Sunday, October 31, 2010


BC Mary nominates Michael Smyth's Hallowe'en column as the worst of the 21st century

BC Mary comment: this is my nomination for the award of worst column ever seen in the West Coast's Big Media.

The biggest problem is timing. If Michael Smyth had written it 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 years ago, he would have been fulfilling the mandate of a free press, which is to keep the people fully and fairly informed of what's going on in our world.

But no ...

Smyth never "gets it" himself that CanWest was the reason why Campbell ever became "the most successful yadda yadda" and stayed that way through three (3!) provincial elections.  Here's the quote:

It's astonishing to see Gordon Campbell, the most successful politician of our generation, become the source of the Liberals' problems. But it seems to happen to every premier, and every governing party. See that? Smyth doesn't "get it". Smyth even stops the flow of his thinking to fulfill the old CanWest mandate: always slag the NDP, if you must mention them at all.

Smyth waited 9 years, until there's scarcely any part of British Columbia left undamaged by this premier, and then begins telling us what we the people know too painfully well ... and that's why I call it the worst-ever piece of media connerie to date.  The Province's  headline says it all:

Campbell is the problem and he doesn't get it

Premier has become pariah, and party insiders - as well as voters - want him gone

By Michael Smyth
The Province - Hallowe'en 2010

Read it HERE.

Somebody pressed the Victoria Times Colonist alarm button, too ... also 9 or 10 years too late:

It takes money to help students

Times Colonist - Oct. 30, 2010

Read their editorial HERE.


Saturday, October 30, 2010


BC Rail Political Corruption trial continues in BC Supreme Court. And it's safe to say, the BC Rail Trial certainly continues in the Court of Public Opinion.


An Expert Summary of the BC Rail Scandal Fiasco -  What's Left Out.

By Robin Mathews
October 27, 2010

My friend Bill Tieleman has delivered the piece on the Basi, Virk, and Basi trial that we’ve been waiting for. Acknowledged as one of the best-informed observers watching and prying into the meaning of the BC Rail Scandal, Bill Tieleman’s wisdom needs to be studied by everyone who cares about British Columbia.  His October 26 article, “Hung Out To Dry” is one of the best summary articles written to date.

But its flaws are dazzling.

Mr. Tieleman (like all the mainstream press and media people) studiously avoids a few absolutely central matters – and the question must ring through anybody’s mind: Why?  Why?

Hitting the nail squarely on the head, he writes that former “BC Liberal ministerial aides Basi and Virk do not deserve to spend a single day under house arrest, let alone the two years less a day they were sentenced to last week under a guilty plea bargain agreement….” They were, he says, “Hung Out to Dry”.

And then he steps away from his statement and turns to the huge, calamitous, devious doings of Gordon Campbell and associates.

Nowhere does Mr. Tieleman say there is sound legal basis to exempt the two men from any charges whatsoever. Under perfect conditions there may have been reason to charge all three men – which he does not acknowledge.  And, now we’ll never know - a situation, itself, which creates a gigantic slander of the men.

And –  humourously (as well as unfortunately) – Mr. Tieleman uses Shakespeare’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (two minor figures in the play HAMLET) as (innocent) parallels to
(innocent) Basi and Virk. Except Mr. Tieleman seems to forget Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are, in effect, hired by the villain of the play, Claudius, knowingly to accompany Hamlet to England with a secret letter in their possession instructing Hamlet’s future hosts to murder him! Nice guys.

The sound basis for disallowing any charges
(which Mr. Tieleman and all the other mainstream press and media people refuse to mention) is plain.  In December 2003, before the search warrant raids on the legislature offices of Dave Basi and Bob Virk only (not on any of the offices of the people who gave the two men orders), a Special Prosecutor was named.

In such a case in which two men (instruments of government) were to have their offices raided and then, a year later, were to be charged, the legislation covering the appointment of Special Prosecutors is unequivocal: the Special Prosecutor must be visibly independent and unbiased.  He or she must have no connection whatever with the accused. He or she must not have even the potential to be perceived as being biased.

He or she must have no connection whatever with elected government officials, civil servants, police or like persons.  And in this case – compellingly – in which the cabinet is believed to have been deeply involved in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR, the Special Prosecutor should have been chosen from the 11,000 lawyers in B.C. so that he or she was obviously and unequivocally clear of any attachment to interested government figures.

But the appointed person, William Berardino QC, had been for seven years partner and colleague (and, one assumes, friend) of Geoff Plant, Attorney General in the ministry which appointed him, directly linked through membership in cabinet to Gordon Campbell and all senior operatives in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR.  William Berardino had been, as well, eleven years partner and colleague (and, one assumes, friend) of the Deputy Minister in that same ministry, Allan Seckel.

That was enough to rule out Mr. Berardino, categorically.  But then in the Spring of 2007, Gordon Campbell entered the pre-trial process, dissolved the working protocol to vet cabinet documents sought by the Defence counsel, and replaced it with Allan Seckel, then Deputy Attorney General.  Mr. Seckel, Gordon Campbell said, would consult with the Special Prosecutor, William Berardino.  Mr. Seckel and Mr. Berardino had been partners and colleagues in private practice for eleven years. Mr. Seckel had worked on the election campaign of Geoff Plant who became Attorney General, and not long after that Allan Seckel was appointed Deputy Attorney General.

The action of Gordon Campbell – entering the judicial process – stank to high heaven, and underscored the mess “the Crown” was in.

The Special Prosecutor (1) in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case was wrongfully appointed in violation of the legislation governing appointment.  (2) Therefore, he could not act.  (3) If he were to act, as he did in the case, the trial had to be illegitimate – and it was. (4) Since it was illegitimate, the charges which he organized and placed against the three accused were without legal force.  (5) All of the accused, all three, were, therefore, subjected to a pre-trial and trial process that was improper and without validity. (6) And so Basi and Virk “do not deserve to spend a single day under house arrest, let alone the two years less a day they were sentenced to last week under a guilty plea bargain agreement ….”

Why won’t Bill Tieleman and the other writers for the mainstream press and media point that out? It provides indisputable proof of Mr. Tieleman’s main point.

The whole process from the beginning has  - it is estimated – cost nearly 20 million dollars … almost all of it without legitimacy because the Special Prosecutor was wrongfully appointed.

My friend Bill Tieleman doesn’t fill in the canvas.  He – and the whole corps of Mainstream Press and Media people - ignore the fact that the assistant Deputy Attorney General, the Attorney General, the Chief Justice and Associate Chief Justice of the B.C. Supreme Court, the government appointed Reviewer of the Special Prosecutor appointment system, Stephen Owen, and the investigator for the Canadian Judicial Council - Chief Justice of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench - ALL lied, ducked out, equivocated, made empty excuses, or refused altogether to acknowledge the fact of William Berardino’s wrongful appointment.

All of the people from the Mainstream Press and Media refuse even to refer to the fact that the presiding judge, Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie, was fully informed that the Special Prosecutor was wrongfully in the courtroom … and she would do nothing whatever to inform the jury of the fact or to remedy the situation.

Had the Mainstream Press and Media done their work fairly on that matter, the whole course of the trial in the last six months might have been completely different … and much, much better as far as achieving some measure of justice is concerned.  The Mainstream Press and Media – many observers, I am sure believe - constitute a major part of the sell-out of justice in the BC Rail Scandal and the matters involving the three accused men. Their coverage of the Basi,Virk, and Basi case has been obscene.

There are those who say the role of the Mainstream Press and Media at the present time is to work for Private Corporate Capital and to sell out the people of the country.  That seems to be what happened here.

Bill Tieleman is correct in his headline that says: “Media quick to close the book”.  He suggests they closed it after the trial.  They closed it long before the end of the trial, as I have just shown.  Moreover, instead of challenging the police investigation from the start of the pre-trial hearings four years ago … the press equivocated, as Mr. Tieleman does in his expert summary.  Even now, he will only write about “the astonishing disregard for good judgement repeatedly demonstrated by the RCMP”.

