Friday, July 31, 2009

The Reason YouTube Exists.


John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats proves that you can never give to much money to the Ace of Base!.....No matter what you do.....


Here's another, even crazier version, where only the locales change slightly.
Where do I find this stuff?.....Well you can blame this one on Steven Page AND (especially) John K. Samson, nee Propagandhi Guy.


Canadian Neurosurgeon Says....


....He's never seen or heard of a death from a Rathke's cyst.

On the other hand, Ms. Shona Holmes, who we have now unequivocally established was unfortunately afflicted with such a cyst, said the following when she acted as a willing shill for the Canadian Healthcare Haters' Club, Inc., or, as she likes to call it, the 'cause':

"I survived a brain tumour......But if I had relied on my government for healthcare, I'd be dead."


Here's the the thing....

The neurosurgeon quoted above, Michael Schwartz of Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, also told CBC News that:

"....symptoms can be alleviated if the cyst is drained or part of it removed to take pressure off the optic nerve. "Then the person's vision almost always improves."

"If somebody called me about a patient that was losing her vision or had a structural abnormality of the brain I would see them within days."

That last point is important to consider when one is dealing with the constantly shifting claims of the serial obfuscators running the Haters' Club Inc./'The Cause', because Ms. Holmes has also claimed that even when she came back from the Mayo clinic with her diagnosis that she was told she would still have to face a long wait to see a specialist and/or receive surgery.

Here is how the Toronto Star reported the story, and the claims in Sept of 2007:

"....(Ms.) Holmes began losing her vision in March 2005, she told a press conference at Queen's Park yesterday. An MRI in May 2005 revealed a tumour in her brain. Her family doctor couldn't expedite appointments booked with specialists for July 19 and Sept. 19, 2005. As the tumour pressed on her optic nerves, her vision deteriorated. Afraid to wait any longer, she went to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Within a week she met three specialists and was told she had a fluid-filled sac growing near her pituitary gland at the base of her brain. They urged her to have it taken out immediately. She went home with the hopes of quickly removing what is known as a Rathke's cleft cyst.

Unable to get surgery fast, she returned to Arizona and had the mass removed on Aug. 1, 2005. Her vision was restored in 10 days. The Holmes family is now in debt $95,000 because of medical costs."....

So, was there a screw-up about a referral after she came back from the Mayo that prevented a visit with a specialist prior to the previously scheduled July 19th date?

Or, or was there a consultation with a specialist before that?


Could a more precise timeline provide some answers?

Now where, I wonder, could one find such a timeline......?

(potential answers coming soon)

Thanks, again, to pale at 'A Creative Revolution', once again for being way out in front of this story.
Please note: This is an updated version of the original post that did not have the speculation about a more precise timeline at the end..... Why?...... Because at the time I wrote the original post I did yet have a document, now safely stored on my hard drive, that has just such a timeline buried within it on pp 24-28 of 29.


Willing Member Of The Canadian Healthcare Haters' Club, Inc. Fears For Her Dog's Life


Yes, that's right. Ms. Shona Holmes' just told the Globe and Mail that:

"....She's increased security at her home and even given the family dog to her daughter, because of threats that her lawn will be poisoned....."


Given Ms. Holmes' willingness to act repeatedly act as a shill, paid or otherwise, for a group of fine folks down south who have demonstrated a propensity to peddle demonstrable falsehoods:

Does she have any actual evidence that someone is trying to poison her dog?

If there is such evidence I, as someone who has been very, very concerned by the way her personal story has been used as a means to obfuscate by the Healthcare Haters' Club, Inc., both north and south of the border, will immediately denounce any and all such egregious and despicable behavior.

And if there is no such evidence? .....Well.......I await the Globe's explanation as to why they have published such an accusation given that the only explicit examples of criticism of Ms. Holmes and her actions given in their story are: ".....a torrent of vitriol in the media and blogosphere, accusing Ms. Holmes of lying about her health and turning her back on the Canadian health-care system. On Facebook, a group called "Lets deport Shona Holmes" is littered with messages decrying her as "a liar and a traitor" who should "move to the U.S. if you like it so much.", none of which support the contention of threats of her lawn being poisoned or that 'There's been death threats on me', as has she also claimed in the piece.
So, did Ms. Holmes' herself obfuscate about a cyst that very, very rarely causes death? Well....Please feel free to watch the first ten seconds of the following Haters' Club Inc. produced and financed commercial and you decide.
Audry has more, on what looks to be maybe a kinda/sorta almost/not quite orchestrated pushback campaign.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Three Responses To The News About BC Ferries' Million Dollar Baby



As reported by Paul Willcocks, Mr. David Hahn, the man who, in my opinion, is running BC Ferries into the ground to make it an attractive takeover target, is himself now making, all told, over one million dollars per annum to do so.

Which has so far generated three responses that have burbled up from deep within my hindbrain.

Outrage: Pure outrage. There is no other way to describe it, especially when Finance Minister Colin Hansen has been running running around telling anyone who will listen how hard he is working to cut the hearts out of small social service providers in this province at $5,000 a pop.

Wonder: As in......If this is what the fully-lackeyized Board of BC Ferries has given Mr. Hahn as annual compensation behind closed doors, what the hell is his coming golden parachute going to add up to?......Two million?.......Four?.......Heckfire!.....Why not Ten?.....

Curiousity: This one came last, when I finally calmed down and stopped yelling and screaming for the chief steward to check the man's pockets for gold-plated cotter pins..... And, truth be told, it only bubbled to the surface when I took a closer look at Mr. Willcocks' report and noticed that this 'item' was originally floated by Mr. Jordan Batemen, blogger, highly successful astroturf layer, and Langley Councilperson who also just happens to be in tight with Mr. Rich Coleman.....Which is why I can't help but wonder if this is actually the first salvo from the Red-Meat Faction signaling their intention to put the LINO back in the BC Liberal party for real this time around...


The cuts to social services thing really sticks in my craw.....Especially in the face of million dollar salaries paid for with double-dipped deficit financing and fare increases/reservation fees/fuel surcharges....Why?.....Because back in the era of the 9 figure CareNet debacle I was forced to watch, up close and personal, the same kind of 'Cut-The-Heart-Out-Of-The-Little-Guy' approach literally kill a small, extremely efficient non-profit that really did help people (and would never have made any money for a large, centralized corporation).....And here's the thing.....When we realized that we were in a deficit because of the thousand tiny cuts, we couldn't just jack up our reservation fees and/or go back through the back door to get more money from the government by running our capital costs through the roof by, say, flying in a couple of dozen summer camp staffers from Germany, our board shut things down because we decided it would be immoral to pay our one single solitary full-time staffer less than $20,000 annually to keep the thing afloat....This is how insane all this codswallop is.


