One of the crime scenes

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Extra! Extra! Extra!
Vancouver Sun
Covers BC Rail Trial

Believe it or not the Vancouver Sun covered the gathering yesterday of Justice Bennett and the other parties to the action involving criminal charges against former government aides, Basi, Virk and Basi, more conveniently known as the BC Rail Trial. In Trial of two aides set for March the Sun didn't say much, and it was buried in the West Coast section of the paper, but at least it was an acknowledgment from the rag flagship paper of our fair province that something does occasionally occur in relation to this important case. According to Neal Hall:

The trial of two former B.C. government aides won't begin until next March, but the trial judge said Monday once the trial gets going, there won't be any more adjournments.


The March trial date is the sixth since legal proceedings began, defence lawyer Michael Bolton said Monday.

Amongst the usual boilerplate that makes up the rare article covering this trial the only other real news was that Mystery Man Bill Berardino

said in two weeks, the Crown expects to disclose thousands of pages of documents.

and court will convene again on October 26 to discuss motions to be heard in December.

The glacial like pace of this trial may be one reason that people like editors Lucinda Chodan (Victoria T-C) and Kirk LaPointe (Vancouver Sun) are so quick to claim they aren't covering the trial because nothing is happening, thus it isn't news. Well I would like to point out that the warrants were executed on the Legislature almost FOUR years ago now, and here we are with disclosure not even completed. Perhaps the fact that little or nothing happens IS the news.

Robin Matthews who didn't have to clear anything with Kirk or wait for the presses to roll published his observations over at Mary's the day before the Sun shared Neal Hall's observations with the world. The way Robin sees it the lack of wheels of justice rotating IS the news and reason for concern. Over at the Legislature Raids in Notes from the Courtroom today Robin points out that: (bolding by kc)

...absence from reality seems to mark the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter. If the functionaries in the courtroom are not complacent, they are so occupied with the limited scope of their own part in the intricately constructed world built to prevent justice being done that they increasingly forget where reality is. Reality is the corrupt sale of an invaluable asset owned by all British Columbians in a secret, clandestine, and possibly criminal way. Reality is a shadowy circle of actors who may be criminally involved in matters relating to that sale (and to other matters), and who are never mentioned, and who have not (of course) been charged. Reality is a judge who has never (in my memory) placed a deadline date on a demand for disclosure information, and who repeats the mantra that "this case has to proceed" rather like a character out of Alice in Wonderland.


Justice delayed, they say, is justice denied. Does anything more need to be said?

BC Mary at the end of Robin's post tries to organize the upcoming schedule with,

The next gathering in Supreme Court: 26 October 2007

The parties re-assemble: 3 December 2007

The Charter Challenge: 17 March 2008

And as for the trial date, well, it's T.B.A. Let's hope.

She also indicates that according to Canadian Press the court will meet for three weeks commencing December 3, we'll see about that I imagine.

Keystone Trains!

The Sun also published a story in the business section, concerning the most recent CN derailment of 29 grain cars into the Skeena River between Terrace and Prince Rupert. Of course by the time the Voice of the North, Opinion 250 had already published three stories dealing with the same incident.


CN Derailment Near Terrace

CN Talks Safety

Latest CN Derailment Sparks Inquiry Call

The second story, concerning CN "talking" Safety is perhaps the most humorous of the three. This story begins:

Prince George B.C. - It has been a little over six weeks since two CN trains collided, derailed and burned along the east side of the Fraser River In Prince George.

This evening, the railway’s Senior Vice President of the Western Region Jim Vena addressed Prince George City Council to talk about the safety issues. there was lots of talk, but very little in the way of solutions.

The appearance came less than 24 hours after CN’s latest derailment which saw 29 loaded cars of grain off the tracks 30 miles east of Terrace.

The Senior Vice President for the CN Western Region, Jim Vena, says that CN is improving their performance as evidenced by the fact they've only had 312 "incidents" so far this year. Now I don't know if he was reading from his prepared notes or was counting the 29 cars sending grain to the geese at the estuary in Prince Rupert as he spoke, but I don't find that particularly impressive or reassuring. For one thing the days this week are each day number 260 something this year and it doesn't take a mathematical genius to calculate that that is a rate of OVER one incident a day. Then if you throw in the mention of incidents that apparently WERE NOT reported that came to light in the aftermath of the Prince George near tragedy, one can only wonder how complete of a count is the 312. Of course maybe if everything stays on the rails, you aren't really railroading like the big guys............

Oh well, another day, another "incident" on what used to be our railroad. Another two or three months and the wheel of justice MAYBE revolves a few degrees in the BC Rail Trial - with an emphasis on the MAYBE.


Blogger G West said...

There’s some doubt, apparently, that Neal Hall was actually 'in' court...perhaps he has an amanuensis. Is this what one calls 'news by remote'?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 8:54:00 AM PDT  

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