Monday, August 16, 2010
The BC Rail Scandal and The New Lawlessness. Could it be ... ?
By Robin Mathews
August 16, 2010
There is a whole other way to see the failure to act (of the Attorney General of B.C., of the Stephen Owen “Review” of the Special Prosecutor appointment system, of the top B.C. Supreme Court judges, and the presiding judge – Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie) on the wrongful appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor in matters concerning the corrupt transfer of BC Rail from public ownership to a huge U.S. private corporation, the CNR… and the present Basi, Virk, and Basi criminal trial….
That way of seeing involves the larger, global picture. It means looking at the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter in the same way as the huge, almost unpunished, Enron energy fraud (2001). Looking in the same way as with the gigantic, unpunished ‘prime mortgage’ [credit derivatives, credit default swaps, etc.] international financial meltdown of 2008. It involves the same way of seeing as our view of the unpunished (and now allegedly covered-up) BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico – and here at home, the on-going Alberta Tar Sands (and Athabaska river) disaster … the unpunished Enbridge pipeline disasters … and more.
It is to place the Basi, Virk, and Basi case into the perspective of “The New Lawlessness”.
The New Lawlessness (subscribed to, I allege, by Gordon Campbell, Stephen Harper, and Ed Stelmach in Canada) is nothing more than a seamless alliance between governments and huge private corporations to elude law – where corporate interests are pursuing unregulated pollution, cheapest exploitation of resources, get-rich-quick manufacture of fraudulent securities, dubious ownership transfers, sales of non-existent commodities – or, in fact, any action or design that previously would be (and now should be) criminal in private corporate behaviour intended to enrich Corporation ‘principals’ at the expense of the public.
Accompanying those developments is the increased use of “policing” forces to protect “democratic” leaders from their own people [G20 in Toronto, for instance].
What are the accused in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case accused of – fundamentally? They are accused of breaking an oath of confidentiality. That includes, especially, confidentiality in all the matters dealing with the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to CNR - which was engaged in by top government and private Corporation officers, I believe.
The job of the accused was to be completely loyal to a highly sophisticated betrayal of the people of British Columbia. They were sworn – I argue – to uphold “The New Lawlessness”, not to uphold the law.
Their alleged crime was not primarily against lawfulness as we know it. It was not primarily against the people of B.C. and Canada. Their alleged crime – it would seem – was to betray their corrupt masters and – in doing so – to give away the fact that “The New Lawlessness” is in operation.
After the alleged breach of confidentiality [the alleged “breach of trust”], the matters of bribery and money laundering [in the case] followed.
Why – the question has come up again and again – why would the top people allegedly corruptly transferring BC Rail to the CNR go after three order-in Council appointees for, allegedly, cutting out a piece of profit for themselves as part of the whole dirty deal?
Why would those top people take the risk of exposing their own gigantic, shady sleight-of-hand to remove BC Rail from the ownership of the people of British Columbia?
Why were the three accused the only accused in the huge, highly dubious (even, I believe, criminal) transaction?
Because – the answer may be - the three accused men were, allegedly, double-crossing “the bosses” and were allegedly taking “The New Lawlessness” in the most natural direction. They were not primarily - reasonable Canadians may believe - violating the trust of the people of British Columbia and Canada. They were not primarily violating the trust of elected representatives in a democratic society. No. They were violating – it may be argued – a sordid (and perhaps criminal) pact entered into by top government officials and top private Corporate actors.
The three accused had to be stopped in their tracks and taught an enduring lesson.
Could it be that something went wrong? Could it be that the improper appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor was not simply a dumb mistake of “the Club” – shutting its eyes and appointing one of ‘the boys’ without wrong intention?
Could it be that “the Club” purposefully appointed Mr. Berardino to shield its members and never thought William Berardino’s qualifications would be examined?
Could it be that “the Club” never expected a Defence team that would see through “the fix” that was in to transfer (improperly) BC Rail to CNR, and that Defence would attempt to expose a major criminality in the transfer?
Could it be that the dogged persistence of the Defence had to be dealt with?
Could it be that Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett (first judge on the case) was ‘allowing Defence too much room’ - and had to be removed, pushed upstairs to the Appeals Court?
Could it be that the case needed a judge ‘more understanding’ that the case is a simple one, concerning only three allegedly bad boys, allegedly engaging in breach of trust, bribery, and money laundering?