Socialized Medicine?......In America?!


You betcha.

And not only does it work, but it is something that no Republican Congressman or Senator would dare touch.


Because it 'Supports The Troops!'


Why not just expand it support all Americans?


What Mandate, Exactly Do The Geniuses Currently Running BC Rail....


...Actually Have From The Government of Gordon Campbell To Divest The Remnants Of The Crown Corporation Of All It's Real Property?

Why do I ask?

Well, because as our good friend Gary E. has discovered, with the help of a willing and able Anon-O-Mouse named EM, a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia whose last name is not Bennett who would sure like to know:

The only harm that I [Judge Meiklem] can infer would accrue to the defendant (BC Rail) from a preservation of the plaintiff’s option to purchase (Brinks Forest Products) pending a hearing of the issue on the merits is that the defendant would be delayed or hindered in marketing the premises (a chunk of land next to the former BCRail tracks in Prince George) in the intervening period of time. The defendant states in submissions that an injunction would prevent the defendant from dealing with the premises in accordance with its mandate from the provincial government to divest itself of all its real property. There is no evidence as to the terms of any such mandate or what losses may occur if there are delays experienced. The defendant also suggests that an injunction would be in place for some time as this action is unsuitable for Rule 18A summary disposition given the conflicts in evidence the require findings of credibility to resolve.
(stuff in brackets mine and Gary E's)


What's this all about, Alfie?

Well, as near as I can figure it, after reading the judgement it looks like a small sawmill operator in Prince George (Brinks Forest Products) made a deal back in 2005 to lease a chunk of unsubdivided land still owned by BC Rail that is next to the railway tracks that are now operated/longterm leased/not owned by CN Rail.

Why did the little sawmill company do that?

Why, so that they could build a new sawmill.


....In June 2005 Mr. Brink applied to the City of Prince George for a building permit to construct a new building to house a sawmill on the premises. The application was made in his personal name, but the permit issued on October 3, 2005 described the project as that of BFP. The permit was limited to foundation work and the fee and development cost charges totalled $40,092.10.....

Then Mr. Brink ran into some financial difficulty, which is not at all surprising given the state of the forest industry, after apparently spending almost $5 million dollars. As a result he apparently had to slow down the construction of his mill.

And the kicker?......

Well, ignoring the terrible downturn in the forest industry, BC Rail tried to cancel Mr. Brink's lease after a 'subdivision plan had been registered in the Land Title Office' in March of 2009.

Did you catch that?

The geniuses now being paid big money by you and me to run BC Rail want to push out the small sawmill operator so that they can subdivide and sell the property, presumably to a developer.

Too bad they haven't been able to provide the judge with evidence that they actually have 'a mandate from the government to do so'.

Gosh, maybe if that government, the government of Gordon Campbell, were to open up the big, secret BC Rail deal they made with CN Rail for all of us to see we, and the judge (again, not the judge named Bennett), just might be able to glean what that 'mandate' actually is.

But Hey!.... It's not like the government of Mr. Gordon Campbell hasn't turned public forest industry land into private windfall developer-ready land without a mandate before, right?
And why did I link to the original Public Eye piece by Sean Holman on the executive pay packages of the geniuses?......Because it beat Michael Smyth to the punch by almost a full 13 months (yes 13 months, or ~330 days of The Province's daily fishwrap banging against the front porch of the 13 people that still get it by subscription), not that you'd ever know it if you were listening to Mr. Smyth crow about how he broke the story recently while he filled in for a former cabinet minister of Mr. Campbell's who quit in the wake of the RailGate Ledge Raids and ultimately landed on her feet on the (notso)Giant '98......


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is BCUC's Run-Of-River Body Slam The Real Deal?


On the face of it - yes.

But in real/non-deflector-spin terms, I'm not so sure.

Especially given the fact that the BC Utilities Commission has been so willing to play ball with Campbellerian initiatives in the past (see: Terasen, KinderMorgan for example).

Have a read of Mark Hume's report, because, I think, this is going to be a big story.

Here's the lede:

The British Columbia government's energy plan and the future of new renewable-power projects in the province have been shaken by a ruling from the B.C. Utilities Commission.

After hearings that lasted almost a year, the commission has rejected BC Hydro's long-term acquisition plan as “not in the public interest” and has refused to endorse its push for clean energy....

At the very least, regardless true intentions here, it would appear that one more pillar of the Campbell Government's recent election campaign has been shown to be built of nothing more than sand.


Are Libraries Next Up On Gordon Campbell's Chopping Block?


Sean Holman has the story.

Oh, and regarding the emergence of a meaner slashing/burning Premier than ever in the wake of his recent election victory, I hate to say I told you so, but I did.....


Olympic Security....Is This Canada?


The Vancouver Sun's Daphne Bramham, in a story I had missed in all the RailGate excitement, would really like to know:

"There's a knock at the door. It's the police and they want to talk to you about your political affiliations.

They go door to door asking neighbours about you. They call your family and co-workers and suggest that they might call your employer.

You're driving down the street. Police stop you for a not-so-routine check and, over the next 40 minutes, you are questioned and your foreign visitors are warned that they need to carry their identification documents with them at all times.

China? No, Vancouver. It's all part of the security shakedown before the 2010 Winter Olympics are held in what is supposedly one of the freest, most open and transparent democracies in the world.....

{snippety doodle-dandy}

....When Chinese security made surprise "visits" to activists, it was front-page news worldwide with screaming headlines about the repressive, autocratic, military dictatorship.

It should be no different this year.

Canadians ought to be furious with politicians for letting it get this far. We should be jamming their e-mail, voice mail and snail-mail boxes in protest....

In related news, Dr. Dawg informs us that Sergeant Pepper is back on the case with a band that is anything but lonely:

"....RCMP Sgt. Maj. Hugh Stewart has been brought out of retirement to become the senior planner for the Mounties' 2010 Integrated Security Unit. "They're talking over 4,000 police officers and over 4,000 security officers, plus volunteers," Knight said.

Stewart was nicknamed Sergeant Pepper after he pepper-sprayed protesters at UBC during the 1997 APEC conference in Vancouver. The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP concluded that Stewart did not give the demonstrators enough time to clear the road, and that his use of pepper spray was "not a justifiable or appropriate level of force"....."

Gosh, I for one, sure hope that the good officer Stewart won't be carrying an electrical conductance device linked to multiple deaths instead of pepper this time around.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Canadian Who Is Not A Member Of The HealthCare Haters' Club


This time it's our friend Jennifer who writes, 'If I Were American I'd Be Dead'.

