Wednesday, June 24, 2009

NDP demands Premier Gordon Campbell launch independent public investigation into BC Rail emails disappearance


NDP wants answers after BC Supreme Court learns that government erased or lost BC Rail emails sought by defence

By Bill Tieleman, 24 hours

The New Democratic Party is demanding Premier Gordon Campbell launch an independent and public investigation after it was revealed in B.C. Supreme Court that cabinet ministers’ emails related to the $1 billion sale of B.C. Rail have been erased or disappeared.

NDP MLA Leonard Krog said Wednesday the emails could potentially prove the innocence of David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi – three ex-B.C. government aides facing corruption charges connected to the 2003 B.C. Rail privatization.

“There has to be an investigation – you can’t just show up in court one day and say the records are gone,” Krog said. “If they are truly gone, who gave that order, when and why?”

“This is important to the conduct of the trial,” he said. “There is nothing stopping an appropriate investigation.”

Krog said the defence filed an application to obtain emails between cabinet ministers, MLAs and senior government staff two years ago but no one has told defence lawyers until now that the emails and backups are either erased or have disappeared.

“Under the government’s own rules and protocol, the premier and cabinet ministers had an obligation to preserve their files,” Krog said, pointing out that the B.C. Document Disposal Act requires documents be kept for seven years unless a disposal order is granted.

Campbell told reporters Tuesday that: "The records that should be kept under the law have been kept," without going into detail.

Krog said he is not alleging wrongdoing on the part of the government but that only an independent public investigation - not an inquiry - will determine what happened.

"I don't know if something dishonest has gone on but there are a lot of questions," Krog said. "The premier has to respond - he needs to respond."

Krog also pointed to another issue raised by the defence on Tuesday - one first revealed exclusively by 24 hours newspaper two years ago.

That came when I discovered that a junior Public Affairs Bureau employee named Stuart Chase was sitting in BC Supreme Court taking notes that were being reported back to the Attorney-General's ministry.

Then-Attorney-General Wally Oppal wrongly told the BC Legislature that Chase was in court to "assist the media" with the case "that's all he's there for" - when in fact, Chase had not spoken to any media covering the hearings until I approached him to find out who he was.

A subsequent Freedom Of Information request I filed and received in 2007, and an appeal to get several withheld portions of Chase's notes, showed that Chase was in fact politically monitoring the case, including reporting on who was in attendance.

In court Tuesday, defence lawyer Kevin McCullough raised the Chase monitoring and said he wants to know who the reports went to within the government.

Krog said today it's obvious that the government has monitored the case for political reasons but didn't keep records of BC Rail emails that may have been helpful to the defence.

"Clearly the government has been paying very close attention to this case - they had a staff person there taking notes," Krog said, referring to Chase.


BC Mary said...

This renegade government can show up one day -- as in 14 July 2004 -- and say that they've lost a railroad

but the deal they signed with CN has either been lost, buried with quick-lime in the backyard, or ... well, "the dog ate it".

Some of us are trying to seek an injunction to prevent further gifts and benefits being triggered on the 5th anniversary

i.e., on July 14, 2009

but guess what? It's fairly important to HAVE THE DEAL IN HAND ... because courts apparently want to see the fine print before deciding to order a cease & desist on all further actions until it's proven that no criminal acts occurred in the negotiation.

A clever person in another province just asked me, quite seriously, "Don't the same laws apply in B.C. as for the rest of Canada?"

The point being: how can a contract (BCRail - CN) be legal if the owners on one side have never seen the contract?

How can British Columbians decide what they want to do about re-possession, if they can't see the contract?

And how can the BC Rail - CN deal be enforceable if one side has never seen the contract?

Talk about getting railroaded ...


Anonymous said...

I was more outraged that the RCMP did not ask that key witnesses keep information despite the fact that the emails were offered to them.

The cover up continues....

Anonymous said...


You have been aware of my position on Basigate since the early afternoon of 28/Dec./03

As much as I would love to believe the democratic-fantasy that justice will ultimately prevail in this matter, it is obvious that the . . . Fight Was Fixed From The Beginning.

Too many lawyers, too many judges, too many cops and way too many political whores and utimately just too many scumbags have played in this septic tank to make it anything but a rigged event.

My position has always been that no one is clean on Basigate, if Basi & the two Virks were "only following orders" then they are trying to hide behind the "Nuremberg Defense"

These three dudes wanted to be big-time-operators and were prepared to butt-kiss any minister or premier to get the Mark Marissen award.

So no matter what you throw in the tank or how you mix it, at the end of the day it is and always will still be just shit.

Since the entire phony democratic system in BC has failed and the public is too stupid to even realize its being victimized for billions of its tax dollars then I guess British Columbia will get what it deserves.

"I saw them at Munich, and they were all worms" . . . Adolf Hitler


Anonymous said...

We no longer live in a lawful land, where the ruling elites have now taken over. It is now the law of 'might is right' and Gordo and his band of charlatans have full control.

BC Railgate is a quagmire of political corruption, lies, and money laundering, yet the mainstream media barely give it a nod.

Only if this were the USA.

The Satan is right -

"I saw them at Munich, and they were all worms" . . . Adolf Hitler

If this was another country, there would be riots in the street, but we are worms in the eyes of CanWest Global and the great Gordo himself.

“The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference”

The more corrupt the state, the more laws.”

The Evil Eye

Anonymous said...

After this, one wonders if the election results were also rigged, like in Iran and Zimbabwe.

Anonymous said...

Why ask Campbell to look into it? Its like asking the head fox to find out who was responsible for the Chicken coop murders.

Can't the RCMP look into it?

BC Mary said...

Right under our noses on July 14, 2009 there will be benefits and bonuses flowing into CN hands (or so I've heard) for a railroad we used to own, under a contract we've never seen.

I'd dearly love to see this passion and fury directed toward getting an injunction to stop that faulty process until we

(a) see the contract, and (b) know that the negotiations were free of wrongdoing or criminal acts.

We could do it.

I nominate The Great Satan to get us a copy of the BCRail deal today.


Anonymous said...

To BC Mary:

I would love to go dig out the dirt for you but I now only do "passive" recce, I have been out of the "active" measures business for a long time.

What I have to offer is the result of over ten years of inside observations on all things federal Grit.


North Van's Grumps said...

Whats his name, the lawyer representing the interests of the Executive Council over the Courts, stated that all of the emails have been deleted..... sooooooo at the Ministry of Labour and Citizens's Services at Records Management ...PAC Submissions and Approvals between 1997 to 2007, there hasn't been one submission made by the Executive Council to dispose of their documents between 2001 and 2007.

How did the emails get destroyed then if these people who serve on the Public Documents Committee which consists of the chief executive officer of the museum or a person designated by the chief executive officer, a person designated by the minister responsible for the administration of this Act, the Comptroller General, and 3 other persons to be named by the Lieutenant Governor in Council didn't elect for their disposal... which is then required to be approved by the Legilslative Assembly where the NDP and other like minded souls would vote AGAINST the destruction of the evidence.


The PDC meets regularly to review records retention and disposition schedules submitted by ministries and other government bodies for the Committee's approval. Representatives from ministries and government bodies, as well as the Corporate Records Management Branch, attend each meeting in order to answer questions from the members of the PDC. If the PDC approves, it submits the records schedule to the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts (PAC), which is a Committee of the Legislative Assembly. The PAC in turn recommends approval of the records schedules to the Legislative Assembly.