Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cutting The Cabinet Out Of RailGate's Six Million Dollar Straw Man


According to Vaughn Palmer, Rafe Mair is wrong.


Well, apparently due to (another!) pre-planned indemnity double-down, Gordon Campbell and his cabinet are off the hook because they did not have to directly approve the six million dollars required to buy-off to Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk (and their lawyers).

Here is Mr. Palmer's explanation:

"...But the more problematic part of the deal for the Liberals was the second line of decision-making, namely to forgo any attempt to recover the $6 million advanced by the Crown to cover the cost of Basi's and Virk's legal defence.

The special prosecutor had nothing to do with that part of the deal. It was made in Victoria by deputy minister of finance Graham Whitmarsh in concert with deputy attorney-general David Loukidelis.....

{snippety doo-dah}

The deputy duo acted under the authority of the Financial Administration Act, de Jong added, which brought a provocative e-mail from a reader.

On what authority? he asked, noting that the act explicitly states that only the cabinet can forgive "a debt or obligation to the government if the amount forgiven is $100,000 or more."

The amount forgiven here exceeded that threshold by a factor of 60. But no cabinet order was forthcoming because the amount was not, technically, a debt. It could have been, if the accused had been convicted and the Crown had proceeded to try to recover the legal fees.

But when the decision was made, the outstanding legal bills were only a contingent liability, advanced by way of indemnity, and cancellable by the deputy minister of finance under his standing authority under the act. Whitmarsh, acting on the recommendation of Loukidelis, signed off on all the paper work.

The cabinet was thus out of the loop, which is surely preferable to having ministers make the call on any aspect of the deal to end this case....."

How convienient.

But here's the thing.

Mr Whitmarsh is Mr. Campbell's and, dare I suggest, Mr. Martyn Brown's man over at Finance.


Has anyone asked the good Mr. Whitmarsh if he ever spoke to Mr. Campbell or Mr. Brown about this matter, regarding the details when the deal went down, or, and this is very important, when indemnity technicality was worked out BEFORE the deal itself was even conceived of?

Oh......And it was good to see that Les Leyne is finally starting to keep up......What the heckfire am I talking about?.....Well, the other day Mr. Leyne didn't even mention Mr. Whitmarsh as being part of the dynamic duo when he was on the Ceeb with the the Puffmaster Flash.....But in his column today he at least acknowledge Mr. Whitmarsh's involvement...No discussion, of course, of the implications however......
And for the was very nice to see Mr. Palmer follow-up on something that has been discussed, in considerable detail, by the 'Wingnuts in the Blogosphere'...Credit where credit is due, and all that....Unless, of course, Mr. Palmer's E-mail correspondent was named 'Anonymous'....



North Van's Grumps said...

Now that the trial is over I thought I would take a look at the 8000 pages stored over at the BC NDP, particularly the information where OmniTrax was seeking to sit down with the Premier to talk about BC Rail's future in 2002. I then took that information over to the Lobbyist registration department and entered the data.... problem is Pilothouse principals no longer exist, but that shouldn't have stopped them from providing the information now that everything is no longer covered by a blanket statement that its before the courts, no comment.

I want to see if the visits by OmniTrax to the Premier tallies with the Registry.

Its a simple test, just so I can finally feel that I can trust the BC Liberal government......... or did they shred the info, already? before last provincial election in 2009

RossK said...


I've got some of that stuff in my archives, some of which is even saved as jpg's for posterity.

Stuff like this.....

Post where it came from is here.


North Van's Grumps said...

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Eirin Airton's 'Corrections'

Out of curiousity I went to what I think is your first post, T/F

But when I tried to go up the next second most oldest post I ended up here. Its your blog RossK, but to bring the jury up to date on how all of this started would it be best to give a chronological snapshot of where your blog originated from and let us follow the "crumbs" up to here?.

Then folks like me can pick the next chapter to read before going to bed at night.

North Van's Grumps said...

Great photos!!!!! from the lobbyist registry, I only wish I had saved some too, especially in light of the fact that Mr. Kiernan wants to go back to wordsmithing, and not lobbying.

Norm Farrell said...

Our friend Palmer is I suspect acting as stenographer for the BC Liberals. He's too smart to believe this stuff.

You can bet they won't show us the underlying documents about when and how the legal obligation to repay became effective. (Have they ever lied before?)

Palmer is welcome to the tortuous logic involved in considering "the amount was not, technically, a debt" although "it could have been."

Palmer should examine the section on "weasel words" in his old newswriter's manual.

West End Bob said...

One of the local newscasts yesterday was quoting a figure of $18 million for the defence, crown, court costs, etc. of the 7-year legal proceedings. Then they noted the RCMP investigation charges and other various and sundry items should bring the grand total to about $100 million. Man - what a deal the BC taxpayers got to have two low-lifes "sentenced" to living normal lives in their own homes!

In the Excited States people would wring their hands about the political corruption in places like the states of Louisiana and New Jersey or city of Chicago. Gotta tell you, they ain't got nuthin' on BC government corruption . . . .

North Van's Grumps said...

" J. MacPhail: I don't understand why the minister is obfuscating and stonewalling on this matter.

