The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

July 20, 2009

BC Liberals & the RCMP


If the BC Liberals have had nothing to hide then why would have they ordered the emails to be destroyed? they knew the matter was before the courts too.
“VANCOUVER — The trial judge in the political corruption case of two former B.C. government aides has ordered the disclosure to the defence of Premier Gordon Campbell’s e-mails. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett granted the defence application to obtain the e-mails and other communications of the premier, key staff members — including the premier’s chief of staff — and a number of cabinet members at the time of the controversial sale of BC Rail in 2004. The judge found the documents related to BC Rail are likely relevant. Two former government aides, Dave Basi and Bob Virk, are accused of corruption, fraud and breach of trust for allegedly leaking confidential information about the BC Rail bidding process, including cabinet confidences, in exchange for cash and other benefits, such as a trip to Denver to see a football game, paid for by OmniTrax. Defence lawyer Michael Bolton said outside court Monday he was extremely pleased with Bennett’s ruling, adding it was one of the most important so far. He said the documents being sought go to the heart of the defence’s case, which is that the former political aides were only following the orders of their political masters — cabinet ministers responsible for the $1-billion privatization sale of BC Rail’s freight division to CN Rail.  A court order was issued by the judge, forcing the government to produce the documents. Whether the documents exist is still in question. The government initially said the material didn’t exist because backup tapes containing e-mails are only kept for 13 months.”
“The RCMP have launched a preliminary probe into missing e-mails in the B.C. Rail corruption case to determine if a more involved criminal investigation is necessary.  “We wouldn’t go ahead and launch a full-fledged criminal investigation until there was evidence there are violations of the federal Criminal Code or provincial statutes,” RCMP spokesman Sgt. Tim Shields said Saturday. “At first blush   . . . the destruction of internal e-mails does not appear to constitute a criminal offence.”  MLA Leonard Krog, the NDP’s attorney-general critic, wrote to the criminal justice branch of the A-G’s office requesting it probe an “apparent obstruction of justice” regarding the e-mails.  He sent a copy of the complaint, which also requested a special prosecutor be appointed to oversee the investigation, to the RCMP commissioner.  Assistant deputy A-G Robert Gillen responded in writing to Krog that he had referred his request to the RCMP, Krog said Friday.  Shields, who hadn’t yet been notified of Gillen’s letter, said receipt of Krog’s carbon-copied e-mail would have by itself prompted a preliminary probe.  Gillen’s letter said the appointment of a special prosecutor would be up to the Mounties.  Shields said the RCMP would request a special prosecutor if the government asked for one.  Court heard last week that e-mails by Premier Gordon Campbell were ordered destroyed in May, just before the Liberals were re-elected for a third term.
“But court heard last month that all cabinet emails between 2001 and 2005 could have been erased in May, when the Liberal government was re-elected to its third term, touching off speculation about who would have ordered their destruction and why.  “The destruction of evidence, whether by recklessness, negligence or a wilful failure to preserve could be a very significant factor to the outcome of this case and it potentially could lead to a motion for abuse of process,” Bennett said.  “Ultimately, the cabinet ministers that Mr. Virk and Mr. Basi worked for are slated to be witnesses in their trial so these emails are very important for trial purposes.”  Bennett said the material is likely relevant and she wants it by Aug. 17, after which she will review it before deciding whether it is connected to the case.  Leonard Krog, the Opposition NDP’s critic for the Attorney General’s Ministry, said the judge’s ruling has cast a broad net among former cabinet ministers and other high-ranking officials.  “I think even the premier of British Columbia has to be accountable to the courts when there are accused people before the courts and relevant evidence is apparently available,” he said.  “If this government had co-operated earlier it wouldn’t look so bad as it does now,” he said. “The fact is they should have co-operated. It was the right, moral, legally correct thing to do and they haven’t done so to date.”  Krog has called for a public inquiry into the supposed destruction of the emails, saying a provincial statute calls for electronic records must be kept for at least 10 years.  Virk’s lawyer, Kevin McCullough told court last month that the RCMP failed to obtain emails connected to its raid of the legislature even after former deputy finance minister Dave Morhart said in a statement that he’d saved about 2,000 of them.  McCullough said that suggests the Mounties targeted Virk and Basi from the beginning.  Morhart is among the officials whose emails Bennett requested Monday. The judge also said police did not seek emails from Collins, the former finance minister, during their investigation of the BC Rail deal. ”
E-mail scandal answers needed Times ColonistJuly 18, 2009
It would be hard to explain the apparent destruction of government e-mails pertaining to the sale of B.C. Rail — and harder still to defend it. The $1-billion sale was the basis for a political corruption case that is still before the B.C. Supreme Court. The charges were laid almost five years ago and followed a police raid on the legislature in December 2003.
No one employed by the government could be unaware of the charges against Dave Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi. It is beyond belief to think that any senior government employee would not know better than to destroy evidence that could be needed in a major court case.
