One of the crime scenes

Monday, March 30, 2009


Talking to Americans (instead of Canadians)
Fauxie Stevie Harper

As we wait for developments in a new week that seems poised to be exciting for those who enjoy seeing the wrong-headed stumble, I will take a moment to catch up on some odds and ends. This week's menu offers almost too much to even pay attention to it all. Let's see: We have the ongoing YVR Murder Inquiry (like Ross at Pacific Gazette, I don't think Braidwood cuts it as a title). Lyin' Brian and the chubby German with bags of money return to center stage before a Parliamentary committee. Will gatekeeper Jason Kenney succeed in keeping the dangerous terrorist George Galloway out of Canada or will the Supreme Court defend our rights, after all, they let that little weasel war criminal into the country (well, Calgary anyway)?

Another week of BC Rail disclosures is impending and the Pickton trial is back in the news -I'm dying to see if StoneWally can keep his mouth shut about that. Actually since the Pig Farm murders are one of the few crimes in BC that doesn't seem to involve the BC liaR Party, he may decide it's not "before the courts." Of course that is assuming that Wally and Gordo are released from the Witness Protection Program that seems to have swallowed them both up.

Maybe one wouldn't be too starry-eyed to even expect to hear some kind of response from the Campbelloids about the (apparently renegade) judge who declared their cute little GAG LAW unconstitutional, either! Since a judgement has been rendered, I can only assume that "it's before the courts" would REALLY be inadequate as a response to this.

Faux has to Import Furrin' Wingnuts

In yet another gambit to avoid explaining anything to either Canadians or the Loyal Opposition, our own little Stevie is "Talkin' to Americans" ala Rick Mercer. It may seem a bit tacky to some Canadians that he would choose to honour with his presence (or lack of same) the one network that just last week went out of its way to insult the sacrifices of Canadian fighting men and women. It isn't like wing-nuts aren't welcome on all the other Sunday Morning talkin' head shows. Of course perhaps Faux Snooze may have really begged Stevie to appear, because its getting hard for them to actually like, you know, find leaders from anywhere that fit their bias and agenda.

It was a bit over the top though for Stevie to sit there and take credit for what is, up to now, Canada's apparent lack of damage from the current economic meltdown or as I prefer to say, payback to the Greed Monkeys. He tried to explain our 'better' position as the result of having a prime minister who was "conservative AND an economist." This is rich, when the only reason Canada still has the regulations that have softened the effect is that he hasn't been king long enough to remove them and make our country just as vulnerable to the robbers as the US. It's not like he hasn't made it perfectly clear that he would have removed them, IF he had the time and his coveted majority.

The Globe and Mail
& BC Rail

Those of us who follow the BC Rail trial have been pleasantly surprised lately by the extensive, multiple article, coverage of the
recent disclosures emanating from the Courthouse at Robson and Smyth and/or the Legislative Library in Victoria. However many of us have been dismayed by the almost instant closure of their comment threads attached to these articles. Since they have a link to report abuse, I used it to report their own closure of these comments and deletions of whole threads within hours (or less) of publication as abuse itself. An excerpt from my "abuse report" goes:
The comment I find offensive is your own comment below, that the comments are closed. Why is it that for the last few days since this case has been roused from its stupor that EVERY article about it has the comments closed and/or deleted (or made inaccessible) almost as soon as it is published online?

After only two or three days (no it wasn't hand delivered) I received this reply from websupport at the Globe and Mail:

RE: Abusive comment - B.C. Premier sticks to 'no-comment'‏

Our policy is to keep comments closed on certain articles. For example, Canadian law prohibits the publication -- whether by Globe journalists or commenters -- of evidence in crime cases, or of suggestions of guilt or innocence, when a case is still before the courts. We have also been forced to close comments on certain subjects where a small handful of our readers regularly hijack the discussion to put forth views that are vulgar, offensive, racist, or hateful. These include stories about the Middle East, terrorism and native Canadians.

So I guess that one can assume that it is a waste of time to even try to comment on issues that raise some folk's passions like "the Middle East, terrorism and native Canadians". However, I wonder what "evidence" they might be referring to in this case, I wasn't aware that a trial had begun about anything, just an ongoing obfuscation/delay process, and I'm one of the people paying attention. I also thought that anything said or introduced in open court (even when Wild Bill mumbles in an unintelligible manner) is PUBLIC information, unless covered by some kind of gag order. Also as far as suggesting guilt or innocence, I would assume that once criminal charges are laid, that in itself is at least a suggestion that someone is guilty of something - and of course there is also a presumption of innocence, until the actual court case comes to a resolution. Of course if your name is Gordon Campbell you probably prefer that nothing be mentioned about the Raid on the Ledge, the sale/lease/giveaway or the Railway built by W.A.C or anything, including the existence of, about people such as Pat Kinsella, Ken Dobell or Martyn Brown. Of course IANAL.

