Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Basi Virk: today April 22, 2009 in Ottawa - Supreme Court of Canada hearing.

SCC Case Information

Her Majesty the Queen v. Bobby Singh Virk, et al.

(British Columbia) (Criminal) (By Leave)
(Publication ban in case) (Sealing order)

Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch) for information purposes only.

Criminal law - Trial - Procedure - Whether counsel for the accused may be present at in camera hearing to determine whether informer privilege applies to protect material from disclosure - Jurisdiction of Court of Appeal pursuant to s. 37 of Canada Evidence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-5 - Whether it is a breach of the court’s duty to protect informer privilege to permit defence counsel to learn the identity of an informant or information that might identify an informant on undertakings not to disclose this information - Whether the first stage of the procedure in Named Person v. Vancouver Sun, 2007 SCC 43, applies such that accused and their counsel are not entitled to attend a hearing to determine a claim of informer privilege where the evidence may or will identify the informer - Whether s. 37 of the Canada Evidence Act provides the court with discretion to override the substantive rule of law barring disclosure of an informant’s identity - Whether the Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to hear the appeal in this matter.

The Respondents are charged with corruption, fraud and breach of trust resulting from alleged misconduct while civil servants. In pre-trial proceedings, they sought disclosure of certain documents and portions of documents. The Crown requested an in camera, ex parte hearing to determine whether the documents are protected by informant’s privilege. The Crown seeks to exclude defence counsel from the hearing. On December 6, 2007, Bennett J. granted a hearing but held that defence counsel should be permitted to attend subject to undertakings and a court order prohibiting disclosure. The Crown objected under s. 37 of the Canada Evidence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-5. On December 7, 2007, Bennett J. dismissed the s. 37 application. The Crown appealed both decisions. Finch C.J.A. and Donald J.A., for different reasons, dismissed the appeal. Ryan J.A. would have precluded defence counsel from the hearing.



I may be forced to search thee out and smite thee good ... for writing excellent comments and then disguising them to cause confusion until I can get them sorted out.

Maybe you've noticed that I've been deleting some of the "Anonymous Grumps" comments ... I've never asked my readers to use their names if they don't want to ... but it would help me A LOT (ya hear me?? a LOT) if commentors would stick to ONE and ONLY ONE user name.

Why? Because then I know if I'm talking to the same person 10 times -- which is different from talking to 10 people for the first time. OK? OK then ... here I go, having to cut and paste your last remarks for you ...

So here's NVG (I think):

Did you know that there is an archived Historical News Release Documents web page site at:

Example of a search on "BC Rail"

"In February, I released a study done for my ministry on the efficiency and competitiveness of the northern transportation corridor," said Miller. "That study identified the switching charges at the rail interchange in Prince George as one of the key constraints to economic growth in the north. I am pleased to see BC Rail and CN have come to an agreement that resolves that long standing issue."


Best Wishes,


There. See what I mean? There was a title for NVG's comment which didn't cut-and-paste so well, so here it is ...

NVG also said:
So will someone tell me again why BC Rail had to be sold to CN Rail when in agreement was reached between CN Rail and BC Rail.
I'm in Ontario and newstalk shows are not talking about this, even though I informed some of the media out here. The buzz is 'they' need more time. For years I've been trying to figure out who 'they' are. I think 'they' are stretching this out until we all go away...
Darlene Mary in Ontario,

I couldn't agree more! I had never seen this Eastern blindness until the Basi-Virk affair. And I gave up trying to break through, as the journalists were like bugs caught in amber - they simply could not make a move to write about it. God knows why not. Maybe if more people wrote to ask about it, it would slowly occur to the editors ...

I wrote about this after Jim Travers did a recent Toronto Star story about corruption. If you use the Search Box at top left on this screen, just type in Jim Travers and his complete column will pop up.

I never lost hope that he (and other eastern journalists) would pick up on the story -- so I confidently e.mailed him after this recent column and talked a bit more about BC Rail. But all Jim replied was: "Thanks, Mary" and that was it.

It's been good to see, however, that The Globe and Mail is doing more not just in their BC edition but also in the National edition.

There IS a freeze in place. I no longer doubt that. I'm working on a story about the Deputy Chief of Staff in the B.C. premier's office about whom there have swirled romantic rumours for years. It's amazing how little there is in print, for such a powerful bureaucrat. As for a photo, ha! nothing so far.

Anyway, we soldier on in hope ... because the thought of abandoning British Columbia is too awful to contemplate.

I won't ask if you are British Columbian yourself because I'm guessing you believe, as I do, that this is a NATIONAL story which needs to be told fair and square, nationally.

Thanks for commenting ... and here's what you look for on this blog's archives:

The Supreme test for British Columbia: April 22, 2009.
Jim Travers
Toronto Star - April 4, 2009

Jim Travers was the kindly journalist who -- 3 years ago -- listened again and again as I told him of journalism's absence in British Columbia at a time of its greatest need. In the end, it was Jim Travers -- who wanted to help but couldn't -- who convinced me that the East couldn't see beyond the Rockies, maybe not even beyond the Canadian Shield.

Apart from occasional chats with one journalist or another (Toronto Star, CTV, The Globe and Mail), I never tried again to awaken an eastern journalist to what was happening to BC. Chantal Hebert, in fact, suggested that I was making it all up about BC Rail. At that point, it seemed impossible for them to understand BC.

And so -- almost like a blow to the heart -- today I see that it's Jim Travers who is trying to tell his country that corruption has reached them too. That Canada is making Africa look good these days. Or, as Sgt Ward said on 29 Dec. 2003, that crime has reached critical mass.

What Jim Travers says about the dangers of corruption to Canada is also what I could say about the BC Rail Case. It's not an abstraction happening somewhere in the way-beyond. It's about us and what we've allowed to happen, for example, to a railway that was the envy of a continent (apparently) ...

It is interesting the idea of corruption being so prevalent here in Canada. I do believe that so many suffer from Pollyanna syndrom and don't think that it is so pervasive here. When I bring this up in conversation people look at me as if I am the crazy one.

For instance, I always support the idea of unions. They are necessary to our standard of living. Yet so many Canadians have such a hate on for them. When I ask them why we should trust the corporations to pay us well out of the 'goodness of their little hearts', I get no clever answer. The truth is there is hugh downward pressure on the middle class from above, just as much today as years gone by. The fight never ends, and Canadian complacency will get us all in the end.
Let's be clear, Anon 9:57, you are "Anonymous Grumps".

OK? It says so right on your incoming comment; it disappears when I press the PUBLISH button. OK?

And I'd delete you this time, too, except that you once again present an interesting idea. EXCEPT ... you blame the victims for so-called "complacency" ... when you know perfectly well that there's the biggest "newsroom" in the country operating in the basement of the BC Legislature pumping out those messages for the purposes you've just described.

You're a pretty smooth operator, Anonymous Grumps, and I may yet have to smite thee good.

Sorry Mary, I am not NVG. Maybe you are experiencing a computer problem?

I posted 9:57 anon, but usually post elsewhere under my initials CRH or islandcynic. I'll try in the future to remember to let you know at the end of my posts.
Oh and one other thing. If you take the time and even care, the truth can be found in many places. I know the PAB is effective, but it doesn't have to be.

9:57, 10:30, CRH or islandcynic ...

for gosh sakes, pick ONE user name and stick with it.

I can't tell you how annoying this is ... and it's YOU doing it, silly, it is not a computer problem ... there you go again!

CRH ... (whew! that's better!)

But whaddaya mean, "if you take the time and even care" ... lordie lord, I'm gonna hafta smite thee someday when I get some free time

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