Wednesday, September 30, 2009


"You can anticipate the trial will start in early January,” she told the assembled teams of lawyers, most of whom have been on the case since 2004

New judge bring sense of urgency to B.C. corruption trial

Mark Hume

The Globe and Mail - Sept. 30, 2009

Read more HERE.

Vancouver A marathon political corruption trial that has been before the Supreme Court of British Columbia for nearly five years got a new judge Wednesday – and a new sense of urgency.

In making her first appearance, Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie left no doubt that she wants the case against Dave Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi to get moving.

“You can anticipate the trial will start in early January,” she told the assembled teams of lawyers, most of whom have been on the case since the three former government employees were charged in 2004 with fraud, breach of trust and money laundering.

The defence had been anticipating a much later start to the trial, and Mr. Virk's lawyer, Kevin McCullough, rose to suggest January might be too optimistic a target.

“I don't want to start off on the wrong foot … [but] I don't anticipate disclosure will be complete,” he said, referring to an ongoing and much-argued process that has seen the defence win access to thousands of cabinet documents.

There are several outstanding applications to do with disclosure issues, the admissibility of search warrants and wiretap evidence. And there is an appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada regarding a secret informant whose identity the Crown is seeking to protect.

But Judge MacKenzie, who is taking over because Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett has been promoted to the B.C. Court of Appeal, said she is familiar with the case files and feels confident disclosure issues will be wrapped up by January. “I have read every decision and I have read mountains of transcripts [from this case],” she said. {Snip} ...

She then proceeded to run through a series of dates with Crown and defence counsel, setting out the schedule she expects to see followed throughout October, November and December.

Among other things, she pushed up the timing of an application the defence is expected to make in which it will argue that the right of the accused to have a trial within a reasonable time has been violated.

When Michael Bolton, who is defending Dave Basi, said more time was needed to prepare medical and economic reports from experts on the impact that delays have had on the accused, Judge MacKenzie granted a bit more time, but set firm dates.

“I want to set them so you can tell your medical people those are the court dates,” she said.

“You'll have to … explain [to medical and financial experts] the court's urgency on this matter, because sometimes these things can get dragged out.”

William Berardino, the special prosecutor, said the Crown is ready to go to trial now and has been since last spring.

Judge MacKenzie told the lawyers to return to court on Oct. 13, when she'll hear an application related to the disclosure of BC Rail documents.

“We've accomplished a significant amount and I'm satisfied,” she said before standing down. {Snip} ...

The case came to public attention on Dec. 28, 2003, when police investigators searched the offices of Dave Basi and Mr. Virk, both high-level ministerial aides who were involved with the government's $1-billion sale of BC Rail to CN Rail.


New Basi-Virk judge says anticipate trial in early January; defence unconvinced

BC Rail corruption case may finally be heard - or not.

By Bill Tieleman, 24 hours columnist
Sept. 30, 2009

The new B.C. Rail corruption case judge says the trial should begin in early January 2010 – six years after police raided the B.C. Legislature.

Justice Anne MacKenzie told her first court hearing since taking over from Justice Elizabeth Bennett that she is intent on moving quickly to the trial of former B.C. government ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk for alleging [allegedly] leaking confidential B.C. Rail sale documents to lobbyists representing a bidder.

“You can anticipate that this trial will start in early January - that’s a reasonable assumption,” MacKenzie said.

But defence lawyer Kevin McCullough, representing Virk, was not convinced.

“This trial was going to start in November 2005,” McCullough pointed out while objecting to MacKenzie’s proposed schedule for remaining defence applications.
{Snip} ...


We finally have a trial date

Bill Tieleman
24 HOURS - Oct. 1, 2009



What we are now witnessing in this case is the beginning of a whitewash.
Changing procedure so that there can be a stay of proceedings.A "stay" is a postponement. Do the get to postpone it forever? Hang things in the air?
To me this appears to be the only way the government can get out of this and not look too bad. Or not look like they are trying to get out of it.
My bet is right now that this justice will accept the proposal.
See Vaughn Palmer's article in the Sun today. All that is missing is an ending: and the smell of fraud and corruption wafting across the province. Cheers. Now get your book to a publisher.
The cuts, from the BC Liberals, are coming, but why oh why are taxpayers paying for a mini postal service that includes OCR copying. We've all seen how much time has been spend by the Special Prosecutor to produce the documents of disclosure. Why? When one considers that it could have all been done in house.

The BC government provides "Consolidated Warehousing" and "Bulk Storage" along with "Courier Services

We can coordinate all your asset transportation needs using a variety of courier services including B.C Mail Plus. We can also set up your own account with a courier of your choice or we can use our "contracted couriers" and journal voucher back to your warehouse service agreement.