I must point out though that in spite of this little peeve (and I think I am still entitled to my own personal pique), the Globe and Mail and their competitor in the Center of the Universe, the Star have both given this incredibly important issue more AND better coverage than all the Canned Waste bird cage liners in British Columbia combined.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Les Leyne writes
for the Times-Colonist

So What?

In that (Can)waste of forest fibre, today's Victoria Times-Colonist, Les Leyne wrote a piece that defies logic and reason, and basically questions the relevance of the revelations that have been spewing forth from the un-redacted portions of the 8000 documents pried into the light of day by Justice Critic, Leonard Krog's, FOI request. BC Mary, over at Truth Central regarding BC Rail, charitably characterizes his scribblings as "paradoxical." He starts off with:
It's a good question to keep in mind. Every time you see a new revelation from the B.C. Rail scandal ask yourself: "So what?"
Well, I'm sure that that is what our esteemed CEO Premier would like everyone to say, and before they have to hustle over to that second job to raise funds to buy a ticket to watch the Zamboni prepare the ice for the Ice Hockey match between Belarus and Switzerland.
But what's it got to do with the case against the aides, who are charged over a separate deal, the aborted sale of the Roberts Bank rail line? At this point, not much.
I wonder if old Les ever entertained the notion that those ministerial aides might be fall guys, cut outs, designed to divert attention from people who might have actually been able to manipulate the sale, giveaway or lease of W.A.C's railroad - kinda like the early RCMP statement that the raid was all about the tentacles of "organized crime" that were entangling the entire province in their grasp. Of course I always assumed that by "organized crime" the RCMP spokesman was referring to the Campbell government - silly me.
Kinsella's involvement with the actual corporation, B.C. Rail, was already confirmed earlier by the New Democratic Party.
So the NDP "confirmed" Kinsella's involvement, hell, they probably hired him and sold off the railway themselves and invested the money in crooked bingo halls in Haney - right? In case Les is reading this, I will type
so he can follow along. Kinsella's involvement was "confirmed" by documents that it has taken over five years for the public (and the defense) to pry out of the purgatory of an alphabet soup of various flavours of privilege. Or put another way, delays that appear to be orchestrated by the government whose legal issues are administered by that guy who loves to go on TeeVee and complain about delays in the justice system - think of walls made of rocks and mortar.

Les gets on track (I know) temporarily when he explains:'s something that needs to be said: His $297,000 contract with B.C. Rail was a flat-out farce. And the explanation given for it is an even bigger farce.

Imagine a government-owned entity hiring the ranking government relations expert in B.C. in order to get advice on how to deal with the government.

On what planet does that scenario make any sense? Since when do Crown corporations need government relations advice?

But then he goes back off the rails in a effort to obfuscate explain just why this arrangement with Mr. Kinsella is/was a farce.
If nothing else, the contract and the justification explain why B.C. Rail was such a dead loss as a business enterprise. The management was so completely bereft of business smarts they had to hire outside help to tell them how to get along with their only shareholder.

This is as valid as the usual BC liaR party and CanWest unsubstantiated, but endlessly repeated assertions that everything bad that ever happened in BC was the fault of either Davy Barrett or Glen Clark. Show me the numbers Les! I must not be the only one getting tired of the old "unions bad" and those nice corporations aren't really a "special interest" at all but more in the nature of philantrophic organizations put here by Jesus to comfort the downtrodden.

As an un-privatized Crown Corporation is it too much to suspect that the management of BC Rail may not have had much choice about whether or not to hire the Premier's right-hand (and left-hand perhaps, being as he can serve multiple masters with no conflict of interest - apparently). I'm also sure that the head honchos of BC Hydro came up with the idea of giving a select group access to decades of research on the hydrological potential of the province's watersheds and then signing long term contracts to buy power at times of low demand at prices double or triple the price they could sell it for - even in Arizona. Well maybe there were some suggestions (orders?) from the office of the top level CEO of the whole province, do you think?

Les closes this text book example of pretzel logic with:
It leads to a paradoxical conclusion: The sale of B.C. Rail was a good deal, if only because it rescued the company from management that didn't even know how to deal with the government, let alone run a railway properly.

