Friday, January 21, 2011


They let us down so badly over BC Rail, there must be a Public Inquiry into all aspects of the BC Rail negotiations


Some recent events looked really, really bad to me. And they seem only to get worse.  I'll try to explain because it continues to worry me.  Let me start with how Big Media in BC served up the curious news of BC Supreme Court justice Peter Leask using vulgar language in court ... which was only a mild shock compared to what came after that. I figure the "improper language" thing was a red herring:

Canadian Judicial Council completes its review of complaints against Justice Peter Leask

Source: Canadian Judicial Council

The real public shock came next, centred upon Justice Peter Leask's handling of a Hells Angels trial.  Leask had ruled so very gently on a convicted cocaine trafficker, that BC Court of Appeal felt it necessary to increase the sentence by 4 times ... as explained by Kim Bolan HERE ...

Now that's startling. That's like a 4-alarm fire which started me wondering about another big dot which might need to be connected. For this, let's re-visit the courtroom in June 2009 of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett who, for 3-1/2 years, had demonstrated a firm grasp of the BC Rail Political Corruption trial ... until the sudden appearance of Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm. The message he wished to convey was the need for a new judge on this, the most important trial in B.C. history. Why?

Nobody to my knowledge had laid any complaint against Bennett who had complete control of the complex issues. The only grumbling centred upon her extraordinary patience and thoroughness. We assumed this meant she was preventing the possibility of any errors in law, or Charter challenges about delayed disclosure. Those would risk having the trial thrown out of court. So the public was impatient, but not angry.

Then came the day when Assciate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm showed up ... in a bizarre display of power ... to announce that Justice Bennett had to go. She was promoted to BC Court of Appeal but routinely such a promotion allows the candidate to finish an assignment before going. Well, not this time.

But go she must, it seemed, leaving the most important trial in BC history stranded. I'll go back for the details which some readers may not know about. Dohm himself, for example, had a few big question marks floating over his stately head.

Dohm steps down. Now what?

By BC Mary
The Legislature Raids - Friday April 23, 2010
This week's Friday afternoon surprise news announcement:  Associate Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court, Patrick Dohm, has resigned. At age 75, he has retired.

ACJ Dohm, behind the scenes, has played many a riveting role in BC history. In the BC Rail Case, it was he who signed off on the Search Warrants for the police raid on the offices of Dave Basi and Bobby Virk in the BC Legislature. Then it was Dohm  himself (apparently) who went through the 32 boxes of seized documents to decide which were "privileged" and couldn't be shown to the public.

At other times, ACJ Dohm took a starring role at centre stage ... such as in the dramatic and disturbing courtroom scene where he announced (almost over her head) the immediate removal of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett from the BC Rail Case. Robin Mathews, in a letter to the BC Attorney General dated January 7, 2010, wrote about it as follows:

... The whole matter, in addition ... is complicated further in the method by which Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett was removed - after three years of detailed hearings - to be replaced by Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie on the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter.  On June 4, 2009, Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm appeared in court to hear an application by Mr. Berardino that Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett be removed in favour of a new (to be trial) judge.  I could not see a rational unfolding of meaning in that appearance.

Mr. Berardino argued that Mr. Dohm had the power to remove Madam Justice Bennett and to appoint a new judge.  Mr. Bolton for the Defence was of the opinion, expressed out of court in answer to questions, that Madam Justice Bennett had power over her situation – to stay or to leave. I never heard that difference resolved in discussion in the courtroom.

In court discussion the word “recused” was misused since Madam Justice Bennett had – in no way – any conflict of interest. 

Why then, I ask, did Mr. Berardino want her removed?

Mr. Dohm made statements revealing he believed he had power to remove Madam Justice Bennett and that he was going to assign the trial judge, but not now.  He said he knew who it was going to be.  But he would not name the replacement that day, he said, because he didn’t want to muddy the waters by appointing a trial judge while Madam Justice Bennett was still engaged with the matter of the case.

Mr. Berardino argued that Madam Justice Bennett couldn’t be in two places at once.  (She was recently raised to the Appeals Court.)  He also stated – as I understood him – that Defence had not been filing motions with all materials and all summaries of learned argument so the Prosecution could reply and respond.  He said that “we” have not been following that process in this case…. He seemed to imply that fact (if it was a fact, and I am reporting it correctly) indicated a failure on the part of Madam Justice Bennett. 

When Mr. McCullough rose to object, Mr. Dohm silenced him.  As I understand the process, no real argument on the motion happened or was permitted to happen.  Mr. Berardino seemed to me to be saying that one of the two reasons Madam Justice Bennett should be removed was that she was not assuring proper process in the hearings.  Mr. Dohm seemed happy to hear that said – and yet Madam Justice Bennett was promoted to the Appeals Court.  The hearing before Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm simply did not – to me – make sense.  I still cannot make sense of it.  And it was a very important hearing.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett was removed in fact (as far as I could understand the process) – as a fait accompli – on June 4, 2009 in a brief hearing that was more like a press conference in which Mr. Dohm announced the change.  To this observer, there was no doubt in either Mr. Berardino’s or Mr. Dohm’s mind that Madam Justice Bennett would go.

The potential for a perception of bias was presented without disguise, I believe, when Mr. Dohm stated he knew who the replacement would be and would announce the name later, without, in fact, hearing any significant argument against replacement. The whole event, to me, seemed “cooked up”.

End of Robin's quote.