She also tells the heart-breaking story of a commenter she met at Daily Kos who had a similar kidney ailment as she did who did not recover, at least in part, because of the American system, and who is now in tremendous difficulty in terms of her health and her finances. Here's a bit of the story, but I really recommend that you head on over to Jennifer's and read the entire thing:

"....Unlike me, however, River lives in the U.S. So when she started experiencing symptoms, she didn't go to the doctor right away because of the cost of co-pays and the fear of being declined. And so while my condition was caught in time (barely) to restore my kidneys to full function, hers failed completely and irreparably. And while I now lead a happy, healthy normal life, she is facing a lifetime of dialysis. Which probably won't be as long as you'd think, because she's about to hit the lifetime cap on her husband's medical insurance..."


When you hear from people who are supposed be working for us pushing the Two-Tiered Healthcare envelope please understand what is really at stake.



Why Isn't This Person A Member Of The Canadian Healthcare Haters' Club, Inc?


Maybe because, unlike, say, the Haters Inc.'s latest homegrown shill, Ms. Shona Holmes, who had a benign cyst, this particular Canadian actually had a real brain tumour with the potential for rapid spread that required immediate surgery, radiation and chemotherapy - and they got all three:

Five years ago I was rushed to hospital with severe head pains. A scan revealed a serious life-threatening brain tumour (glioblastoma). So I was immediately admitted to the Trillium Centre in Mississauga where surgery was performed to remove as much of the tumour as possible. After I was released from hospital I was referred to the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton where I was immediately started on radiation and oral chemotherapy treatment.

The fact that I am alive today is a testament to the prompt, effective, excellent treatment I received under the Canadian health care system.

Our thanks to 'pale' at A Creative Revolution who is really taking this one to the streets, in all its incarnations both North and South of the 49th parallel for this one too.

Cross-posted in a slightly different form for the folks that really need this information down south at Firedoglake, here.
And here is a great post by one of those FDLer's to their legislator.
The good folks at
'The Political Carnival' are also doing a great job on this issue down south as well.
And Canuckleheads, this is not just an issue for our good friends to the south...The dismantlers are working both sides of the border in an effort to get us too.
For local Lotuslandian readers,
Paul Willcocks has really being digging into the current dismantler-friendly provincial government's surrogate-assisted pushing of the two-tiered envelope.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Canadian Healthcare Haters’ Club….The Wait Time Delusion.


Late last week, I came out of the RailGate bubble just long enough to get really pissed off about this 'Canadian HealthCare Haters Club, Inc.' business that 'pale' at 'A Creative Revolution' writes eloquently and comprehensively about here.

Anyway, as a result I wrote a couple of posts about one of our own who has been shilling for the Haters' Club headboy, Rick Scott, and his friends.

And then I cross-posted those screeds, in a slightly different form, over at Firedoglake, which is an American progressive site that is really doing it's best to try and force Democratic legislators (ie. the ones that are supposed to be on their side) to do the right thing on healthcare reform down there.

The result was some really good discussion, but it quickly became clear to me that a real bogeyman, even amongst progressives, is this business about how wait times are so much worse in Canada than in the States.

Below is how I responded......


Hi FDL'ers.

As a Canadian who has lived in your country, I got mighty upset when I saw my fellow countryperson, Ms. Shona Holmes, acting as a shill for the Canadian Healthcare Haters' Club, Inc.

So I wrote a couple of diaries about it here and here.

Which led to some good discussion, much of which seemed to center around wait times which, I've come to learn, is something that seems to be spooking even progressives.

As a result, I tried to write something realistic in response that goes like this:

First off, let me say the following (skip the next passage if you want to get straight to the answer)…..When we lived in the States I worked for a University and had what, I now understand (but didn’t then) is a Cadillac plan….We had our first kid down there and the care was very, very good….but, overall the co-pays and the nickle-and-diming with just about every visit and every prescription just about drove me crazy (I was a post-doctoral fellow so, even though I got the benefits, my actual pay was crap)…. And then, when I had an old chonic problem of my own flare up, it took some time, but not an unreasonable length of time, to get referred to the required specialist….I knew precisely what I needed (given my past experience with a similar specialist up here in Canada) but this guy, a staffer with the HMO, hemmed and hawed and ultimately would not give it to me (it involved a course of expensive antibiotics). Instead, he handled the problem very conservatively and it took much longer to resolve than I was used to… So, what’s the point?….Well, in Canada, where the system is Universal, when something like that happens you can go back to your family doctor and ask for another referral…Nobody at the HMO would help me do anything as crazy as that, so I just waited it out (nothing life-threatening, just a pain the, almost literally, rear end).

Now, getting right down to wait times….Anything urgent is dealt with immediately….Anything truly elective is most definitely not dealt with immediately…In between, say a knee ligament reconstruction after you’ve hurt yourself running around on the softball field, is where it becomes greyer.

However, overall, in my experience the following passage, from another border straddler named Rhonda Hackett who wrote a very good piece recently in the Denver Post that every American who has nagging concerns about really going for Universality and/or a true Public Option should read called ‘Debunking Canadian Healthcare Myths’:

Myth: There are long waits for care, which compromise access to care.
There are no waits for urgent or primary care in Canada. There are reasonable waits for most specialists’ care, and much longer waits for elective surgery. Yes, there are those instances where a patient can wait up to a month for radiation therapy for breast cancer or prostate cancer, for example. However, the wait has nothing to do with money per se, but everything to do with the lack of radiation therapists. Despite such waits, however, it is noteworthy that Canada boasts lower incident and mortality rates than the U.S. for all cancers combined, according to the U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group and the Canadian Cancer Society. Moreover, fewer Canadians (11.3 percent) than Americans (14.4 percent) admit unmet health care needs.

Hope this helps you all.

Sorry to be so verbose about all of this, but I’ve just got to reiterate the central tenet of the Canadian system that I mentioned in my original post…..We never worry….We may gripe sometimes…..But we never worry….For example, want to change jobs?…..We don’t worry about losing our coverage…..Lose your job?….We don’t worry about losing our coverage….Get sick?…..We don’t worry about losing our house to pay the hospital bills….Why?…Because the thing is completely portable and it’s always there.OK?

Best of luck with the battle.


Oh, and if you want the real hard stuff, from a guy I like to call our own version of Steve Gilliard, check this out..


The Triple 'A' Candidate.....Hunter S. Thompson Was Right.


Just finished listening to Kevin Sylvester interview George McGovern, who has written a new book on Lincoln, for a full hour on the Ceeb*.

It was completely inspiring on a huge range of issues, including the fact that Mr. McGovern was emphatic that there are times when wanting to win too much is actually losing.

And then he gave specific examples about Nixon.

Not the Nixon that made crap up about him, like the header above in 1972, but instead the Nixon of 1946 who demonstrated very early on what the evils of Atwater/Ailes/Rovianism would become 40 years later.


McGovern is 87 years old now and he wants to live to be 100.


