Lew Edwardson offered a comment to the March 25 article Unsolved crimes, a cold case file. It is so important it deserves repeating.
Lew makes a very significant point near the end and his words are succinct.
Indeed, important people perverted British Columbia’s judicial system so that wrongdoing in the privatization of BC Rail assets was hidden and remains in that state even today. These people included politicians, high ranking civil servants, RCMP officers and senior members of the BC Supreme Court.
Their actions were facilitated by journalists employed by corporate media, including a handful who conspired to prevent writers not part of their tight circle from accessing court records.
The NDP opposition was mildly interested in exposing the BC Rail fraud from the time it became manifest until July 2017. As government, the party lost interest in exploring corrupt acts involving BC Rail, including the $6 million subornation of perjury needed to end the trial of Bob Virk and Dave Basi.
These are Lew Edwardson’s words.
The following is an excerpt from the website of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada:
Canadian courts expect a great deal from prosecutors, who are subject to ethical, procedural, and constitutional obligations. Traditionally, their role has been regarded as that of ‘a representative of justice’ rather than that of ‘a partisan advocate.’ Their functions are imbued with a public trust. Prosecutors are expected to discharge their duties with fairness, objectivity, and integrity. Their role is not to win convictions at any cost but to put before the court all available, relevant, and admissible evidence necessary to enable the court to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. As stated by the Supreme Court of Canada in Boucher v. The Queen,  S.C.R. 16, at 23-24:
It cannot be over-emphasized that the purpose of a criminal prosecution is not to obtain a conviction, it is to lay before a jury what the Crown considers to be credible evidence relevant to what is alleged to be a crime. Counsel have a duty to see that all available legal proof of the facts is presented: it should be done firmly and pressed to its legitimate strength, but it must also be done fairly. The role of prosecutor excludes any notion of winning or losing; his function is a matter of public duty than which in civil life there can be none charged with greater personal responsibility. It is to be efficiently performed with an ingrained sense of the dignity, the seriousness and the justness of judicial proceedings.
The next following is an excerpt from an open letter from former BC Attorney General Geoff Plant to former BC Solicitor General John van Dongen regarding the Basi/Virk secret plea deal (his last sentence was in underlined italics for emphasis):
It’s worth emphasizing the point. What was offered were guilty pleas on behalf of the two key defendants. Admissions of criminal wrong-doing. The very object of the entire exercise.
Which of course explains why in BC our betters think it’s acceptable for government to secretly control what happens in a courtroom in order that their deeds do not come into full view.
We must demand redress.
Its the place to start for the corruption of our judicial system. I can’t seem to comment as Word Press gets in the way wanting a subscription? I think an online petition to reduce the MLA’s income to the mean average income of one in this province and cancel their pensions we never voted on. Its time for a different kind of person in the legislature to reflect he values of our democracy. Hugh McNab
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Hugh raises an interesting question. I wonder if we’ve created an unintended situation by paying MLAs too well.
Their salaries are about triple the median annual income of BC residents and there’s further sweetening with expense accounts, a generous severance program and a lavish pension plan that takes only six years of service to qualify. It is fully indexed and at least 80% financed by taxpayers. Some MLAs continue to follow their old occupations while sitting as legislators.
No doubt a few MLAs make financial sacrifices when they are elected. But, for others, the position is more rewarding than alternatives. Staying in the Legislature has a requisite: staying in their party’s good graces. That may result in compromised principles and silence replacing debate when controversial issues arise.
If we don’t learn from History … we are doomed to repeat it. If the public allows this crime to go unpunished it will happen again. Corruption happens when a few good people do nothing.
Imagine if the NDP had been the guilty party selling the BC Rail to their friends.
Christy Clark would have used this against them in a snap election last June.
John Horgan should be taking the Liberals to court over the corruption and mishandling involving:
BC Rail, LNG Prosperity Fund, Balanced Budgets, ICBC, BC Ferries, BC Hydro Site C Dam, Retirement Concepts, IPP private contracts, China Panda Fund, Translink, Alex Fraser Bridgeoveruns, Mt Polley Lake pollution and breach, Burrard Power decommissioned and the environmental damage from the illegal dams that were built for fracking operations. There must be more examples on inept financial irresponsibility.
Keep sending your emails to: Premier Horgan and Andrew Weaver at the legislature.
