I am also honoured by his kind words about my coverage of the BC Legislature Raid case on this blog, at 24 hours and The Tyee.ca.
Alex notes that the Jack Webster Foundation, which sponsors BC's annual journalism awards, ignored my work this year. I have not made any mention of it here but since Alex raises it let me say something about that.
My writing on the Basi-Virk case was nominated jointly by 24 hours and The Tyee, for which I am very grateful - and for their ongoing support.
Unfortunately, the Webster Awards adjudicators declined to nominate me for the Jack Webster Award for Excellence in Legal Journalism, sponsored by the Law Society of British Columbia, which I found very disappointing.
However I want to make clear that I respect all of the other journalists who were nominated and the winners - CTV British Columbia's team of Lisa Rossington, Janet Dirks, Dag Sharman, Jina You, St. John Alexander, Kate Corcoran for their coverage of the Willie Pickton Verdict.
Awards are nice but the recognition of colleagues like Alex and the many journalists listed to the right on this blog, and that of readers and the public is what keeps me at BC Supreme Court and following leads on this case.
Here's today's Rebel With A Clause column by Alex:
Public's right to know off the rails
By ALEX G. TSAKUMIS
24 hours newspaper
I am unsure what I find more upsetting: The media in hiding or the public oblivion, as an exact result.
For half of this decade, the labyrinth of legal posturing that has become known as, 'The Basi-Virk Trial,' has snaked through the courts, while we've all been sleeping.
Well, some, anyway.
The case, only in part, has seen the light of day but is not that much further along, in any form of resolution, than it was the day after the raids on the Legislature.
In the latest variant of pretzel gymnastics manifest in the now vaporized past five years, we, the sleepy public, are fed from upon high, by the Supreme Court, that issues pertaining to the arrival of a secret witness to the case, and how this should be handled, are tolerable.
The outcome of this latest decision has, in fact, derailed (pun intended) any more tangible progress of the trial, for as much as an entire year. There is an equally strong likelihood of the charges being dropped against David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi.
Well, are we not obliged, in fact, do we not have a right, to know what happened to a well-performing public asset, B.C. Rail, that is said by some to have been sold in a dance and quick kiss goodnight?
Should we not know how this entire affair turned from a drug and money-laundering investigation into one that had the RCMP storm the people's provincial house?
All the relevant political questions emanating from this jagged legal process, too, must have caused the Premier and his closest aides more than a few communal heart flutters. But mustn't the questions be answered to preserve the public trust?
After all, the allegations of impropriety by the Premier's office are serious, are they not?
Don't fool yourselves.
And don't expect any substantive answers from the Premier or his horsemen.
Although courage found a vessel from the beginning.
The truth be told, only one person in this province has a full handle on this vexing and most troubling of cases, as it relates to you: Bill Tieleman.
Tieleman, who writes in this space every Tuesday, has consistently and splendidly narrated the twists and turns of the trial from day one.
On his website/blog, billtieleman. blogspot.com you will find the definitive account of 'Basi-Virk.'
You should read it. Every word. Because you damn well have the bloody right to know - as much as is there today.
And Messers Virk, Basi and Basi have a right to clear the anachronistic cloud hanging above their heads.
Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, who presides over this legal warren, made it clear some time ago that it is indeed in the public interest for this trial to proceed.
So, it makes Tieleman's erudite labours all the more momentous. He has done a huge service to you, the public, by creating a remarkable journal, which catalogues the trial from its genesis to present day.
The entire body of work Tieleman has committed to is the single most important piece of legal journalism in this province's history (although the Webster Awards, embarrassingly for them, ignored him - this year).
No one else has so meticulously followed the case, and, with such care and precision, parsed the sometimes minute, pertinent details from the side issues. Remarkable indeed.
If, for whatever reason, the so-called 'Basi-Virk Trial', does not eventually proceed to the heart of the matter, it will be a colossal travesty of justice that the three defendants may have to seek alternative remedy to clear their names, but more so, if that's at all possible, that the people of B.C. may never know what happened.
Even though it's in the public interest. You absolutely have the right to know.