Monday, June 01, 2009
Robin Mathews: Morning in Courtroom 43 with Basi-Virk
Everything ugly about the BC Rail Scandal reared its head in today's messy exercise in barely disguised delay and (what I more and more believe is) calculated deception.
The insult to British Columbians in the conduct of the Basi, Virk, and Basi matters (the tip of the iceberg in the BC Rail Scandal) came on stage today, floundered like a large ling cod on a hot B.C. wharf, and left a sickly odour of rotting fish hanging in the air.
To be precise, the morning was stumblingly involved with matters of privilege. The matters are in such a mess (to be explained) that process has been put over until Wednesday morning. Then on Thursday morning The Honourable Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm (whom I have castigated for erecting what I consider a sham set of rules to prevent the public from knowing things it should know from Supreme Court procedures) will be present (in open court, counsel believe) to decide (in fact) the fate of the Honourable Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett as judge seized with the Basi, Virk, and Basi matters. (That, too, will be editorialized upon.)
Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett ruled that there is no blanket privilege attached to parliamentary privilege as it relates to the work and coverage of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner in the Victoria legislature. That is something "every school child" would know, I should think. Because MLA's can't hide behind privilege, say, to prevent, in a criminal trial, evidence being revealed that, say, civil servants were given orders by their cabinet bosses to commit crimes.
The simplest route to follow in the matter of MLA's e-mails is to get them to waive claims of privilege, showing their clear consciences, and making the matters speedily examinable.
Counsel for the Conflict of Interest Commissioner apparently applied for a ruling of blanket privilege. To many average Canadians, such an essentially stupid application would look like a delaying tactic - and a hope to get a crude reading of 'parliamentary privilege'.
Counsel for MLA's, Mr. Montague, looked a little like the ling cod mentioned above on the matter of the application by Defence for access to government server e-mails of seven people, including Gordon Campbell. The original appplication for MLA e-mails, according to Joseph Doyle for the Defence, surfaced in early March. Its existence might well have prepared people. The seven were named in early May, and yet Mr. Montague appears to be having extraordinary difficulty making contact with them and receiving their instructions. In this case, I believe, reasonable Canadians would grow furious at the needless expenditure of taxpayers time and money involved in what I believe reasonable Canadians might see as calculated attempts to defeat the course of justice.
We are in a world of blackberries, cell phones, e-mails, electronic everything - and Mr. Montague was frustrated at every turn in his sincere and perseverant attempt to get instructions from the seven. Two waived privilege.
Various forms of non or incomplete response came from Walter Cobb, Harris, Neufeld, Christie Clark, and Gary Collins. Since there was no palpable response with which to deal, counsel twiddled all of our thumbs for the morning. Mr. McCullough for the Defence suggested Mr. Montague could set to work in the next twenty four hours to solve the problems, but declines to do so. He added that Mr. Montague hasn't replied to the written arguments set forth by Defence for seeing the e-mails with a written argument to the contrary. Nor has he received instruction from his clients in a matter that involves political corruption.
Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett would not comment on "Mr. Montague's predicament". Though she did at one point speak of another "road block put up", in talking of the delays. She listened sweetly to what many reasonable Canadians would think of as pure horse manure presented by those seemingly wishing to delay. Is that a sign in her of weakness or great strength? Keep reading....
All the goings-on this morning point to possible uglier developments. Mr. Montague did not say directly - but I inferred that he was communicating that Gordon Campbell and others will fight against the examination of their e-mails directly concerning the charges against the three men and the corrupt sale of BC Rail. From the highest officers of the legislature of British Columbia delay, sleight of hand, obstruction, failure to assist the pursuit of justice has been, to me more and more obvious.
On Thursday, as I have reported, a meeting will be held to decide if Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett who has been seized with the Basi, Virk, and Basi matters will be shifted (on the argument that she has been named to the Appeals Court). The very notion of moving her would strike most reasonable Canadians as a piece of chicanery of the first order. The matter has been complex, with thousands and thousands of pages of material and intricacies of inter-related forces that cannot be mastered easily.
But pressure may have mounted to demand chicanery of the first order in the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter.