That is apparently what has happened, according to evidence presented to the court this week. To make matters worse, some e-mails were destroyed after the defence lawyers asked to see them.
The loss of these documents is a serious problem for the B.C. Liberal government, one that will plague Premier Gordon Campbell and his cabinet until the next election.
Campbell’s only real choice, if he wants to restore his government’s credibility, is to give British Columbians a full accounting of what went wrong and who was to blame. The people who ordered the records destroyed have no place in government.
The premier’s only comment so far is that the government has retained all of the documents that it was required to keep. That defence shows a lack of respect for both the legal process and the voters.
For years, the government has refused to comment on the B.C. Rail deal, arguing that it was before the courts. The apparent destruction of e-mail evidence makes a mockery of that stance.
Even dedicated Liberal supporters, who have stayed true to the party for the past decade, should be shaken by the e-mail fiasco and pressing for answers.
Consider the evidence presented to the court, and the timing of the e-mail destruction.
A government lawyer told Justice Elizabeth Bennett last month that all provincial cabinet e-mails from 2001 to 2005 had been destroyed. They were only retained for 13 months, the court was told.
That would have meant that even after the legislature raid, even after the charges were laid, someone decided to get rid of the records. That would also have meant that all electronic backups were also gone.
After that, it turned out that some e-mails to and from MLAs were, in fact, still available.
And this week, the court was told in an affidavit that the backups of cabinet e-mails had been ordered destroyed in May, just two months ago.
But the defence lawyers had asked for the e-mails two years ago. The government did not turn over the documents — and after receiving the request, the e-mails were destroyed.
What should British Columbians think about this? Is this incompetence, an effort to undermine the court case or something in between?
The loss of the e-mails is sure to bring more attention to the case, which deals with the sale of B.C. Rail to Canadian National.
Defence lawyers say that their clients were acting on the orders of cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats. The e-mail records could turn out to be critical to the case.
The defence has asked Bennett to order the government to produce any e-mails pertaining to the rail deal. Bennett will rule on the request on Monday. Her first order of business will be to determine the potential relevance of the e-mails.
The B.C. Rail court case could turn out to be one of the most expensive in B.C. history, and taxpayers are picking up the tab. We have a right to see justice done.
We also have a right to answers about the government’s use and retention of e-mails. Which ones are missing? Which ones are kept permanently? What is being retained now?
The government should answer those questions, and more. If it has nothing to hide, it should not hesitate to tell the people.
The public has a right to know what is going on.
and what other bad things will they all do next too?  Don’t expect the too often incompetent, Useless buck passing RCMP to do much about it too.. I rightfully have never been a fan of the self centered BC Liberals or the bad RCMP now too.
The B.C. Liberals campaigned just three months ago on a promise to protect health care. They are now cutting health services. Rather than protecting care, Health Minister Kevin Falcon has told the province’s health authorities to cut $360 million this year – about 3.5 per cent of the spending needed to maintain care. Anyone who questioned this promise during the campaign was told to read the Liberals’ lips – no cuts. Anyone who suggested otherwise was accused of being biased toward the NDP. So what happened between now and then? Funding for the authorities has increased 5.8 per cent, a significant amount, but well short of what the authorities say they need to maintain care at last year’s levels. And that is what a sensible voter would have assumed the Liberals meant with their repeated promises to protect health care. It’s disturbing that only now – more than three months into the fiscal year – is the government revealing its true intentions. Competent management would have seen the health authority budgets reviewed and decisions made before the fiscal year began, so they could plan properly. Cuts will now have to be deeper. It’s much more disturbing that the level of health-care service is being allowed to decline as the need increases, driven by an aging and growing population. While we can appreciate that all cost-saving measures should be examined, and even encouraged, British Columbians did not vote for reduced care, longer waits for treatment and cuts to community-based care. So what happened?
Surprise — a new tax out of nowhere   The “harmonized tax” plan is the way Gordon Campbell, with no warning or consultation, imposed a major tax change. The new tax system will shift the payement of taxes more from business to individuals.  The tax plan wasn’t mentioned in the election campaign three months ago. There have been no discussion papers. The Liberals rejected calls for the harmonized tax and said the change wasn’t on the agenda. And now they have said they will impose it. Campbell  now proposes  th a 12 per cent merged GST and PST, effective next July 1. The tax will go to Ottawa, and B.C. will be sent its share.   Businesses can deduct GST they pay from their tax bill. Now they will be able to deduct PST as well, as it is included in the harmonized tax. That will save them — and cost the government — about $1.9 billion in what had been provincial sales tax. That’s a 37 per cent drop in PST revenue. Which means someone else is going to have to pay the $1.9 billion that business will be saving.   The new tax will apply to a long list of things that you didn’t pay PST on. Heating oil and natural gas, cable and telephone, restaurant meals and non-prescription medicine. Movie and airline tickets and real estate commissions and dry cleaning and new house prices.

