Major facts are being scrambled in the public domain. Major information is being masked and confused about the BC Rail Scandal. Is there a determined effort by the Mainstream Press and Media, the Courts, and the B.C. Liberal cabinet to confuse the public about the facts of the BC Rail Scandal?
Wheels Within Wheels. Purposeful Confusion in the BC Rail Scandal?
It gets more like Alice in Wonderland, like Franz Kafka, like Gilbert and Sullivan … every day. Between farce and tragedy the BC Rail Scandal grows more critically important, more confusing – and more maddening - as time passes.
Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie sits on the December 24, 2003, Search Warrant applications like a broody hen expecting them to hatch in the dark. They should have been released years ago – and she should have released them, especially now since the trial has ended. On whose behalf is she keeping them (mostly) sealed?
The absurdity of the argument about whether Christy Clark (at the time Deputy Premier) was to be served with a search warrant on December 28, 2003 shows the (intended?) chaos of the present confusion. I have stated that my examination of the 80% blacked out search warrant document material leads me to be confident Ms. Clark was and is on the search warrant list. Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie has a responsibility to the people of British Columbia to unseal the documents completely, now … without an application from anyone.
Patrick Brown of Island Tides Newspaper is searching and searching for an answer to the tax/indemnity situation at BC Rail. Did Gordon Campbell and his cabinet give CN a cozy deal with a 9% annual interest on the (apparently) $250 million of (alleged) claimable losses that might be used by CN for tax advantage? And if the Federal Tax people refuse to grant in the case, will the BC taxpayer be on the hook for the whole sum claimed? Is it a falsely created sum in the first place? And will it be MORE than the amount CN is alleged to have paid for BC Rail by the time the interest is added?
The present cabinet should present all the information without any delay, so that the important questions posed by Patrick Brown can be fully and completely answered. The cabinet (and all the Liberal leadership hopefuls) will not give the information– and will not, I believe, because the Liberal government of B.C. wants a continuing state of confusion about the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR.
Just to give a few examples of the confusion seeded throughout the population, Patrick Brown quite properly writes (Jan. 13, 2011) about the memos “recently disclosed by [Dave] Basi”. But the blogger to whom they were released insists they did not come from Dave Basi.
The blogger may be seeding confusion. Or he may be telling the truth. Where did Dave Basi’s memo’s come from? Confusion?
There is confusion (intended confusion?) about Christy Clark and the December 24, 2003 search warrants. So much confusion has been spread that many take for granted that she was not on the search warrant list. As I have written, that is incorrect.
At the time of the brouhaha about the search warrant ‘raids’ a persistent rumour went the rounds that when the RCMP went to Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm to have the search warrants okayed, he insisted – of Christy Clark only – that the officers telephone ahead to report they intended to visit and seek materials at her and (then husband) Mark Marissen’s residence.
The rumour may have been incorrect. But it is given substance by the fact that the list of 20 people submitted on December 24, 2003 and then confirmed on September 10, 2004, bears the names of both Mark Marissen and Christy Clark.
In the search warrant black-covered binder, after several blacked-out pages, a sentence appears to the effect that RCMP officers attended at the residence of Mark Marissen and Christy Clark. It DOES NOT say at the residence of Mark Marissen, husband of Christy Clark, deputy premier.
Her name on the list of 20 must be taken seriously. Males who are on the list don’t automatically have their wives listed. Mark Marissen’s name is there. Christy Clark’s name is there. Dave Basi’s name is there, but his wife’s name is not. Gary Collins’ name is there. His wife’s name is not. Christy Clark’s name is there, one must conclude, because she is on the list of people to have search warrants served on them.
But that fact is denied … and when not denied, erased. Confusion. Certainly. Intended confusion? You answer.
The questions about the tax situation should have been cleared up a long time ago. Patrick Brown can’t find answers.
And he can’t find answers, I believe, because the confusion around the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR is intended, is fostered, is purposefully added to – in order to save the skins of high ranking government and private corporate actors.