There's that word, paradoxical, I wonder if Les was aware of the irony - a funny choice of words after all he wrote above? If Gordo's buddy Stevie in Ottawa doesn't bail-out his boss who is on the verge of going bankrupt from debt incurred trying to own every media outlet in Canada, Les could be seeking employment with a reputable newspaper or other journalistic outlet before long, if such a thing should arise to replace the current PsuedoTory/BC liaR public relations firms. They might be looking for reporters, commentators or columnists with credibility (or at least the ability to apply logic to prose). Just sayin'

I need to repeat one part of the quote above:
The sale of B.C. Rail was a good deal
Maybe in his next column Mr. Leyne can explain to his readers just why this is so. Nobody else (except for the premier and his associates) could make this claim. Most people, even those paying attention don't know if it was a sale or a lease or ?, or if it is a lease what does it include and then for how long, sixty years? with a option for thirty more? or just a temporary 990 or 999 years?

Come on Les, you obviously know more than anybody else!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

3rd Party Ads
4 Free

If one didn't realize an election was approaching in the "Best Place on Earth," the sudden onslaught of feel good stories designed to reflect handsomely on the Campbell Cabal should be enough to make the non-comatose suspect as much. No wonder the BC liaRs think Bill 42, commonly referred to as the "Gag Law" was a good idea. When you have free third party advertising disguised as news, a taxpayer funded "Public Affairs Bureau" of hundreds and the ability to use tax dollars to create and place advertising extolling the "Bestest Place on Earth," who needs the help of third parties, even if Phillip Hochstein and his ilk are willing to spend bags of money to attack unions and the NDP?

Of course when in opposition the Gordo gang thought a similar
limit on "third party advertising" proposed by the NDP was an assault on free speech. In other words he was agin' it until he decided he was fer it. Poor old StoneWally, I'm surprised that he is even running again, one would think he would be tired of being the point man defending the Cabal for a measly public servant income - as a criminal defense lawyer his income could be more (especially with elite clients like Gordon Campbell)and his loyalties (as AG he is supposed to represent us) would be clear. According to the Globe and Mail:

The Attorney-General was responsible last year for introducing the new law, which came into effect last month. Groups other than political parties face spending limits on any advertising message that promotes or opposes a political party or candidate - or even "an issue with which a registered political party or candidate is associated."

Mr. Oppal said at the time the law was needed to prevent well-financed third parties from hijacking the electoral process. The big spenders in past election campaigns have been business groups attacking the New Democratic Party and trade unions attacking the Liberals.

Because the law is being challenged in the B.C. Supreme Court, Mr. Oppal won't comment now on whether the spending limits are having the impact he had hoped.
(bolding - kc)

Last night on Global BC at Six, Deb's Insight piece misleadingly seemed to imply that the Gord and the execs of the Health Authorities who get bonuses for reducing services had solved waiting times and that even non-essential surgeries were being performed on an almost drop-in basis. What was left out of her glowing happy story was more fascinating, but of course totally unsurprising. Since in my part of paradise all I see on the ground is continuing reductions in services and less accessibility I had to slap myself to make sure I wasn't watching some TeeVee drama. So I tried to find her piece on the Glow Ball website, but with no success - I wanted to double check some of the figures she quoted and determine just what they meant.

I did find and article in the Province (Canned Waste again) from a few days ago that apparently was kind of, sort of, the basis for her promo spot. The first thing that I found interesting was that the article itself (Patients to need less patience) was in the TRAVEL section of the esteemed bird cage liner. Even less surprising was that the changes referred to were implemented in January, too far in advance of the election to be publicized at the time, I guess.

Over the course of five days in January, a series of small changes -- which promise to have big implications for patient waiting times and patient safety -- were quietly made in a few of Vancouver's biggest health care facilities.

The changes are a positive step, and hopefully will be implemented in more facilities in our health system. But they are far from widespread and far from being the result of any government policy or even very much the execs of the Health Authorities. They came from mostly the input of the front line health care workers who brainstormed in Toyota inspired group settings to improve the delivery of health care.

Changes in waiting times and safety have been implemented in a few of the biggest health care facilities in Vancouver.


So far, the Provincial Health Services Authority -- which includes BC Women's and Children's hospitals, the BC Cancer Agency and the BC Centre for Disease Control -- has completed 45 Toyota-inspired projects.

All levels of staff have been included, from front-desk clerks to doctors to vice-presidents to the CEO. Groups of eight or 10 people are thrown into a room together, presented with the details of the problem, instructed on how to map it out, and then they brainstorm solutions, implementing one of them by week's end.

Several other B.C. health authorities, including Vancouver Coastal and Providence, have also been using Toyota-based methods to tighten up workflow and eliminate waste. The philosophy is commonly referred to as "lean management," and was first applied in earnest to the health care system at the beginning of the decade.

