Saturday, August 13, 2011
Books open on BC Rail trial legal fees ... what's missing from this news?
Books open on BC Rail trial legal fees
By TAMSYN BURGMAN
The Canadian Press
The Globe and Mail - August 10, 2011
For the source, click HERE:
VANCOUVER -- British Columbia's auditor general is reviewing the controversial $6-million payout for two former government employees who [after YEARS in BC Supreme Court and outside, saying they were NOT guilty - BC Mary] pleaded guilty in the BC Rail scandal,
but it's not clear if the public will get its own glimpse. [And this is the outrageous omission. It's time for the BC Opposition's justice critic to get up off his skinny ass, demand and insist upon a Full Public Inquiry into the still-hidden parts of the tainted deal which cost BC its railway, and begin to earn his fat paycheques. If John Doyle can do it, Leonard Krog can do it. - BCM.]
Confidential documents laying out the plea agreement that ended the trial last fall have been released to the auditor general after a B.C. Supreme Court ruling, posted online this week.
John Doyle can now sift through the records giving an accounting of the province's decision to foot the costs for former ministerial aides Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, a deal that drew criticism from the Opposition NDP not only for its size but surrounding secrecy.
The pair sat through a halting six-month trial last year that abruptly concluded in October with surprise guilty pleas to charges of breach of trust and accepting bribes. They were sentenced to two years house arrest.
Mr. Doyle asked the courts in mid-June to compel the government to open the books, stating the information was necessary to fulfilling his duties examining its finances ...
Requests in November and February were denied because Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk were accused of leaking information related to the 2002 privatization sale of Crown-owned BC Rail.
BC Mary comment: Now would be a good time to press ahead for a full public inquiry into the worrying details of how Canada's 3rd largest railway could slip from public ownership into private pockets without British Columbians ever being consulted or even allowed to see all the terms of that BCR-CN deal.
It's possible that criminal charges should be laid. That is ... if we keep asking the right questions, soon enough. Is there a Statute of Limitations at work here?
John Doyle is setting a fine example ... he asked, he asked, he kept asking, he went to BC Supreme Court ... and he got the answer he needed ... Bravo, John Doyle!
but if we, the public, are not "allowed" to see even this limited bit of information, it means we don't get anything from this except the bill for $6million.
Battle-weary British Columbians know that the big questions remain unanswered: How did we lose control of a priceless public asset like BC Rail? Who is responsible for that? And if the BCR-CN was so badly tainted that it scuttled the pending sell-off of the Roberts Bank assets, doesn't that strongly suggest ... ahem ... that the damn BCR-CN deal was knowingly visibly tainted right from before the deal was signed?
Seriously: are there never any consequences to making a solemn election promise ("I will not sell BC Rail") and then selling BC Rail ... and "selling" it for chump change at that. Sorta like giving BCRail away.
Why? Why? Why?
As to Krog, yes Mary, he should get up off his a$$ and demand a Full Public Inquiry. It is time to put an end to this once and for all and that can, and only will happen, with a Full Public Inquiry. If charges are to laid then they should be, regardless of who is involved.
Thanks for taking time to write ... and maybe you could help me figure this out. You say:
"But, will Mr. Doyle do his job, or do as he is told? Let's face it, who pays his salary?
Will he do his job? How much proof do you need? Four times he has head-butted his controllers asking for the release of the documents which would explain the $6million paid to the Basi, Virk, Basi defense lawyers ...
and on the 5th try, he won ...
but only just enough for him to be able to do his job.
This man, in my view, has given ample evidence of someone determined "to do his job" ...
But the part I really don't understand is why you rush to your cynical conclusion. I really don't get it. Why not rejoice that there's a John Doyle at work on the BC Rail affair ... it could, y'know, be an omen! I hate to see anyone just throw that bright image away, as if brain-washed.
I think we've got a winner in John Doyle. I'd like to see plenty of solid support and encouragement for the stand he's taking.
Rest assured, Krog knows the game well. He has several dainty requests on file for the lazy historians of the future. HE's the rat who needs to have his tail stomped on for a timely wake-up call to take some courageous, real-life ACTION like this.
I love it ...
I'm not kidding ... they grow wild, in north-central BC.
Columbines, I mean. And the flowers are two-colour, just like us.
Lovely! Thanks, Anon 10.17!
As for Krog, boy have you got him pegged well. "Dainty requests". Perfect description. Krog is Mr. Ineffectual, exuding just enough motion to show he's alive, but never achieving any real meaningful, effective movement. He's a lawyer, so I guess that's no surprise. He sits on the fence making noises from time to time, and collects a nice pay cheque while dreaming of his gold-plated pension.
My biggest concern with this review of the $6 million payout to the convicted felons who accepted bribes while being paid handsomely by we taxpayers is this: looking at how the payout was handled is a distraction, and I fear it will be used to close the door permanently on any scrutiny of the really important crime, the theft of BC Rail from under our noses.
However, maybe, just maybe, Doyle's review of the $6 million payout might unearth something that will trigger or enable a public inquiry into the sale of this huge public asset for a song. But rest assured, it won't be because of anything that blow-in-the-breeze Krog will have done.