But in addition, there are two other points to consider. And this, it seems to me, bristles with unanswered questions:

1) Justice MacKenzie -- like Justice Peter Leask -- had only shortly before that, been involved in a strangely gentle ruling in another Hells Angels trial. [See: ...

Excerpt ... The Crown had a solid case connecting Hells Angel David Giles to the cocaine deals of Revell and Remple but she threw out wire tap evidence and said she didn't hear what the police heard on the wiretaps. Oh really?

One wire tap phone call had Giles referring to how Revell had made $30,000 for him in the past several months. Giles' lawyer admitted that proved Revell and Giles are indeed in business. So, if Giles' lawyer admits Giles and Revell were in business, what kind of work did Revell do for Giles that earned Giles $30,000 in several months?

If the police heard him say that on the wiretap and his lawyer heard him say that on the wiretap, then surely Anne Mackenzie heard him say that. Her throwing out wiretap evidence is very suspicious indeed ...] End of quote.

OK, so the Courtroom of the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial was about to be visited by something new and strange and reflective of Organized Crime.

Remember how we tried to find out who Anne MacKenzie was? and her legal history? We couldn't find much of anything about her. Most strangely, Court registry said they didn't have that information.

Then came the utterly weird performance in Courtroom 56 on August 17, 2009 with Patrick Dohm flaunting his power position over Madam Justice Bennett who was still the presiding judge on the Basi-Virk trial. See HERE

Crown Prosecutor Berardino wanted Judge Bennett gone ... immediately. Is that strange, or what? Defence counsel want Judge Bennett to see the trial through.

And so the spotlight turns full-on to the ominous spectre of Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm who allowed himself the honour of saying, during a pre-trial hearing, that he might step in again, to assign a new judge.  But why? There is nothing to be gained by bringing in a new judge. Is there?

Scrolling down to an earlier post by Robin Mathews fills in the explanation:

A Clash Of Legal Opinions
By Robin Mathews - June 4, 2009

The morning opened with Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm on the bench to receive a motion by the Special Crown Prosecutor, William Berardino, to replace Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett as the trial judge seized with the Basi, Virk, and Basi matters. As I understood his meaning, Mr. Berardino wished the new appointment to be made immediately.

Mr. Berardino offered the argument that Madam Justice Bennett cannot be in two places at once (acting as a Supreme Court judge and acting as a Appeals Court judge). Mr. Dohm agreed. Mr. Berardino argued that Mr. Dohm can appoint a judge to a case and he should proceed to do so.

There is more to the argument, as we shall see. But that first point is an oversimplification. Both courts are in the same building. A judge raised to the Appeals Court must have responsibility to cases in process with which he/she is already 'seized' (in a legal sense 'in possession of').

In a trial of the enormous public importance as the one swirling around the BC Rail Scandal, changing judges won't be accepted as "routine" but cannot help being seen by some as political manipulation for advantage.

Defence counsel pointed out the obvious - that applications were in process of argument regarding third party disclosure and much more - in mid flow.

Mr. Dohm asserted that he would not create a situation of two existing trial judges - meaning, I take it, that he would not appoint a judge for "down the road" while another judge (Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett) is, in fact, seen as "trial judge". He would not, moreover, break into the present procedures underway.

Matters will proceed as they are until about June 26, much being cleared up of pre-trial activity by then. Then Dohm, as he said it, might step back in to make decisions. Mr Dohm said that depending upon what happens with the motion put forward by Defence that Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett proceed to the trial he will "probably step back" in, an assignment of a judge will take place, and matters will proceed.

In a manner that had a certain grand theatricality about it, Mr. Berardino, Special Crown Prosecutor, stated that the tight process of what might be called 'address and response' between Defence and Crown has never been used in the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter (a good reason, apparently, to proceed with another judge). That brought the Defence lawyers to their feet, fit to burst....

They wanted to rehearse their sorry tale of Crown delay, failure to reply to requests, muddled replies, etc. etc. But Mr. Dohm stopped what would doubtless have led to top-rated entertainment, and even perhaps something worse.

Mr. Dohm appeared to speak out of both sides of his mouth. That is not to be unexpected. But the appearance, in this instance, may simply have been produced by misunderstanding. And there lies what I see as the Clash of Legal opinions. Mr. Berardino (to put the matter in rough words) seemed to be saying that Dohm has the power to change judges, without question. And he should set about doing it.

If that is the case, why does he wait until she assesses the motion put forward by Defence that she (Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett) stay on. If Patrick Dohm makes the decision, why can't he make it now?

Asked outside court about this apparent contradiction, Michael Bolton for the Defence asserted that if the motion considered by Madam Justice Bennett carries a weight of argument that convinces her she should stay, her decision is final, and cannot be overturned by Mr. Dohm. Mr. Dohm did say that "depending what happens to that motion" he would step back in.

I asked Mr. Bolton if Mr. Dohm - who stated he already has the replacement judge, in fact, chosen - could exert influence on the independence of Madam Justice Bennett's decision. Mr. Bolton would not be drawn on the question (and, of course, quite rightly would not be drawn).

Defence counsel, of course, made the obvious argument for retaining Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett. She has presided for three and a half years over hearings that have ploughed through mountains of documents and hundreds of hours of argument and review, to say nothing of a growing acquaintance with the connection of apparently widely dispersed forces acting upon the accused and their actions.