So that he, in a true demonstration of bipartisanship, can work with Bob Dole to feed every school kid in the world lunch every day.

Sound crazy?

Sound utopian?

Sound like another of those ridiculous, bleeding heart liberal pie-in-the-sky wastes of big money that people like Margaret Wente and Rex Murphy and Bobo Brooks will denounce, like, yesterday, if not before?

Sure thing.

But consider this.......

Luring kids to school in developing nations is just about the best, cheapest form of birth control ever invented.

No amnesty.

No acid.

And, most definitely, no abortion required.

(not to mention gods or goddesses)


*Which is still, for the moment at least, radio of the people, by the people, for the people.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shona Holmes Re-Visited....First Jumps Queue...Then Attacks System....Now Wants Us To Pay???!!!


Welcome to all of our American friends arriving from Firedoglake, Stratosphere and Political Carnival.....By all means have a gander at what I've written below about one of the Wizards Of Wingnuttia's latest shills...But for a deep, fair, and truly balanced look at all that's mostly good about about the Canadian Healthcare system, written by someone who now lives in the States, please check this out as well.




That's right.

Ms. Holmes, who you may recall, fled Canada to have a benign cyst removed immediately in the United States.

Presumably, she did this because she didn't want to have to wait in line behind people with malignant tumours who required surgery right away North of the 49th parallel.

Which is all fine and good - if somebody wants to go elsewhere and pay big bucks for whatever, that's fine by me.

Except for two things.

First, Ms. Holmes has since become an obfuscatory shill for the Wizards of Wingnuttia down south.


Second, she's been trying to get us to pick up the $97,000 (US) tab it cost for her to do her queue jumping.

Oh, and just so you know, The Wizzo-Wing's have been making an issue of that as well.

Do these people have no sense of decency whatsoever?

And don't you dare think that the Wizzos aren't workin' the refs on this one up here in the Great White North as well...... Pale, of ACR fame, has that story.
JJ, as only she can, also has this one nailed to the wall, but good.
Something else that I've been wondering about.....Given that the condition that Ms. Holmes was afflicted with arises before birth, doesn't that mean she had a 'pre-existing condition'?.....And don't folks with 'pre-existing' conditions sometimes and/or often have difficulties getting/keeping private health insurance.....Not being particularly well-informed on this matter (yet), I've asked the denizens of Firedoglake for their thoughts.


The Real Story On Canadian HealthCare Hater Shona Holmes


Welcome to all of our American friends arriving from Firedoglake, Stratosphere and Political Carnival.....By all means have a gander at what I've written below about one of the Wizards Of Wingnuttia's latest shills...But for a deep, fair, and truly balanced look at all that's mostly good about about the Canadian Healthcare system, written by someone who now lives in the States, please check this out as well.


You've probably seen her all over the TeeVee, both on the cable News and in all those shrill shill ads, proclaiming how she was denied speedy care for her brain tumor in Canada which forced her south for a $97,000 surgery at the Mayo Clinic.

But here's the real thing, Ms. Holmes did not have a malignant brain tumor.

Instead, she had a benign condition called 'Rathke's cleft' which is a self-contained cyst that does not spread. Therefore, speed is not of the essence, as it would be in, say, a case of malignant glioma that does rapidly spread. In fact, most of those cysts are embryological remmants (ie. they form while the baby is still developing in utero and hang around for the person's entire life). Thus, they are often treated conservatively unless secondary symptoms arise (ie. because of where they are they can push on the pituitary or the optic nerve).

Therefore, in my best estimation at least, the fact that Ms. Holmes was not rushed into surgery in Ontario likely made both good medical AND good health care system sense.

Regarding the latter, think of it this way....Ms. Holmes, who was not in imminent danger, was was asked to wait a bit so that the clinicians involved could get a handle on whether or not it was progressing (ie. the usual conservative treatment decision for this condition) AND so that the glioma patients who really, really needed it could get their treatment first.

Now.... Ms. Holmes decided she couldn't wait....So, instead, she went south and had the relatively straightforward surgery to drain the cyst right away at a cost of $97,000.

Which is fair enough.

Just don't blame Canada for not letting her jump the queue.


Because the fact is that the folks in front of her in the line needed their immediate surgery much more than she did, which is something the great majority of Canadians agree is how things should be.

There is, of course, something else that the great majority of Canadians also agree upon.

Which is that nobody should have to pay $97,000 for any kind of medical treatment.

And we don't.

And because of that we don't lose our houses, or worse, when we get catastrophically ill.


Wrote this after reading a comment by our good friend Great Aunty Bertha over at Laila's place. I've cross-posted it, with some pre-amble, down south at Firedoglake where they are really fighting the good fight and are attempting to force their legislators to do the right thing on American Health Care Reform. In fact, the strategies used by the FDLers to get legislative movement on issues of import might be worth considering up here as well. Why? Because rather than wrangling with the Repubs, they focus instead on the people who are actually supposed to be on their side (and yes, I'm looking at you Mr. Krog and associates re: RailGate).
Pale, over at A Creative Revolution has great backgrounder stuff on the Canadian HealthCare Haters' Club.
And our good friend Laura, who really has seen the HealthCare systems on both sides of the border up close and personal has even more.
Fellow border-straddler Ian Welsh tells it like it really is at the HuffPo (note also Ian's own tale of how the longterm care he received in Canada when he was young did NOT bankrupt his parents, but would have if they had lived in the States at the time).


Friday, July 24, 2009

RailGate Rewind: Vaughn Palmer 'Speculates' That The Government Has....

....Hired an expert to 'retrieve' the Emails that were not on the back-up tapes.

Sounds to me like somebody on the inside has been whispering in Mr. Palmer's ear.



Because, Mr. Palmer is very willing to prattle on on specific subject one without any direct evidence being first produced in court.

Interesting that, eh?

(Michael Smyth, at least, tried to fight back about them being public records which started Palmer laughing, immediately, on that and the possibility that the judge could well be gone)

Heard on J. McComb's NW show at 3:45 pm Friday.


RailGate Revival.....Judge Orders Release Of Relevant Kinsella EMails.



Because, according to Mdme Justice Bennett, they are well, likely, you know, relevant:

Here's the story from the Province's Keith Fraser:

(O)n Friday the judge said that while some of the documents being sought were not relevant, some of them do support the defence theory.

Several of the relevant e-mails describe the setting up of meetings between Kinsella and B.C. Rail, she said.

“The defence submits that it’s significant that B.C. Rail is meeting with Kinsella a few months after the 2001 election,” said the judge.

“The e-mails refer to meetings to discuss the plans for the 2004 railway.

“Given that B.C. Rail was put on the market in 2002, and the charges come from that event, these documents are likely relevant. Mr. Kinsella does not have a privacy interest on the documents.”


