered an odd listing of Aneal Basi, File #145212-1 in the Feb 17, 2009 Victoria Provincial Court Listings (Completed)."

Time is getting closer to the Supreme Court of Canada case. Things seem to be moving along. SCC Case Information Docket 32719
Appeal hearing scheduled, 2009-04-22
factum information is sealed, but you can see the progress of the case, note the sealing of a in camera meeting. Feb 11/09
Decision on motion to seal, De, Tab 1 of Volume II of the Appellant’s Record (marked Sealed) filed January 26, 2009, containing the in camera hearing transcript, be kept under seal;
The Appellant’s Factum (marked Sealed) filed on January 26, 2009, and any Factum of the Respondent on Cross-Appeal which may be filed by the Appellant, containing quotes from and argument referring to the in camera hearing transcript, be kept under seal;


I wonder if this will be Broadcasted
-----some more "stuff"
Check the lobbyist Registry lately?

Ken Dobell 2009-FEB-16
Subject Matter Capital Project End: 2009-JUL-16
Global Container Terminals Inc.
Ck on Global Container Term. and I found mind you it is 2007. "Accomplished transportation industry exec chairs GCT Global Container Terminals Inc. board of directors

TORONTO (February 20, 2007): Paul M. Tellier, former Chief Executive Officer of Canadian National Railway and Bombardier Inc., has been appointed Chairman of the Board of GCT Global Container Terminals Inc., an Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan private investment company
Jiles,Mark Consultant Lobbyist
Lobbyist Organization: Macquarie North America Inc.
2008-SEP-01 End: 2009-FEB-19

Subject Matter To promote P3's and the Gateway Project links available
... As the post about container freight it blows my mind that all the same players of BC Rail are playing front and center in todays Hot topics ... I just hope some of this info is helpful.

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : March 20, 2009


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Robin Mathews reports on HMTQ v. Limited Access File #134750-1: today March 18, 2009, 2:00 PM, Room 53

Public Access Supreme Court Criminal List
Date: March 18, 2009

File #134750 Victoria Law Courts
Location of offence: Victoria, B.C.

- Count 005 Person dealing with government offering bribe
- Count 006 Offer bribe to official for exercise of influence
- Count 007 Breach of trust by public officer
- Count 008 Offering bribe to government official

- Count 005 Person dealing with government offering bribe
- Count 006 Offer bribe to official for exercise of influence
- Count 007 Breach of trust by public officer
- Count 008 Offering bribe to government official

Room 53, Vancouver Law Courts
800 Smyth Street. March 18, 2009 at 2:00 PM.
Confirmed in today's court listings.


Robin Mathews

Lawyers, like pigeons at Granville Island, circled and landed until there were close to twenty in Courtroom 53. Then a judge appeared - Madam Justice Humphries. The only BC Rail Scandal lawyer I spotted was Andrea MacKay, acting for the Crown in the matter of concern today.

This was a session to establish court dates and pre-trial dates for a number of accused. And so they were called, accommodated, and left - nine or ten of them (and the lawyers involved).

Then the ALR matter and the accusations against Duncan, Young, and (Dave) Basi were dealt with. Dave Basi has been committed to trial (in Victoria), and Ms. MacKay for the Crown requested and received consent for Thursday, March 26 at 2:00 p.m. to have all three accused together in Vancouver court.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


When deals are inked behind closed doors ... and the results affect the public interest ... how does the public get to know?


This morning's news reported two disparate events with a certain similarity. Both claim to be about relationships. Both of them announce agreements for serious future activities. Both agreements are far-reaching in their effects on British Columbia. Both come under the jurisdiction of a small group of people, which means that both groups came to their decisions behind closed doors, not necessarily known to the wider population.

One is a new freight concept. One is a new First Nations concept.

I have set them together for comparison. Frankly, I'm uneasy with both of them. On the issue of First Nations government, I've taken only a snippet from a learned friend's argument (below). As for this wonderful new transportation deal that's been "inked" (stupid term), I can't help thinking that British Columbia should have held its key position within that cargo network to the rest of the continent. BC Rail represented British Columbia interests; it was a plus, not a minus. I mean, if the Halifax Gateway Council, a non-profit organization, can function to the benefit of Halifax, then the publicly-owned BC Rail could have done the same for us. I think we were double-crossed from within, a long time ago. - BC Mary.