That may be, in sum, reason why some forces in society would want her removed. For my part - as a long time observer who has been one of the more severe critics of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett's mode of presiding over proceedings - I cannot see how, at this point, switching judges could be anything but a serious, foolish, and politically ill-advised move.

I believe, sincerely, that the people of the Province would not consider a change as anything but the effect of the long arm of Gordon Campbell reaching into the higher court system and forcing it to decisions that guarantee advantage to him and his fellows.

There was also a cocaine-trafficking component to the Legislature raids, too, as evidenced by the resulting arrest and trial of Jasmohan Singh Bains [See HERE and ]

To round out the picture, we must dwell upon the intriguing figure of William Berardino. See HERE ...  and Special Prosecutors HERE ...

I'll just mention two things:  1) Berardino was extremely well-connected with the Campbell Government [See that HERE ...].  Excerpt:  ... William Berardino is exceptionally well connected with the BC Liberals government, especially for someone who is supposed to be impartial:

For many years Mr. Berardino was buddy-buddy with Geoff Plant, yes, indeed, the Attorney General and BC Liberal Geoff Plant.

Allan Seckel was buddy-buddy with Geoff Plant too (working at the same law firm Fasken Martineau), before he was hired by Gordon Campbell (no further details available on Mr. Campbell at this point) to become head of BC Public Service.

Mr. Berardino was appointed by the Ministry of the Attorney General, of which Geoff Plant was the  Attorney General (in 2005, bc rail corruption case dates back to 2004), and Allan Seckel, Deputy Attorney General (since 2003).

... Sorry for repeating myself here, but the main reason for hiring an independent Special Prosecutor is his independence. Now this guy is clearly not independent, far from it. Mr. William Berardino has been buddies with the BC Liberals political elite for years. And those BC Liberals are exactly the same club of people that Basi and Virk were working for!  End of quote. And 2) Mr Berardino's firm contributed $500. to the BC Liberals while he was Special Prosecutor on the Basi-Virk trial.

Does any of this sound unbiased, impartial, or operating at arm's length from government? No, the general impression is that the BCRail Political Corruption Trial had a Special Prosecutor who was and is very cozy with the Gordon Campbell Gang. 

So there's the disturbing picture ... we had a mostly-trusted judge in Elizabeth Bennett doing a slow but thorough job of presiding over a difficult trial ... then, suddenly she's promoted OUT of the BC Rail Trial and an unknown judge named Anne MacKenzie takes over, who immediately demonstrated a stunning ignorance by announcing that this complex trial with over 40 Crown witnesses would last only 5 or 6 weeks. Read more HERE.

This new lady of course had to change her tune a bit, but she soldiered on, without a blush, to ask the people selected for jury duty if they could stay until March of the following year ... or June ... or, given summer holidays and Christmas holidays, until ... presumably until 2011. MacKenzie obviously hadn't a clue what she'd got herself into. Didn't Berardino know that?

One might even suspect that there was no need for MacKenzie to understand the trial. She wouldn't be allowing the BCRail trial to proceed. Obviously.

Blind to the optics, Madam Justice MacKenzie ploughed ahead and placed a "draconian" publication ban on everything not nailed down. Not just the unfolding trial, but also things published before the trial started. It was hard to know exactly what citizens could say without the risk of being hauled into court themselves.

There was another annoying MacKenzie tactic. She was, in my view, guilty of lying to the public when she said that the Crown needed time off, to trim their witness list. That apparently wasn't true at all. Then the next witness, Brian Kenning, former BCRail director, wasn't available to continue testifying because he had run off to Toronto for his son's birthday party. Repeat: to a birthday party, that date being no surprise to Kenning.

MacKenzie seemed amazingly calm when Kenning, in my view, should have been cited for contempt of court. But no, this absence, said Justice MacKenzie, "is not his fault".  Well, we can see now that it wasn't HIS fault. But it was MacKenzie who had excused Brian Kenning for being absent. Kenning was the former Director of BC Rail at the time it was sold. MacKenzie sent him off to a distant party as if his presence didn't really matter.  Or, more likely, his testimony wasn't wanted. 

Well, I guess the BC Rail Trial really didn't matter to her, because we know now that negotiations behind the scenes, were working full-tilt to end the BC Rail trial altogether ... on terms of their own choosing ... and t'hell with the public.

And there was our own Honourable Madam Justice, bold as brass, providing a fake cover-story so that the negotiations could keep going without the bother of ordinary citizens in BC knowing anything about it. It was only because MacKenzie was providing the false screen of protection that the secret negotiations could keep going, right up to the trial crashing and burning on Oct. 18, 2010. Is that what the people of BC wanted? No, it certainly is not. Stated with brutal frankness: that's what BC citizens were asked to pay $17.3 million for and, in return, that's what they got.

Who could avoid smelling the rot here ... the same old rot, we're forced to realize, coming from the same old sources within the Campbell government.  Because there's also the matter of the Special Prosecutor improperly appointed despite his close relationship with members of the Campbell government. British Columbia takes pride in having established the legislation for appointing special prosecutors who were at arm's length, untainted by influence from government. Ha. 

So these are the jagged edges of things the citizens of British Columbia and Canada, had to think about in regard to the judging of the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial, also known as the Basi-Virk-Basi trial (File #23299 in BC Supreme Court). In barest terms, that's the amount of factual, sworn evidence we received for the well-padded $17.3 million (and counting) invoice taxpayers paid for legal services.

