One of the crime scenes

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Brand New Year
Same Old, Same Old..

The second pre-trial hearing in the case of HMTQ v. Basi etal. transpired yesterday, kind of. As usual with 7 or 8 pages of issues to deal with the judge, lawyers for both sides and a skiff (a very light dusting) of media/public assembled for a few minutes to adjourn again, due to disclosure problems and/or requests to bar the admission of documents or even the defense lawyers. Sometimes it seems like it would be appropriate to move the proceedings to that lovely facility on the Island of Cuba, where Justice is also dispensed with a style worthy of Franz Kafka. Maybe I will write a boiler plate version to publish on court day, or the day after, something like.

Special Prosecutor (or his stand in) William Berardino and lawyers for Basi, Basi and Virk met (name the date) today for (choose a number) minutes before choose one.
1. The Special Prosecutor submitted an application to have the defense barred from the proceedings.

2. The defense lawyers asked for the (pick a number greater than 12)th time to have documents turned over.

Then Justice Bennett told everyone they would meet again next week and that she would be extremely concerned, maybe even upset(might hold her breath for two minutes?) if somebody didn't comply with one of her requests someday before the Olympics.

Pardon Me, there was something NEW!

The esteemed floor covering preferred by all the most fashionable parakeets, The Vancouver Sun, actually mentioned that this non-hearing kinda took place. Well, in MLA fears corruption trial will be delayed as Victoria resists disclosure Neal Hall did mention that the parties to the case met briefly.

The matter came up in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver briefly Wednesday to deal with the defence trying to gain access to 17 provincial cabinet documents, which the government does not want to disclose, claiming solicitor-client privilege.

Most of the article was about Leonard Krog's observations concerning the delays with this trial and a suggestion that the government itself (my goodness, gracious, do we actually have an opposition this year?) was responsible for the delays. Well, all I can say is Land Sakes Betsy Alive. Mr. Krog, who happens to be the Justice Critic across the House said: (bolding mine)

.....that Premier Gordon Campbell hasn't lived up to his promise to ensure openness and transparency in the criminal case involving senior political aides.

"The premier simply is not walking the talk,"...... "The public has the right to know."

As usual Robin Matthews, who was there, manages to convey the gist of the matter best. Once again the bolding is mine, because I think this part (the bolded part) really gets to the gist of the matter.

Most of the press had been grape-vined, so only three people were in the gallery. Anyhow, the major press appears to be cooperating with the Gordon Campbell government and pretending there's nothing of interest in the most important "trial" in B.C. in the last many years. The major press never asks key questions, and it appears to do what it can to cover them up. Which, in itself, raises all kinds of questions.

Before shutting down in December, slight notice was paid to the attempt by the lawyer for the B.C. government to deny the Defence evidence. That's a pretty picture: the Gordon Campbell government trying to prevent justice being done. Solicitor/client privilege was invoked. Think of it. Acting in the name of the people of B.C., cabinet ministers and top civil servants claim that what they did is a secret between them and their lawyers. Pardon?

Misplaced Concern for Privacy:

The Campbell excuse for government seems to believe that privacy is very important when it comes to what they do in our name - thus the lack of co-operation with defense requests for documents and other evidence relevant to this case. They also put on a big show of their regard for OUR privacy as they APPEAR to put our privacy above even the worthy goals of medical research. As Pamela Fayerman pointed out in yesterday's Vancouver Sun:

Numerous B.C. health studies are not proceeding, languishing on hold or facing long delays because privacy legislation prevents researchers from actively recruiting participants.

A sample of taxpayer-funded studies actually or potentially affected by the legislation include ones on Parkinson's disease, back injuries, prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma, and the quality of life and health-care needs of childhood cancer survivors.

Scientists say the problem is a 2003 amendment to the B.C. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act prohibiting government from releasing information to scientists for the purpose of contacting individuals about participating in research.

It is difficult to believe that this is the SAME government who decided there was no problem with outsourcing our Medical Billing and Records to Accenture (phoenix like creature risen from the spore of disgraced Andersen Accounting of Enron fame)in the United States, where thanks to the Patriot Act, no assurance of privacy or confidentiality exists. When will the first BC resident be denied entry due to "medical" reasons, or more rationally, when WAS the first, and how often does it happen. If you think this is unreasonable, how would you like to purchase the new bridge heading out of Golden from me? I'm also trying to sell the big Orange Bridge across the West Arm of Kootenay Lake - buy 'em both for a super package price.


Blogger BC Mary said...


What a great piece of dot-connecting.

When you make a comparison between Gordon Campbell's wish for government secrecy on the one hand ...

and the cavalier way in which the Campbell government sold our medical records in the marketplace on the other hand ...

it illustrates the difference between them 'n' us.

For them: Secrecy is a good thing. It's important.

For us: Secrecy/confidentiality with regard to personal medical records is of no concern.

One is important. One isn't.

And all that stuff (BCRail, BCHydro, BCMedical Records etc) was done at a time when the Socred/Liberals felt virtually no restraint, they had the Legislature to themselves, facing a 2-member Opposition.

That mad, mad, mad time was when the BCRail deal went down too, under an agreement which nobody has been allowed to see.

Thanks for the reminder.


Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 7:07:00 PM PST  

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