Why David Basi Is Important To Us.

Posted on Friday, March 04 at 09:27 by BC Mary
He said a drug probe had triggered the raid on the legislature. He said that the suspects are alleged to have been involved in an organized crime network exchanging BC marijuana for U.S. cocaine which was then sold throughout Canada. The public later learned that cocaine profits buy guns - guns for the international arms trade selling into Afghanistan for example. Sgt Ward estimates $6 billion a year is sucked out of British Columbia in marijuana traffic alone. Organized crime has so much cash, it's weighed, not counted; money-laundering is a major concern for the criminals. Sgt. Ward added "... the spread of organized crime in the past 2 years has been like a cancer on the social and economic wellbeing of all British Columbians ... it has reached critical mass." There's so much more to this story. " ... the rot is deep and ugly," wrote Robin Mathews in The Columbia Journal. "It suggests devious tampering with the very fundamentals of B.C. and Canadian democratic society." Since the raid, almost two dozen criminal charges have been laid. More are pending. There are 10 drug-related charges against eight individuals. One of them, David Basi, was a senior government aide to Gary Collins, Minister of Finance. Basi and Virk were hoping for Chief of Staff appointments with the new Paul Martin administration. David Basi, Robert Virk, and Aneal Basi, also face 12 counts relating to allegations of corruption -- accepting bribes, fraud, breach of trust and money-laundering. It is not clear yet, if or how much the sale of B.C. Rail was influenced or who offered money to influence the sale. Constable Ravinder Singh Dosanjh now suspended from the Victoria police force, is charged with obstruction of justice in connection with this investigation. [Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun.] Three B.C. Cabinet Ministers have resigned (Christy Clark, deputy Premier; Judith Reid, Minister of Transportation, and Gary Collins, Minister of Finance at the time of the police raid; Clark & Collins have left politics completely, they say.) David Basi had influence over both the provincial and federal wings of the Liberal party in B.C. "A passionate supporter of Paul Martin, he'd been deeply involved in ensuring that several B.C. ridings returned Martin delegates. Liberal membership jumped from 4,000 to 37,000., a $330,000 annual boost in revenue. Norman Spector and Gordon Gibson both make the connection that the kind of organization employed by the Martin forces “requires minions and millions. Even if rumours of drug money prove false,” TV commentator Spector said in January 30, 2004 Sun, “$12 million is an awful lot to raise for a leadership campaign.” Spector refers to “membership lists that include dead dogs - and people who can’t speak English, haven’t paid for their membership, and don’t know they’re members of the party.” All B.C. ridings except one were "Martinized." A former Liberal executive officer added, in the December 29 Sun, that “They wouldn’t have had Herb Dhaliwal taken out without the Basi Boys.” Elections Canada has warned that those who engage in “bulk purchase of party memberships could face fines and jail terms of up to five years.” If that places David Basi in peril, it also places Paul Martin, Gordon Campbell, and their Liberal campaigners in peril. The electoral process itself is in peril. This is why David Basi is so important to every British Columbian. And to Canada. The Liberals "admit privately, the B.C. business is a time bomb for Prime Minister Martin. Up to now, the raids have been virtually ignored by media east of the Rockies ..." [Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star, 24 Feb. 04] CanWest media betrays the most basic public trust by failing to follow and report diligently, on the enormous implications of the RCMP raids on the BC Legislature. Properly understood, the threat is to the nation's ability to govern itself. Glen Clark's back porch and Gordon Wilson's private life were given wide coverage, serving only to bring Gordon Campbell into the Premier's chair. It's not unreasonable to expect CanWest to provide at least that much coverage -- in fact, more coverage -- of alleged corruption in high places. "The topic is too radio-active to touch," one Sun reporter told me. Right. That's the point. In his book about organized crime operating out of Vancouver, Terry Gould says " ... Interpol was now issuing warnings to the press and national law enforcement agencies that the criminal underworld seemed to be entering a new phase, one that darkly mirrored the transnational corporations leading the way in the trend towards "globalization." [Paper Fan, p.244] Another book, The Road to Hell by Julian Sher and William Marsden, describes biker crime in Canada. To understand what organized crime means to the ordinary citizen even in Canada, these are basic reading. The United Nations, too, has warned the world that organized crime is capable of destroying a nation's sovereignty. Citizens know there's something wrong. The public is not apathetic. But they're frustrated when they want to find out that's really happening, and how to respond intelligently. We dare not continue to do nothing, say nothing, publish nothing. We must keep asking the questions: what were the police looking for when they raided the B.C. Legislature? What is in the Search Warrants to convince a judge to make history by breaching the sanctity of a Legislature? Isn't it essential that the voters see the Search Warrants in full, 14 months later before voting again? Is there a legal limit to how long must we wait to be informed? Can the democratic process function if the public is kept in the dark? Has B.C. become safer from corruption and violence? Or is it true that Tony Soprano is running B.C.? The next chapter of the RCMP's historic raid begins in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on 11 March, as David Basi's trial begins. Imagine a happy thought: perhaps David Basi will decide to help the Legislature clean up its act; if so, while under oath, he'll explain everything. We'll learn how things go bad. We'll see how to put things right again. Basi is young, hardworking, ambitious: imagine him working with us, not against us. Imagine Basi making history -- good history this time -- and being remembered not for crimes but for a spectacular act of public service. Imagine British Columbia Beautiful again. Mary Mackie

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