British Columbia waited over 7 years to find out why police raided the Legislature, and how such an important public asset as BC Rail could have slipped into private pockets ... we've waited to find out, in fact, if BC Rail is really gone from our possession. I say BC Rail is not gone from our hands; BC Rail is redeemable, if only we open the records and see what was done. 

But for now, I ask you: Is it so unreasonable that people insist and demand the long-awaited Public Inquiry into all aspects of the BC Rail negotiations and sale ... a Public Inquiry where we can actually ask the right  questions,
hear the answers, and start the clean-up?

Because all the trial players have let the people down so far; and that's just not OK. A Public Inquiry will cost too much, you say? Well, look how they padded the invoice for the fake show-trial for Basi-Virk, and tossed $6 million where it need not have gone ... so don't be fooled again.  There are amends to be made in Victoria. We can't afford not to have a Public Inquiry.

The Honourable Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie was briefly allowed her moment of glory, to play the leading role in the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial. She was there, on the bench, costumed in her black silk robes, telling us that the most important trial in BC history was over. Finished. Kaput. Crushed like a bug. And that it was all right with her. No questions asked. Never to be heard from again.

British Columbia was sucker-punched one last time. It was a horrible awakening, to find that somehow we had been cut off from our own history, and our own ability to protect our province. It absolutely doesn't sit right.

At this juncture, a Public Inquiry is the price we must pay for a functioning democracy. A full-blown Public Inquiry into all aspects of the negotiations surrounding the "sale" of BC Rail is the guarantee any candidate for BC premier must willingly provide. And soon. "Someday" just won't do. "Taking a look at it" just won't do.

It's not just a little old backwoods trolley. BC Rail was the main artery bringing life to every city, town, reserve, village, farm, mill, and industry on its long lonely track from Fort Nelson to Vancouver.

BC Rail was Canada's 3rd largest railway and it can be re-possessed. A Public Inquiry can do that. A Public Inquiry will reveal the terms (some of them still secret) of the BCR-CN deal. A Public Inquiry can show us the clauses which govern what CN must do, and the CN penalty (re-possession of BCRail by the people of BC) if they fail.

Don't let them fool us again. A Public Inquiry NOW is the test citizens must apply to any person hoping to take over the BC premier's job. A guaranteed  immediate Public Inquiry into all aspects of the BC Rail negotiation and the clean-up is under way. Anything less is plainly suicidal.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "They let us down so badly over BC Rail, there must be a Public Inquiry ..."

Direct action (ie: going over the Governments head to request a public enquiry) got me thinking about our Lieutenant Governor, Steven Point.

He is an EXCEPTIONAL man, honest and uncorruptable, bright and experienced both politically & judicially - he is a former BC judge.

If there is some way that the people could appeal to him, I think we could have a chance. From the LG website, here is a description of his role:

Lieutenant Governor
The Lieutenant Governor is the representative of Her Majesty The Queen of Canada in the Province of British Columbia and, as such, takes precedence over everyone in the province except the Sovereign. The Lieutenant Governor personifies the Crown, which is both the apex and the unifying link in the constitutional and political structure of the province — executive, legislative, and judicial. All legislation must receive Royal Assent before it becomes law and must be signed by the Lieutenant Governor. All Orders-In-Council and official proclamations are also signed by the Lieutenant Governor in the name of The Queen.

The Lieutenant Governor is also responsible for ensuring there is a First Minister in the province at all times. At any time, when the position of First Minister is vacant because of death or resignation, after defeat in a provincial election or the result of a non-confidence motion in the Legislature, the Lieutenant Governor must either dissolve the House or call upon someone else to become First Minister and try to form a viable government.



BC Mary comment: On the topic of Big Media in B.C., January 23, 2011 ...  The Victoria Times Colonist, poor souls, seem very uncomfortable about trying to assess the current aspirants for the BC premier's job. They're still trying to convict former Premier Glen Clark of a felony he didn't commit, hoping it reflects poorly on Adrian Dix. But also, they manfully admit that there's nothing to choose from on the BC Liberal side, because they're all corrupt. I especially enjoyed Times Colonist's  forthright conclusion:


... Gordon Campbell is finished as premier because he didn't come clean with us when it counted. The new leaders would be well advised to avoid that fate, by levelling with us now.

Read more HERE


Excellent commentary Mary! (as usual)

The enquiry must include careful inspection of Dohm, Berardino and MacKenzie.

Was the appointment of Justice Bennett not to a federal court where she would have to have been appointed by Harper on the recommendation of Campbell?
Many thanks, ron wilton, for those encouraging words. I was almost rolling on the carpet, tussling with this story and its links and quotes; it seems to bog down in the middle but I decided to trust my readers to find their way through ... thanks for telling me that you did so.

Elizabeth Bennett went up to the BC Court of Appeal. It never occurred to me that this might have been a federal appointment.