Who was it that said "Flattery will get you nowhere" ...
whoever it was, they were wrong. Your kind words are a blessing.
Now: back to John Doyle. His report on the facts leading up to our $6million pay-off to the Defence team of Basi, Virk, Basi will be available to the public, ya think?
Access To Information
Tamsyn Burgman - isn't she the CP person who has BC Liberal ties?
What is the problem with Campbell and Christy? They claim they were exonerated from any wrong doing, regarding the BCR. They said so, right on TV, for all to see. Why aren't the details of, the sale of the BCR an open book?
BC is a special prosecutor province, for government politicians and the elite. They have nothing to worry about even if, all the truth should come out. Including F-bomb words and all, on the e-mails posted.
I don't remember any of the BC Liberals, paying for anything they have done.
I agree, John Doyle is a 'diamond' in the swamp. His actions speak volumes as you said.
Yes, the so called 'independent' Offices of the Legislature have a record of sliding politically expedient, sideways sliding/covering the malevolence . . . . . choosing to betray British Columbians for their best interests with their political Masters. Political pressure very much is a factor in these positions.
It's a test of character.
How many of these persons act with conscience, apolitically when faced with a choice to hold the integrity of their Office above all else?
How many have we seen elevated into the Premier's Office, the Attorney General's Ministry or receive lofty promotions on the the BC Supreme Court Benches? Many in context with 'politically' charged files.
It's an old overplayed 'game' that the 'Circle' has played for years; where the rules are payoffs in whatever form fits the glove of the moment to duck tape mouths; to stymie justice and more to the point: protect the well connected guilty.
Some of us have experienced the 'game' personally, battling to hold truth and justice to a higher standard while bloodied and battered from being victimized by the catch 22 'rules'; knowing that giving up is not an option to right the wrongs - to slay the dragons . . . . believing at ones core that there is a reason for everything often unseen at the time.
The BC Rail Scam has served the purpose of illuminating the reality of the game and its rules to a formerly unsuspecting public at large.
Some of us could only hope, armed with the wisdom of experience, that just once the justice system would work, yet in reality, knowing that the 'rules' of the 'game' would prevail.
Some of us know that it doesn't end there - there's a better way.
That every push forward towards integrity; every avenue traveled is not wasted and yields often unexpected results.
Sometimes the universe steps in to help in ways beyond our power but connected. Each voice; every action towards honesty and justice counts.
John Doyle surfaced with integrity in hand at a critical moment. He grasped the opportunity. Thank you Mr Doyle.
There are huge changes on the political front in gear - a culmination of combined energy towards the good. The Campbell/Clark regime will be history falling on their own swords.
The rot will be cleaned up, albeit through a jungle of corruption but well worth the journey to a better horizon.
I hope you are keeping well and enjoying your summer, Mary. Thank you for your integrity.
Good to see your words again, and I send good wishes right back to you.
Of course it was pure co-incidence, but did you notice that in between the streaming headlines about gang violence in Kelowna today, there was also
a headline saying that Gordon Campbell, "ex-premier of British Columbia" has just been appointed High Commissioner to the U.K.?
I hadn't noticed about the 2 smarmy 'events' but of course, we both know there are no coincidences, right?
The High Commissioner's Office has been tarnished. To have this man occupy this appointment is too obvious a 'placement'.
What's going to happen as more revelations seep out over BC Rail and his orchestrations of this scam, including the $6 Million big ones?
The tax indemnity is reckoned from 400 million upwards; and yet there's this constant refrain about the paltry six million spent on the Basi-Virk Defence. Bolton et al. were on OUR side. I'd much more like to know what the Berardino team's bill was, which also calls into question the public monies that were spent paying a person with close personal and career ties both to the government and the party WHEN HE SHOULDN'T HAVE EVEN BEEN APPOINTED IN THE FIRST PLACE. I've heard it's in that 20 million range....conflict of interest money if ever there was; and given the shoddy way the proceedings ended, and his own camps' endless delays and general weirdness, I'd say we got more for the money paid to Basi and Virk's lawyers than we ever did or will for the money paid to Berardino, Winteringham et al.
Never mind the promotion and pay raise for the parachuted judge, and what that will ultimately cost in pensions etc......oh, probably not polite and maybe contempt of court to ask as to a judge's pay scale and pension indexing and any personal or political conflicts that advancement in the judiciary may necessarily require. Just the golden handshake alone is a big bundle for positions like that.....
There was a lot more money rolling around than what was spent on court costs, it's the only explanation for how many people played along, and how many others have both kept their lips zipped and destroyed documents.
Oh, ya, speaking of destroyed documents and mis-spent public money.....how much did that Texas company bill for destroying those emails on the orders of the Premier's Office? Even $5000 if in that range, more like $50,000 (what's the value of their contract anyway, and was it put to tenders), that's a big waste of public money . Bolton getting public funds to pay what he did for us, that I have no problem with at al....but all the other money that was spent ON THE COVERUP?? I betcha it's WAY over 6 million, if totalled....