Update: Friday @ 5pm....Mark Hume, in the Globe, notes that Judge Bennett actually placed the Kinsella/BCRail records into three categories:

Justice Bennett said some of the records are clearly not relevant to the defence of Dave Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi – who are accused of trading in confidential government information and taking bribes – and she ruled that that material not be disclosed.

She ordered the release of numerous records that are “likely relevant,” and over which Mr. Kinsella cannot assert privacy interests. And she put other documents into a third category – likely relevant but subject to privacy interests – which will be vetted, so that private information can be redacted before release.

This, to my mind at least, looks to be an extremely prudent course of action.

Hmmmmm......does this mean we are going to suddenly start hearing stories that have 'long been known' from proMedia pundits that have so far kept mum on this issue as well.


Brian From Garden Bay Destroys Ledgie Boys 223 to 10

PAB Bots


Park Rangers

(Palmer ignores the stick up the side of the head.....Good cuts to commercial...)

10:55am...Lone caller finally gets through that brings up the total lack of BC Rail discussion so far....All Ledgie Boys first turtle, then get Uber Defensive....Palmer mentions more than once that he will be on McComb this afternoon...Baldrey says there will likely be nothing in the Emails....Good says it's all assumptions....Baldrey says everything else is a bigger story....Hmmm....including out-front deflector spin HST announcements that nobody, apparently even in the Ministry of Finance, knew were coming this week?....Which, of course, proves the callers' point entirely...... That's it!...I'm finally really and truly done with these people....Although I do have one more post on 'The Boys In The Bag' coming....After that, I will only pay attention to proMedia journos who actually know how to use (and/or still remember how to use) the 5W's....


Little Gordo In Financial Trouble?....Big Steve-O To The Rescue!



That's right.

Gordon Campbell's oxymoronic, way-out-of-tune, and distinctly off-key, 'Harmonized Sales Tax' is being backed by a one time $1.6 billion with a 'B' subsidy from Mr. Stephen Harper.

Using our money, of course.


Did Mr. Campbell's $2.1 billion dollar deficit just become something like, say, oh I dunno $495 million?


(and even more unbelievable that this wee bit of flim-flammery is not being reported as such)

And who knew that His Gordness had the power to bring the good Docktor 'HST' back from the dead.....Wowser!
Final thoughts.....Was this pure, get out in front deflector spin to obscure the crap flying out of the Email Wurlitzer?


Thursday, July 23, 2009

BC Rail Lawyer Says That CN Ate Mr. Kinsella's Homework....

....Errrr "Documents".

Mr. T., Bill Tieleman, who was an eye-witness in the RailGate courtroom today, has the story:

B.C. Rail lawyer Robert Deane said this afternoon that there was “an explanation and it’s not sinister.”

Deane said CN Rail had taken over B.C. Rail documents in July 2004, so they were not in B.C. Rail’s possession.

Deane said an affidavit filed in June of 2009 explained that when the transfer of B.C. Rail to CN was completed in about July 2004, recoreds were transferred to the control of CN.

Outside court Deane declined to answer questions about why B.C. Rail still retained some records related to Kinsella but not others or whether B.C. Rail knows if the invoices exist and are in CN's control.


Sure glad we didn't 'sell' BC Rail to CN, otherwise they might have taken possession of everything under the British Columbia sun.

In related RailGate news, according to Mr. Tieleman, defense lawyer Kevin McCullough, in open court, continued to allege that Mr. Kinsella worked for both BC Rail and CN Rail, although judge Bennett says there is no evidence of that.....
At least not currently (evidence, I mean)...... Which begs the question, would Mdme Justice Bennett change her mind if she got a chance to actually see the missing homework?
Mark Hume's report on the day's court hearing, which has some good and important stuff in it, including a confirmation that Mr. Kinsella's lawyer did, indeed, argue that the release of documents describing his clients deeds and/or actions while he was being paid by a public company shouldn't be released because, apparently, descriptions of those actions and/or deeds "could damage his client's reputation"
(say, what?), is here.


There Is No Credible Evidence That Mr. Dziekanski Was....


....Waving a STAPLER around menacingly when he was jumped and repeatedly stunned with thousands of volts of electricity, even after he was lying face down on the floor with a knee jammed into the back of his neck.

So, given that, why is this fiction still being repeated, endlessly, by pundits and police alike, as some sort of justification that the people who did the jolting, kneeing and killing were under the threat of some sort of bodily harm, grievous or otherwise?

Or, put another way......

Why can we no longer call a demonstrable falsehood exactly what it is, which is a 'lie', and then call any and all people who brandish such lies exactly what they are when they do so.

Which would be to call them liars and then be done with it.........End of story.



RailGate Unravelling...Is Everything Missing?


First we found out the Emails were missing.

Now it appears that a whole bunch of invoices that should have been generated as a result of the fine work that the very fine Mr. Patrick Kinsella and/or his company Progressive Holdings did for BC Rail are, apparently, nowhere to be found.

Mr. Tieleman, reporting from the courtroom has the story, which includes, in my opinion at least, the bogus argument from Mr. Kinsella's lawyer, James Sullivan about why BC Rail documents connected to his client should NOT be allowed to see the light of day:

Sullivan told (RailGate judge) Bennett that release of the documents could beh (sic) harmful to Kinsella's business.

"Mr. Kinsella is not a government official or a public figure. He's a private citizen who relies upon his good reputation for his business," Sullivan said. "Mr. Kinsella, it must be stressed, is not a party to these proceedings."

But here's the thing Mr. Sullivan......

BC Rail is a PUBLIC company!

Therefore, the PUBLIC has a right to know.


Because that means that Mr. Kinsella was paid with the PUBLIC's money.

Not John McLernon's money....


Gary Collins' money....


Judith Reids' money......


Martyn Brown's money....


Ken Dobell's money....

Or, Godess forbid.....

Gordon Campbell's money!


Please note: In my description above I most certainly did NOT write 'paid-off'......Why did I not do so? Because that would be nothing more than crazy talk, and we sure wouldn't want any thing like that happening in this, the 'Best Place On Earth' to turn public assets into private gold.....Right?


RailGate Catch And Release...This Ain't No Fishing Expedition.


Just a couple of quick thoughts while we wait for RailGate judge, Mdme Justice Bennett, to decide on the fate of Paddy The K's documents as well as her own future.


If those RailGate Tapes that were ordered destroyed by Ms. Rosemarie Hayes in May of this year were originally placed on hold as the tale of two affidavits would suggest, doesn't that beg the following two questions......

Who ordered the original holding?

And why?

There just might be a hint of the who in Mr. Mason's latest missive wherein he mentions that he tried to get ahold of Ms. Hayes' predecessor in the neoOrwellian-named Ministry of Messaging*, Ms. Sue Griffiths, to no avail.
And thanks tons to a very perceptive Anon-O-Mouse in the comments for the prod-along on this one.
*At least it's not called the 'Ministry of Information Retrieval'......yet.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

RailGate Reverberating.....Mr. Mason Cometh....


