Monday, January 03, 2011

RailGate Remainders...Our Questions Continued...The Demand.


Number 7.

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.


To the best of our knowledge the current BC Liberal government Finance Minister, Mr. Colin Hansen, has not yet answered our Question #8 wherein we asked him, Mr. Hansen, to explain how, exactly, having a former business colleague of Mr. Collins who is now a Deputy Minister assigned to the current Minister (ie. to Mr. Hansen) was not in a conflict of interest when he (ie. the current Deputy Minister) helped put together the deal that ended the trial abruptly such that the former Minister (ie. Mr. Collins) did not have to testify, under oath.

One question we do not have to ask, however, is whether, if he had testified, the former Minister (ie. Mr. Collins) would have been asked about a dinner he had with the then heads of the American railway company OmniTRAX, whose money was being used to bribe Mr. Collins' former aide, the now convicted criminal (as the still current Premier, Mr. Gordon Campbell noted), Mr. David Basi, on Dec. 12th, 2003 (ie. less than three weeks before the Raids on the B.C. Legislature).

Why do we know that Mr. Collins would have been asked about this dinner at the trial if he had testified under oath?

Well, because during the pre-trial, way back in February of 2007 (ie. when there was still no court-imposed publication ban) we were told that the RCMP had surveillance tapes of that dinner. Here is the story from that time according Neal Hall writing in the VSun:

The RCMP conducted a "massive" surveillance operation to spy on a meeting involving former finance minister Gary Collins as part of the investigation that led to the 2003 raid on the B.C. Legislature, according to court documents filed Monday.

An application for disclosure by the defence in the case says the RCMP engaged in a "massive surveillance operation" to document a Dec. 12, 2003, meeting involving Collins and executives from OmniTRAX, a company that had been bidding in the sale of BC Rail but did not win.

"The surveillance included undercover operatives both inside and outside the restaurant and extensive video surveillance and tracking of the parties," read the 32-page application submitted by the defence....

As you can imagine, at the time there was much conjecture about what was said and, perhaps more to the point, what may have or what may not have been on 'offer' at that dinner at the finest-of-the-fine Villa del Lupo restaurant between Mr. Collins and the OmniTRAX executives.

So, given all that, it is not surprising that a few weeks later the good Mr. Collins, through his lawyer Mr. Clark Roberts, demanded the full release of all the Villa del Lupo dinner tapes.
Here is how Mark Hume reported on that story in the The Globe in the Spring of 2007:

Former finance minister Gary Collins yesterday called on the Crown to release any police surveillance material it has of him from a 2003 meeting with U.S. business executives concerning the government sale of BC Rail.

Speaking through his lawyer, Clark Roberts, Mr. Collins said if the police did tape his meeting with OmniTRAX Inc., a company that failed in a bid for BC Rail, it should be made public because it will only prove that he did nothing wrong while handling the $1-billion sale of the state-owned rail line.

"If there is any surveillance, Mr. Collins says it should be disclosed because it will completely reveal that he wasn't involved [in any wrongdoing]," Mr. Roberts said......


Given that, thanks at least in part to the actions of a current Deputy Finance Minister (ie. the good Mr. Graham Whitmarsh, who not long ago worked with the former Finance Minister at the most excellent, but no longer operating, David Ho-owned Harmony Airlines), the heat is now off due to the pay-off, we would like to ask Mr. Collins the following question:

"Are you, Mr. Collins, still demanding that the Crown Release the Villa Del Lupo Wiretaps, in full, that recorded your conversation with the heads of OmniTRAX, in December of 2003...

....Yes or No?"

Still need more background?....Well, despite what he may or may not be saying now, even the good Mr. Vaughn Palmer wondered aloud, in the public prints, about what may or may not have been going down way, way back in late 2006.
Finally, given the timeline, there may (or may not) be some stuff that could come out (very soon?) in certain 'memos', which appear to have, perhaps, been written by the good Mr. Basi himself, that may or may not relate to a certain series of phone calls he (ie. Mr. Basi) allegedly had with co-convicted former government aide Mr. Robert Virk on or about Nov. 17, 2003 that, allegedly, focussed on OmniTrax and certain, potential again alleged 'offerings'....It is worth noting that these alleged phone calls, and purported records relating to them, were reported on previously in the public prints, again based on something raised at pre-trial, back in December of 2007...We wrote about that then un-bylined CP story, and its potential implications, at the time, here.



cfvua said...

Hey Mr. RossK.
In our wildest nightmares would anyone think that there is a CONnection between a certain Mr. doBEL and the friendly garbageCORP employer of the former diner at Villa del coyote, or is it just bad optics? Or did we miss something, I mean completely?

North Van's Grumps said...

Bolton: "Did you, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Collins and Deputy Minister [Ken] Dobell meet in December 2003 to discuss the bid?"

Brown replied that they may have met - they had lots of meetings in December because it was "budget crunch time."


I suppose that even though Gordon Campbell has tendered his resignation to step down as Leader of the BC Liberal Party, therefore, also as Premier of the BC Liberal Government, it must mean that Paul Taylor, Colin Hansen, Graham Whitmarsh, possibly Gordon Campbell, are deep in discussions once again because its "budget crunch time" or is the Premier soaking up one of the many benefits Hawaii holds for him.

One other little project that the Premier may be working on is the gifts he has to make to those that have supported him through thick and through thin via appointments.