Could it be that the steam-roller of “the New Lawlessness” is being driven over Basi, Virk, and Basi and their three Defence lawyers?
Could it be that the extraordinary determination of the presiding judge to enforce the draconian ‘publication ban’ is not at all extraordinary - but a necessity to keep the role of Gordon Campbell and his associates in the BC Rail Scandal as contained as possible?
Could it be that she was promoted to Associate Chief Justice (after being appointed to the Basi, Virk, and Basi case) to give force to her in-court rulings? Was her promotion a natural elevation as a result of her unfailing judicial excellence?
Could it be that her plain refusal to deal with the wrongful appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor is of the same character? Is Mr. Berardino key to the scenario that three bad (brown) boys in a little private corner, seeking private gain, allegedly set to work to betray trust in an operation otherwise spotless, white, and upright?
That, it would seem, is the story ‘the Club’ tells. The Attorney General of B.C. refuses to deal with the wrongful appointment of Mr. Berardino. So do the top judges of the B.C. Supreme Court. So did Stephen Owen, appointed to “review” the whole process of Special Prosecutor appointments (reporting on July 8, 2010). So does the presiding judge on the Basi, Virk, and Basi case. So does the Mainstream Press and Media – resolutely.
And so – finally – does the Canadian Judicial Council.
The Canadian Judicial Council - to which I complained (May 17) of Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie’s refusal to recognize an obligation in the matter of the (wrongful) appointment of William Berardino – replied (Aug 6). Its finding is “that if Mr. Berardino’s appointment in the matter of R. v. Basi, Virk & Basi violates any legislation, as you have alleged (and Chief Justice Wittmann expresses no opinion in this regard), this is not a matter of judicial conduct and does not fall within the Council’s mandate to review.”
TAKE NOTE: the Attorney General, Michael de Jong, refuses to reply to my request that he address the wrongful appointment of William Berardino; the top B.C. Supreme Court judges refuse to answer my letter (Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie included) asking that they address the wrongful appointment.
The Mainstream Press and Media refuse to address the wrongful appointment. The Honourable Neil C. Wittmann, Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, answering for the CJC REFUSES TO ADDRESS THE WRONGFUL APPOINTMENT.
To show the faultless purity of the Canadian Judicial Council, the letter from the Council says: “Because your complaint involves a member of the Council, an additional step has been followed in accordance with the Complaints Procedures. Your complaint, and its proposed disposition by Chief Justice Wittman, have been reviewed by an outside counsel, namely Mr. Jacques J.M. Shore of the law firm of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP. After a careful review of this matter, Mr. Shore has indicated his complete agreement with Chief Justice Wittman’s decision about your complaint, as well as with the reasons contained within this letter.”
In my respectful opinion the Canadian Judicial Council (a club within “the Club’) – like all the others – absolutely refuses to address the fact of Mr. Berardino’s wrongful appointment and the fact that it invalidates the trial in which he is acting as Special (Crown) Prosecutor, and the fact that the presiding judge cannot with impunity know that and close her eyes to it.
But Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie does know it, and she is closing her eyes to it … with the blessing, now, of the Canadian Judicial Council (of which she is, it just happens – a member).
The situation is so ridiculous it has to exist for a reason. I suggest it could not exist in a society under the rule of law. But what about a society under the rule of “The New Lawlessness”?
Could it be …?
Just a minor correction, Robin - the term is SUB-prime mortgages, i.e. those without prime value, and by definition not on stable ground (inadequate assets/income behind them).
And about the arrangement to elude the law, what comes to mind for me is those explicit clauses in the BC Rail/CN contracts exemption CN from the effects of any legal or political action taken against them in the case the contract was in any way illegal.
In other words, "this contract is exempt from regular legislation and the contractee is exempt from prosecution for same".
Those clauses, alone, in my estimation, make the contracts unconstitutional and should be subject not just to Competition Board review but also subject to investigation/revocation by the federal Justice Minister. i.e. were these contracts even legal under the laws of Canada, in that they exempt a corporation from liabilities any other citizen or corporate citizen is subject to? Since when does cutting a rigged deal with a provincial government qualify a company to be exempt from prosecution for that rigging?????
Of course this is a country of misrule, rather than law. The Queen of Hearts in Alice makes more sense than any of our politicians or judges, and the elders of Butler's Erewhon possessed of more intrinsic morality than any of those who have apprehended public authority in Canada......
