One of the crime scenes

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Crumb for the Curious

Many of us "inquiring minds" were disappointed when the Basi/Virk trial resulting from the Legislature raids back in 2003 were postponed again in a near secret proceeding held early in the morning on May 10. But the same day that the original warrants were finally released (about 80% of the information) new charges were laid against Dave Basi. He was charged with three counts of "fraud on the government" and breach of trust for allegedly accepting $50,000 from developers Tony Young and James Duncan for help in getting land released from the Agricultural Land Reserve near Sooke for the Sun River Estates development. Young and Duncan apparently don't have the clout or connections of "Spiderman" Bornman or Brian Kieran as they were also charged for giving the bribes. The trial of Basi, Young and Duncan on these charges is currently scheduled for June 29 in Victoria. Who knows what rocks may get accidentally uncovered when these charges are tried? I won't be surprised if this court date gets set back between now and then, but am looking forward to June 29 for now. More on ALR

Of course the ALR itself is often the subject of debate, for some people just the fact that it was initiated by the NDP government of Dave Barrett is enough to make it evil. Freepers claim that it is an impediment to the "divine hand" of the free market, while government licensed monopolies and tax policies that favor corporations and the rich somehow are not. British Columbia, like the rest of Canada, has a very limited supply of arable land, and unless global warming really accelerates, must protect what hasn't been paved or built on already (or made unfit by pollution). A sample of views on the ALR are:

Michael Walker, founder and head of the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute, has nothing good to say about the ALR.
"The Agricultural Land Reserve was a disastrous mistake in first place. To take land out of housing production when the relative price of housing was rising and the relative price of food was falling is simply absurd.

Of course the Fraser Institute and the Neo-Cons who look to them for "facts" aren't very likely to look at any issue beyond it's immediate effect on their pocketbook. Another view of the ALR follows.
Keeping land in agriculture is long range thinking." Some people are predicting that rising energy prices will put parcel to globalism. "The era of the 3,000-mile Caesar salad is over," he says, citing analysis of the international food trade that indicates much of our food travels 2,500 miles to our tables.
If rising oil prices bring that to an end, adds Miller, "the ALR will turn out to be profoundly inspired." And on a local level it probably has had the beneficial if unintended consequence of focusing density in B.C. cities and promoting "smart" growth.

Both quotes from ALR: pleasure and pain for developers


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One angle you seem to have missed is the role being played by Spiderman aka Eric Bornman. Check out the following link:

Saturday, October 28, 2006 at 1:38:00 PM PDT  

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