The more than three years of pre-trial hearings, I insist, gave every indication that there should have been a deep and total RCMP investigation of the major actors in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR – up to and including Gordon Campbell. I asked RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass for that investigation … and he refused.

There still should be that investigation– and the Mainstream Press and Media refuse to say so. They fail … and fail … and fail.

The pre-trial hearings, I believe, revealed the RCMP stalling, delaying, shadow-boxing, giving every indication the Force was attempting to obstruct the process. I believe that would be the conclusion of any reasonable and prudent British Columbian attending.

The aborted “trial” of the three men, which followed, revealed key actors who hardly dared answer a single direct question. Martyn Brown and Brian Kenning looked so bad … I believe … desperation fell upon the Campbell group. I believe that group decided they had to do almost anything to close up the trial. We know what happened….

It must be said … and not a single member of the Mainstream Press and Media will say it.  The actions of the RCMP in the whole matter of the BC Rail Scandal give the appearance –  I believe that would be the conclusion of any reasonable British Columbian who observed the legal process – of being devoted to covering-up for the major actors in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR, to confusing the real sequence of events and the scope of wrong-doing, to acting on behalf of highly suspect persons, and to co-operating in the concentration upon certain allegations against the three men accused.

Bill Tieleman underscores the dubiousness of the trial by emphasizing the strange set of events when then-Finance Minister Gary Collins met Dwight Johnson and Pat Broe from bidder OmniTRAX at the famous Villa del Lupo restaurant in Vancouver in December of 2003.  Mr. Tieleman points to the offer of a “consolation prize” to OmniTRAX for staying in the bidding process for BC Rail. The reference is contained in the “statement of facts” which the accused agreed to that forms the basis of their reduced conviction. The reference to the “consolation prize” is there in the statement, it seems, specifically so that the accused can sign a statement exempting Gary Collins from any part in offering it.

What Mr. Tieleman doesn’t say is Defence argued in pre- trial hearings that Gary Collins was under “investigation”, and that investigation (after the December 12 meeting at Villa del Lupo) was dropped, and that there is no available record of an order to end investigation.  As I remember, the presiding judge accepted those allegations by Defence as reasonable and said there must be record of the termination of the investigation of Gary Collins … somewhere.  If so, it has never seen the light of day.

An investigation of top government figures in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR appears to have been begun … and closed down sharply.  Every representative of the Mainstream Press and Media should be on their hind legs demanding that investigation be re-opened and pursued to the last tiny shred of evidence.

Okay, Mr. Tieleman, over to you and the others in the Mainstream Press and Media.


 Here's a chuckle from the Galloping Beaver interpreting Gordo's speech of Oct 27, 2010:

Gordon Campbell wants you to behave like a whore

Read about it HERE



What will be left, after the BC Liberals?

BC Mary comment: Here's a gift from Jody Paterson ... true enough, she's mad as hell ... but she's got a Righteous Anger against the same things most of us are mad about ... and she says it so clearly and the thing is: she's big media for cryin' out loud! I say there's a new day dawning ... maybe.

What will be left after the Liberals?

Quoting Jody, where she leaves off fuming about Gordo's Golden Visions, and turns to Basi-Virk,


... Dressed up variously as “transformation” and “greater community integration and independence,” the government is flailing around for savings by dismantling, starving and squeezing services that in some cases have been in place for decades. With no social policy to guide cuts and changes, it’s essentially snipping random holes in the safety net, with no predicting where things will fall out.
But even if you don’t give a hoot about social issues, there’s a lot more to worry about when it comes to the B.C. Liberals.
The Basi-Virk stuff, for instance.
First you’ve got the high-flying guy in government who thinks it’s OK to take a $50,000 bribe from a developer wanting property taken out of the Agricultural Land Reserve. Then you’ve got the very government that bred a guy like that telling us we should just accept their word that the bribe had no effect on the decision, and never mind that the land did indeed get removed from the reserve.
Then you’ve got the $6 million payoff to cover the legal fees of Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, a decision reached by government mere days before a number of high-profile witnesses were to testify about how much the government knew.
And then to insult us with the explanation that government covered the legal bills because it was clear Basi and Virk could never afford to pay that amount back. How kind. This from the same government that will relentlessly grind people on income assistance to pay back $20.
Before Basi-Virk, there was the HST. I’m not so much bothered by the tax itself, because the work I do keeps me up close and personal to the problems that have resulted from the relentless drive to lower taxes. But the lying definitely offends me.
Finance Minister Colin Hansen - a man of integrity, I once thought - almost had us believing that government hadn’t considered introducing the HST until after the 2009 election.
When the media put the lie to that statement after finding an email from the federal government to Hansen sent two months before the election, the finance minister just kept up the Sergeant Schultz defence of knowing nothing. It was as if sheer repetition alone could make us believe.
I’m sure it must be very difficult to be government these days. People howling at the door for services, less money to go around.
But how is any of that helped by starving services that prevent much bigger, costlier problems from developing? And why should I believe anything the government says on that front or any other now that I know that bribes, lying and the paying of hush money are part of the way it does business? [Emphasis added. - BC Mary]

It bothers me a lot that when the bill for failed social care finally comes due years from now, the B.C. Liberals of the moment will be gone and their pivotal role in the tragedy overlooked.  It bothers me more to see our province in the hands of a government that feels so little respect for the people.
I don’t know what the answer is. But it sure isn’t about waiting until 2013.

Posted by Jody Paterson at 7:40 AM

The whole passionate column is HERE.

BC Mary comment again: I must ask: Wasn't that $6million a bribe, too?  A plain, bald-faced, flat-out quid pro quo? The Campbell certainly didn't look too sad about heaping all the blame for the BC Rail Political Corruption onto Basi and Virk. 


Big Media has begun using Letters-to-the-Editor the same way it uses paid, union-certified work by "accredited" journalists (note the copyright). I'd like to think that Big Media provides these contributors with at least a token payment. This, for example, is a good commentary and could've been expanded:

Different rules for criminals than for welfare fraudsters?

By B. Rock
Vancouver Sun - October 30, 2010

It's fascinating that B.C. Attorney-General Mike de Jong sees fit to take 317 welfare recipients to court, hoping to get back about $3 million. That averages out at less than $10,000 for each court case, if the government is successful.

To force David Basi (who, with Bob Virk, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a lobbyist in exchange for confidential information) to pay his defence costs, the province can invoke the agreement it already has. How can de Jong think it's not worth seizing at least $352,000 of Basi's assets? He seems to forget this is taxpayers' money he's throwing away.

I guess I won't have to pay my B.C. income taxes any more. De Jong says $352,000 is minuscule, so the amount I owe each year must be infinitesimal.

B. Rock Maple Ridge

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun


Friday, October 29, 2010


BC Rail case a betrayal of us all

[BC Mary comment:  This is one of the best editorials I've seen, summing up the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial.]

By Paul Willcocks
Courier-Islander & - Oct 27, 2010

The conclusion of the B.C. Rail corruption case smells.

The plea deal and the decision to spend up to $6 million of taxpayers' money to make it happen raise serious questions about both the justice system and politics in the province ...

it looks much like the government and the special prosecutor made it worthwhile for Dave Basi and Bob Virk to plead guilty to giving insider information on the B.C. Rail deal to lobbyists for one of the bidders.

The prosecutor agreed on a deal that would see the two men, former aides to Liberal cabinet ministers, avoid jail and accept fairly relaxed house arrest conditions. Basi is to pay a fine equal to the bribes and benefits he got.

And the government agreed to cover $6 million in legal costs for the defendants.

That's not the way it's supposed to work.

Government policy says - rightly - that if employees or MLAs are charged or sued while doing their jobs, taxpayers will pick up the tab. But if you're found guilty, you have to pay the money back.

That's what Gordon Campbell said would be the policy when Glen Clark faced criminal charges. (He was found not guilty, so the legal costs were paid.)