Halifax inks deal to strengthen cargo ties with southern US

HALIFAX, N.S. -- Officials from Halifax and Memphis, Tenn. have signed an agreement to work together to pursue stronger, mutually beneficial cargo links. Halifax was represented by Stephen Dempsey, chair of the Halifax Gateway Council, while Arnold Perl, chairman of the Memphis Regional Logistics Council signed on behalf of Memphis. The agreement was also endorsed by the mayor of each city.

“This partnership is about building relationships, but the agreement also means we need to be ready sell the Gateway business case” Dempsey said.

“Memphis is literally connected by CN rail to both coasts of Canada through Prince Rupert, B.C. on the West and Halifax, Nova Scotia on the East – these trading relationships will only enhance our competitive positioning,” Perl said.

Tom Ruth, president and CEO of the Halifax International Airport Authority stated, “Memphis has 100 million-plus square feet of warehouse space. It is the largest air cargo hub in North America and is home to the air cargo giant FedEx – a key customer at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Our key strategic relationship with Memphis will benefit our Gateway in many ways.”

The Halifax Gateway Council (HGC) is a not for profit organization with a mandate to work collaboratively to increase growth in air cargo, air passengers, port cargo, and cruise passengers. The Memphis Regional Logistics Council was formed by the Greater Memphis Chamber to strengthen and grow the existing logistics business through a regional approach which includes West Tennessee, East Arkansas and North Mississippi.


B.C. plan may start new era of aboriginal government

Updated Sat. Mar. 7 2009
The Canadian Press

VICTORIA -- The provincial government is looking to redraw the aboriginal map of British Columbia -- a move that one expert believes could usher in a modern new era of aboriginal government.

The proposed changes are part of a sweeping reconciliation legislation that would amalgamate First Nations, reducing their official number from more than 200 to less than 25. Despite some jitters, many First Nations are embracing the changes, taking strength from the promise that any changes to their current governing structure will be aboriginal driven and not imposed by government.

Member of the First Nations Summit voted last week to support the proposed B.C. government legislation, which will also recognize the long-standing title rights aboriginals have as the historic first inhabitants of the province.

"People have to ask questions because I don't want to be forced into working with First Nations that we might not get along with or it doesn't make a natural fit," said Chief Judith Sayers of the Hupacasath First Nation located near Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. The Hupacasath First Nation has 265 members, but they do not want their current political powers diminished by a provincial government worn out from negotiating land, water and resource rights with 203 different First Nations, she said.

"We heard the B.C. minister of aboriginal relations and reconciliation say that it is up to the First Nations to determine what their political structure is going to be -- and it might well be 203 First Nations or it might be 30 or it might be 100. We just don't know how that's logically going to play out," Sayers said. "There are some things that we just need to sit down and talk about."

Mike de Jong, B.C. aboriginal relations minister, said the First Nations consistently tell the government the current structure that created 203 First Nations was imposed upon them by federal and provincial governments.
Aboriginal groups have been examining a draft copy of the proposed B.C. legislation. The draft contains a map with 23 aboriginal nations spread out across the province.

"The reconstitution of Indigenous Nations and its identification of proper title and rights holders are keys to achieving certainty and the effective functioning of the framework for shared decision making and revenue and benefit sharing contemplated by this Act," says the draft. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, one of the B.C. aboriginal leaders negotiating the recognition proposals with the government, said aboriginals are ready to consider a new governing structure.

B.C. aboriginals have been examining the recognition and governance issue for months at meeting across the province, he said. "The legislation and the concept underlying the legislation allow for First Nations to make those determinations themselves," Phillip said. "It's not something that will be imposed on First Nations or groups of First Nations." Prof. Cole Harris, an expert in aboriginal history at the University of British Columbia, said B.C.

First Nations appear ready to embrace a process that allows them to preserve their political values, while interacting more closely with non-aboriginal society without giving up their rights.
"If this is real serious co-management, and if native people are going to have a major voice, it's a large step," he said. "The question is just how real the native voice is going to be."


Quote from Mickleburgh's article in the G&M:

"There was also some aboriginal opposition to another proposition in the bill, approved by the government and the First Nations Leadership Council, that would whittle the 200 or so existing native bands down to what native leaders call "the original 30 indigenous governments."

The voice of a citizen is heard in private correspondence:

What friggin' ROT. There was no such thing as a common Haida government, a common Nuu-chah-nulth government, a common Kwakwaka'wakw government, a common Secwepemc government, a common Carrier government, a common Tshilhqot'in government, a common Stl'atl'imx government, a common Sto:lo government, a common Cowichan govenrment ...