When the newly-appointed Governor-General was selected on the basis of his efforts to protect high-ranking Tories from investigation in connection with the Mulroney-Schreiber Affair, and Mulroney to this day is a free man while the relatively venal criminal Lord Black languishes in a US jail, what hope do we have that the wrongdoers in BC's most infamous scandal will ever see the docket, much less a jail cell?
Our constitution is a sham, our public officers a pack of conspirators and embezzlers. But what to do?
It's not like the people of this country ever fought for their freedoms, which were conferred from above, not striven for from below. No wonder they do not fight when they are taken away, either.....
Sadly, the great intellectual Trudeau was more concerned with ridding Canada of the British umbilical cord to appease his own home province, than to seeing towards the viability of Canadian democracy, or to protect Canadians from their politicians, and from governments run amok or overtaken by criminal corruption of the seediest, most corporate kind.
But what to do?
Read Tom Payne, perhaps.....
The criminality of the BC Rail matter may only be, ultimately and if ever, addressed in US courts, if a way can be found to bring them to the bench there. It's clear from the shenanigans in and around the courts of British Columbia and the scummy relationship between the Special Prosecutor(s) and Judicial Council et al. that there is no hope of democratic recourse, or fair proceeding in Canada. Or of any kind of meaningful democratic constitution, or even of the fair application of existing recall legislation (I don't fully understand, from out here in Nova Scotia, what has gone down with the recall petition, but it sounds like Campell & Co. have tried to have it ruled invalid....).
It's a mad, mad, mad world. I think CSIS has got it wrong - it's not foreign governments we have to worry about corrupting our politicians. You can't rape the willing, as the saying goes. The politicians were only too eager to sell out, and it's they who CSIS should be invetigating, not their client corporations/governments.
Gullibility is not something I associate with BC Liberals.....
Q: What do you call a bad lawyer?
A: A judge.
That is to say, "bad lawyer" meaning a lawyer who does not practice law, but manipulates it instead. And as richly paid to..
What's the old Ancient Greek word for rhetoricians flogging someone else's agenda? Oh yes, sycophant.....
Those who seem to be power, whether elected or appointed, or only hacks in the stable of those actually running the show.
We were never de-colonized, the autocratic system of a powerful bureaucracy headed by a partisan politican was left without check by either the 1867 or 1982 Constitutions, and any of their provincial corollaries. Instead, power was entrenched and "the way things are done" was systematized as a parallel, de facto constitution. AKA "business as usual". Similarly Meech was another stab at that, and Charlottetown; they gave up asking us about it and went ahead and creating the Council of the Federation, where they divvy up and entrench their powers further still.
But again, they are only puppets, Parliament and legislatures but shadow-plays where excuses and apologies are made, or not made, for the crimes of the government and whomever it is that put them in power. Politicians are shills; follow the money to which banks and corporations (and criminal organizations, con men and consultants and....even foreign governments) hold them by the neck, or even the noose, as was the case with Vander Zalm and seems likely to go down with Campbell. But as with North Korea, we must dread who might be far worse than the current ruler (and I don't mean Carole James). And in my opinion, this is true of Glen Clark, and hinges on the alarm he created in US security and rightist circles with his behaviour during the Salmon War.....the CIA wasn't needed, as it turned out, the Campbellites were all too willing to stage a coup....and did. No need to rehash how, we all know the story by now....
Journalism Warning Labels
CONTENTS NOT VERIFIED
It seems a bit strange to me that the media carefully warn about and label any content that involves sex, violence or strong language — but there's no similar labelling system for, say, sloppy journalism and other questionable content.
I figured it was time to fix that, so I made some stickers. I've been putting them on copies of the free papers that I find on the London Underground. You might want to as well.
... rest of article and sample labels at: http://www.tomscott.com/warnings/
The only point I'd make is that the newspapers I'd like to plaster these stickers on are not the free papers, it's the MSM variety that I'd love to shower with stickers.
could you explain?
Also, I'd be interested to know your reaction to the previous article I posted from the "Indo-Canadian" perspective.
I will comment on the other article under seperate post.
I think you're fabricating a story here ... and it's not helpful to the general understanding of the BC Rail Case.
In fact, it makes me very uncomfortable when anyone begins talking about things we're not allowed to say.
"The crown decided to round up all east indians in the neighbourhood" is really very silly, even coming from someone who favours the Crown Prosecutor's strategy.