Most importantly, Mr. Mason has asked the key person (presumably) responsible what happened to the RailGate Emails, and he has gotten no response from.....

"....Ben Stewart, minister responsible for Citizens' Services, which oversees the government department managing information technology. (An aide said the minister just didn't want to discuss the issue.)..."

Nor will anyone else involved.

Discuss the issue, I mean:

"....For the record, here are those who refused to discuss the matter or even respond to interview requests:...


....Rosemarie Hayes, the woman in charge of the e-mail service for government and the author of the affidavit that blew the lid off the story about the May records' destruction. (She has not responded to numerous messages left on her phone.)

Sue Goldsmith, Ms. Hayes's predecessor, who understands how the electronic storage system works as well as anyone and whose name surfaced in the Hayes affidavit.

Lee Johnson, an official at EDS Advanced Solutions, the company contracted by government to destroy the records requested by the defence. He was dealing with Ms. Hayes regarding the order to destroy the government information that the defence was seeking in the corruption trial.

It would appear people have either gone into hiding voluntarily or been ordered there by the Premier's office, which controls all messaging during times of crisis. Either way, the government's handling of this matter is disgraceful and shows nothing but contempt for the related concerns of B.C. citizens....."

So, never mind the already long-gone-and-forgotten Wally Oppal, because this is one mother of a giant Stonewall that even the way-done-gone-longer John Mitchell would be proud of.



I wonder.....

Is is it even remotely possible that Mike de Jong's partner's nickname is Martha by any chance?


Not possible.

Because, unlike this obfuscatory madness, a coincidence of that magnitude would be just plain crazy.


And for those keeping score and/or making side bets at home, I was off on the arrival of this particular Mason missive by 2 hr 27 minutes on the highside.
Oh, and just to take things one step Mary Prankster Bus...If Mr. Mason knows that Ms. Goldsmith's name was in the Hayes affidavit, what else does he know that he hasn't told us yet?


Clang, Clang Go The RailGuitar Doors!


Bill Tieleman is reporting that the best known Campbell Administration insider not on the RailGate Top 40 hit list will have his anti-document dump day in court tomorrow.

Well, actually, according to the ever reliable Mr. T. at least, Mr. Patrick Kinsella's lawyer is scheduled to show up for a hearing in front of RailGate court judge Elizabeth Bennett:

Thursday's session starting at 10 a.m. is expected to feature arguments over disclosure of BC Rail documents connected to Patrick Kinsella, the BC Liberal election campaign co-chair for 2001 and 2005 who was paid $297,000 by BC Rail for "business advice".

Kinsella's lawyer James Sullivan will appear for the publicity-shy BC Liberal insider.


Does that mean I should stay up late to wait for another Gary Mason bombshell to hit the wires at 12:01am?

Header is in reference to one of the best, least known, publicity-shy Clash songs of all time.
Oh, and just so you know
.....The other small matter that will also be dealt with tomorrow is a decision by Mdme. Justice Bennett about whether she should stay ....Or should she go....


Who Ordered The RailGate Tape Destruction?.....Why Not Ask The Minister Responsible?


The Globe had a decent LiveChat with old reliable, Mark Hume, on all matters RailGate over the lunch hour today.*

And there is some good stuff worth having a look at there, both in terms of the questions and the answers.

One call and response that caught my eye was the following:

[Comment From PaulG]
has anyone talked to the woman at the center of this scandal - Ms. hayes?
Mark Hume: Rosemarie Hayes, the director of the government's messaging services, has not talked to anyone in the media. She did talk at some length to a government lawyer, who has filed two affidavits from her. Those sworn statements, which we heard in court are contradictory, are sealed, so we don't know what she's said.

Which is all fine and good, as far as it goes.

Not to mention clear.

But it is nothing new.

So, again......

Why doesn't some enterprising editor send a reporter to go and ask Ms. Hayes' ultimate boss, the minister responsible for 'messaging services', who, precisely, ordered the destruction of the Emails in May of 2009?

And if the minister responsible is not immediately available, perhaps one of the 223 fine folks in the Public Affairs Bureau without too much to do (ie. the ones that keep trolling 'round here all day long) could go and find him.


Because the minister responsible for 'messaging' is their boss too.

And his name is Mr. Ben Stewart.


Why wasn't I in there mixin' it up myself, you may be asking?.....Darned thing called work....But I am thinking that we, the RailGate Obsessives Club, could set up our own LiveChat.....After all, we have the technology, and we pulled off a similar thing somewhat successfully on Election Night.....Details to follow.


RailGate Re-Evaluation.....Who Consulted With Whom, When?


Last week we noted that B.C.'s current Crime Czar, Mr. David Morhart, who, allegedly, used to be in possesion of a whole bunch of E-mails of interest to the RailGate defense team that may (or may not) have been destroyed recently, and who also turned up on the RailGate Top 40, was also once a member of the "Evaluation Committee" that helped to guide BC Rail's 'restructuring' back in the day.


It turns out that the then and current Chairman of the Board of BC Rail, Mr. John McLernon, who, coincidentally (or not), also happens to be the current Chairman of the Board of the BC Lottery Corporation was also a part of that very fine, finest of the fine, "Evaluation Committee".

In fact, Mr. McLernon was also the Chairman of that august body as well.

Which got me to wondering.....Did, perchance, Mr. Morhart himself ever consult with any of the wisest of the wisemen, especially any of those wisemen who may also have had dealings with, and/or perhaps provided wise counsel to, say, the BC Lottery Corporation, and who were also being paid handsomely, presumably at Mr. McLernon's behest, or at least, presumably, with his blessing, to help counsel BC Rail on their strategic plan to go forward during those most exciting of times when the wisest of all wise deals was going down?

Not that I'm trying to be a wiseguy by askin' the question or anything.....


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Which Is More Deadly....Listeria or Codswallop?



What happened AFTER the listeria bacteria bloomed in those meat cutters was bad.

But, in my view at least, what was absolutely unforgiveable is what happened BEFORE the bacteria grew.

Which, to be absolutely clear, was an explicit policy change that was engineered by Mr. Stephen Harper with malice and/or ideology aforethought that was then put into action by Mr. Gerry Ritz when he took federal government inspectors out of meat processing plants.

As a result, the bacteria were able to grow until they reached deadly levels, undetected.

And if we, the people of Canada, do not come to that realization we are, in my opinion, inviting it to happen again, regardless how many half-measures are put in place to take care of things AFTER the next bacteria-driven outbreak occurs.