And it's the principle Rich Coleman advanced when he sued poor people for income assistance overpayments. Even if all they could do was pay $5 a month, Coleman said, the taxpayers should be repaid.

But when it came to the Liberal political aides, the rules changed.

And so did the government's story about the deal.

The two men couldn't pay anyway, the government said initially. It would cost too much to try and collect.

But the Globe and Mail reported the government had a mortgage on property owned by Basi. It could have recovered some of the legal costs - about $350,000 - simply by foreclosing. (It certainly would have taken that approach with a person on disability income assistance who owed $50, based on Coleman's statements.)

When the decision to cover the legal fees was announced, Attorney General Mike de Jong said he was not involved in the negotations but added "ultimately I am asked to endorse the recommendations" by the legal services branch.

But two days later, the government said the decision was made by the deputy ministers in finance and the attorney general's office. De Jong wasn't told until the decision was made, they said.

It also took two days before the government revealed that negotiations on covering the legal costs had started after Oct. 5, when special prosecutor Bill Berardino told the government he was negotiating a plea bargain.

Which seems entirely wrong. Special prosecutors are appointed in sensitive cases to avoid any perception of political influence in the justice system.

By briefing the government on the possibility of a plea bargain, the special prosecutor opened the door to political interference. [Emphasis mine. - BC Mary]

The government offered the defendants a choice. Fight on, and risk losing everything - including your homes - to settle the legal bills. Or walk away with $6 million in legal fees covered and get on with your lives. Just plead guilty.

It looks more like let's make a deal than the pursuit of truth and justice.

And you're paying the bills. Perhaps $15 million for the special prosecutor's law firm and the defence lawyers. A few million more for lawyers for Gary Collins and Judith Reid and potential government witnesses. Plus court and police costs - maybe $20  million or more, all in.

The government decided it was worth covering the legal fees in return for guilty pleas - before Gary Collins, Judith Reid, Basi, Virk, maybe Gordon Campbell, testified about the B.C. Rail sale.

But the government isn't supposed to have any role in this, remember. That's why there are special prosecutors.

Only thing is certain in all this - British Columbians are the losers.

Footnote: Gordon Campbell said this week that all questions have been answered and the two men acted alone. "They have said in their statement of facts explicitly that they acted on their own, no one else was involved or knew about this," he said. That's not true. All the brief brief statement of facts, negotiated by lawyers, says is that "Basi and Virk did not obtain the consent of their superiors to demand or accept these benefits." That's far from the sweeping claims the Premier has made.



Why the "poor me" face? 

Basi back in court for breaching house arrest

CBC - October 29th, 2010 
VN:F [1.8.6_1065]

Former ministerial aide Dave Basi was back in court on Friday for breaching the terms of his house arrest.
Last week, Basi was sentenced to two years house arrest after he pleaded guilty alongside another former ministerial aide Bob Virk to corruptions charges in the sale of BC Rail.
The details of his breach have yet to be released, but Basi is scheduled to appear in court again on November 15.
CBC News

And look at the media mob covering the details of Dave Basi's house arrest. Where were they when the court was in session in pre-trial hearings and the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial itself?  

Dave Basi's house arrest up for review 

By Keith Fraser
The Province - Oct 29, 2010

Story is HERE.

Judge tightens controls on house arrest of BC Rail corruption convict

By Terri Theodore
The Canadian Press/The Globe and Mail - Oct 29, 2010


Sentencing conditions were tightened Friday for a former B.C. government aide less than two weeks after he was sentenced to house arrest for political corruption.

Dave Basi shook his head as he emerged from the Vancouver courtroom.

“I made a mistake,” he told reporters.

He’d just appeared again before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anne Mackenzie, who handed him the conditional sentence in the political corruption trial just 12 days before.

The judge agreed to the stricter conditions requested by the Crown ...

{Snip} ...

Read more HERE.

An important point uncovered by our good friend E.M., cross-posted:

Lots of talk about publication ban
on Friday's appearance in room 55.

I also wonder WHY it always is listed on SC page 23299 HMTQ vs Ltd Access for count 003 Accepting bribe from person dealing with gov't 007 Breach of trust by public officer.
and below that
23299-25 HMTQ vs Basi Udhe S CNT 001 Accepting bribe from person dealing with gov't.

From the

The Sc website says this @ Publication ban notice
R. v. Udhe Singh (Dave) Basi
Supreme Court
Criminal Code of Canada, s. 517
The evidence, representation made and the reasons given at a show cause (bail) hearing shall not be published in any document or broadcast or transmitted in any way until a preliminary hearing is held and the accused is discharged, or if the accused is ordered to stand trial, the trial has ended.

# posted by Blogger E.M : 30

BC Mary says: comments and interpretations will be especially welcome. I can't believe that Dave Basi would risk further trouble ("ordered to stand trial"?) so is this merely a legal formality? Anybody?  

Basi gets new conditions on conditional sentence
Publication ban prevents reporting of details 

By Neal Hall

Vancouver Sun - Oct. 30, 2010 

Disgraced former ministerial aide Dave Basi was back in court Friday ...

Read the story HERE. 


Big Media has begun using Letters-to-the-Editor the same way it uses paid, union-certified work by "accredited" journalists. I'd like to think that Big Media provides these contributors with at least a token payment. This, for example, is a good commentary and could've been expanded:

Different rules for criminals than for welfare fraudsters?

By B. Rock
Vancouver Sun - October 30, 2010
It's fascinating that B.C. Attorney-General Mike de Jong sees fit to take 317 welfare recipients to court, hoping to get back about $3 million. That averages out at less than $10,000 for each court case, if the government is successful.

To force David Basi (who, with Bob Virk, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a lobbyist in exchange for confidential information) to pay his defence costs, the province can invoke the agreement it already has. How can de Jong think it's not worth seizing at least $352,000 of Basi's assets? He seems to forget this is taxpayers' money he's throwing away.

I guess I won't have to pay my B.C. income taxes any more. De Jong says $352,000 is minuscule, so the amount I owe each year must be infinitesimal.

B. Rock Maple Ridge

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


BC Rail Corruption. Premier's office appears to break the law on document destruction

BC Mary Comment:  There are some very, very good BC blogs available these days ... and Ian Reid's blog -- The Real Story --  is one of the best-ever sources of information and insight on the BC situation. 

Go HERE for today's report ... then keep on scrolling down, from one irresistible news-bite to the next.

Bill Tieleman has an excellent 3,000-word commentary today:

Sudden Basi-Virk ending will be costly for taxpayers as Gordon Campbell says Basi and Virk always criminally guilty

Go HERE to read it all. Highly recommended.


Monday, October 25, 2010


The BC Rail (Illegitimate) Trial Over, Brian Kieran, Lobbyist, Intended Witness, Speaks out

By Robin Mathews
October 25, 2010

                Brian Kieran was a lobbyist in 2003, successful, connected.  With Jamie Elmhirst (also an intended witness), he was a registered lobbyist for OmniTRAX, a U.S. corporation (Denver, Colorado) in the bidding to buy BC Rail.  Mr. Elmhirst was a Liberal who had been an aide to Gordon Campbell – and to important federal Liberals.

                The two men were partners with Erik Bornmann, (Liberal) intended prosecution star witness given immunity against prosecution to state – to use Mr. Kieran’s quotation from Section 9b of the Crown’s agreed “Statement of Facts” – [Dave] “Basi received payments totalling $23,695 from Eric Bornman during the same time that OmniTRAX was bidding….” A bribe was offered … a bribe was received, it seems.  The briber was freed of all charges.  The bribed man has been convicted and sentenced in a trial cut short, most believe, to prevent information getting to the public about the actions of Gordon Campbell and his associates in the matter.

                Whose money did Erik Bornmann use to bribe Dave Basi?  His own?  Or someone elses?  Shouldn’t the RCMP want to know that … and shouldn’t the public be fully informed of the source…? And more?

                The connections of the two men (Elmhirst and Kieran) were … sparkling.  Mr. Kieran, himself, was a long-time political columnist for the Province (giving him wide connections) before becoming a lobbyist.