Twixt you and me, I've always wondered if Bennett back in the day, REFUSED to obey any weird suggestions on how she should handle the BC Rail trial ... and that this explains why she seemed willing to leave on those terms. I don't like to speculate on someone else's motivation, which is basically why I think we must establish the facts with a complete Public Inquiry (and not the Mickey Mouse version focused only on the $6million pay-off).
An absolute telling piece. A shameful show of power and corruption. Every day I get more disgusted in politicians, the judiciary and the police, the mainstream media. There was a time I had respect, was raised to have respect, but it has been lost. There will be a public inquiry because the people of BC expect and demand it after all of the shenanigans put on by those involved at the expense of the taxpayers. We will have to put the fire to the feet of those who wish to become the next premier of "OUR" province NOW. NDP and liberals. THERE WILL BE NOTHING LESS THAN A FULL PUBLIC INQUIRY, no ifs, buts or otherwise.
Do you hear us?
Yeah, it's almost like the BC Liberals parachuted in a corrupt, mafia judge to shut down the trial completely...
Well done BC Mary

I think that now would be the time for the PEOPLE to start assembling the terms of reference of a full public inquiry if not a Royal Commission.

God knows we can't leave that to the politicians and judiciary.
Gary E,

Term of Reference? Yes! Great idea.

Will you go first? And I hope others will join in to build a preliminary draft.
Here's what "they" will want:

But in preparation for challenging any and all candidates for premier, we'd better have our own terms ready, too.
Gary E,
If there is a way for the people to present this that would indeed be advantageous and preferable.
It seems quite pathetic that we are left begging these politicians and judiciary to call for an inquiry.
In my mind a royal commission would be beneficial to take this out of the hands of local authorities all of whom we can't really trust.
Is there any one here that knows of a legal precedent or what would be required for the people to request this? I intend to research but maybe there is information readily available.
If we the people can if fact accomplish this it would render the corrupt faction in this province helpless.
wouldn't that be the truly best way all around.
Campbell's corrupt sale of the BCR, is the dirtiest, most corrupt event I have ever heard of in BC, if not in Canada. The rot of corruption starts with Campbell, at the top of the food chain. The rot has spread to, the judicial system, the RCMP, Elections BC, and probably more than the citizens are even aware of.

The media, are a disgrace to their professions. Their bias against the citizens, and their butt kissing for Campbell's favor, is turning people right off. They are complaining, their revenues are down. Well, when you sign with the devil, you pay the price, and lose the support of the citizens. We know Campbell stashed away $40 million for government ads. And, all of them want a chunk of the lovely money. However, we the people were the medias bread and butter, now we are gone.

Campbell got rid of two honest people in Elections BC. He installed Craig James, who is willing to do Campbell's dirty work for him. He was only a temporary, what in the hell is that pathetic sissy, still doing there, besides whining and sniveling? He is the devil's advocate, and he chose to use, dirty delay tactics, against the Recall people.

If I were Campbell with the BC Liberals, I would want a thorough investigation of the BCR, to clear my name, I would insist upon on it. So, what's Campbell and the BC Liberals problem?
But in preparation for challenging any and all candidates for premier, we'd better have our own terms ready, too.

The Crown is corrupted by the decay and rot to which the politicians have set it to - why trust a Crown Commission to do anything but shuffle its feet, and then get shuffled aside (as with LeDain, Spicer, Charest etc). "Our own terms" should be a self-mandating inquiry, maybe one constituted by internet, assembling known facts in an inescapable rationale and bypassing the Crown's lapdog status to ruling parties/first ministers and forcing the hand of the RCMP and/or CSIS or somebody. In way blogspace has already been that "courtroom of reality" and not the shadow-play masquerading as the august Crown; but we need to make it ilke an affidavit of indictment, and as noted here and there an assemblage of all the questions that have to be answered. We'd have no power of subpoena and no warrants to arrest or move things into court proceedings; but we could sure as hell fry their asses in digital ink - more than we have been doing.

Point is the Crown as an institution is ineffectual here; even a Crown Commission appointed from elsewhere in Canada is going to have terms of reference given to it by another corrupt first minister or whatever rank, and the person(s) picked to preside over it will have the same taint as do Justices Mackenzie and Dohm.

A Crown Commission is pointless, a public inquiry has to be fully public in origin and in reporting, but it needs a mandate; I submit that that is not available from the Crown, other than doing as the natives often do and appeal to the monarch directly for resolution of the issues. In this case it's not justice, but the dignity of the Crown, that has been tarnished by the shenanigans in and also in the backrooms of Courtroom 54...
The wire taps the wire taps the wire taps. lets hear the wire taps.

not the nice memos that were designed to make us beleive basi was clued out, initialed by some lawyer, but the wire taps, thats what we want to hear.
Anon 6:39,

You poor soul ... is somebody on The Legislature Raids bothering you with "nice memos" about Dave Basi?

I don't think so.

But it would be nice if you'd read my posting,for today, though.

Just for starters ...
Skookum 1

In reading your posts in the past I have recognized that you are very much up to date and and have great knowledge in many matters. I'm not sure if I could catch up to you even if I had the time. I won't be available for the next approximately 90 days and I believe that this should start right away.
You say that a crown commission may not work and after reading your reasons I agree. I remember those Commissions.
So that leaves a full public inquiry with specific terms of reference.
And I believe that the internet is the place to start. So, to get the groundwork started we need a site. Possibly called Public Inquiry Into the BC Rail Sale. Invite everyone to participate by writing what they believe should be asked at such an Inquiry. Who should head it. How long it should take. (not seven years)and anything else that can be drafted.
Have only people who will submit their names and email addresses contribute (this could keep out a lot of riff raff.
Something like that. Then we can get all the bloggers and some online news sites to point to this site.
As I said, I'm not free for about 90 days so, Skookum1 could you start it or recommend anyone who might. When I'm finished with recall I would be glad to help and in the meantime I would contribute what I can.
And it should start right from the beginning, in the 80's when the discussion first appeared in the public domain. And all Campbells notes from about 1996 forward. As well as the lie that it(the Railway) was broke or a drag on the public coffers.
I'm busy getting set up back into working life in the Lower Mainland after a few years away and likewise will not have much time on the side. If there was ever time for an Online Court of Public Inquiry to mandate itself, now is the time; given the strange nature of retroactive publication bans, and publication bans in general, it may even be worth hosting it offshore and using proxies to post, we'll see, so that evidence that is not permitted in Canada may be posted and discussed outside the jurisdiction of Canadian courts....