Impolitical's take really helps provide a full-scope/big picture view of this matter.....In fact, it is something every single big time proMedia editor/producer should be forced to read before they wurlitzer up another stupid puff-piece that implies that everything is better now and that there is no longer any need to worry about the cold-cuts at the salad bar and/or in the cafeteria of the old folks home.


The Dual-Pronged RailGate Defense Strategy


At least according to the lawyer for David Basi, Michael Bolton, in an interview with Mike Smyth on the (notso) Giant'98 this afternoon....


1) The defendants were only following their boss' orders.

2) The lobbyists that 'interacted' with the defendants were also getting information from other folks in the government.



We've known all about #1 for a long time now.

And as for #2.....?

Well, that puts things in a whole different perspective, doesn't it, especially if you recall a little matter that some, Vaughn Palmer included, have described as being a putative 'Quid Pro Quo' and which the RailGate judge herself, Mdme. Justice Bennett, once noted could have been a potential 'Consolation Prize'.

And what's that all about?

Well, the suggestion that there was a quid pro deal in place, made between the government and one of the junior bidders that was brokered with the help of a government-connected lobby shop, to award the Roberts Bank Spur Line to the junior bidder if it stayed in the big mainline game to the end to provide the government competitive cover to legitimize it's done (eg. fixed) deal with the one senior bidder that also stayed in the game to the end.

So there you have it.

All you really need to know to understand this one simultaneously simple and convoluted paragraph.


In related, PAB-assisted news....Apparently the heat has died down enough that the Premier has decided to head to Kelowna....And in my opinion, we are not talking about the heat of the fires themselves......Will be interesting to see if he actually has an open presser or if it's all controlled ambush interviews/calls to friendlies....


Who, Precisely, Ordered The Destruction Of The RailGate Tapes?


Who, indeed.

Perhaps some enterprising proMedia reporter would like to call up Rosemarie Hayes' boss and ask him.


You all remember Ms. Hayes don't you?

If not, here's a reminder......She's the director of the provincial government's 'Messaging and Collaboration Services'.

Still doesn't ring a bell?

Well how about this....She's also the very fine public servant who told the outsourced InfoTech storage company, EDS, to destroy those tapes with all the RailGate E-mails on them.



Who, precisely ordered Ms. Hayes to send that order to EDS, in May of 2009, in the middle of a hotly contested election campaign in which the proMedia was obsessed with how much fuel Carole James' float plane used and which of Gordon Campbell's relatives were travelling on a campaign bus that he wasn't even on because he was scared the public might find him on it?


Presumably, again, Ms. Hayes' boss might have an inkling of that who would be.

So, who is that, exactly?

Ms. Hayes' boss, mean?

Well, that would be the Minister responsible for 'Messaging and Collaboration Services'.

Which is a very fine fellow named Ben Stewart.

And what Ministry is it that Mr. Stewart is running, exactly?

Why, that would be the Ministry of Citizens’ Services and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and .........Wait for it............

.....The Public Affairs Bureau....

Imagine that!

Oh, and as for the 'It just costs too much to save all those ol' bits and bytes' defense.... Well, Miro Cernetig pretty much destroys that one in his VSun piece today.....Unless, of course, $129 is just too rich for a Ministry to spend that has 220+ full time PAB staffers doing, well.......What, precisely, for the people of British Columbia?
To put all those PAB staffers, and the relative cost of their non-concrete usefulness into perspective, don't forget that the Province of British Columbia currently has just 10 full time Park Rangers.... Yes, just 10!......And no, Mr Good, I'm not making that up either.
Oh, and speaking of the good Mr. Good....I could have sworn that he had his own little Creme de la Creme moment this morning when he berated Frances Bula over the ridiculous notion of the possibility of homeless shelters in....Gasp!..... Vancouver's 'upper middle class neighbourhoods'.....


RailGate Ricochet.....Which Deputy Is Which?


Which Deputy "Minister", that is....

Not too surprisingly it is Mr. Mason of the Globe, with a take that is highly conversant with the RailGate defense's position, that raises the issue:

"....The defence has already come into possession of some e-mails through freedom of information applications that have demonstrated the potential importance of some of these third-party conversations. For instance, it has obtained e-mail correspondence between the lobbyists at the centre of the scandal that suggests there was a former deputy finance minister who might have been a key source of insider information for them."

Hmmmmm......Now which former Deputy Finance Minister "might" that be?

Well, there is technically, only former Deputy Finance Minister on that RailGate Hit List that was released by Mdme Justice Bennett yesterday.

And, as long as you're not colour blind, you shouldn't have too much trouble spotting that fine former public servant below, from the list:

Premier Gordon Campbell
Martyn Brown, chief of staff
Mike Morton, press secretary
Lara Dauphinee, deputy chief of staff
Ken Dobell, former deputy minister to premier and cabinet secretary
Brenda Eaton, former deputy minister to the premier
Jay Schlosar, former director of issues management
David Cunningham, former deputy communications director
Tom Syer, former deputy chief of staff
Jessica McDonald, deputy minister to the premier

(Ministry of Finance)
Gary Collins, former finance minister
Paul Taylor, former deputy minister
Chris Trumpy, deputy minister
David Morhart, former assistant deputy minister
Yvette Wells, former exec-dir. of the crown agencies secretariat
Judith Reid, former transportation minister
Christy Clark, former deputy premier
Shirley Bond, formed Northern caucus member, minister of education
Richard Neufeld, former northern caucus MLA

(Search of the Legislature on December 28, 2003)
Rich Coleman, former solicitor general
Kevin Begg, assistant deputy minister

(Communications with lobbyists at Pilothouse – Brian Kieran, Erik Bornmann, Jamie Elmhirst and their respective companies)
Christy Clark
Richard Neufeld
Gary Collins
Judith Reid
Paul Taylor
Shirley Bond


While it is not an absolute indicator of anything connected to the BC Rail deal or the Basi/Virk/Basi case with any certainty whatsoever, I do seem to remember that the 'lobbyists' allegedly involved in the case did have some dealings back in the day with at least one Deputy Finance Minister.

Luckily the Blogspot never forgets, so maybe if I fish around a little bit in the archives I might be able to find it.

Just a sec.....(insert Jeopardy theme music here)

Ah........Yes..........Here it is..... From a two year old column by Les Leyne in the Victoria Times-Colonist*:

"....Former ministerial aides Dave Basi and Bobby Virk are on trial for influence-peddling in relation to the B.C. Rail sale.

One aspect of the case involves the activities of a Victoria lobbying firm run by Brian Kieran and Jamie Elmhirst.

But it's another activity that duo were involved in that caught the attention of the Opposition yesterday. And that was sparked by a rather careless exchange of e-mails four years ago (ie. in 2003) that took an entirely too nonchalant approach to discussing a former deputy minister of finance.

