One of the crime scenes

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dramatis Personae:

Sometimes it's difficult to tell the players without a program so with this post I will provide a brief roster of those involved in this affair to date.

The Charged

Udhe Singh (Dave) Basi - On December 28, 2003 he was a ministerial aide to then Finance Minister Gary Collins. His office was searched and boxes of documents hauled away by the RCMP. The next day he was fired by the government. In December of 2004 he was charged with numerous counts including influence-peddling and breach of trust. More charges were laid against him last week on the same day that most of the information in the warrants to search the Legislature were released to the public. These new charges related to land that was removed from the ALR near Sooke. More

Bobby Singh Virk - Brother-in-law to Dave Basi, on the day of the raid he was a ministerial assistant to then Minister of Transportation, Judith Reid. His office was also a target of the RCMP search. He was suspended with pay the next day. This different treatment compared to Mr. Basi's firing caused inquiring minds to wonder what the government knew that wasn't being shared with the public. He was fired in December 2004, when he was also charged with multiple counts involving influence-peddling and breach of trust.

Aneal Basi - A cousin of David Basi, he became involved in the case in December 2004, when he was charged with two counts of money-laundering. He was a public affairs officer in the Ministry of Transportation until the charges were laid, after which he was fired.

The Lobbyists

Also served with search warrants on December 28, 2003 were the offices of the lobbying firm
Pilot House Public Affairs Group. Erik Bornman and Brian Kieran, partners in the firm at the time are involved, but not charged. Mr. Bornman is scheduled to be a witness at the upcoming trial slated to begin on June 5. It appears that offering a bribe is okay, as long as you don't accept any bribes, or are willing to turn state's evidence.

Others of Interest

Also visited by the RCMP that day was the home office of Mark Marissen who runs Burrard Communications and is heavily involved in Federal Liberal political organizing. His wife Christy Clark was the deputy-premier in the Campbell government at the time. She has since retired from the public political sphere except for an unsuccessful bid to win the NPA mayoralty nomination for the recent civic election. It was too easy to paint her as an outside interloper from Port Coquitlam for her bid to have much traction.

Gary "ferret" Collins, who was Minister of Finance and Mr. Basi's boss at the time of the raid had since stepped down as minister in December 2004 and did not run in the 2005 election. He is busy being the CEO of Harmony Air Ways.

Judith Reid, Minister of Transportation at the time, was unceremoniouly dropped from cabinet a month after the raid on the Legislature. She chose not to run for re-election in 2005, citing a desire to return to the private realm and spend time with her grandchildren.

I should re-emphasize that to date the police have maintained that no elected officials are under investigation and there has been no wrongdoing alleged by any politicians or parties. Inquiring minds however find it strange that those close to this investigation have chosen to leave the public arena at this time, especially after all those years in opposition. Mr. Collins bailed on the Finance Ministry just weeks before having the opportunity to deliver a "balanced" budget!


Anonymous Coyote said...

A really informative piece. It is useful to finally have faces to these villains, and a bit of their profiles. Thanks for this.

Friday, April 14, 2006 at 8:21:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous BC Mary said...

KootCoot: It's exciting to see that you've got a People's Press up and running, dedicated to exposing wrongdoing and to saving the nation!! Thanks for a great achievement.

This was much-needed. Tell us how we can help.

Friday, April 14, 2006 at 9:39:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Gazetteer said...

I would hope, that with time, and as the story moves along, that those who made the bribes will get just as much face time and scrutiny as those that took them.


Saturday, April 15, 2006 at 7:09:00 AM PDT  
Blogger kootcoot said...

gazetteer do you mean face time with the public or hard time with the bad boys?

Saturday, April 15, 2006 at 8:57:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous British Columbian said...

The police did not issue a search warrant on Mark Marissen. The police visited him, and insisted that he was not implicated, and that he was the "innocent recipient" of emails, which turned out to be copies of Basi and Virk's resumes. Marissen has never been implicated.

There were a few initial stories that (incorrectly) said that a search warrant was executed on Marissen's house, but all of those media outlets have since issued corrections.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 at 11:42:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Thanks for all the hard work that must have gone into the creation of this site, KootCoot...for laying out the timeline, the main players etc.

Coyote's letter and BC Mary's article an interesting read as well.

Bill Tieleman wrote an article in 2004 that presents some interesting linkages between David Anderson's office, Paul Martin, Marissen, Bornman et al, The Young Liberals, Gary Ferret-Collins and Gordon Campbell.

Here's Tieleman's link: - 24k

Sunday, April 16, 2006 at 1:44:00 PM PDT  
Blogger kootcoot said...

British Columbian I was just going by what I read and saw at the time. I would appreciate it if you would source some of these corrections and I will correct my posting. It's not like information regarding this whole affair has been exactly forthcoming. That's the problem.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 at 3:26:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Since the link I provided above is not working, just google "Insiders Doubt the Premier Can Survive Scandal"...that should find the article for you...

So far... at least, I guess the "insiders" prediction of the demise of Campbell has been somewhat premature..."so far" at least...

Sunday, April 16, 2006 at 10:49:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous I don't follow the herd said...

Somebody forgot to mention the fact that marijuana cultivation charges were dropped against David Basi (after such a fuss was created) and that charges against another "key player" Mandeep Sandhu have also been dropped.
This thing gets continues to get weirder and weirder.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 at 2:56:00 PM PDT  

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