One possible format for this would be a "closed wiki", using a Wikipedia-style interface, with non-members only able to see the published pages, and discussion pages maybe only open/visible to members; or only editable, anyway, by members, so as to avoid accusations of "backrooms".

The only mandate we can foresee is a moral one, by addressing issues of justice that the Canadian court and police system evidently do not place much stock in, and seeking to expose the truth rather than suppress it and squirrel it away beneath bags and bags of money.

Self-mandating processes and self-mandating conventions are not new in British Columbia; as I've mentioned before the Yale Convention of 1867 convened itself as a constitutional convention, without any mandate from the colonial government, which in those days was the Crown (i.e. the Governor embodied the Crown, as the L-G does today, but was also the CEO of government).

We may not be able to subpoena to the stand who we need (including ACJ's Mackenzie and Dohm...) but we could certainly publish enough questions, and in such a way, that they (or someone) will be forced to answer to them, whether they like it or not. There's only so much egg someone can get on their face before they have to try to wipe it off or say "oh, there's egg on my face".

Mary can put you in touch with me when the time comes; I'll figure out more about how private wikis work....
Direct action (ie: going over the Governments head to request a public enquiry) got me thinking about our Lieutenant Governor, Steven Point. He is an EXCEPTIONAL man, honest and uncorruptable, bright and experienced both politically & judicially - he is a former BC judge. If there is some way that the people could appeal to him, I think we could have a chance. From the LG website, here is a description of his role:

Lieutenant Governor
The Lieutenant Governor is the representative of Her Majesty The Queen of Canada in the Province of British Columbia and, as such, takes precedence over everyone in the province except the Sovereign. The Lieutenant Governor personifies the Crown, which is both the apex and the unifying link in the constitutional and political structure of the province — executive, legislative, and judicial. All legislation must receive Royal Assent before it becomes law and must be signed by the Lieutenant Governor. All Orders-In-Council and official proclamations are also signed by the Lieutenant Governor in the name of The Queen.

The Lieutenant Governor is also responsible for ensuring there is a First Minister in the province at all times. At any time, when the position of First Minister is vacant because of death or resignation, after defeat in a provincial election or the result of a non-confidence motion in the Legislature, the Lieutenant Governor must either dissolve the House or call upon someone else to become First Minister and try to form a viable government.

BC Mary, have i missed something here? I see no posts of yours today to pay attention to ... ?

I think what british columbians want to hear is the wire tap evidence, not the pathetic memos of a convicted fellon, designed to make it appear he wasnt the source of leaks.
Over this weekend out of desperation I will be writing to the Governor General of Canada's office with a plea and begging tone for someone perhaps he himself to take a look at the corruption in this province and the failure, through lack of media participation, of the rest of Canada to see it.
I will be directing him here to this very articulate article you have written in hopes of at least enlightening him and others of our plight here in BC. There is no other document so well thought out and brought forward in such an informative and factual way as yours. I hope this will be okay by you?
I may be picking at straws but the more attention can be brought to this situation the better, perhaps he can advise of a path we may be missing. All my respect Mary
Anon 1:15,

You amaze me.

This is your 3rd silly complaint about Basi memos and I have NOT published any Basi memos. Didn't you notice that?

If you aren't prepared to read what IS here, you really should look elsewhere.

Or better still, start your own blog and publish exactly what you think should be published.
Don F.,

What a good idea, and what a nice message for me too. Many thanks for that.

It was nice to think about Steven Point. He seems to be approachable, from what I have read. He surely must be aware of the BC Rail issues -- but he probably doesn't hear much about how the people of BC feel about that. As a guess, I think he'd pay attention to that.

Good luck.
I think Don F. is on the right track.
We do have a voice and we do have a legal reresentative in the LG.
I sent an e-mail to him at the address given at the LG site. It is not clear that it goes directly to him or not, but we will see.
I requested (for a lot of reasons that I supplied) that he use the power of his office to notify the interested parties to prepare for an election before the current proscribed date.
If enough people contact him, we may get a good response.
To begin, we will have to decide which of the following two grounds we wish to challenge the BCR sale process.

As i see it, it is either:

1) on commercial grounds, using the Universal Commercial Code, known as Contract Law, which is the tool used by the Crown and all the perpetraitors in this case:


2) on Common Law grounds, sometimes called Natural Law, which is defined by the creator, the common weal tradition, and the morals of the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament.

I believe we have reasons to proceed in both directions. However, the Law of the Crown, or Commercial Code, is their law. The Courts, Commissions, and Enquiries are constituted on their terms alone. And you must know that they are all bound by oaths and loyalties unbreakable, so that they will never turn on their brothers, no matter how egregious the misconduct. Moreover, they have raised persons who wield their law with such skill that we would be most unlikely to prevail in any challenge on their grounds.