As an inhabitant on the Vast Hurtland, I can't resist paraphrasing a John Prine song:

"There's a place down by the coast where all the money goes"

I repeat, I think this approach and its results are a good thing and hope it is just a start. But it is somewhat disingenous for anyone to credit the Campbell government with any progress achieved. This could as easily be portrayed as a success achieved by those responsible for the front line delivery of health care, IN SPITE of government policies that seem designed to make the broken and expensive American private/for profit model seem desirable.

Unlike say the BC Rail Trial, or various investigations of insider deals involving cabinet ministers, no story likely to make BC residents feel good about Gordo fails to rise to the level of being newsworthy (as decided by CanWest/Global deciders of what's important like Lucinda Chodan or Sun Managing Editor Kirk LaPointe). Of course when reporting on an issue that may cast the current regime in a less than heroic light mention must always be made that the nasty NDP are either trying to "exploit" the issue or even more commonly did it themselves or worse when they had the chance.

I can't help but recommend "Gullible Gord," Rafe Mair's most recent contribution to the Mild One Online. He concisely lists plenty of reasons to hope that Gordo is free to spend all the time he wants in Maui, after May 12. I especially enjoyed the comment by doggone2 in which he relates a moose hunting story.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Photo Ops
'R'  Us 2.0

(In)Justice Ministers of
the Two BeeCees

StoneWally took some time out from endlessly repeating "It's before the courts" to meet in Victoria, behind his stonewall with an Attorney General who MAY represent an even more corrupt Justice System than we have to suffer in British Columbia. The nine thousand dead in the last couple of years in the ongoing drug wars in Mexico show where a disregard for the rule of law ultimately leads. According to the CBC:

The attorneys general of B.C. and the Mexican state of Baja California met in Victoria on Monday and pledged that the two governments would work together to deal with both regions' problems with the drug trade.

A statement of intent signed between the two governments committed both to "share information about criminal activities that transcend international borders."


NDP critic Mike Farnworth, however, dismissed the signing ceremony.

"It's a very nice photo-op," he said. "And I'm sure of the good intentions."

Farnworth said the ceremony will do nothing to put more police on the streets or prosecutors in the courts in B.C.

Meanwhile Back in Delta South

Wally recently announced he was "parachuting" from the Vancouver-Fraser View riding he narrowly won last time to the riding where he actually lives, but where he may be even less popular. Even a column published by the Campbell government's own PR Firm Canned Waste is less than sanguine about Wally's chances. According to their (the Asper Nation/Ipsos) polls released yesterday Gordo might have to be caught in bed with a dead girl or a live tree to lose on May 12. Of course Keith Baldrey, Vaughn Palmer and the rest will carry as much water as necessary to help bring that about - though with their possible impending unemployment it's difficult to understand why. In spite of the pro-Campbell mandate that apparently prevails in Asperville, Brian Lewis in the Province points out:

Oppal may take the brunt of Delta's anger

It's a good thing that B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal selected a site like the Coast Tsawwassen Inn for last week's announcement that he's running as the governing Liberals' candidate in Delta South for the May 12 election.

After all, a hotel is most appropriate when you're carrying a lot of baggage.

The bags Oppal now carries hold a great deal of bitterness from many of this riding's residents over a series of decisions that the Gordon Campbell Liberals have made during the past few years.

In short, it's widely and justifiably believed that this municipality has been used as a doormat by a callous B.C. cabinet that has pushed through several major projects with little regard for local impacts.

Not only did Wally appear in court against the citizens of Delta seeking justice from the Campbell Cabal (as he did against the citizens of Kitimat), which he justifies due to his position as AG, but when not actively fighting his neighbors in court he "displayed an equally deafening silence on all critical Delta issues."

The Delta Optimist, another Canned Waste of paper, quotes independent candidate, Vicki Huntington (who refused requests to run for the BC liaR party) as saying:

"Where was Wally when the hospital was being downgraded? Where was Wally when his party took away Delta's legal right to make zoning decisions on agricultural land? Where was Wally when port expansion plans threatened to pollute his community and destroy our environment?"

As NDP candidate Dileep Athaide points out:
"He mentions he's not parachuting in because he lives here, but frankly no one would know he lived here because he's been so removed from any of our issues here in Delta South. This as being a member of the inner cabinet and of a government that's imposed so many harsh policies on us who live here,"

With such lack of support or cheerleading from the BC liaR PR firm, otherwise known as Canwest/Global, one might expect our King of Crimefighting to at least have the support of the ethnic community, who often take pride when one of their own achieve high level success. But, if the article by R. Paul Dhillon, in the self-proclaimed Leading Indo-Canadian Newspaper - The Link, SAY GOODBYE TARU! is any indication, that may be a stretch as well.