The confusion is – and has been, I believe, assisted by members of the Mainstream Press and Media, who – I believe – work with the Gordon Campbell interests and judges of the Supreme Court of B.C. to keep information from the people of the province.
That is a very strong allegation. I have come to it over more than four years of work on the BC Rail Scandal.
Just take – as a ‘for instance’ the so-called “Accreditation Process for Journalists re: Supreme Court Policy on Recording Devices,” … “updated: June 29, 2010.” It is issued by Mr. Justice Joel Groves, Chair, Public Affairs Committee.
And it is misnamed. Those denied accreditation are not only denied the use of recording devices but, also, they are denied the right to examine trial documents filed on public record in Criminal Registry. The policy statement is imperfect. Is the confusion intended? Would Mr. Justice Joel Groves be so careless as simply to forget what accreditation is about? Can that be believed?
Notice the date. It was issued after three CanWest employees and one CTV employee (the committee) denied me accreditation on the ground that I am not – in their hastily devised definition – a “working journalist”. So embarrassing was the apparent “gang up” by members of the rightfully scorned CanWest operation and, I believe, the judge on the case – Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie - that something had to be done.
Confuse and cover up?
The committee was added to. The incorrect description of the matter was published (leaving out the matter of access to trial materials lodged with Criminal Registry).
The committee – by its very existence - violates journalistic independence. The journalists named cannot serve the judges of the Supreme Court and also fill the role of independent observers of Court proceedings. That is to serve two masters. By working “to oversee the accreditation process”, the journalists on the committee are agents and instruments of the Court. By taking a place on the Committee journalists enter a major conflict of interest.
The Court should see that and end the process immediately. The Mainstream Press and Media should see it, and should withdraw their employees immediately. The fact that neither does so suggests both believe the conflict of interest entered into is advantageous to their interests. What are their interests?
In addition, they have proved – in my case – that they work to prevent non-mainstream journalists and critics of the Court from having normal freedom to observe and record information. I believe that strongly. That is why I say I believe the Mainstream Press and Media work with the Gordon Campbell interests and judges of the Supreme Court of B.C. to keep information from the people of the province.
Let me explain.
After reporting regularly for more than three years through the pre-trial phase of the Basi, Virk, and Basi case, I was in a new situation as the trial was to begin. “Accreditation” was necessary to use a recording device in order to check the accuracy of reported statements and to have the right to see trial documents lodged in Criminal Registry.
I spent the good part of a day going to several locations – one after the other - in order to apply for accreditation. At each one I was sent somewhere else (as in a Franz Kafka novel). Finally, I was directed to the journalist committee which is there to “oversee the accreditation process”. Spokesperson for the committee was Neal Hall of the Vancouver Sun (then a CanWest paper).
He brought me the news that I was refused accreditation (because they had cobbled together, I believe, a definition of journalist that could exclude me). I was excluded.
Of course, some of the people who had been reading my reports for more than three years were not pleased at the committee’s handiwork. And some of them made that known to Neal Hall.
I wrote to Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie and asked her to overturn the obviously prejudiced decision of her committee. She did not deign to answer me or have my letter answered. But the Law Officer, Ms. Jill Leacock, sent me information about how I could appeal the decision.
NOTICE: the committee serves a judicial function, judging if applicants are to be admitted to Court favour. When the committee refuses accreditation, the applicant may appeal, spend a lot of time, and spend money to be heard by the Court or its agent – with no guarantee that the applicant will receive accreditation. Ms. Leacock – who I believe spends much time in a world of make-believe – will probably argue that it is not an appeal application but a primary application she sent me information about.
If that is so, why is there a committee to oversee accreditation which can refuse an applicant who then has to appeal to another, higher authority? If that isn’t an appeal, what is it? That means that the accreditation committee is, in fact, an instrument of the Court, properly speaking, and is a part of its function as a Court.