In order to bring suit using the Common Law, however, one and all of us must establish our sovereign right to be free to bring such action. Then we must act to effectively bind the perpetraitors and BCR to our claims and judgments; which, as i'm sure you can imagine, is no mean feat, one rarely achieved without anything less than brute force--and they know that the go(o)d people invariably demur before taking it that far.

I'm sorry to have to write this; but, what we seek to do in regaining BCRail is tantamount to declaring a revolution and facing off against the queen's men.

I'll leave it there for now.
Don F

I think the order of your emails should start with Steven Point. Then go to the new GG.
Anon at 6:39, 1:15 etc. is hardly worth the pixels it would seem, I mean has he LOOKED at the front page and if so can he/she/it read?

You mentioned the other day that you were working on a thing or two and seeing the post in question here I can see why you felt so busy. It is an incredible post that connects a lot of dots. It is in the Robin Mathews class (high praise from this corner) - kudos to you!
ron wilton,

Nice work ... Thank You.

Did you talk to H.E. about the urgent need for a Public Inquiry?
Gary E.,

Not sure I understand why you suggest the Governor General (Ottawa) ...

the Lieutenant Governor of BC would know an awful lot more -- and care a lot more about BC.

Can you explain more?
otis weland says:
January 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

"Just looking through, 'A War Against Truth,' by Paul William Roberts – An intimate account of the Invasion of Iraq – I was struck by the obvious : With the mass-media owned and controlled by the powers behind the mega-corps with their ”Globalist” agenda (breaking down the nation-states for easier plunder), there is a a relatively small group of robotic parrot-like citizens that for whatever reason believe that their vocal support for the establishment will somehow assure their safety – or in the least, will allow them to be of the ‘ last sheep ‘ to be eaten.

The survival of the Province as the rightful guardian of the people’s welfare and well-being is the critical issue before us. By suspending Parliament twice to avoid accounting to the people, Harper’s Regime also suspended democracy in Canada. The dissolution of provincial powers fits into the transnational corporate scheme; in this, “Judas-Goat” Gordon Campbell played his role well. [ He accomplished this by fooling people in that the BC owned genuine businesses, and the predator transnational forces masquerading as "corporations", belong to the same animal kingdom.]

The NDP is as culpable in the disempowerment of the province by being “asleep at the switch” – or worst. We have to keep all options open, whether voting for the lesser devil we think we know, or entertaining the idea of a new populist party – in the face of mass-media shut-out.

And, make no mistake about it, the lieutenant governor, stephen point, has taken the oath and been made one of them. You'll wait for help from him for as long as you're still breathing, then you'll be done.
HE G-G Johnston was hand-picked by Harper as a reward for narrowing the scope of the Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry to protect the Tory inner circle and others still sitting in the House who might have otherwise be tained; the position was a political plum, and also no doubt a guarantee of a more obedient viceroy next time some constitutional-procedure crisis like the prorogation fiasco comes up, as it's bound to with minority governments. People wante4d Michaelle Jean, overwhelmingly, to stay on as G-G, and if we ever had someone something like a real queen, it had to be her; worthy of respect and trust and not a cold political fish. Make no mistake - Johnston is in there to be a hatchetman the way way Dohm was and Mackenzie became - any appeal to him might as well go to London, he's not going to hear it....

On the other hand, inviting Michaelle Jean to oversee the public inquiry has very, very interesting possibilities.....

I agree about Point, he's also aboriginal so that carries some moral-political authority and in a confrontation with "responsible government", to have the First Nations on the side of the person holding the Crown isn't something to sniff at; especially when it's their resources that are really what's at stake in the giveaways to the US and to China et al.

In the event of caucus dissolutions, as a result of either major party coming apart, or of new parties forming alliances to make a challenge for a minority government to overtune the two "ancient enemies" of the NDP and neoGrits, he's going to be very important.

Certainly a strongly enough worded letter of petition, using all the right language and invoking his role as the embodiment of the British constitutional system we have, basely and debasedly now, inherited - and which has, in various ways, been hijacked and coopted and abused.

In future, one possible reform might be to have the L-G, under whatever name, be in charge of the judicial system, and independently of the House or any political marching orders, and with powers not assailable as have proven those of the Ombudsman and other "spokesmen for public and country" (OK, OK, "spokesperson"). King and country as it were, someone whose job it is to police the politicians, and make sure the constitution is in operation fairly; the insult to the office of the Opposition in the first sitting of the Campbellite's government would have been impossible, were there seomeone about to enforce the constitution.

Certainly Point would consult the federal viceroy, and his fellow Lieutenants-Governor, on the matter, and even constitutional scholars in the UK, probably the Queen's constitutional advisors, and HM herself. If the matters raised in the petition, and put forciebly and condemnatory enough, with all the proper invocations to the L-G's mandate.....well, all I can say is even with all that done, he's still going to be under considerable pressure from the existing rulership, and from the media who support and in fact created them. He will have to prove to be a man of great resolve, and will only succeed if the public rally to him, and enough national and international media, and smalltown and blog media in BC, rally to him. The place for demonstrations won't be the Leg - it will be Rockland. Hunger strike anyone? (just kidding, I'm trying to gain weight, not lose it).

Nice in theory, the idea of appealing to him formally, all gonna be about the character he shows; and the spin put on him, probably against him, and the private lobbying of the Victoria backrooms.


