Thursday, May 08, 2008

Basi-Virk defence of BC Rail "consolation prize" raised in review of evidence by Justice Elizabeth Bennett; Oppal dodges questions

Government documents a defence aid?


A review of potential evidence by Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett indicates two government aides facing corruption charges in the B.C. legislature raid case will use cabinet documents to mount a defence that they were only following orders.

Documents released yesterday by the New Democratic Party opposition include a review by Bennett of two boxes of cabinet documents related to the $1-billion sale of BC Rail that shows she deems many of them as relevant to the defence of David Basi and Bob Virk.

And Bennett described one briefing document as not only relevant but wrote "consolation prize" in her notes - referring to defence arguments that Basi and Virk were ordered to deliver a consolation prize to a failed BC Rail bidder for staying in the process.

The documents are the subject of legal arguments about whether "cabinet privilege" or "solicitor-client privilege" can be asserted over them to prevent their release in order to preserve cabinet confidentiality.

Meanwhile, Attorney-General Wally Oppal dodged opposition questions in the legislature about why then-deputy minister Ken Dobell had discussions with a government lawyer about disclosure of evidence in apparent contradiction of statements made by Premier Gordon Campbell that his office was not involved.

NDP MLA Leonard Krog said Dobell discussed three documents seized by the RCMP, which wanted to question then-cabinet ministers Gary Collins and Judith Reid about them.

"Ken Dobell gave very specific instructions about the disclosure of documents, documents that went to the heart of this corruption investigation. It completely contradicts everything the premier has said," Krog said.

Oppal responded that: "We don't comment on whatever takes place in the courts."


Gary E said...

The question is why did the Premier not tell the truth when last asked if his office is involved when sworn affidavits tell us he did.

Mr Attorney General, you can't get away with your spin. The substance of this question is not before the courts.

Anonymous said...

What a disgraceful, lying bunch of thugs Gordo's fiberals are made up of. But the truth is finally coming out! Gordo is only doing his part (i.e. TILMA) by devastating OUR social network and safeguards that has been built up over many years by some great people and politicians!
Gordo's job is to do exactly what the corrupt corporations want SPP, NWO, NAU think about it FOI, OUR BC Rail, Gateway super hwy, OUR ports, OUR BC Hydro, OUR Rivers, OUR Freedom of Speech i.e.: Betty Krawczyk

RossK said...


So, according to this, it looks like even Mdme Justice Bennett maybe wondering about that ol' quid pro quo some have, allegedly, taken to calling 'SpurCover!'


Anonymous said...

Thursday Globe and Mail has a good article as well today.

kootcoot said...

"Oppal responded that: "We don't comment on whatever takes place in the courts."

Who's supposed to change the tape in the StoneWalley Cyborg?

Anonymous said...


As you may recall, I first raised the issue of the Premier misleading the Assembly on your “blog” on December 15th, 2007. If you read the e-mails by George Copley in the documents recently released by the NDP regarding the establishment of a protocol to determine confidentially your readers should note that Copley references the fact that ultimately it is a matter for decision by Cabinet.

However, in a response to the Gazetteer who asked for a clarification on the very same day that I raised this issue (December 15th, 2007), I think that that it would be of interest to your readers to note my response wherein I stated that:

“Copley has indicated to the Court that he is representing the executive branch of government - read - the Cabinet - read - THE PREMIER.

As to your question - yes - then read the Premier's numerous statements in Estimates wherein he assures the Assembly that the "call" on releasing documents would be left to the DAG.

So the questions remain:

Did the Premier mislead the Assembly?

Or, did he just recently change his mind and if so, why?

Does he have something to hide?

And yes, these are rhetorical questions.”

RossK said...


It's interesting.

Yesterday Les Leyne dismissed this because he noted that by stepping in for his assistant Mr. Dobell was just doing his job as CABINET secretary at the time.

Of course, what Mr. Leyne failed to point out was this actually demonstrates that if things worked this way the protocol itself appears to have ensured cabinet involvement.


Slightly tangentially, you also pointed us towards Hansard re: a question from Ms Brenzinger to Mr. Falcon about an alleged meeting between Mr. Campbell and Mr. Tellier in Kamloops in 2002. Mr. Falcon dismissed the question by invoking the infamous 'Fairness Advisor's Report'. I have combed that report, both interim and final versions, but can find no reference to this (which was raised due to the even more infamous letter from CP of Nov 21, 2003).

If possible, can you point us in the right direction re: documentation?


Ms. Brenzinger's question to Mr. Falcon can be found here.



Anonymous said...

Picture an escaped convict being tracked by a group of hound dogs, held back on leashes by the local police force. Said convict continually trying to cover his tracks, going thru streams, backtracking etc. He will go to great lengths to get away. Never giving up.

This is what this trial has become. Gordo being chased by the good people of British Columbia. He being determined to get away...

I say, let out more dogs.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Leyne is mistaken – Ken Dobell was not Cabinet Secretary.

Anonymous said...

When I think of dirty dog Coleman, words of George W. comes to mind....'bring me his head on a silver plater'! I wish the RCMP would just get on with their findings. I'd like to open up pandors box and enjoy the prize! Word is, it is inspiration that spewls out, and evil that follows...them, all the way to hell!

RossK said...


Say what?

Isn't Mr. Dobell himself saying he was the Cab. Secretary (see Mark Hume's story in G&M May 09/08 that is quoted by Mr. T. in post above this one)?


G West said...

Ross, DT,
I think Dobell was deputy minister to the Premier and cabinet secretary, Office of the Premier, Government of British Columbia from June 2001 to June 2005.

Which was why - when succeeded by Jessica McDonald (who had been his understudy in those years) it was so utterly laughable when the CEO premier assigned Ms McDonald to do a little check up on Dobell's status as a 'registered' lobbyist after 2005.

Bill Tieleman said...

Ken Dobell was in fact Cabinet Secretary, appointed when the government took office:

Statutory Authority: Public Service
Appointments made, effective June 5, 2001:

Ken Dobell
DM to the Premier and Cabinet Secretary, Office of the Premier