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It would be nice indeed to see this government keep its word. The words so quickly forgotten and willfully buried once they took office. I’ve come to realize that it won’t happen, and I’m guessing Mr. Horgan et al knew it wouldn’t when they were so busy making those promises regarding BC Rail and other government agencies. Merely beaking off and saying what so many wanted to hear – and believe.
At this point in time he’s out-liberaling the liberals and out-clarking Clark! He’s almost approaching Campbell in the smooth department. BC is dead in the water. No one to vote FOR…only against. Hopefully that will change before the next election.
Under the federal Access to Information Act and the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for BC, journalists could dig and find a whole lot of information on all the areas mentioned by Art (comment above).
BC Rail could be the blueprint for privatizing BC Hydro – we must stop the corruption that appears to have been carried out.
How can citizens demand an Inquiry? How can we be assured the RCMP can/will release their information regarding BC Rail? Why were there 2 judges?
There are so many questions and abuses of process it would take a book to sort it all.
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Inquiries are always nice, but when the bill comes, no one wants to pay for them. The first order of business for any government these days is to stay in office. Running up a bill of a few hundred million on enquires is a good way to exit. One term wonders. So how does a government balance the reality of staying in office with maintaining principles, justice and all the other good stuff?
If there were an inquiry into B.C. Rail or a court case what would it achieve? Would we get the rail way back? Most likely not. The company which now owns it would tie us up in court for decades. They would argue they bought it in good faith. Many of us don’t agree. In my opinion it was a “good deed” by a premier who was paying off his bag man of many years.
One way of addressing all of this may for the government to hire a researcher to put the entire case together and publish it. It would be less expensive than an inquiry and faster. At that point the Crown could decide what they wanted to do. Might make a nice PhD paper for some political scientist.
As to B.C. Hydro, and all those IPP contracts and the allocation of the stupid meter contract to one of el gordo’s associates, another paper might be in order and than have it published, as a government document. Currently we have some reporting by MSM and bloggers, but no official description of what happened and that might be what we need, but an inquiry, not so much. its all in the books and files. Having people testify, they’ll tell their version of the truth (lie) and that doesn’t get us any where. It takes away from the current business at hand.
Part of the problem is we have the RCMP in B.C. unlike Quebec which has its own provincial police force. We have whole cities “policed” by the RCMP. Its a nice deal. The RCMP has a 20 year contract with the province and no one is going to rock the boat on that one because the province and cities get a deal, its cheaper. The RCMP gets to not have to worry about what to do with 6K extra cops.
Part of the criminal problems this province has is the RCMP. they owe loyalty to Ottawa and not to the people of this province. You want a better more legal government, get rid of the RCMP first.
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For each of your paragraphs:
1. Your estimate of hundreds of millions for inquiries is wildly high. The Oppal inquiry into missing women was $10 million, and the most costly inquiry in Canadian history was $60 million. Nothing approaching the scope of either is needed here.
As for how a government says in office, I would suggest that keeping promises is a good start. An inquiry was promised, notwithstanding your belief it would be too expensive.
2. The purpose of an inquiry would not be to get the railway back. It would be to get our justice system and government institutions back and hold those responsible for bringing them into disrepute accountable.
3. You’re kidding. I hope.
4. I guess you weren’t kidding. You actually think a paper by a political scientist chosen by the NDP government detailing the activities of the previous government will clear things up, that no testimony is required because all the info is in the files, and that people would just lie under oath at an inquiry. I heartily disagree.
5. The RCMP doesn’t have 6,000 “extra cops”. An inquiry into the BC Rail affair would however, touch on the conduct of those that were available and test the thesis in your last paragraph.
6. I know several RCMP members, and have three in the family. Their loyalty is to the public, and if anything they view “Ottawa” with a jaundiced eye. When Rich Coleman disbanded the IIGET after receiving information from the RCMP that there were serious money laundering problems in BC’s casinos and the team needed more resources, was that Ottawa’s fault?
Any incoming government should not use its power to begin a witch-hunt or fishing expedition designed solely and hopefully to find dirt on its political opponents. That is not how our system of governance should work. But when there are obvious signs that malfeasance injurious to the public interest has occurred, that government has a duty to act. Such signs now exist, but the NDP government will not act, and will not explain why. We should not sit quietly in the corner while this is happening.
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