Oppal Most Likely Headed For Defeat In South Delta

BC Attorney General Wally (Wallace Taru) Oppal made it official this week that he will be running from the Liberal unfriendly riding of Delta South. It looks like either Oppal is so naïve that he thinks he is unbeatable even in a riding where there is open voter revolt against his party. Or Premier Gordon Campbell and his cronies are sending Oppal with a one-way ticket to political purgatory and permanent retirement by convincing him that he will surely win easily from Delta than Vancouver-Fraserview!


Perhaps it was the LINK’s earlier story where we posed the question in our headline: “Will Loud Mouth Wally Go Down To Defeat The Way Turncoat Dosanjh Almost Did?” that made him look potentially to Delta.

We reported that Oppal was again shooting off his mouth, saying that he isn’t afraid of his new NDP opponent Gabriel Yiu, a popular Chinese media personality who he would have faced at the polls on May 12.

“Let’s put it this way: John Nuraney beat him the last time,” Oppal said of Yiu. “

We wrote in response that “one is not sure if that is an insult to Yiu or Nuraney or both! But Oppal better watch out as the Chinese community is likely to come out in large numbers and send him off packing to retirement!”

Oppal will now run for re-election in Delta South, a riding that is currently held by Val Roddick, who is retiring because she knows that she can’t win.

Well, all we can do is wait for May 12th, and work as hard as we can in the meantime to ensure that British Columbians understand what is at stake this time. Expect no help from the CanWest/Global bunch, but what else is new. I truly think that the truth, or a public awareness of the truth, of what is really going on and what we are losing thanks to the Campbell agenda, is all that would be necessary to send Campbell and his accomplices packing. If that is packing a toothbrush for gaol, so much the better.

Rafe figures out Gordo & Gang

In the Tyee, Rafe Mair with Spare Us from Gullible Gord shows even he gets the Campbell Cabal.

I've finally figured it out. The Campbell government consists of incompetent, blundering fools with frozen smiles and expensive suits.

It's worse, really, because that incompetence is combined with thoughtlessness, arrogance and hubris -- a fatal mix

Rafe goes on to list some of the many ways this government has displayed their "thoughtlessness, arrogance and hubris," around Delta and elsewhere. Of course once started, it is difficult to end a list such as this, it is mind boggling how many scams they can try (so far successfully) to run at once. I think the sheer number of ways they are trying to sell off the province and enrich themselves isn't just the result of greed, but a strategy to overwhelm anyone trying to keep track and/or hold them accountable. Campbell's lap dog at the Tyee, commenter Luke Skywalker hasn't even appeared on the thread yet, much less dominated it as is his usual style. Has he lost his job with the Public Affairs Bureau, or has he be assigned other "dirty tricks" with an election in the wind?

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

In Quotes -
Special StoneWally Edition

What Wally wants to give Gordo
- Wally's Dream -

My confidential and undercover informant who faithfully keeps me up to date with memorable quotes collected by the NDP Caucus hopefully realizes that I always appreciate receiving them, whether I publish them here or not. However the batch that arrived this morning, focused on old StoneWally himself is just too good to not share with my readers who may not either go to the NDP Caucus website or be on their mailing list. Note that the quotes from StoneWally himself here are ONLY from this last week in response to the foo-foo-ra regarding Patrick Kinsellas payment of $500 dollars per hour, $6000 per month for little more than being a "back room Li(ar)beral (nice work if you can get it, and assuming back rooms don't make you claustrophobic)!

If we were to try to include EVERY time that StoneWally has used the "before the courts" tape loop to obstruct the public's right to know anything about the theft of BC Rail from the people of BC, we might find the limits of cyberspace and not have enough space on all the servers and hard drives in the universe! It's hard to not imagine StoneWally even says "IT'S BEFORE THE COURTS" in his sleep............

With apologies to Paul Simon, there must be 50 ways to say “The Campbell government won’t come clean about the privatization of B.C. Rail.” This week, Attorney General (Stone)Wally Oppal lived up to his nickname by coming up with a dozen or so more ways of breaking Gordon Campbell’s promise to be the most open and accountable government ever.