Consider. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett has allowed the opening of the matter by Defence, in pursuit of materials, into BC Rail offices, to the RCMP, to the legislature - and cabinet. She has been absolutely correct in doing so - though I have judged her slow, uninsistent upon response, and unwilling to make available to the B.C. public material that it has a clear right to have freely placed before it. My arguments that she has acted under (so to speak) the Dohm of court secrecy are real.
But consider. Her allowing Defence to pursue real avenues of investigation may have infuriated crass power in the Province. It is my contention that a tight brotherhood exists between top B.C. entities. RCMP top officer Gary Bass (who has looked into his coffee cup as killing after killing by RCMP officers has been claimed as murders by members of the public. He also looked into his martini glass while RCMP handled requests for disclosure very, very badly).
Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm who sealed and only barely allows peaks into ALL the search warrants in the present case. I claim Dohm's action is irresponsible. When he decided to do a summary for Press and Media pushing for release of the warrants, he didn't do it himself but, astonishingly, had the summary put together by Special Crown Prosecutor, William Berardino.
Mr. Berardino, incidentally is reported to want the removal of Madam Justice Bennett.
Gordon Campbell has solemnly asserted he will give every assistance to the work of the Basi, Virk, and Basi case while (as I see it) doing everything he can to delay, frustrate, and prevent the matter from proceeding in a timely and efficient fashion. To his occluded brain cells, the fact that the judge on the case has permitted a search for evidence that involves cabinet and other close colleagues (including himself) might well seem like the next thing to Sedition and the attempt at Armed Overthrow of Legal (?) Authority.
Those occupiers of the Throne Room have - it appears plainly - to be horrified that Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett mentioned in court, quietly, reference to Patrick Kinsella in a news report. (Defence has applied for all the correspondence, I believe, of Kinsella in relation to the sale of BC Rail.) Kinsella appears to have been involved, and the request is perfectly in order. But steam is pouring out of the Throne Room. And, it is said, Kinsella's counsel - before Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm - will be taking a request that Madam Justice Bennett receive a stong slap on the wrist for her ... imprudence(?)
What the Throne Room people may well want is the dismissal of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett and her replacement with one of the judges kept in reserve. That judge will dismiss applications for disclosure, insist the "trial" proceed, bash Defence counsel into silence, read the charges as limited and in no way related to superiors giving orders, cabinet ministers and top civil servants apparently faking the BC Rail sale, or any such "extraneous" matters. And he/she will proceed to hammer Basi, Virk, and Basi - as, perhaps, was intended from the beginning.
Such a highly possible appointment makes Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett look like the Joan of Arc of the B.C. Supreme Court (about to go to the stake!)
There are many more things to say. But two more only.
Whoever designed the regulations assuring that people who were in the positions Basi, Virk, and Basi were have the right to taxpayer-supported defence did not envision the Basi, Virk, and Basi cases. We can be almost sure the designers of that system did not intend a real, determined, taxpayer-permitted exposure of widespread incompetence, if not corruption, in the conduct of British Columbia affairs.
Secondly, an ordinary Canadian is educated by the matters presently under argument. The education consists of seeing legal rules and principles twisted and tortured and mangled in every possible way - in fact destroying them - in order to protect what appears increasingly (to me) to be an unprincipled and corrupt Establishment. Out of such behaviour, eventually, comes revolution of one kind or another as the only source of remediation.
BC grants access to files in corruption case
By Mark Hume
The Globe and Mail - June 1, 2009
More about today's pre-trial hearing HERE.
On behalf of the people of BC I sincerely hope that the hard work of the defence team will prevail.
The real evidence of the inner workings of the Campbell government must come to light.
Indeed the last 5 years of this delay at the hands of the government and the inept Special Prosecutor will continue if the emails and communications are produced.
I happen to know with certainty that at least ONE of those people willingly agreed to, signed, and sent in a "consent for release" document covering the release of e.mails and correspondence. It was sent to Madam Justice Bennett before the start of business hours today.
Emphasis upon the "willingly agreed".
How much is the sham costing us?
When will gordo be a man, and admit his involvement?
Also he promised not to drink again, so why has he started again?
It's getting closer to the source...Lets not let the bullshit continue to get in the way. Keep the judge, call all the mla's and past mla's, get to the truth. Give us back our province!