Maintenance Services

We can arrange for and provide services for the maintenance, repair, cleaning or inspection of assets coming into storage. This ensures that your assets are kept in optimum operating condition.
Inventory Management Systems and Consulting"..... B.C Mail Plus?????

Are these services only being provided because of existing collective agreements or is it to keep the PAB staff busy?

Queen's Printer I can understand, but warehousing.
The Vancouver Sun ran an article earlier this week on the topic of "Trash Track" where the intent of MIT is to show how our recycled items may not end up where we intended them to go to.

Trash Track:

For me there is another use for their wonderful idea, apply it to the BC Liberals election promises of 2001 and later, and THEN the public would have a clearer understanding of just how much we have been lied to.

eg. The BC Liberals said that BC Rail was not for sale, but it was, and its now in the hands of a private company called CN Rail based in Montreal, whereas if there had been a proper sale, nothing to do with Fairness, conducted our BC Rail could have ended up in the OmniTrax hands of Pat Broe based in Denver Colorado.

A further spin-off is the Peter Armstrong's take-over of the passenger service that was once an integral part of BC Rail.

Has anyone else got ideas on how we could show, geographically, how non-residents of British Columbia have benefited from the Billion Dollar sell off of BC Rail?
Trash Track

How it works
Anon 2:21...we could start by explaining that CN is actually based in Texas now - not Canada. It is an American company whose two primary shareholders are William Gates III, and Warren Buffett.

It will be very interesting to see how they steer the use of the land they gained for the sum of $1.00...and WHO benefits from that. I would of course expect to see more than one BC politician (and/or their handlers) on that list.

Fortunately, I won't be holding my breath for the answer to that one because it's not likely we'll ever know the truth. The way this court case has been going - it appears that the Campbell Cult will walk away with the rape of this province, and all of it's resources for the past 8 years...with the blessing of the BCSC. I guess we have to wait and see whether or not there is still some integrity left in our judicial system. We can hope - but we shouldn't count on it. How sad is that?

PS: CIBC World Markets (the bank in charge of the "sale" of BC Rail) stated in their "highly confidential" memorandum that this transaction would be handled as a sale...not a lease as stated by the premier. I found that document in the Legislature Library has been posted here on Mary's blog in the past, so it should be easy for you to find the link to it.
Sorry...I meant to add:

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are respectively, the two wealthiest Americans in the world.
Leah said:

"Anon 2:21...we could start by explaining that CN is actually based in Texas now - not Canada. It is an American company whose two primary shareholders are William Gates III, and Warren Buffett......"

You, might start explaining to us how you managed to come up with Texas, rather than the facts saying otherwise, especially the line "It is an American company"....

"With tracks that stretch from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and south to the Gulf of Mexico, Canadian National Railway (CN) is Canada's #1 railroad and one of the half-dozen largest in North America. The company, which operates a network of about 21,000 route miles in Canada and the US, hauls freight such as forest products, petroleum and chemicals, and grain and fertilizers. CN operates about 20 intermodal terminals, where freight is transferred between trucks and trains. In addition to freight transportation, the company provides logistics services.

About 20% of the company's revenue comes from its US operations."

Contact Information:

Canadian National Railway Company
935 de La Gauchetière St. West
Montreal, Quebec H3B 2M9, Canada
Tel. 514-399-709


The CN Commercialization Act was enacted into law on July 13, 1995 and by November 28, 1995, the federal government had completed an initial public offering (IPO) and transferred all of its shares to private investors. Two key prohibitions in this legislation include, 1) that no individual or corporate shareholder may own more than 15% of CN, and 2) that the company's headquarters must remain in Montreal, thus maintaining CN as a Canadian corporation.

Just scan for the word "must" in the wikipedia link

One has to wonder where British Columbians were when the Federal Liberals privatized CNR and have been in a hissy fit over BC Rail going the same route, eh!
"I found that document in the Legislature Library has been posted here on Mary's blog in the past, so it should be easy for you to find the link to it."

Why do we have to supply the link Leah? Can't you give us the links to both locations?
CIBC World Markets document:

I'll post the other link when I find the story again.
The article I was searching for showing the percentage of shares owned by Mr. Gates and Buffett seems to no longer exist...after 5 hours of searching for it. Two articles I have found today say Mr. Buffett does not have shares in CN, having changed his mind about the issue in 2007. Mr. Gates shares still stand.

Buffett was only thinking of buying CN Rail in 2007
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