The RCMP should be out of politics, out of Cabinet, accountable to civilian oversight, and investigated by other forces, perhaps international forces arranged by treaty. Failing that, this anachronistic institution should be mothballed or sold to Disney Corp .


By the way the government of British Columbia, Canada   is already well known for not caring about the poor people, the citizens good welfare or legal, human rights.. they seem to be self centered, selfish  and crappy.
BC stands for bad and crazy…



Almost since my first job after graduating from university I had learned that people are not to be trusted, need to be supervised, and corruption still exists in construction, universities, municipalities, governments, corporations, amongst professionals and politicians as well.
Here still  is what I cannot understand about the federal job creation programs carried out under both the liberal and conservative governments, is the necessity it seems to give money firstly to the municipalities, as though they have a direct effect on voters.. Nothing can be farther from the truth for  neither the police themselves, nor the municipalities have a significant vote as to how the citizens will vote on election days. The only group  that can likely have any effect on the voters are pastors, and priests in fact.
 Here is what I know for sure in Canada proper policing, management ,  supervision  human rights commissions are a real fact of life, society, in schools, life,  in churches, governments, commerce, institutions, civil and public services, professional services too,  and elsewhere, even on the net,  for you will always have those 30 percent at least of the persons who will try to cheat, lie  , steal, bend the rules, falsely believe they are above the laws, Self  regulation alone is too often pretentious, farcical, often not applied as well. That applies especially to the professionals, civil and public services, police, municipalities, politicians now as well..

Now as I was reflecting about my many past posts on the net  in the last few years I was really saddened to note that too many of them were about bad , greedy people trying to steal , trying to get other people’s money for themselves, stealing the money, or getting  it under false pretences. The love of more money is still the basis of what many of the wrong doings is, was all about..(Eccl 8:11 KJV)  Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.


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