"Old news" – new anxieties for Liberals

Alex Tsakumis today offers Open Letter to John Doyle, Auditor-General of British Columbia: The Information You Need On the Buying of Dave Basi and Bob Virk by the BC Liberals is Right Here.

That we can read Judge Anne MacKenzie’s “Oral Reasons for Sentence” emphasizes this is theatre of the absurd. MacKenzie, rewarded with the title “Associate Chief Justice” shortly after stepping onto the stage, goes through the motions, offering dialogue of standard clichés, wordplay, and nonsense:

  • “…a conditional sentence is not necessarily a more lenient sentence…”
  • “The stigma of a conditional sentence with house arrest should not be underestimated.”
  • “…encountering members of the community may make it even more difficult for the offender to serve his or her sentence in the community than in prison.”
  • “The defendants have suffered the stigma of being charged with criminal offences.”
  • “The charges have no doubt had a profound effect on their reputations”

MacKenzie asserts the conditional sentences in the Basi/Virk case constitute a significant deprivation of liberty. She then goes on to say,

“For the first 12 months… you shall be subject to house arrest in your residence or its grounds at all hours except…”

The exclusions offer proof MacKenzie is playing a role in delusive theatre. Media played a part too by incomplete reporting. Here is an example of Neal Hall’s work in the Vancouver Sun:

“The accused were immediately sentenced by the trial judge, B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie, to a conditional term of two years less a day, to be served under house arrest.”

The Vancouver Sun article indicates the house arrest to be two years but makes no mention of lax terms. It is hard to believe that a reporter with Hall’s experience would make that omission by accident.

We examine exceptions to the first 12 months of house arrest. MacKenzie states defendants must remain “in your residence or its grounds” except

  • for purposes of work or business or work related matters;
  • travelling for work related matters;
  • activities related to your children or travelling for that purpose;
  • community service;
  • absence is authorized by the supervisor;
  • attending court;
  • attending on lawyer’s place of business in Vancouver or Victoria;
  • engaging in physical exercise;
  • medical appointments or dental involving yourself or your family;
  • personal grooming;
  • grocery shopping.

For the second 12 months of the order, house arrest applies only from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., with all of the exceptions noted above. Another of the onerous terms is to maintain land line telephones at the residences.

Since this sentence was handed down in October 2010, we can assume that Basi and Virk are now allowed complete freedom of movement for 17 hours of each day. Tough, eh?

Categories: Basi/Virk, Justice

6 replies »

  1. Oh, to be a friend of the government, the police are immune from murder charges and government bureaucrats are immune from jail time.

    Oh to be a friend of the government where plain brown envelopes full of money are are important than the voter.

    Oh to be a friend of the government where law and order is for everyone else and not for the government and its cronies.

    Oh to be a friend of the government, it is a life like heaven.


  2. Would that Karma become the constant companion of ALL involved with this case, but for the defense, and repay them 30, 60, or 100 fold for their efforts. May it rest upon their pillow, and walk beside them at day – until they beg to tell the truth – the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Then they be set free to right the wrongs.


  3. Norm,
    I have it on good authority that the Special Prosecutor made several plea bargain offers to Basi/Virk prior to the final one. But the difference between all those offers and the final one is telling: All the previous offers were based on four years in federal prison. Then in October 2009, the SP dramatically changed his mind and accepted the defence's demand of 2 yrs. minus a day served at home.

    Why the dramatic change? Because the Defence had access to information the government absolutely didn't want out in public. There is more to come on that.


  4. So I guess the question is, can they dumb down the population enough before it becomes too blatantly obvious that they've been sold a crock of crap? My bet is that they can. I mean after all, they do manage to keep getting voted in.


  5. Is the population dumb, disinterested or uninformed? I suggest that careful reading of the corporate press demonstrates their objective is to misinform. Their goal is to protect the Liberals at least until a preferred alternative is in place. For Postmedia, Corus and others, that is not Adrian Dix and the NDP.


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