                The Province (for those who don’t know) is the daily paper in Vancouver which won’t report the wrongful appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor, won’t call for a criminal investigation of the top actors in the sale of BC Rail.

               The “speaking-out” of Mr. Kieran in the Province – we may suppose – might leave a little to be desired … might hang back just a little.

               But something is very clear.  Mr Kieran wants to re-establish his reputation after the vague and wounding information involving the organization he was partner in. He never, he says, suggested dubious activity, never knew of the Bornmann bribe. Fair enough.  That should be known by all, and might have come out formally if the trial had gone ahead as it should have done.

                Nonetheless, Mr. Kieran writes a strange piece in the Province.  From his self-described “wonderfully successful boutique agency” Mr. Kieran did what he could to get BC Rail sold to a U.S. bidder, OmniTRAX.  Now, he says, “Looking back” … he sees there “was no reason to sell such a valuable provincial asset and no one along the rail line was clambering to unload it”.

                He sees that now.  But buried in the whole transaction – engaging in “timely intelligence gathering”, and obviously familiarizing himself with the whole structure and process, Mr. Kieran seems to have missed the key point at the time: “there was no reason to sell such a valuable provincial asset ….”

                 I hope I may be excused (in all this confusion of a trial cut short) for saying I don’t believe him.

                 I don’t believe he didn’t know back then, especially because he writes that his client OmniTRAX “was convinced from Day 1 that Canadian National was destined to win the bid”.  He goes on that “Intel [intelligence] flooding into OmniTrax from the North American railroad community and material I reviewed continued to support the conspiracy theory that CN was the chosen one.”  And “CP’s acrimonious llth-hour letter to government in which it abandoned what it deemed to be a discredited bidding process speaks volumes.  That CP Rail letter could have blown the doors off the entire sale….”

                 All that … and Mr. Kieran went on doing what he could for OmniTRAX. To hell (one might say) with British Columbia and British Columbians.

                 In addition, those who have followed the case for years kept hearing allegations of “a consolation prize” being offered (from Cabinet?) to OmniTRAX to stay in the bidding.  Mr. Kieran says nothing about that. Maybe he will tell us later if that was kept from him … or if it is simply a completely baseless rumour.

                 “In the coming weeks and months [Mr. Kieran writes] I will be looking for therapeutic opportunities to contribute to a meaningful public discussion about the tragically flawed B.C. Rail process.”  Therapeutic?  Therapy for him, or for the people of British Columbia who have been robbed of their railway?

                  Finally, after writing what he has written, convinced – obviously – that the transfer of BC Rail to CNR involved activities that “could have blown the doors off the entire process” – isn’t he suggesting, hinting at, evoking, pointing to the possibility of criminal behaviour among a good many more than the recently convicted?  And  shouldn’t he be calling for criminal investigation of leading actors in the drama?

                  Maybe he will find it therapeutic to do so in the “hard-hitting political blog” he intends to launch, especially since he writes that “if my views prove embarrassing for the current government . . . great!”

 E.M has left a new comment on your post "Stop, thief!":

VICTORIA — Premier Gordon Campbell shuffled his cabinet and senior staff this morning, including a key move to his inner circle.

Campbell announced his long-time chief of staff, Martyn Brown, will leave his post, being replaced by former ICBC CEO Paul Taylor. Brown will become the new deputy minister of tourism.

Read more HERE:

Is he totally out of his mind??? Again the arrogant BASTARD.

Reminder from RCMP watch webpage.

McCullough argued police failed to properly investigate the relationship between Brian Kieran, a lobbyist with Pilothouse, and deputy finance minister Paul Taylor.

He asserted that despite Taylor’s close relationship with Kieran, RCMP never questioned Taylor whether he gave any documents or information about B.C. Rail to Kieran or another Pilothouse partner, Erik Bornmann.

“They don’t talk to Mr. Taylor about his relationship with Pilothouse,” the lawyer said yesterday in his sixth day of legal arguments for more disclosure of documents from the special prosecutor.

“Where’s the investigation of Taylor? It’s not done,” McCullough said. “The RCMP should have asked Taylor if he gave any information to Kieran.”

McCullough read in court yesterday an e-mail dated Aug. 23, 2003, sent from Kieran to another Pilothouse partner, Jamie Elmhirst.

Kieran said he had been fishing that day with “Paul” — McCullough told the court it was Paul Taylor, then deputy minister to finance minister Gary Collins — and he “got the real goods” on the B.C. Automobile Dealers Association.



"Stop, thief!" as BC Rail Political Corruption trial continues in the Court of Public Opinion


Read all about it ... 

BC Liberals could destroy records before RCMP

By Ian Reid
The Real Story - Oct. 25, 2010



Sunday, October 24, 2010


BC Rail Court of Public Opinion continues ... with the Honourable Gordon Wilson, former leader of the BC Liberal Opposition

Another welcome new blogger:

http://gordon f.d. wilson

and here's what the former BC Liberal Leader and BC Opposition Leader said  today:

berardino’s directive was clear from the beginning. find basi and virk guilty and look no further.

By Gordon Wilson
October 24, 2010 

Attorney General Mike de Jong chose the Christy Clark show on CKNW to make his live media defence of the Basi-Virk BC Rail Trial settlement. Christy served with de Jong as a member of the Campbell Cabinet, at one point as Deputy Premier, and left office abruptly after the raid on the Legislature.

The Attorney General, who is supposed to be upholding the integrity of our judicial system, made it clear on Clark’s show that he thinks it is perfectly acceptable for a special prosecutor to decide the outcome of a criminal proceeding without the benefit of an open trial, even though this means none of us will ever know what really happened.

If anyone hints that Berardino, the special prosecutor, was biased in his handling of this affair, he will get a swift rebuke from de Jong along with a veiled threat of a law suit.

Riding his best-groomed, moral high horse, the Attorney General feigned shock at the thought that some calling into the show might be openly challenging the integrity of the special prosecutor. He sounded like a Catholic priest chastising his parishioner for challenging the authority of the Pope!

De Jong knows full well that there are serious issues with the appointment of special prosecutors, which is why he is currently paying Stephen Owen to review the whole process of appointing them. This came after Terry Robertson got into trouble with the Law Society because he accepted an appointment as special prosecutor to look into allegations of irregularities and election law violations in Kash Heed’s campaign without revealing his law firm had donated to the campaign.

Why was Robertson’s contribution to Heed’s campaign an issue, but Berardino’s contribution to Liberal Wally Oppal’s campaign, the man who was later appointed Attorney General, not? For more on this subject click the link at the end of this blog.

You really have to wonder why de Jong provides such a strong defence of Berardino when there is just as compelling a perception of bias as in the Heed case. After all, Berardino was looking into a far more serious affair where there were allegations of involvement by senior cabinet ministers and the premier’s office.
De Jong tried to spin us that the agreement to pick up the $6 million of the defendants’ legal bills was the primary issue for the public. At first this spin looked like it might work because the public was furious.

The response to the Basi/Virk deal was, like everything else that comes out of the Campbell government, a carefully orchestrated partisan response, and it was a pretty good one because De Jong was on firm ground. Berardino had the legal right to cut the deal, although it is quite doubtful that he did so alone.

The process gave de Jong plausible deniability. The fact that the trial didn’t finish meant that there was no assignment of costs by the court. The $6 million in legal fees could be signed off by the Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister of Finance. Cabinet would not have to be involved, thus more plausible deniability.

It was all pretty slick. I seriously doubt that it all happened without considerable discussion amongst the senior Deputy Ministers. This includes Allan Seckel.

Seckel was appointed Deputy Attorney General by then Attorney General Geoff Plant. The two previously worked together at Russell & Dumuolin, the same law firm where Berardino worked for a number of years. Seckel, who appointed his former colleague Berardino as special prosecutor on the BC Rail case, was responsible for deciding which cabinet documents relating to B.C. Rail should be deemed confidential in the criminal trial of Basi and Virk.