Just slip out the back, Jack…
"The member well knows that the issue relating to B.C. Rail is before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and we will not comment on the matter."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 10, 2009

… Make a new plan, Stan…
"The fact that the documents are now available is not relevant. The fact is that they have been in evidence."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 10, 2009

…Don’t need to be coy, Roy…"The fact is that all of this matter is related to what's before the Supreme Court. The subject of the B.C. Rail litigation is before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and I'm not going to comment on it."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 10, 2009

… Hop on the bus, Gus …"I'll repeat my answer. The issues relating to B.C. Rail are very much before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and we're not going to comment on that."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 10, 2009

…Don’t need to discuss much…"Obviously, this matter arises out of those issues that are now before the Supreme Court in the B.C. Rail dispute. In the circumstances, I'm not going to comment on it."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 11, 2009

…Just drop off the key, Lee…"Right now there's a trial proceeding in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and in the circumstances, it would be improper for anyone in this House to comment on any matter that arises either directly or indirectly from that trial."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 11, 2009

…And get yourself free…"My answer is the same. The question is the same."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 11, 2009

...Don't say a word, Ward...
"Well, that was the same question, except with a lot more bombast. So my answer is the same. I'm not going to comment on it."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 11, 2009

...Keep your mouth shut, Mutt...
"This question and the previous questions all arise out of the same set of circumstances, the same event that is now being tried in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and I will not comment on that."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 11, 2009

...Keep on denyin', Brian...
"The answer is the same. It's before the court. I will not answer it."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 11, 2009

...Say it ain't so, Joe...
"I have no idea if any of those facts alleged are accurate or not, and I'm not going to comment on them."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 12, 2009

...Keep your lips zipped, Chip...
"Perhaps the member doesn't know, but the matter of B.C. Rail is before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and I will not make any comment on it."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 12, 2009

...Pretend that you're thick, Mick...
"The fact that something is of public record does not mean that it can be the subject of comment. Every piece of evidence given in a courtroom is a matter of public record. Every document that's ever filed in a courtroom is a matter of public record. That doesn't mean that we need to comment on it."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 12, 2009

...Just keep playing dumb, chum ...
"Yesterday it's fairly clear that the opposition drew a link between the B.C. Rail trial and Mr. Kinsella, and I'm not going to answer the question."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 12, 2009

...Keep your head in the sand, Dan...
"No I'm not going to find out [if the $300,000 payment to Patrick Kinsella was before the courts]. It's not my job to find out. That's something that you people [in the media] should do."
- Attorney General Wally Oppal (Hansard), March 12, 2009

(Except B.C. wants the truth, Ruth)

"I think I've already answered those questions."**
- Premier Gordon Campbell (on, March 11, 2009

** Campbell has only answered questions in the Legislature on one day of the current session - Feb. 25 - and has never answered a single question about the B.C. Rail privatization in question period since the 2005 election.= = =

The issue has not slipped off the bus, Gus
"That's why it's so critical for Justice Elizabeth Bennett to keep driving the parties toward a full and open trial. Her decision to release the 8,000 pages was a bold and welcome move forward.
"Now British Columbians deserve a trial -- and the whole truth."
- Michael Smyth (the Province), March 10, 2009

Being coy, Roy, about the privatization won't work
"'Why are we paying this guy?' asked a 2004 email sent during an internal audit to Kevin Mahoney, who was then a B.C. Rail vice-president, according to the Sun. 'The response is that Kinsella is a 'backroom Liberal.'"
- Andrew McLeod (the Tyee), March 11, 2009

StoneWally's first responsibility is to make sure Premier Campbell gets [him]self free
"Premier Gordon Campbell was sitting right there in the house as [New Democrat MLA John] Horgan and his colleagues pitched their questions.
"He studied his briefing materials and chatted to adjacent ministers. At times he appeared to be amused, at other stony silent. The one thing he didn't do was get to his feet and answer.
"Instead, he deferred to Attorney-General Wally Oppal, who gave variations on the answer that earned him the nickname Stonewally. 'Before the courts, therefore no comment.'"
- Vaughn Palmer (Vancouver Sun), March 12, 2009

                        Quotes collected by BCNDPCaucus.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mary, Get Well!     
Welcome Laila!

...Perusing 8000 Documents...

Get Better Mary

BC Mary felt the need to be hospitalized last night or this morning, nothing as terrible as a mean old heart attack or stroke, but a flare up of her recurring problems with atrial fillibration. Well maybe with Global, CBC, the Globe and Mail and even some of the CanWest excuses for newspapers actually mentioning the BC Rail affair/trial this week, this is a good chance for our heroine, and the "journalist" most dependably on top of this issue (sorry Bill T.
and Sean H.), to get a bit of rest from the stress of daily trying to dig up what those with far more resources try to conceal!

BC Mary, everyone who loves British Columbia is rooting, praying and cheering for you to regain your strength and health as soon as possible! Hopefully you will be in great shape to celebrate the day that Campbell and his cabal get to do the perp walk, or at least be forced to yield their stranglehold on the government and assets of British Columbia.