Dr Mathews explores the topic from every angle. There's no reason at all, for you to be offended by his kind of diligence.
Well I disagree.
Most people are more respected prior to entering into politics. Oppal and Heed are not unique.
As for Basi and Bains being "... a loss to the galaxy of our stars" the author cant possibly know how inappropriate his choice of words are, or if he does, is knowingly trying to mislead the naive and uninformed becuase as is the theme of the entire piece, politicians are highly regarded in Indian culture, and the ambition of the author would appear to want to help the ideals of such reverence. There is a bias there.
All in all I found the indo perspective piece not remarkable in any way; predicably biased and forgiving of indians who enter politics regardless to what they have been up to.
It's too bad you can't be assigned the task of reading ALL of Robin's contributions posted here over the years and then pass a test of compententcy to prove you understood what you read - then we could start over from some location in the sane world with this discussion. But your random scattered thoughts (sic) are good for the odd laugh!
Should anyone, and I mean anyone, care what you say - assuming anyone can comprehend what they mean? Or has the bar gone below Limbo low at the PAB?
First: your insulting comment directed at Dr Mathews has been deleted. Don't try that again.
Second: thank you for taking time to describe your reaction to the Indo-Canadian Stars piece. In my view, you have a bias; whereas Manpreet has a point of view.
We can benefit from hearing several points of view on any topic of interest. I happen to think that Manpreet does his readers a favour by explaining the high esteem in which politicians are held, within India's culture. The result i.m.o. of the years of British rule/oppression.
Have you read the book "The White Tiger"? Same theme, from a much closer perspective.
What I found most interesting in your comment, tinman, is your linking of Dave Basi + Jasmohan Bains. Did you mean Bob Virk? Or do you actually mean that Bains has (or had, before he landed in jail) political ambitions??
I hope you will comment again.
By-laws Amending the Canadian Judicial Council Inquiries and Investigations By-laws
Canadian Judicial Council
PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT
Notice is hereby given that the Canadian Judicial Council, pursuant to subsection 61(3) of the Judges Act (see footnote a), proposes to make the annexed By-laws Amending the Canadian Judicial Council Inquiries and Investigations By-laws.
Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed By-laws within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Norman Sabourin, Executive Director and Senior General Council, Canadian Judicial Council, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0W8 (fax: 613-288-1575; email: email@example.com).
Ottawa, July 19, 2010
Chief Justice of Canada
Canadian Judicial Council
Whats this all about????
BY-LAWS AMENDING THE CANADIAN JUDICIAL COUNCIL INQUIRIES AND INVESTIGATIONS BY-LAWS
1. The Canadian Judicial Council Inquiries and Investigations By-laws (see footnote 1) are amended by adding the following after section 1:
CONSTITUTION AND POWERS OF A REVIEW PANEL
1.1 (1) The Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson of the Judicial Conduct Committee who considers a complaint or allegation made in respect of a judge of a superior court may, if they determine that the matter warrants further consideration, constitute a Review Panel to decide whether an Inquiry Committee shall be constituted under subsection 63(3) of the Act.
(2) The Review Panel shall consist of three or five judges, the majority of whom shall be members of the Council, designated by the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson of the Judicial Conduct Committee.
(3) The Review Panel may decide that an Inquiry Committee shall be constituted only in a case where the matter might be serious enough to warrant removal of a judge.
(4) If the Review Panel decides to constitute an Inquiry Committee, it shall send its decision to the Minister without delay, together with a notice inviting the Minister to designate members of the bar of a province to that committee in accordance with subsection 63(3) of the Act.
Thanks for your encouraging comments. I hope that bloggers do make it easier for people to sort out the political threads of stories.
Would you mind if I offer a suggestion for making your comments easier to follow? The comma (,) is a language tool intended to slow the reader down at points where items need to be separated ... as in "Bill, George, Tom and Barry attended the performance." It would be difficult to understand that sentence without the three commas.
On the other hand, too many commas throw the reader into confusion. Taking as an example: "We tend to think, politicians, judges, RCMP and lawyers, are in the position of trust, and, we tend to believe them."
If we removed all the commas:
We tend to think politicians, judges, RCMP and lawyers are in the position of trust and we tend to believe them.
it gets easier to follow your thought.
What do you think? Me, I'd much prefer being able to follow your line of thinking.
I hope you'll write again.
How anyone would look up with respect to that speaks volumes of that culture or persons.