Guess where Seckel is today? In October of 2009 he became Deputy Minister to the Premier. I guess he did a good job as Deputy Attorney General!

So de Jong takes to the safest airwaves he can find, spins his tale of how clean and pure the process was, and is indignant that anybody would question the integrity of the special prosecutor and the wisdom of his decision to shut down this case and thus prevent we the people from hearing the testimony of Gary Collins, then Minister of Finance and David Basi’s boss, and Judith Reid, then Minister of Transportation and Bobby Virk’s boss, and yes, Premier Gordon Campbell, who was boss of them all.

Berardino’s directive was clear from the beginning. Find Basi and Virk guilty and look no further. These two political hacks were the fall guys, and even though they may well be as guilty as they have finally admitted to being, they asserted over and over again that they did not act alone and in fact they were just doing their job.

De Jong tries to tell us that Berardino has seen all the evidence and so we should all be satisfied that there are no others guilty in this matter. But that simply isn’t true.

We know that Basi and Virk were bribed by Bornmann, a top lobbyist in Victoria. Police said their firm, Pilothouse Public Affairs Group, provided benefits to Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk in return for confidential government information related to the sale of BC Rail. Pilothouse represented OmniTRAX Inc., a U.S. company bidding for the railway. That is an offense and yet Bornmann was not charged, instead he was given immunity. Why? And what about the American company that paid the bribes? What are the repercussions to them?

One would have thought that if indeed no others in the Campbell government were involved, every possible effort would be taken to prove that to be the case and clear the names of the ministers who were the bosses of those convicted, and demonstrate that there was no involvement at all by the premier’s office. Instead, every possible effort was taken to keep relevant documentation, surveillance materials, and the open testimony and cross examination of government ministers, including the premier, from happening. And now the files are sealed.
De Jong stands with the special prosecutor.

Too bad.

It might have been a very different story if he stood with you and me, the people of British Columbia, the voters, and the people who used to own a multi-billion dollar asset in BC Rail.

The public has been very poorly served by this process, and continues to be very poorly served by an Attorney General who seems to think that the narrow view of a special prosecutor appointed by those who have a vested interest in the trial constitutes justice.

As slick and as clever as this atrocious act may have been, the people are left with a clear idea of why this trial did not look after their interests. The very defence of this process by de Jong speaks volumes about what really happened.

The price of democracy and an open, fair justice system is eternal vigilance and an ongoing commitment to hold those responsible for its diminishment accountable. And so we shall soldier on.

More reading:




BC Rail Political Corruption trial continues in the Court of Public Opinion. Please welcome a very interesting new blogger: Brian Kieran, who says he "will be looking for therapeutic opportunities to contribute to a meaningful public discussion about the tragically flawed B.C. Rail sale process. That will include launching a hard-hitting political blog. If my views prove embarrassing for the current government . . . great!"


Man at the centre of Basi-Virk case speaks out

By Brian Kieran
The Province - October 24, 2010

The glacial pace of the B.C. Rail trial and the unexpected guilty pleas on Oct. 18 have left many British Columbians feeling like they haven't heard the whole story.

As a central figure in this affair I can sympathize. After twisting in the wind for the better part of seven years, I never got to tell my story as a witness for the Crown. And I had quite a story to tell. While I don't get to tell it all in the space I have today, I can, at least, provide some initial perspective.

Looking back on the two years that my former Victoria-based firm, Pilothouse Inc., was employed by Denver-based OmniTrax, I see the sale of B.C. Rail as a colossal failure of public-policy implementation. There was no reason to sell such a valuable provincial asset and no one along the rail line was clambering to unload it. As well, it was just bad business to contemplate turning a regional, short-haul railway system over to a Class 1 long-haul operator such as Canadian National or Canadian Pacific.

My job on behalf of OmniTrax was twofold: To help articulate the value of its bid with respect to service to shippers, added value to communities and retention of the regional integrity of the asset; secondly -- and most importantly -- it was to try and keep the playing field level during the pre-bid and bidding period. The way to do this was through timely intelligence gathering, an integral and entirely legitimate element of government-relations work.

That second task speaks to the question left unanswered by the outcome of the trial: Was the process fair? Or, to put it more bluntly: Was the fix in?

I can say this: My client was convinced from Day 1 that Canadian National was destined to win the bid. Why, then, did OmniTrax persist in playing what could arguably be described as a multimillion-dollar game? For openers, its senior management was repeatedly assured by government that price wasn't the only bidding criterion.

The OmniTrax team appreciated the intrinsic value of B.C. Rail and held fast to its belief that a balanced bid that protected and  enhanced the asset and the region could ultimately prevail and remained worth pursuing. Their plan, in the interests of the long-term success of B.C. Rail, included moving the headquarters from North Vancouver to Prince George, which definitely did not endear them to B.C. Rail's cozy movers and shakers.

Intel flooding into OmniTrax from the North American railroad community and material I reviewed continued to support the conspiracy theory that CN was the chosen one. Don't take my word for it. CP Rail's acrimonious 11th-hour letter to government in which it abandoned what it deemed to be a discredited bidding process speaks volumes. That CP Rail letter could have blown the doors off the entire sale process if its implications had been more closely assessed at the time.

Over the past six-plus years I have assisted the authorities willingly and fully in their investigations. From the outset, it was made clear to me that I was never suspected of wrong doing. Unfortunately, no one in charge of the case would brief me on the  role my then Vancouver-based partner Eric Bornman played in the investigation.

But Section 9b of the Crown's agreed "Statement of Facts" is so important: "Basi received payments totalling $23,695 from Eric  Bornman during the same time that OmniTrax was bidding . . . ."

When this information was first made public -- about five years ago -- my Victoria-based staff and I were stunned and blindsided. Our wonderfully successful boutique agency, which had enjoyed an outstanding reputation and had been viewed within the industry as an organization of utmost integrity, was dead in about 12 hours.

In the aftermath of the trial I want my friends, colleagues and former clients to know that my work and efforts on behalf of OmniTrax never included the offer of bribes.

Also, it is important to me that they know that I expressly cautioned my client not to entertain anyone from B.C. at a Denver football game. I ordered my partners and staff to have no part in organizing such an ill-advised junket.

Am I still pissed off? Oh yeah, but I'll get over it.

In the coming weeks and months I will be looking for therapeutic opportunities to contribute to a meaningful public discussion about the tragically flawed B.C. Rail sale process. That will include launching a hard-hitting political blog. If my views prove embarrassing for the current government . . . great!

Brian Kieran, a former political columnist for The Province, was a partner in Pilothouse Inc.


Also, a video HERE.


Interview with Basi, Virk, and others about the gag order HERE.

BC Mary message to Brian Kieran:

Brian, if you see this, I'd like to add special thanks to you for your decision to speak out -- to tell us what you know about the way this province lost ownership of BC Rail.  My hopes are with you. Also a few fears. British Columbians have been blind-sided too many times.

We (the collective "we" who care deeply about this province) have learned a lot in the past 9 years ... especially the past 7 years ... and most particularly in the last 7 days. We've been knocked down and steam-rollered time after time.

One of the most painful aspects of the BC Rail Political Corruption trial (apart from the fact that the perps were never charged) has been the refusal of Big Media to even try to tell the story truthfully ... and the refusal of Big Eastern Media to give national coverage to a story which involved Prime Minister Paul Martin as well as Gordon Campbell, also the nation's 3rd largest railway (the lifeline of the province) and, oh yes (ho hum) the first time in British Commonwealth history that police ever raided a legislature.

Collectively, Brian, "we" have learned to expect the worst because that's what we've been given. It will be a challenge to you, a former Ink-Stained-Wretch yourself, to publicly pin the correct assessment of what Big BC Media did, all these years, on the BC Rail Case. The death of responsible journalism has, in my view, been a tragedy in itself.

And that's why most of us became bloggers ... to fill in as best we could, any information we could find which helped us understand how we lost BC Rail and (dare I say it?) how we might yet regain possession of the railway which, I insist, is still rightfully ours.  A deal, secretly and fraudulently agreed, is not a legal deal in my view.