Laila Yuile - citizen/mom

I'm Laila Yuile

Laila Yuile pays attention to many issues in her blog, especially those that impinge on a parent living in Surrey. However, a parent living in Surrey is a citizen of British Columbia, just as is a grumpy old Koot living in the sticks and the BC Rail theft and trial is personal to all citizens of the "Best Place on Earth!" Her blog has joined my short list of those that care about the raids and I hope others will take the time to check out her views from time to time as I will even more in the future.

Two recent posts at her place dealing with Basi, Virk, Basi etc. are:

Reality is easy. It’s deception that’s the hard work.” ~ Lauryn Hill - about the 8000 documents relating to the BC Rail Sale (giveaway) recently made public thanks to Leonard Krog

BC Mary of the ” The Legislature Raids” offers this view for British Columbians

Thanks to Laila I discovered a page at the NDP Caucus where the public can access all 8000 pages of the documents forced into the light. They also have provided links to what appear to be particularly significant parts, saving lots of time for those who may have other things to do with their life than pore through 8000 documents.

B.C. Rail Corruption Trial - Key Documents
Front Page | English
In late February, the New Democrat Official Opposition were granted access to 15 binders of material relating to the B.C. Rail corruption trial.

In the initial analysis, some key documents were uncovered.

Yvette Wells' notebooks show that the B.C. Liberals were keeping bidders 'engaged' while they provided sensitive information to CN and finalized negotiations. That process is further revealed by this document.

A January, 2003 document details that CN was at a significant advantage over the other bidders, months before the deal was finalized.

A set of documents show how then-Finance Minister Gary Collins' office was doing partisan fund-raising out of the taxpayer-funded legislative offices.

An email from a B.C. Rail executive exhorting the Campbell government to not foul up the transfer of the railroad.

A collection of documents detailing the Campbell government's advertising and communications strategies going back to 2002.

Documents detailing how Brian Kieran worked closely with the Premier's Office to arrange meetings between Gordon Campbell and Pat Broe of Broe Companies Ltd, the parent company of OmniTRAX.

The Charles River fairness evaluation , which the Liberals used to defend the transaction, was sent to the key people involved in brokering the deal prior to release.

The complete set of documents are here .

Ross of Pacific Gazette mentioned in a comment at Mary's that he will try to post relevant info at his place while Mary is resting, and I will also try to be more active than lately, if I can. Also the comment board at Mary's will be moderated in her absence, just likely not as promptly as usual. However, as long as we think the comment doesn't breach Mary's standards of "on topic" and is not offensive, it will most likely show up. I know Mary will enjoy catching up on any conversation that happens at her place while she is focusing on getting back into fighting trim.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

MSM behaves like....

There I was watching Tony Parsons on Glow Ball BC at six, hoping to hear about the latest gang violence in the Lower Mainland and dying of curiousity wondering whether or not Paris and Britney were wearing underwear today. Then Tony casually mentioned that the BC liaRs were facing potential problems related to the sale of BC Rail. Then the usually news suppressing or ignoring GlobalTV showed a number of clips from Question Period featuring three different NDP MLAs trying to get Gordo or anyone to explain why his buddy Patrick Kinsella had been apparently awarded untendered contracts exceeding $300,000 so his LOBBYING firm, Progressive could help grease the skids to remove BC Rail from public ownership.

Not surprisingly Wally Oppal reached for the switch to activate the tape loop that says "so sorry, but it's before the courts."

Then this morning, listening to the CBC radio news out of Vancouver I was surprised to learn that the CBC too had actually heard of the BC Rail trial and thought the exchange in Question Period yesterday was worth sharing with their listeners.

What's next? An open and transparent BC liaR government, being as co-operative as possible to facilitate the BC Rail, as a clip on Global showed Gordo the Pirate stating after being re-elected with a much reduced majority in 2005?

Then Michael Smyth writes in the Province that: the defence wants all cellphone and e-mail records pertaining to the B.C. Rail deal from 17 Liberal backbenchers, mainly from rail-dependent northern ridings. The government, as usual, is fighting to keep the documents secret.

It's important to note that both the defence and government have a stake in delaying the case with these kind of procedural wrangles.

The longer this thing drags on, the higher the chance the case will never be heard.

That's why it's so critical for Justice Elizabeth Bennett to keep driving the parties toward a full and open trial. Her decision to release the 8,000 pages was a bold and welcome move forward.

Now British Columbians deserve a trial

         — and the whole truth

Of course today is March 11, isn't this the day Lenny Asper has to come up with 11 Billion? Maybe Tony, Michael and the rest of the previously muzzled crowd getting paychecks from Lenny Corp are choosing to exhibit a bit of spine before joining the ranks of the unemployed. Or perhaps this is part of a last ditch strategy from headquarters, an attempt to save the media empire by actually being news organizations rather than PR firms - in other words writing for a larger audience than just the Harper and Campbell cabals.