If the $255 million, the tax policy initiative of this government, falls through, who is responsible for collecting or not collecting that tax? Is it this minister?

Hon. R. Thorpe: The Canada Revenue Agency is responsible for collecting corporate taxes for the province of British Columbia.

J. MacPhail: Who in this government, in the executive council, is in charge of making sure that happens? Is it the Minister of Finance or is it the Minister of Provincial Revenue?


Hon. R. Thorpe: It's the Minister of Provincial Revenue. We have a signed agreement with CRA on tax collection."

The BC Liberals have the Feds collecting the HST and the CRA collecting ...... or is that paying to CN Rail $600 million on the indemnity clause

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Love that above comparison of our province to the city of Chicago. On the one hand we like to see, and have always liked to see, ourselves as world class. Trouble is we forget that world class puts us in league with a lot of people with no class whatsoever.

Alison said...

Brian Kieran in his own words

Alison said...

Peter Ewart on Co-op Radio right now :

RossK said...

Thanks All....

I'm having a bit of think.

The Mace-Man's simultaneous call-out/cop-out today has me really, really flummoxed.

(Alison - will try to get Mr. Ewart on the replay)


North Van's Grumps said...

Man at centre of Basi-Case speaks out

Vancouver Province

Brian Kieran


As a central figure in this affair I can sympathize. After twisting in the wind for the better part of seven years, I never got to tell my story as a witness for the Crown. And I had quite a story to tell. While I don't get to tell it all in the space I have today, I can, at least, provide some initial perspective.

Looking back on the two years that my former Victoria-based firm, Pilothouse Inc., was employed by Denver-based OmniTrax, I see the sale of B.C. Rail as a colossal failure of public-policy implementation. There was no reason to sell such a valuable provincial asset and no one along the rail line was clambering to unload it. As well, it was just bad business to contemplate turning a regional, short-haul railway system over to a Class 1 long-haul operator such as Canadian National or Canadian Pacific.

My job on behalf of OmniTrax was twofold: To help articulate the value of its bid with respect to service to shippers, added value to communities and retention of the regional integrity of the asset; secondly -- and most importantly -- it was to try and keep the playing field level during the pre-bid and bidding period. The way to do this was through timely intelligence gathering, an integral and entirely legitimate element of government-relations work.

Anonymous said...

gary bass his pay off for not investigating (what he should of)will be in charge of the western provinces,boy that's really scary,and they say the feds aren't involved in this torrid affair I call bullshit.

Norm Farrell said...

The payoff for Bass was a new 20 year policing contract with BC for the cowboys. Kash Heed revealed last week that the BC government folded on efforts to gain control over local policing. Since BC was the lead negotiator between the western provinces and the RCMP, it was a big victory for the force.

Now, they can just carry on with the pretense of accountability instead of the reality.

North Van's Grumps said...


New documents have been posted on the BC Ferries website which can be found here:

The following Freedom of Information Requests have been updated:

FOIPP #2010-014
FOIPP #2010-024
FOIPP #2010-036
FOIPP #2010-040
FOIPP #2010-042
FOIPP #2010-055

Thank you for your interest in the BC Ferries FOI process.

Anonymous said...

BC Ferries FOI


Request = Type of information requested (click to view released documents)
Requestor = Identified as Individual, Law Firm, Media, Political Party, Business, Interest Group, Public Body, Researcher
Process Fee = Amount to be charged to requestor in accordance with Provincial legislation
Actual Cost = Actual cost to BC Ferries for preparing and providing access to the requested information
Status = Status of request: Open, Withdrawn or Complete (Complete will link to records provided)
Last Updated = Date of last update to this record

Anonymous said...

BC Ferries FOI


Request = Type of information requested (click to view released documents)
Requestor = Identified as Individual, Law Firm, Media, Political Party, Business, Interest Group, Public Body, Researcher
Process Fee = Amount to be charged to requestor in accordance with Provincial legislation
Actual Cost = Actual cost to BC Ferries for preparing and providing access to the requested information
Status = Status of request: Open, Withdrawn or Complete (Complete will link to records provided)
Last Updated = Date of last update to this record

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the cost of those foi requests.

$112 to be told:

"BC Ferries does not have any records responsive to your request. As indicated in news stories at the time, [former employee]resigned from BC Ferries."

My personal favourite:

$224 to be told:

"The information responsive to your request is routinely available without the need for a formal request under the FOIPP Act. It can be located in the route financial reports in BC Ferries' Annual Reports to the British Columbia Ferry Commissioner at"


RossK said...

Oh Boy.

It's like they're trying to grind anybody who is paying attention to dust.

It's a thousand times worse than water torture.



Anonymous said...

Here's another guy who plead guilty, Doug Wall's

Sean Holman You Tube in Can you believe it
Doug Walls pleaded guilty to defrauding CIBC in an elaborate, multimillion-dollar cheque-kiting scheme

That debt was forgiven by the Liberals, against government policy.
No jail for former B.C. official over bank fraud

Anonymous said...

There appears, that the payoff to basi and virk wasn't something totally out of the blue by the bc liberals. They've done it before, accepted by the public, why not do it again.

I wonder is the public is aware of the similarities in the payoff by the bc liberals when it comes to legal bills? I wonder if .....