Kieran, Elmhirst and Erik Bornman -- a colleague of theirs then who is expected to be a star witness in the Basi-Virk trial -- were e-mailing one another about a potential new client. This was months before the raid on the legislature and has nothing to do with B.C. Rail.

And if the e-mails are to be believed, then-deputy minister of finance Paul Taylor was only too happy to be of service in facilitating the new business relationship.

At the time Taylor and Kieran were friends and neighbours on Pender Island.

After a day fishing with Taylor, Kieran e-mailed his partners with news that Taylor had given him a detailed outline of how to go about securing a consulting contract with the B.C. Automobile Dealers Association, an outfit that employed Taylor prior to his move to government....."

(insertion of date in bracket above, mine)

Imagine that!

*And for the record, lest any proMedia pundit choose to suggest that I'm just making this stuff up, here's my original post that led back to the Les Leyne piece.


Monday, July 20, 2009

RailGate's Top 40!...The Hits Just Keep Coming


Earlier, after a tip from an Anon-O-Mouse, we posted-up a list of known current and/or past known associates of one Mr. Gordon Campbell who's Emails were apparently deemed 'potentially relevant' by Mdme. Justice Elizabeth Bennett in the Railgate Courtroom today.

Well, turns out our initial list was pretty darned accurate.

Because, while all the 19 names we originally had are still in play*, according to Neal Hall in the VSun, there are some repeats in the playlist that bring it a little closer to a true 'Top 40':

Premier Gordon Campbell (and associates)Martyn Brown, chief of staff
Mike Morton, press secretary
Lara Dauphinee, deputy chief of staff
Ken Dobell, former deputy minister to premier and cabinet secretary
Brenda Eaton, former deputy minister to the premier
Jay Schlosar, former director of issues management
David Cunningham, former deputy communications director
Tom Syer, former deputy chief of staff
Jessica McDonald, deputy minister to the premier

(Ministry of Finance)
Gary Collins, former finance minister
Paul Taylor, former deputy minister
Chris Trumpy, deputy minister
David Morhart, former assistant deputy minister
Yvette Wells, former exec-dir. of the crown agencies secretariat
Judith Reid, former transportation minister
Christy Clark, former deputy premier
Shirley Bond, formed Northern caucus member, minister of education
Richard Neufeld, former northern caucus MLA

(Search of the Legislature on December 28, 2003)
Rich Coleman, former solicitor general
Kevin Begg, assistant deputy minister

Brian Kieran
Erik Bornmann
Jamie Elmhirst

That's some hit list/list of hits, eh?

*Please note, that our original list did have one small mistake, in that we originally listed then Ass't Deputy Minister of Finance, and current Crime Czar, David Morhart, as 'David Morhouse'. We apologize for the error, although we feel compelled to note, especially for those Blogger hater's out there in the proMedia (and, yes, we are looking at you Mr. Baldrey), that we did correctly identify the good Mr. Morhart last week as a potential early possessor of potentially interesting Emails, at least according to defense lawyer Kevin McCullough.


RailGate Resurrection Shuffle?


I dunno about you, but if there is an "inventory" of potentially relevant cabinet-related E-mails being assembled, does it not suggest that some of those requested E-mails must, in fact, have come back from the dead?


What the heckfire am I blathering on about this time?

Well, this thought bubble has arisen after reading Mark Hume's Globe story on today's court ruling:

Judge Bennett was recently given a government affidavit stating that backup tapes holding e-mail records for the period in question had been deleted. But a second affidavit, filed a few weeks later by the government, states that the records, or some of them, may be intact.

“At this point I am not dealing with whether these documents exist or have been destroyed,” Judge Bennett said in ruling the material is relevant.

George Copley, a government lawyer representing the Premier and cabinet, told court an inventory of electronic data files is being made and “a complete listing of what's available” will be ready on August 17.

Of course, I suppose a cynic might say that "a complete listing of what's available" could actually be nothing more ore less than a big, fat zero.

But I have way too much faith in the good faith of Mr. Copley to say something as cynical as that.


And trust that sneaky/ever reliable Mr. Hume to hold off, and get the whole story of the day's RailGate courtroom proceedings before filing, unlike the rest of the local reporters that are suddenly swarming all over the place again.....

The Case Of The Disappearing Premier's Broken Record....


Why is he not in Kelowna?


He has just 'called' the (notso)Giant98 newsroom directly (ie. no scrum/all control) to say that he doesn't want to be a 'distraction' to the good people of the Okanagan.

Oh, and furthermore..... Mr. Campbell says he cannot comment on matters his minions may have destroyed because... there is a special prosecutor....and this is all the job of the special prosecutor to look into.... and he must remain at arms length from the special prosecutor.

Oh, and by the case you didn't know it.....according to premier Campbell at least...

That is exactly why we have a special prosecutor.

Or some such codswallop.

Super sheesh - at least the previous limited hangout, the bogus "sub-judice" argument, made a kind of twisted, if inadequate, sense.

But this is just plain stoopid, especially when you remember that the DEFENSE not the S.P. called for the Emails and it was the JUDGE who today ruled on the 'potential relevance' of those EMails....


Please note: The broken record part of Mr. Campbell's phone call to the 'NW Newsroom is NOT in their website/print version, but it was broadcast on John McComb's show ~3:40pm today, Monday July 20th.....


RailGate Rewind Repercussions.....Where Is The Premier?


So why hasn't Mr. Campbell shown up in Kelowna to help the good people of the Okanagan out?

Is it possible that he doesn't want to face an hostile press that just might ask an off-topic question or fifty.....?

Update: 3:30pm Premier Gordon Campbell has 'called' the (notso)Giant98 newsroom directly (ie. no scrum/all control) to say that he doesn't want to be a 'distraction' to the people of Kelowna and that he can't comment on matters his minions have destroyed......errrrr.....are being dealt with by the special prosecutor...


RailGate Rewind....Who Ordered The Destruction Of The Email Tapes?


Don't know for sure.....

But Bill Tieleman, speaking on the (notso) Giant'98, just suggested that the answer may be buried deep within Rosemarie (Don't Call Her Woods) Hayes' second affidavit that was offered up by Gordon Campbell's man in the RailGate courtroom, George Copley, last week.

But here's the thing....

That affidavit has NOT been made public.


Has anybody else seen it whose last name is not Mason?


Now that I think of it, does this mean that we will be receiving another blockbuster in tomorrow's Globe?

Mr. T. has pretty much confirmed our Anon-O-Mouse's 'List' posted downthread, and notes that the Emails of Mr. Campbell's deemed likely relevant by the Judge include those dealing with both BC Rail AND Pilothouse....ha!.....(and how the heck did Bill update that post while he was simultaneously jousting with Norman Spector on the Goodship Watercarrier, who was strangely silent this morning?)....