I was going to post about this development last night right after hearing the words "BC Rail" amazingly pass Tony Parsons lips, but I must admit I was in too much of an apoplectic state of shock. I also was going to post the exchange from Hansard, but it's hard to get up earlier than BC Mary, so to read the exchange (heavy on questions, light on answers) go vist The Legislature Raids and Patrick Kinsella's $300,000. to smooth the way for the sell-off of BC Rail

Michael Smyth's article "Sale of B.C. Rail a tale that needs to be told:History of Liberals' manouevres should come out in court" can be found here.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Plus ça change
(plus c'est la même chose)

Wally and his Stonewall

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Last week Justice Bennett responded to a FOI request by NDP Justice Critic Leonard Krog by releasing 15 out of 17 folders of documents relating to the questionable sale/give away/lease of BC Rail by the man who campaigned on a promise to not sell/give away BC Rail. You are forgiven if this information had escaped your notice. Other than early morning CBC Radio and the Blogosphere (especially BC Mary and Bill Tieleman)it is easy to not hear anything about this development in the seemingly permanent pre-trial state of the BC Rail/Basi-Virk Case.

As far as I can tell the Global/Canwest empire has only acknowledged the event with the embarrassing column in the Times-Colonist by Les Leyne - B.C. Rail case buried in political trivia. According to the lean, or lacking, thinking, investigative skills and reasoning of Mr. Leyne the whole exercise is:
........has turned into a farce.

It's trivia. Politically titillating, yes. Entertaining, certainly. But relative to the case itself, it's just trivia on a grand scale.

I guess when you drink enough Kool-Aid minor things like lying, interfering in fair bidding processes and then even interfering in the follow-up fairness report are just business as usual. Well for the Campbell Crime Family it is business as usual, but that doesn't make it trivial or ACCEPTABLE.

Bill Tieleman sees things somewhat differently in his posting from this week CN, others knew "actual value of bids":

Canadian Pacific Railway alleged that the "actual value of the bids" in the $1-billion privatization of B.C. Rail in 2003 were known by winning bidder Canadian National and others before a decision was made by the B.C. government, according to newly released confidential government documents.

The explosive allegation was made in a letter to Ken Dobell, Premier Gordon Campbell's then-Deputy Minister, on Nov. 17, 2003 - just eight days before the sale of B.C. Rail to CN was announced


The documents show that both CP Rail and Burlington Northern Santa Fe - which was supporting the bid of OmniTRAX - sent letters to the B.C. government in November 2003 bitterly denouncing the leak of confidential B.C. Rail information to Canadian National, the eventual winning bidder.

Of course, thanks to the digging by RossK at the Pacific Gazette, we learn that CEO David McLean (neighbor and buddy of Capo Campbell) and CN have donated $127,160.00. I'm not sure if this includes the $8,000 donated in October, 2008 by David McLean, just in time for the by-elections lost by the Campbell Crime Family. Much of this information is easy to access in Ross' posting the Railgate 8000:Was The Fix In From The Beginning?

Another (related) Topic

According to a media expert speaking to the CBC - B.C.'s local news coverage threatened

The global economic crisis could soon reduce the number of local news outlets serving British Columbians, according to an expert on Canada's media.

With media giant Canwest Global on the edge of bankruptcy, CTVglobemedia cutting jobs, and CBC facing a critical budget shortfall, it could soon be harder to get local news, according to Fred Fletcher, a visiting professor at the UBC School of Journalism and one of Canada's leading researchers on the national media industry

It is difficult for this observer to imagine the citizens of BC being more poorly served in relation to local news and issues than they currently are by the Global/Canwest monopoly. It would be fitting if the BC liaR Party (not the government) bailed out the Canwest Liberal PR Firm. I would suspect that Gordon Campbell and his cabal would miss the Canwest cheerleaders and news hiders more than anyone else. Maybe Les Leyne's article in the Times-Colonist marginalizing and minimizing the public disclosure of Liberal wrongdoing is more of an audition to join the Official Public Relations department than any effort at honesty or journalism. Of course perhaps he is trying to join Mr. Mason and Mr. Spector as winners of the Lead Gyro - though he may be unemployed by the next presentation of the Gyros.

The Aspers and Canwest in general never seem willing to consider that the main reason they are having such financial woes are a combination of going too far into debt, trying to monopolize media in Canada (and BC in particular), and producing a product that one can only generously characterize as CRAP! I must admit that the previous sentence kind of gives crap a bad name.

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