From one of the rare actual newspapers in British Columbia, Opionion250 from Prince George, a city espcially affected by the BC Rail treachery.
B.C. Rail Trial Starts Today
Monday, May 17, 2010 05:28 AM
Prince George, B.C.- Today, the trial some thought would never happen, will officially get underway.
It was December 28th of 2003 when police raided the B.C. Provincial legislature then later charged former B.C. Liberal government aides David Basi and Bob Virk with breach of trust and fraud. The two are alleged to have provided confidential government information to lobbyists representing a losing bidder in the $1 billion sale of B.C. Rail. A third person, Aneal Basi is charged with money laundering.
The Crown expects to call between 7 and 10 main witnesses and predicts the case will take 8 to 10 weeks in court.
The Defence has not indicated how long it expects the trial to take.
May 17, 2010 and finally after more than six years since the unprecedented Raid on the Ledge, the long awaited Basi-Virk-Basi trial or the BC Rail Trial is actually (really?) going to commence. As I was waking up this morning to the 5:30am CBC Radio news I was shocked to hear the names of the defendants in the trial that is SUPPOSED to start this morning. Even so-called Justice Critic Leonard "the Dog" Krog got in his quota of weasely lawyerly statements about "allegations, just enough to fool some folks into believing he actually cares and is "on the case."
Now the question is twofold.
1. Will the trial actually begin today? This isn't the first time this political football of a potential circus has been scheduled to begin, though perhaps it is the first time we have made it to the scheduled start date without a postponement or re-scheduling, or new judge appointment, or Supreme Court of Canada appeal against the interests of the BC public.
2. The other question is whether or not the proMedia (as RossK of Pacific Gazetteer calls them, generously) will mention anything, anything at all, about what transpires in the Ericson palace by Robson Square. Currently three stenographer drones from the former Assperson Empire of Untruthiness, with a drive to volunteer for the Public Affairs Bureau and a colleague from the home of Bill "not so" Good, CTV are doing their best to deny accreditation to any "journalists" (sic) that refuse to take the oath of loyalty to the PABlum Brigade. According to repeated messages from the likes of Lucious Lucinda Chodan (of the Vickytown Times-Colonist) and Kwirkie LaPointed One of the Vancouver Stun, rarely do happenings regarding the trial into the one billion dollar theft of BC Rail rise to the level of news.
I think ole Kwirk must have some fantasy that he is the illegitimate spawn of an un-natural union between Clint Eastwood and Ernest Hemingway. His reponses to BC Mary's sincere inquiries about their proposed coverage of this landmark trial amounted to FIVE WORDS, over multiple messages, and these five words selected only from a two word vocabulary (Yes or No). Was he attempting to intimidate or mock Mary with his manly terseness, or just indulging in childish fantasies to make up for failing at actual journalism. We can only speculate.
The View from the Accreditation Panel!
Meanwhile Judge #3 on the Panel serves up a softball dealing with the importance of the proposed witnesses to be called by Wild Bill the compromised "oh so" Special Prosecutor. Good Ole Keith (not the one with nuts in his cheek) mentions that last month in open court (WITH JURY PRESENT) the names of 44 potential witnesses was read out in It's a who's who in BC, Politicians, rail execs, backroom boys !
The Crown's witness list in the Basi-Virk trial reads like a who's who of B.C. politicians, top government officials and railway executives.
The list of 44 names, read out to prospective jurors by the prosecution in April, is headlined by two former cabinet ministers -- then-finance minister Gary Collins and former transportation minister Judith Reid.
Keith doesn't mention that only because he and his club of Accreditation Approved "journalists" (sic) are so useless at their job, the public only knows the names of less than half of the witness list for the prosecution, and this only by dogged research by many bloggers, especially Ross over at the Gazetteer in last month's RailGate's New Top 40!
Again, we publish these names here based on the understanding that they were read out, in open court, with the jury present (ie. we are assuming that they are not subject to Mdme. Justice MacKenzie's previous pre-trial publication ban).
Campbell Administration Apparatchiks
Kenneth 'The Hatman' Dobell
Former WestCoast FedLib Rainmaker
Mark 'ChristyWho?' Marissen
Former Campbell Government Ministers
Gary 'HarmonyIs(nolonger)MyName' Collins
ClaudeMongeau (CN's current Big Boss not named David)
Rob Ritchie (CP's Former Big Boss who cried wolf)
Gary Rennick (OmniTrax' former Big Boss who did not cry wolf, at least not initially)
John McLernon (BC Rail's current Chairman and the former Chair of the 'Evaluation Committee' during the BC Rail Restructuring*)
Kevin Mahoney (BC Rail's current CEO and a former 'Staff Advisor' during the BC Rail Restructuring*)
Agents of OmniTrax who some consider to be 'Free Men From Scotland'
Brian 'EnamelMan' Keiran
Eric 'SpideySense' Bornman
And then of course there is the guy from Charles River Associates, who guarantee a review that will both whitewash and greenwash the most egregious breaches of the public trust (and fire the involved "investigators" - for plausible deniability after the deed is done.), who has already testified from Halifax. I wonder if he would be available for an interview, after all, we do have an agent and "Member of the Ilk" on the ground in that seaport on the other side of Canada.
Ya'll Come, Ya'll heah?
Anyone with a concern for democracy and justice that can find the time to attend this trial everyday, or just one day, is encouraged to do so. It seems with the PABlum Brigade and associated "proMedia" complicity, public attention, attendance and perhaps even taking some notes, is the only way to assure the people of BC know what happened to that wonderful little railroad that once upon a time "could" and "did!"
If you can find downtown Vancouver, use map above to locate the courthouse. You should be able to recognize the striking architecture or hear the pleasant hiss of the waterfall that cascades down the exterior of the building. The courthouse itself is so much more beautiful than the things that go on there. Perhaps we, the people of BC should aspire to hold our justice system accountable to live up to the ideals the building attempts to convey.