... what's happening here is basically that the British claim that survived American attempts to seize the whole region, is being swept aside and handed over to the alleged "30 original indigenous governments" which never existed. And whichever native leader claimed that all of the province belonged to some native people or other is very, very wrong; some areas like the deep Coast Mountains none of them had ever been to, ditto in vast areas of the north; the Secwepemc didn't DARE to go in the upper Columbia, above Revelstoke, because the Blackfeet hung out there; in the north the Beaver and Sekani hid from the woodland Cree, the Lower Lillooet didn't go to Harrison Lake because of the danger from the Chehalis and the Southern Kwakiutl (who, until Fort Langley came along, raided the Lower Fraser right up to Yale with some regularity and almost no opposition, likewise the Haida).

[Permission to quote from private correspondence has been requested. - BC Mary.]


Monday, March 16, 2009


Absolutely unbelievable: Olympics will require major rescheduling of criminal trials?


Police attending to security needs during the 2010 Winter Games means a major rescheduling of criminal court cases will be needed.

By Jeff Nagel -
Surrey North Delta Leader - March 16, 2009

Click on the headline for the full story:
B.C.'s court system is in for an Olympic-sized challenge next year.

Many police officers won't be on hand to testify as witnesses in criminal trials for up to 10 weeks in early 2010 because they'll be needed for security during the Winter Olympics.

The police absence from the courts means at minimum a major rescheduling of criminal court cases is needed and has spawned fears some suspects may walk free because of the expected backlog to the system ...

{Snip} ...

Integrated Security Unit Supt. Kevin deBruyckere said exactly which and how many officers are designated for Games security should be known by next fall, allowing court proceedings to go ahead with officers that aren't needed.

"This time has got to be made up somewhere," he said. "There may be a temptation on the part of government to not proceed with a number of charges." [Kevin DeBRUYCKERE. RCMP. One of the lead RCMP investigators in Project Everywhichway (the police raid on the BC Legislature), who is also by coincidence the brother-in-law of B.C. Liberal Party executive director Kelly Reichert.

DeBruyckere disclosed that information to his superiors in March 2004, but defence lawyers have strongly argued that his relationship is a conflict of interest that should have had him removed from the case, but have not at any point alleged any impropriety on the part of either DeBruyckere or Reichert. From Bill Tieleman's Encyclopedia of the Basi Virk Case. - BC Mary]



Sunday, March 15, 2009


Campbell aides in new controversy ... again.

An old news story ... all new again. From June 5, 2008:

Campbell aides in new controversy

"The inner circle" is an understood reference to political players in the governing style of Premier Gordon Campbell. Michael Smyth, while providing an inside look at that powerful group last year, gave us information on Patrick Kinsella gives a new clarity to last week's news. Full story is HERE. - BC Mary.



Michael Smyth,
The Province: June 05, 2008

Another day, another lobbying controversy to rock Premier Gordon Campbell and his government.

Last time, it was Campbell's right-hand-man, Ken Dobell, getting rung up on a guilty plea for secretly lobbying Campbell on behalf of the city of Vancouver. (Dobell is the only lobbyist I know who actually had a desk in the premier's office!)

{Snip} ...

Patrick Kinsella was the co-chair of the B.C. Liberal election campaign in 2001 and 2005. Mark Jiles was Campbell's personal campaign manager in Vancouver-Point Grey in 2005.

Now the two men are in business together at the Progressive Group, a powerful government-relations company in Vancouver. And according to documents newly released by our neighbours in Washington state, they're doing very well for themselves.

Kinsella and Jiles have been paid by the state government to help the Americans cash in on our Olympic Games by boosting cross-border tourism and business deals. They had to supply the state with a detailed resume, obtained by hard-digging Internet blogger Sean Holman under Washington's freedom-of-information law.

It turns out the duo's long list of clients include companies that have cleaned up with huge government deals and contracts in British Columbia: Accenture (which landed a $1.45-billion privatization contract with B.C. Hydro), Alcan (which won B.C. approval for an expanded smelter and power deal), the B.C. Motion Picture Production Industry Association (which scooped $65 million in government tax breaks) and many others.

The resume unashamedly brags about Kinsella's and Jiles' ties to B.C. politicians and their parties.

The resume says the pair have "strong relationships" with B.C. cabinet ministers Colin Hansen, Kevin Falcon and Olga Illich and with federal cabinet minister David Emerson.