If it is that, then the members cannot be anything but in a very serious conflict of interest – serving the Court while pretending to be free and independent agents able to observe, cover, and report without bias actions of the organization for which they work!
Neal Hall was upset that some people spoke to him unsympathetically about his committee’s decision to exclude me.
He brought the subject up with me, face to face, showing some annoyance. I told him that I cannot control what other people say to him.
THEN … and THEN I believe he gave evidence of the serious bias operating in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case and the whole BC Rail Scandal matter. Since he was confronting me, I decided to respond in kind. I said to him that he had failed to report anywhere that William Berardino was appointed Special Prosecutor in violation of the legislation governing such appointments and is, therefore, improperly in position.
Neal Hall didn’t say: “You’re wrong. Mr. Berardino is quite properly Special Prosecutor, and I can prove it.’ (I believe he didn’t say that because he knows he can’t honestly say it). Instead, he tried to change the subject. “I’m focussing on this trial,” he said.
Like the Chief Justice and the Associate Chief Justice, like the Attorney General (Michael de Jong) and the Assistant Deputy Attorney General, like the Chief Justice of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (for the Canadian Judicial Council), and like Stephen Owen - Michael de Jong appointed “Reviewer” of the system to appoint Special Prosecutors … all to whom the improper appointment was reported – Neal Hall did what he could to avoid the facts.
The others either refused to reply, fudged their answers so that they didn’t have to address the question, or – as in the case of the Assistant Deputy Attorney General – gave what I believe is false and misleading information.
If Neal Hall was focussing on the trial, the first thing he should have done was call into question its legitimacy – because of the wrongful appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor.
I didn’t say to him, “Get back to the subject I just mentioned.” I said no more.
I can only speculate about what has happened. Did the Vancouver Sun (and all the other Mainstream Press and Media organizations) order their journalists not to report William Berardino’s wrongful appointment? None has reported it. Think about that. It has to be an overall, concerted decision of the Mainstream Press and Media.
And it serves to protect a wrongfully appointed Special Crown Prosecutor. And it serves to protect Gordon Campbell and his associates who effected the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR.
Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie – approached formally twice – refuses to do anything about William Berardino’s wrongful appointment. Since Neal Hall works for her on the Accreditation Committee, was he backing her up? If he reported that William Berardino was appointed in a violation of legislation, would that embarrass her – and so out of loyalty to someone he works for, was he protecting her? Or was he simply following orders from his employer?
Being on the Accreditation Committee of the B.C. Supreme Court introduces difficulties for Committee members. They face the potential for being perceived as prejudiced in any matter involving the Court.
Was William Berardino appointed wrongfully by the intention of the Gordon Campbell cabinet? Did the cabinet appoint him to serve the interests of the Gordon Campbell group? And is he being protected by the Mainstream Press and Media and by the top judges of the BC Supreme Court so that the interests of the Gordon Campbell group will not be upset by the law and the courts?
I suggested earlier in this article that the Mainstream Press and Media might be working with the Gordon Campbell interests and judges of the BC Supreme Court to keep key information from the people of British Columbia. The reader will have to decide for himself and herself if there is any substance to that suggestion.
But I think the reader will agree that there is real confusion here - about the role of the Mainstream Press and Media, about the role of judges of the BC Supreme Court, about the power and control of otherwise “independent” institutions by the Gordon Campbell clique, about the kinds and the extent of information that British Columbians should have concerning the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR. Confusion reigns …. Confusion.
Organized confusion? Intended confusion? Planned confusion?
In case any reader would like to consult a member or members of the Supreme Court of B.C. Journalist Accreditation Committee, I give their names below and their email addresses.
Terry Donnelly (CBC). terry email@example.com
Keith Fraser (The Province) firstname.lastname@example.org
Petti (Peg) Fong (Toronto Star) email@example.com
Neal Hall (Vancouver Sun) firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Seyd (North shore News) email@example.com
Stephen Smart (CBC) firstname.lastname@example.org