Globe and Mail facilitates BC Liberal falsehood

Another example of dishonest stenographic journalism, this time from Justine Hunter at the Globe and Mail:

Mr. [Liberal Attorney General Barry] Penner said he shares the concern of taxpayers about the defence costs in the BC Rail case, but he said it’s unrealistic to expect the government can reverse that decision now.

The legal fees were paid out over the span of years for two defendants, David Basi and Bob Virk. When the pair were convicted, senior civil servants concluded there was no point trying to recoup the money because the former political aides could not pay the bills. “By the time the accused changed their story, the money had already left the treasury,” Mr. Penner noted.

Excuse me Mr. Penner, that is untrue. Demonstrably untrue. Known to be untrue.

The Globe and Mail and Justine Hunter fail as honest journalists because they report that statement without challenge, despite knowing  it is false. Why false?  Because the BC Government held a mortgage (see copy) on real estate and could have recovered a substantial amount of money by acting on this security. They take similar action countless times each year for debtors in default of obligations to government. In 2010, hundreds of welfare recipients, paid excessive benefits through government error, were targeted by BC Liberals for collection actions and lawsuits. They were not criminals.

Liberals chose not to collect; instead they forgave it and released the collateral security, gifting a substantial benefit to David Basi. I also understand the BC government agreed to protect Basi and co-defendants against income taxes on these employer paid legal fees. The tax liability could exceed $2 million additional.

Why did the BC Liberal government take that action and why does the Globe and Mail facilitate falsehood? The answer involves a politically motivated coverup that protects others who did not face charges.

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7 replies »

  1. You're correct of course Norman.

    I'm trying to get a handle on how the government managed to forgive this debt – because that's what it was and that's why the crown registered mortgages against title of the accused parties properties.

    Furthermore, if Justine Hunter actually 'wanted' to do some REAL reporting she would get hold of the actual policy under which the funds were advanced to pay Basi's and Virk's legal bills; she'd track the actual payments made to the law firms and lawyers involved (I can help her with this if she doesn't know how to navigate the provincial accounts) AND she would check out a couple of pieces of provincial legislation (including the Financial Administration Act and the Guarantees and Indemnities Regulation under that act) which state quite unequivocally that the forgiveness of a debt to the crown in excess of $100,000. cannot be done without the passage of a regulation or the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.


  2. So glad to see you expose Justine Hunter. Ms. Hunter is someone who has successfully posed as a journalist of integrity for some time. I have watched her writing closely for a couple years, and this is not her first instance of sly manipulation.

    As for the Globe and Mail, this is just another another nail in the coffin of their once-stellar reputation. It's stunning to see that newspaper descend in such a short span of time to the level of shill.


  3. I see, Canadian journalism at its best, just write what you are told to write.

    Jack Webster must be spinning in his grave!


  4. A quick question for you Norman – and anyone else who might have the information:
    Do you know all the names that Basi uses and has used; the alternate names of his wife and the name of his mother and mother in law?

    I'd also like to know all the names Bobby Virk uses (as does his wife) from time to time.

    I suspect there are other properties in addition to the one noted above which would have been encumbered by the crown during the trial.

    In order to gather up all the information about this caper several more title searches (which can be done by name) may be necessary.


    G West


  5. Postmedia and G&M writers usually do not engage in defending or justifying their work, particularly when it is so clearly inaccurate.

    One Globe and Mail writer did respond in a way on another story. The message, “I'm not interested in what you have to say.”


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