The resume details a glowing list of accomplishments over the past six years. It notes, for example, the motion picture association hired the Progressive Group "to convince the provincial government to extend foreign tax credits" to the organization. Companies such as Alcan and Accenture hired them to "promote and educate" the B.C. government on behalf of their clients. [Remembered: David McLean. Use the SEARCH box at top left of this page; type in the name of David McLean, CN boss at the time of the BC Rail deal, to read more about him. -BC Mary]

Just one problem with all of this: Just like Dobell, Kinsella and Jiles did not publicly register as lobbyists working in B.C.

Under the law, lobbyists must register and publicly disclose their activities. Failure to do so can bring a fine of $25,000.

Kinsella has never registered as a lobbyist. Jiles registered on behalf of several clients beginning in December but did not register for any of the clients listed on the resume.

Kinsella and Jiles did not return my phone calls yesterday. But NDP Leader Carole James said she will launch formal complaints about their activities with both the provincial and federal lobbyist registrars.

"You'd think the premier would have learned by now," she said. {Snip} ...

They clearly get the concept of power, however: It's an insiders' game.




There's interesting stuff in the archives of this web-site. I went to "June 2008" to search for the Bill Tieleman and Sean Holman reports on the same Kinsella topic (without finding) and before I knew it, an hour had gone by.

What was so interesting? Well, for one thing, I came across a lengthy background story about the lives of Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, written by Kim Bolan ... definitely, a must-read. And other stuff. See for yourself. OK? - BC Mary.



Things British Columbia needs to know


North Van's Grumps has left a new comment ... [to access the hyperlinks, please go to N.V.G.'s comment on the Robin Mathews report below. - BC Mary]

[N.V.G. provides this URL as "the greatest way to access the Provincial Library" ... http://www.llbc.leg.bc.ca/databases/checklist/ ]

November 25th, 2003 was when the BC Liberal government made the announcement that CN Rail had won the bid to take over BC Rail... but on November 20th, 2003 the union representing the workers of BC Rail had published their document which is still available at the BC Legislative Library, AND the links have been published here on BC Mary's blog already.

The library still holds the leaked document in its establishment dated May 2003, and here's the good part.... its not exactly like the BC Liberals can crow over the way the City of Vancouver managed to keep track, lost track, no pun intended, of their In-Camera documents just before their municipal election because the leaked document that CIBC was holding in trust for the BC Liberals had the same sort of layout on the cover stating: "COPY #______", was blank, the audit trail of possibly tracing who's document it was, is not known.

For all three documents at one spot: Just ask your local Librarian via the internet.

Posted by North Van's Grumps to The Legislature Raids at March 14, 2009

North Van's Grumps has provided a step-up for those who search for the inside story of how BC Rail, the publicly-owned railway, was selected, packaged, and offered up for sale. He sent this information as a comment. I thought it should be posted in a more prominent space and I hope that others who check into these documents, via N.V.G.'s hyperlinks, will come back to this spot with fresh comments of their own. Very special thanks to N.V.G. for this public service. - BC Mary.


Another important comment received this morning, from "EM" ...

I dont know where to place this Mary, but regarding FIPPA, curious this announcement and the timing (link below )

"BC gov't sows fear by claiming 'crown copyright' on released documents, say critics
February 24th, 2009 12:00am
Congratulations! The B.C. government -- the one that promised to be "the most open, accountable and democratic government in Canada" -- has just granted your freedom of information request.

You open the package of documents and find a notice that seems to say you can't make the information public without the government's permission.

"Permission of the copyright holder" -- that would be the B.C. government -- "must be obtained prior to any reproduction, dissemination or sale of these records (including the posting of such records on the Internet). If you wish to reproduce a record or portion of a record that is subject to Crown copyright, you must send a copyright request to the Province's Intellectual Property Program."

In the eyes of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, this notice is both intimidating and legally questionable. About a year ago, FIPA and researcher Stanley Tromp filed a complaint with B.C.'s information and privacy commissioner.
link to teh above
@ http://fipa.bc.ca/home/news/206

One of the links provided by EM is "Stonewalling Freedom", an excellent protest against this very thing, written by Stanley Tromp, of the Association of Canadian Journalists. It's available HERE.

I would very much like to hear from readers, with their responses to what EM has encountered. Thanks, EM. - BC Mary.

Further insight into what Patrick Kinsella is, and does, in those troubled times. See Jonathan Fowlie column HERE.

Fuss over BC Rail contract puts a spotlight on Kinsella
Times Colonist - Victoria,British Columbia,Canada

... matter was before the courts in the case related to the controversial sale of BC Rail's freight operations in 2003, which is in pretrial proceedings. ...