So you can see, Brian Kieran, why I'm especially pleased to see that you're prepared to help inform us of the real story. You'll receive many questions, I'm sure, and I hope you'll respond from a shared understanding of how important BC Rail is, in the hearts of those who want to preserve and protect  this province.

My old friends and neighbours on Pender Island (where people live by the rule of "Preserve and Protect") speak well of you. I want to share that point of view about you, too.  And it looks to me as if we're off to a good start with your column today for The Province ... the first real breakthrough we've had.  I'm grateful.  I hope The Province will forgive me for posting it -- admiringly -- in full. 

I wish you, the blogger, the very best of luck in serving the public interest, which begins (I'm pretty sure) with leaving partisan politics behind. People hollering "Me good, You bad" ain't gonna help us now. We're all in this together. So I say again, "Good luck, Brian Kieran."


Gabriel Yiu: Questions remain in wake of abrupt ending of BC Rail corruption trial.
Read about it HERE.  Recommended.


Saturday, October 23, 2010


The BC Rail Scandal. Deception Deepens. Dark Trouble Ahead.

By Robin Mathews
Oct. 24, 2010

Let’s begin with the slop dished up by the Mainstream Press and Media.

I wrote that the guilt or innocence of the major actors in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to CNR is the Elephant in the room - the one thing avoided by the Mainstream Press and Media.  Major actors have not been charged – I allege very simply – because [the Elephant in the room] they haven’t been fairly and formally investigated.  Any of them.  And Gary Bass, B.C. RCMP Deputy Commissioner, (more on him below) has refused to undertake such an investigation.  The press is mute on all that.

The press is mute on the wrongful appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor.

Word has it – dropped on the net, dropped in papers – that the Gordon Campbell Police want to get ALL the documents they can lay their hands on (involved in the trial) … and … well … yes … destroy them.  Understand that “the Gordon Campbell side” must already have copies of all documents.   Anyway, they aren’t, and won’t be, asking for copies just so they can have a complete set!

All the hogwash written by the Mainstream Press and Media is (I suggest)  more or less, in greater or lesser degree “cover-up”.  The headline in the Globe and Mail (Oct. 22): “Province can’t grab Virk, Basi assets”, for instance.  Pardon? It should read “Province decides to leave Virk, Basi assets untouched.”  And so it goes….

Gary Mason continues the make-believe in his “Aneal Basi Interview” (Globe and Mail. Oct. 22, A1, A22)).  “If there is a victim…” Mason writes in his human interest story, “ it is Aneal Basi”.  That is a huge claim.

In fact, if all the accused have been subjected to calculated delay – as many people believe they have been, for years  – then all of them are victims.  Mr. Mason tells us  – as part of his guilty plea – that Dave Basi “insisted the charge against his cousin be dropped.”  Mason goes on: “It was the least he could do.”

Pardon?  Why was it the least he could do?  Did Dave Basi have the power to dictate the plea bargain terms?  And if he did have, was it because the Gordon Campbell forces were on the run and had to do almost anything to have the trial shut down? Mr. Mason doesn’t report that kind of thing … ever.

Then Mr. Mason spends a few paragraphs telling readers what the Crown lawyers thought.  Interesting.  “Whether he [Aneal Basi] knew, for instance,  what his cousin was up to is a matter of debate.” The Crown lawyers seem to have told Gary Mason much – much, much more than they would ever tell me (or you).

Aneal Basi, moreover, Gary Mason tells us, “is furious with the justice system he feels failed him”.  And with the Crown “for dragging me through this for as long as they did”.

If Aneal Basi is a “victim” of the legal system, if he is furious  with the justice system he feels failed him”, “for dragging [him] through this for as long as they did”, shouldn’t he respond?

Shouldn’t Mr. Mason have asked: “Does that mean you’ll sue the Crown for stealing six years of your life? Have you talked with your lawyers about hitting the Crown and Gordon Campbell for everything you can get?”  Surely if Aneal Basi is an injured victim of a botched legal system, that system should provide a remedy.

I suggest that wasn’t the point of the story.  The story was just a playful, fun, human interest piece with no real meaning.  Aneal Basi (for some reason) was conned into “telling his story”.  And, in the process, Gary Mason helped cover up the real issues of The BC Rail Scandal.

Those real issues are coming out, more and more, because the hoax has been so massive it keeps thrusting its head through the cover-up. For instance, we know Mr. Berardino, Special Prosecutor, was wrongfully appointed; and we know that no Deputy Minister [in the world] makes major political decisions without consulting his minister.  Nevertheless, Robert Matas, (Globe and Mail, Oct. 22) prints the following paragraph.

“Special prosecutor Bill Berardino, who is independent of government, was in charge of the prosecution, Mr. de Jong said.  Issues relating to the cost of the defence were decided by the deputy ministers of the Attorney-General and of Finance.  ‘I [Attorney General de Jong] was not part of that exercise’, he said.”

Earlier – just a few days ago, I stood at Mr. Berardino’s elbow as he said the decision was his alone.  Strange.  Will we next learn that Gordon Campbell made the decision unilaterally, by himself?  Probably.

The hoax in British Columbia is horrendous.

The Elephant in the room has huge implications. The major actors in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to CNR have not been fully and fairly investigated.  That has to be so because the RCMP has failed to investigate them.  That has to be so because the top RCMP officer in B.C., Gary Bass,  won’t give the order.  He has been asked to do so, and has refused.  Serious stuff.

Add that the renewed contract for RCMP policing of B.C. is coming up for signing fairly soon – and the people to sign it are major actors in the BC Rail Scandal and its aftermath.  Add that the highly dubious Commissioner of the RCMP in Ottawa, William Elliott – a civilian appointee by Stephen Harper who backed the killers of Robert Dziekanski and who has recently been in an internal RCMP purge attempt to have him removed – has just finished a shake-up of RCMP management.

In that shake-up he is giving (alleged “favourite” of Guiliano Zaccardelli forced to resign as disgraced Commissioner) Gary Bass, B.C. Deputy Commissioner, a much larger territory to administer!  In fact a territory called “West” – all the Western provinces up to Ontario!

Consider that.  It appears to be a Stephen Harper takeover of policing in Canada.  Welcome the Police State.  Each province has negotiated its contract with the RCMP up until now.  How will it do so with a Deputy Commissioner administering (and integrating) several provinces.  In the flurry and noise of the BC Rail Scandal corruption, Harper appears to be moving swiftly to take over policing in Canada with a highly dubious team including Gary Bass in B.C.

William Elliott has, in the process, just dumped his most serious internal critic Raf Souccar from position as Deputy Commissioner of Ontario, National Capital Region, and Quebec.

Bit by bit, anyone critical of the rotting RCMP, inside the force, has been or is being driven out.  Welcome the Police State.

Strange, strange as it may seem, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass is receiving a huge promotion.  And we can only ask if it is coming to him because of his ‘usefulness’ in the long years of the BC Rail Scandal.




BC Rail Political Corruption Trial continues in the Court of Public Opinion. Brian Kierans of Pilothouse Public Affairs believed Dave Basi was only trying to assist them

Poor Brian. He was blind-sided. He knew nothing. He thought Basi was "assisting" because ...

Asked why he thought Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk had been leaking government information to his firm, if not for rewards of some kind, Mr. Kieran said: “I believe they were assisting us because they wanted the process to be fair."   

But how can a clear breach of trust be considered  "fair" even if no money changed hands?  Mr Kierans has had plenty of time to think this question over. 

Embedded in this remark, is the outline of a thought process which has honestly come to believe that only the powerful guy currently in charge is correct, and all others are ... well, you heard him ... all others are "unfair". 

Dirty tricks? Phhtttt. If Mr Big is doing it, that's apparently OK. Mr Kierans seems to expect us to understand that.

As for that dull sound in the background? I'd say it's the approaching death knell of democracy ... unless the Citizens seize the initiative. - BC Mary.