Premier ...... ooops.... Gordon Campbell, like the DUI drive in Hawaii where the highest Officer of the government of BC wasn't wearing his cloak of office when he committed himself to drive drunk, ...... he could lose the Premiership, be expelled as an MLA.
So too for other MLAs directly involved; consultants like the guy who was busy advising CN Rail and BC Rail; PBA staff;
Can't we just get on with it before we invite the world to the 2010 Winter Olympics where the BC Liberals will still be running the province, come Hell, or High water?
Perhaps the missing principles from the BC Rail Sham Trial can be found either under the Campbell Happy Family Campaign Bus, or sitting on a beach somewhere sharing Mai-Tais with Kenny "Boy" Lay of Enron fame!
I just heard on Free World Radio (well, public radio from various European countries in the middle of the night on CBC) about how the citizens dealt with the corrupt government a few years ago in Romania. I'm not suggesting anything, just pointing out where things eventually get to when justice is constantly and steadily denied!
Lives have already been lost in this unholy attempt to subvert the province and its people to the Corporate Agenda of Emperor Gordo and his minions. Millions of salmon, the two railroaders who were forced to operate barely prairie capable equipment on BC grades to save a buck for Gordo's pals. The ongoing deaths in the streets of Vancouver due to poverty, homelessness and the so-called drug wars. The neglect of children in care under the Gordo Goons is shameful. Indeed I am ashamed to live in a province and country that is regularly called to account by organizations like the UN and Amnesty International for violating human rights, labor standards and environmental irresponsibility. Long gone is the image of the gentle, but tough when necessary, promoters of peace that used to live north of the Amerikan Empire.
By the way, we could have lost a portion of Prince George a couple years back when someone (likely unqualified) was remotely operating locomotives that he likely couldn't see "in the yard" which apparently, according to CN is both the old BC Rail yard AND the CN yard and all connecting track - even if it is part of the mainline. That whole episode was another example of Canned Waste acting as a PR firm for the Cabal, as we would have known nothing of what really happened there except for Opinion250 and the reports/photos of locals - including filming fuel going into the river and water bombers making runs over residential neighborhoods to stop the treetop high flames before they started devouring those same residential neighborhoods.
Kelly the apologist for CN was all over the radio after the report on the Lilloet de-railment was made public and she emphasized how CN had improved its safety record by twenty some percent since the incident. Well, considering that CN was experiencing de-railments at the rate of one EVERY THREE DAYS at one point, it would be difficult to not improve or else run out of rolling stock.
One last question, when will we learn just which waterfront and other land CN gets for a dollar and how will it be spun to either be a good thing or somehow blamed on the NDP?
Good morning, Koot:
How brightly you shine, this morning.
Here's a roundabout answer to almost everyone's questions here ...
I have it on good authority [ahem ... as they say in these matters] that the newest B.C. budget will include ...
please be seated, and get a firm grip ...
the newest B.C. budget will include an increase for Gordo's Public Affairs Bureau.
I may be able to share the Actual Page with you soon.
How do you interpret this? Me, I think it means more rotten news ahead for B.C. and we-all needs to be taught to love that, so's to keep smiling during the Olympics.
OK, your turn now.
As Mulder said so many times, "The truth is out there somewhere" and it is the sworn and highly paid duty of the Mighty PAB to make sure it NEVER SURFACES!
"But steam is pouring out of the Throne Room. And, it is said, Kinsella's counsel - before Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm - will be taking a request that Madam Justice Bennett receive a stong slap on the wrist for her ... imprudence(?)"
They say when you follow the money you eventually get to the steam... and then the steam tells you how close you are to the "hot spot".
So the steamy, incensed behavior on the part of "The Throne Room", protective of Mr. Kinsella, is very revealing here. It tells us a lot.
Just wondering...as in Rome....:
Black steam: a failed ballot?
White steam: a new pope is elected....errrr...a new judge?
Excellent article, Robin.
Many thanks, BC Mary, for the info that His Royal Highness will be spending more of OUR money to ensure he maintains HIS pre-requisite PABlum supply. I wonder if they come with a HRH seal of approval on their foreheads - like the HP worceshire sauce?
Just an interesting note: Those royal seals of approval on a monarch's "favourite things/necessities", were called royal "warrants of appointment".
Still quite fitting in regard to PABlum Inc.
And "King of Thwarts", indeed, Mary. Well said.