In the fall of 2010 the RailGate trial came to an abrupt halt just as the former BC Liberal government Finance Minister (and David Basi's last boss), Mr. Gary Collins, was about to take the stand.
Both the abruptness and the halt of the trial were facilitated by the sudden announcement of a six million dollar deal that some, myself included, have suggested should be viewed as a pay-off to the defendants and their legal teams.
A lot of attention at the time was focussed on the roles that then Attorney General Mike 'I Bake Cookies!' de Jong and one of his deputies, Mr. David Loukidelis, played in the brokering of that deal.
However, what was essentially all but ignored by the proMedia was the fact that the current Finance Minister, Mr. Colin Hansen, and one of his deputies, Mr. Graham Whitmarsh, also helped put together that deal and, presumably*, approved the actual dollar amounts paid out in the pay-off (which, of course, were not their monies, but instead were ours).
But wait, there's more!
Which is the part that I find most egregious given that it was, to the best of my knowledge, completely ignored by the Lotuslandian proMedia....
Specifically, Mr. Whitmarsh was recently a business colleague of Mr. Gary Collins.
Here is how I described the business relationship between Mr. Whitmarsh and Mr. Collins (and its potential significance) at the time:
....Former RailGate era Finance Minister Gary Collins once worked for David Ho's now defunct Harmony Airways.
....Current Deputy Finance Minister Graham Whitmarsh, who helped Deputy AG David Loukidelis put together the super-secret $6 million dollar plea-copping bonus-baby deal that ensured that former Minister Collins would never have to testify, under oath, in front of transcripts of RCMP surveillance wiretaps, at the RailGate trial, also worked for Harmony back in the day.
But here's something we didn't know, courtesy of Sean Holman's fantastic archives over at Public Eye.....
.....Current Deputy Finance Minister Whitmarsh was 'relieved' of his duties at Harmony on Nov. 30th 2006.
....Former RailGate era Finance Minister Collins resigned from Harmony just one day later on Dec. 01 2006.
Which, in my opinion at least, means two more things.....
....Mr. Whitmarsh and Mr. Collins know each other because they both worked together as executives at the small, locally-based Harmony Airways at the same time.
....It is not unreasonable for a reasonable person to wonder if the government of British Columbia and, more specifically, the Premier of British Columbia under whose pleasure all deputy ministers serve, placed Mr. Whitmarsh in a conflict of interest by having him help work out a super secret deal that ultimately benefitted a previous close business associate.
Here is my question for the current Finance Minister, Mr. Colin Hansen:
"How, exactly, was it NOT a conflict of interest to have Mr. Graham Whitmarsh, who is a former business associate of Mr. Gary Collins, work out a deal that prevented Mr. Collins from testifying in open court, under oath, about his role, or lack thereof, in the (now established) illegal leaking of documents and information to private concerns regarding the longterm leasing of public assets then under the control of BC Rail?"
*I say, 'presumably' approved the dollar amounts because, despite what Rafe Mair suggested at the time, Vaughn Palmer let us 'know' that this would not have gone to mini-Treasury and/or Cabinet for approval due to a (well-designed?) technicality....Now, if true, wouldn't that have been an oh-so convenient cut-out of plausible deniability?.....For cabinet, Mr. Hansen, and the then (and still!) Premier maybe....But, in my mind it makes the potential conflict with respect to Mr. Whitmarsh's involvement all the more significant.....Alas, as noted above this potential conflict appears to have never been raised by the proMedia at the time....