Bribe revelation led to lobbying firm’s demise, betrayed partner says

The Globe and Mail

VANCOUVER— Oct. 23, 2010

Brian Kieran was at the top of his game, running a small but highly influential lobbying firm in Victoria, when a police investigation into political corruption shattered his professional life.

“Beyond shock … stunned and blindsided,” he said in describing how he felt when police revealed a senior partner in his firm had bribed Dave Basi, a top ministerial aide in the Liberal government.

{Snip} ...

Asked why he thought Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk had been leaking government information to his firm, if not for rewards of some kind, Mr. Kieran said: “I believe they were assisting us because they wanted the process to be fair ...”

In addition to the cash bribe given to Mr. Basi, both Mr. Virk and Mr. Basi have admitted they received “personal benefits” from Pilothouse, in the form of a paid trip for them and their wives to attend a Denver Broncos football game.

Mr. Kieran said he’d advised his client against providing the Denver trip, but OmniTRAX made the offer anyway.

{Snip} ... 

Read Mark Hume's complete column  HERE.

Terrific information and analysis by Norm Farrell:

Vancouver Sun shamed itself and journalism

Northern Insights - Oct. 21, 2010

Read it all HERE.


Friday, October 22, 2010


Image of a 2006 BC Rail - CN - Train Wreck

A burned locomotive lies below the tracks near Lillooet after a 2006 derailment that killed two crew members, Don Faulkner and Tom Dodd. The Transportation Safety Board investigation showed that BC Rail operated on the mountainous route with dynamic brakes, but when CN Rail took over after a controversial sale in 2003, it used locomotives without that brake system.

BC Rail trainmen understood the uniquely challenging terrain of British Columbia and limited BCR trains to about 100 cars. CN were accustomed to flatland trackage and tried to cut costs by increasing the length to 150 cars.



BC Rail Political Corruption Trial: "We did a good job."

N.V.G. sent a tip-off to this statement by Al MacIntyre:

After seven years of complex legal wrangling, I am proud of the RCMP investigators whose work, in part, led to guilty pleas in the political corruption trial of aides at the B.C. legislature. Yet, in the blood sport of competitive news reporting, The Vancouver  Sun's editorial board insists RCMP investigators "found nothing to back up any of their wild allegations."

Consider this: In spite of having some of the best defence lawyers in this province, David Basi and Bob Virk could not dispute the essential facts, and in the end they admitted to their criminal acts. That is now a matter of public record.

The statement of facts agreed on by Basi and Virk is virtually identical to the RCMP's theory in the first report to the Crown. Defence lawyers were provided with 50,000 documents -almost a million pages of text -and spent years looking to find fault. Very few professional organizations face that kind of scrutiny.

The editorial goes on to claim that the RCMP's Project Every Which Way never found "organized crime spreading through government." In fact, the RCMP has always been adamant that this investigation never resulted in evidence implicating any elected officials.

However, it's important to remember that Project Every Which Way involved more than a breach-of-trust investigation. This file was also about drug trafficking, and that led to the conviction of a man named Jasmohan Singh Bains. He is spending nine years in jail after being found guilty of importing cocaine. This was a day when our members did a very good job under intense public pressure, and The Sun chose the low road with its editorial.

Al MacIntyre

Assistant Commissioner,
Criminal Operations Officer,
RCMP "E" Division

Source is HERE:

BC Mary comment: There's good reason to remember that there's one (maybe more) straight-up cop who insisted upon completing their investigation into Organized Crime by entering the premises of the BC Legislature.

Consider the odds. The odds were surely stacked against him. Only a strong cop chasing a serious major crime could've overcome all obstacles, and gone ahead with the first-ever police raid on a House of Parliament. Imagine, if they had found nothing significant!
But even worse: imagine how it felt when they DID find items of grave significance: not only Organized Crime -- the Jasmohan Singh Bains factor -- but also the unpleasant reasoning behind the tainted negotiations to dump Canada's 3rd largest railway into foreign control. 

Someday we may know the full story of who inspired and led the raids on the BC Legislature. We need to reach out to them, with heartfelt thanks. We need to hear their advice for our future efforts.Very special thanks to Assistant Commissioner MacIntyre for today's statement.

I have always wondered if the name of that very special cop who wouldn't give up, was Victoria's Chief Constable Paul Battershill. 

Battershill was to suffer one of those trademark campaigns ...  one of those campaigns at which the Campbell Gang excels. He was bullied into resigning at an early age ... and who now lives with his wife in the Okanagan. If so ... Battershill is one of the special people we need to come back and help us finish the job. 

It would be nice to say a proper "Thank You," too. 


BC Rail: Unfinished Business

By Ian Reid
The Real Story - Oct. 22, 2010

Quote:  " ...  So where’s the investigation into obstruction of justice and other violations of the Criminal Code with respect to the Premier’s office handling of documents at the heart of the investigation?"
Weird item:

MLA's say call Mike De Jong -- BC Rail issue sparks silence

AM1150 Newscentre - 10/22/2010

If you want the opinion of a Kelowna MLA on the issue of a BC Rail the Attorney General.

AM 1150 has been redirected to Mike De Jong's office, saying the AG would prefer all inquiries regarding the issue, go through him.

De Jong says not all MLA's are fully aprised on the details surrounding the BC Rail corruption case, and therefore it's unfair to ask their opinion on the matter.

"When it comes to this matter and what has taken place, I am speaking for the government and I am answerable to the people. The complexities of the matter are such that we do want to have a spokesperson on behalf of the government, and I am as the Attorney General, that spokesperson,

Two of the three Kelowna MLA's, Norm Letnick and Ben Stewart, refused calls to speak to the issue, while a call to Steve Thomson was never returned.

Hayley Cooper - Kelowna



As the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial continues in the Court of Public Opinion ... welcome words of encouragement

lynx has left a new comment:

Behavior is always telling, more than words.... and right now the behavior of this government, of the AG, the SP and of the 'justice' system is revealing all.

The behavior being exhibited by those who set up this six million dollar plea bargain is making clear to all watching that bribery and influence has become normalized in this province. So normalized that they don't even think we will notice! This desperate and invasive action by government reveals the depth and scope of the corruption.

And they are all sinking in their own muck.

The good news is their own arrogance has tripped them up.

They have gone too far.

The people feel it and know it.

Our small town is a buzz with talk about the implications of the abrupt end to this trial. The MSM may have returned to their usual chasing ambulances mode - but there are a lot of people saying: "Not so fast......"

Blogs like Mary's, have made themselves relevant and meaningful to the lives of British Columbians, through their perseverance, their continued focus, and their caring about this province. While the largely toadying cheerleaders that make up the MSM at present have made themselves both irrelevant and meaningless to the people of this province through their superficial and head in the sand approach to reporting.

The most significant trial in the history of this province was kept alive largely through citizen journalism. They realized how important coverage of it was to the people of this province. To our future.

So Bravo! to BC Mary, Robin, Ross K, Kootcoot, Laila, Grant G, Ian Reid, Gary E, Norman Farrell, Peter Ewart, Merv in Terrace and so many others for keeping the candle in the window brightly burning for BC.



BC Political Corruption matters continue in BC Supreme Court (Vancouver) today

First, in courtroom #54 today, October 22, 2010 at 10:00 AM, Case #134750:

Her Majesty The Queen vs. Shambrook Hills Development Corporation also known as Sun River Estates Ltd (Sooke, BC)

Charge: person dealing with government offering bribe.

See how it turned out HERE.

Next: see an explanation of this in Times Colonist HERE:

Company that developed Sun River expected to plead guilty to bribing government official.

By Rob Shaw, - October 21, 2010

 Sunriver Estates near Sooke, B.C.
Visit the site for Photographs (2) by: Darren Stone

A Vancouver Island development company that built the Sunriver Estates residential community in Sooke is expected to plead guilty Friday to charges of bribing a government official in an attempt to remove land from the Agricultural Land Reserve, the Times Colonist has learned.

Documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court Thursday show Shambrook Hills Development Corp., also known as Sunriver Estates, has been indicted on one count of paying a $50,000 bribe to former government official Dave Basi, in connection with an application to the Agricultural Land Commission.

Basi pleaded guilty to the offence Monday, as part of other guilty pleas he entered related to the sale of B.C. Rail.

The offence Shambrook Hills is accused of, which falls under the Criminal Code category of fraud on government, occurred between January 2002 and September 2003, according to the indictment.

Friday's hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver is scheduled as a guilty plea and sentencing in front of Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie, the court confirmed.

The allegations of wrongdoing in the construction of Sunriver Estates first emerged in documents related to the Dec. 28, 2003 raid of the B.C. legislature in connection with the B.C. Rail corruption investigation.

Sunriver Estates is a 700-home development built on 155 hectares along the Sooke River with parkland, trails and a school.

The land was originally purchased from forest company Timberwest.

News reports from that time indicate three attempts were required to get the Agricultural Land Commission to agree to remove the land from the Agricultural Land Reserve so that it could be rezoned for housing.

Developers Tony Young and Jim Duncan of Shambrook Hills were originally charged in 2006; they were accused of paying government officials benefits to help exercise influence over the Agricultural Land Commission's decision to allow the land to be removed from the reserve.

A new indictment was released Thursday, mentioning the entire company of Shambrook Hills Development Corp.

Young and Duncan were not mentioned in the new indictment. It is unclear at this time whether or not charges are proceeding against Young and Duncan. The situation is expected to be addressed in court Friday.

Lawyers for the company could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Duncan and Young are longtime developers in Victoria. They have been partners in Swiftsure Developments Ltd., whose projects include the Magnolia Hotel in Victoria, the Ocean Park Towers in the Songhees and the Yale House Development near Oak Bay Municipal Hall.

Read more:



Thursday, October 21, 2010


BC Rail Political Corruption continues ... with Rafe Mair explaining


So, the plot thickens and bit by bit we extract the truth out of the backpedaling, inkfish tactics being used by the Campbell government to explain the Basi-Virk bribe, for bribe it was.

We started with Crown Counsel telling us, as the disclosure of the bribe was made, that he did it all himself. He must have grossly underestimated the intelligence of the BC people. As some teeth were extracted we learned that no, it wasn't all by himself, but from the Deputy Attorney-General, Criminal Justice Branch (ADAG).

Pause for a moment. The ADAG is a special role and not really part of the civil service, this  from a release by the Attorney-General's Ministry:-

"The responsibilities of Crown counsel are defined in the Crown Counsel Act. The act ensures the independence of the prosecution service. Prosecutors are guided by the policies of the Criminal Justice Branch and they are ultimately accountable to the assistant deputy attorney general (ADAG). Under the act, the ADAG is head of the Criminal Justice Branch and is responsible for the administration of the branch and the day-to-day operations of the prosecution service. While the Attorney General is responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in the province, the Attorney General does not normally become involved in prosecution decisions relating to individual cases."

Now, as I'm sure you're now asking, how can the ADAG get instructions for settlement without going to his boss, the AG?

The answer is that he can't, nor, as we will see, can the AG make that decision. Stay tuned.

Today we learn the key to the bribe when we're told that the Deputy Finance Minister was part of the negotiations which went back, incidentally, nearly three weeks before the announcement. The Deputy Finance Minister is a public servant, under Order-in-Council and reports to the Finance Minister. He chairs what is known as Treasury Board Staff, better known as "Little Treasury Board" which and again this from the AG's office "is responsible for developing and reviewing government's economic, fiscal and taxation policies. It provides analysis and advice to Treasury Board (the Cabinet committee responsible for budget and management matters) and to the Minister of Finance" through Treasury Board" which is chaired by the Finance Minister, Colin Hansen and is comprised of Hansen and 7 senior Cabinet ministers,

Pause - now the path becomes a little clearer. Crown Counsel needs two things, authority to make the deal in the first place and $5 million in hush money. There is no way the ADAG can make that decision and provide the money which is how the deputy Finance Minister gets in the act. He has no authority to make this decision either so he must go to Treasury Board, C.Hansen prop., and both ask for the money and convince the Board that it's needed. There is no way in the world that Hansen with or without Treasury Board could make this decision so the matter goes to Cabinet, chaired by one Gordon "Pinocchio" Campbell.

There is another cute little fact finally disclosed - despite earlier denials, Basi and Virk had to sign a confidentiality agreement - they couldn't talk or the deal was off! And who was that to protect?

Sure as hell it wasn't the public who had every right to know all the details.

Forgive the repeat from yesterday, but remember that Crown Counsel Berardino was winning the case and if he wasn't sure of that, he had to be when the accused offered to cop a plea. But follow me carefully from here: If his remaining witnesses, Collins, Campbell et al would help Basi and Vick's case, Berardino was obliged to reveal that to the accused's lawyers. We therefore know that these witnesses to come would make Crown Counsel's case all the stronger.

Why then would Mr Berardino want to bail out?

There are but two possibilities - either Berardino is as dumb as a sack full of hammers and doesn't understand these things or he was told to settle on orders from Gordon Campbell. In helping you make your choice, let me tell you that Mr Berardino is a very clever lawyer, one of the best courtroom lawyers in the province.

Clearly, this confidentiality agreement was intended to protect the political asses of Messrs Campbell and Collins and other Liberal insiders.

Conclusion:- The $5 million bribe to Basi and Virk was authorized by Premier Gordon Campbell who was in the negotiations from the beginning and knew that he and former Finance Minister Collins and other key people in his clique, were going to be called as witnesses which is why the bribe was paid.


Two Comments from "Full Disclosure" ... 


 The fact of the matter is that the AG has certain duties and powers, under legislation known as the Attorney General Act - Sec. 2(b)he "must see that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with law,
(c) must superintend all matters connected with the administration of justice in British Columbia that are not within the jurisdiction of the government of Canada,"

These duties are HIS, as Attorney General and include all duties which belong to the office of Attorney General and Solicitor General of England by law or usage...

Micharl DeJong cannot pretend that this is not HIS decision nor that he did not have a duty to properly superintend and oversee this settlement which is clearly outside the bounds of precedent and practice in this province.

As much as he may wish to put this decision off onto his deputies, the legislation he is charged with upholding is unequivocal - he's the boy - and he's the one with dirt on his hands.

The resolution of this case by plea bargain is fraudulent under its current arrangement...Basi and Virk may have dodged the bullet for fraud - someone else is now clearly in the cross-hairs.

I think it's time to appoint another special prosecutor to look into the administration of justice in this province and the dereliction of duty on behalf of the current holder of the AG's Office.


2) Yep, you've got it Rafe - almost all of it too - except you haven't looked at the terms of the Attorney General Act...the Attorney General ain't just another cabinet minister - he has a broader responsibility as the Chief LAW OFFICER of the province.

IF, as the Attorney claims, he didn't like the deal - and thought it wasn't the 'right' thing to do (ie, pay off the guilty party with a get out of jail free card and forgiveness of a whole pile of mortgage backed debt offsetting a long list of legal bills, the payment for which had already been advanced) he had the DUTY, as spelled out in the ATTORNEY GENERAL ACT to tell everyone: 'NADA, this deal is dead'

The suggestion that he was avoiding the 'appearance' of political interference by holding his nose and signing the deal is just plain hogwash. HE was, in fact, doing the opposite - he was ignoring his legal and statutory duty while pretending he was being upright and just.

In the British political system the AG has a duty above and beyond that of any other cabinet minister - and, in this case, the current AG has shucked it.

Like Robert Bonner stonewalling in the Sommers case, DeJong has failed to live up to the tradition(s) and the letter of the law.

Shame. And shame for blaming bureaucrats for his own failure(s).

Thanks for this Rafe - and thanks Mary.

Many, many thanks to you, too, "Full Disclosure". - BC Mary