Be a hell of a note if all this brews in a place whose name begins "British" in the leadup to the Mother Country's own Olympics; we were their "last colony", the farthest-flung, among those most like the auld sod; they left us with a colonial system as easily corruptible as any in Africa or Latin America, and the rot has come to high heaven and American companies now own and operate the very mechanisms of governance. Our constitution has been, quite literally, privatized.

When Mulroney killed the Foreign investment Review Agency and launched the Free Trade deal, nobody told us that "free trade" would mean the right of American companies to buy up and outsource Crown services and agencies and Crown assets. Nobody.

Remember that line? - the border a Liberal ad showed being erased - that the Tories drew back on the map in that one commercial? Yeah, for sure - because on our side of the line as redrawn it's easier for American capital to take what we have left from us. Freedom to stop them is on that side of the line; we are kept from those processes and fed lies and corruption to justify the ownership of our very politicians by the people Eisenhower warned us about.

The Crown may rescue us if its ancient honour - and clout - are intact and resilient. But I think more than just a petition has to be presented to the L-G - a full draft of the terms of reference of the inquiry, and all issues to be addressed, and persons to be called before it, is what is needed. Something no politician can tell him not to, nor any other viceroy say "not on your tiara". Something that if he, or they, turn it down, will destroy the institution they hold, and lead to even greater political reforms than just a public inquiry on one little old scandal. Do they want the whole top of the cereal box ripped off? I doubt it, they may cave if it came to that maybe, i.e. open one bag of snakes hoping that others will go unnoticed.

Oh, and by the way, Point's not an HE, he's an HH - His Honour. His Excellency is the G-G.

About the Crown, and if it can survive this or not - if it has any usefulness in this, it might survive, is what I'm saying. But I'm starting to think more and more about the republicanism (small-r) that Allan Fotheringham and other prominent Canadians are noted for; not out of animosity for the monarchy, but in looking for a better way to govern this country, and this province, than let a bunch of well-dressed louts steal the powers of the Crown in order to dismantle the very government itself, and our sovereignty to boot. Hmm...worth writing Dr. Foth again, I've asked him to look into this; but the Steven Point angle may just tweak his interest.....but this is all talk right now, we need to lay out the terms. How did the refrain in the 1870s go? Oh yes - "Carnarvon Terms of Separation". We need something equally catchy....(though the Carnarvon Terms were a different matter entirely, although also a set of great promises completely broken).
Is there a way I can contact you off site as I have drafted a letter to the LG of the province and the GG of Canada that I would send you beforehand for you to read. Perhaps you could scrutinize what I have written.I intend to send both email and printed copies by mail with my name and address thus my need for further contact to you.
I think you have access to my Email address as it is a requirement for me to post here?
Full Knight etc etc,

Your comment is extremely interesting ... right up until the final paragraph.

That's where I have to ask: why are you afraid that well-meaning citizens will ask the right questions? And maybe even get some of the right answers?

You also say: We have to keep all options open, whether voting for the lesser devil we think we know, or entertaining the idea of a new populist party – in the face of mass-media shut-out.

"Keep all options open" didn't even make it to the end of your comment ... then you flip into the PABster zone with another twist on "Move along folks, ain't nuthin' to see here ..."

Oh, and write "X" on a bit of paper.

We need a full Public Inquiry now, into what took BC Rail out of public ownership and into private pockets. We need to see ALL of that deal, and more.

Please write again ... and go over that patch with a wire brush. OK? Thanks.
Hi Mary

Don F had suggested he was going to write the GG. My statement to him was to go through the LG first.
Hope that clears things up.
Don F.,

Contacting me privately is very simple.

Just write NOT FOR PUBLICATION across the top of your comments. It will remain private.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you've done. Many thanks!
Forgive me all, I am not a lawyer. It may have been asked before, here, at the Legislature Raids:

Is it possible for the citizens to initiate a Class Action Suit against the BC Liberal MLAs and the other collaborators involved in the sale of BC Rail? Is there precedence for this sort of thing?
Based on suggestions in the comments here and my own investigations on the Lieutenant Governor and the Governor General I will spend a few days rereading and rewriting. My initial impressions of both aren't well lets say impressive. they seem to be all about photo ops and gardens. I wish I was asking them to prorogue parliament.
Perhaps though they would pass it along.
Will be in touch.
Leask lets a meth dealer go on 1 yr?

Thats nothing.

I hear (from this source) that Jas Bains, who got 9 yrs, is out on parole. Thats right, sentanced 2 yrs ago to 9 yrs and is already out becuase of the fuzzy math used by the judicial system to trick the people into thinking they are handing out meaningful sentences.

If Bains is out, what is he doing to support himself?

I dont know about you, but without income, I would be out on the streets. And who is continuing to pay his legal bills?

- Cal
ron wilton,

could you send me a copy of what you wrote to His Honour, Steven Point?

Just mark your comment NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION and it will remain private, if you wish.

Hi Mary. I hope you received the copy of my e-mail to Steven Point.
My suspivion is that it has not, and will not, actually cross his desk, given that all other notes relayed through BC government channels usually have to pass inspection by Uno Who.
Kash Heed is really getting hammered on these days???!!

Any of you wonder if that has anything to do with, or everything to do with, his ethnicity???!!
ron wilton,

Yes to your first question. I do not have your private email address, though.

If you'd prefer to send it that way, just say NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION.

But I think I see the problem, and why you received that kind of answer. Don't be discouraged ... there's a long road ahead.
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