Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One More Way WhiskeyGate Is Just Like RailGate.



Please Note: For those arriving here from Ian Reid's place, we have updated this post here.

With RailGate there was a 'Fairness Advisor' of questionable effectiveness whose report helped smooth things over when people were screaming, before the fact, that the fix was in. Here is how we characterized its actions and effectiveness of that 'Fairness Advisor' when we  fisked the testimony of  Martyn Brown, during the actual RailGate trial seven years later (because that's just the kind of thing 'cultists' do):

Last week in the Railgate trial, Mr. Martin Brown was highly obfuscatory on the matter of the 'interim' Fairness Advisor's Report which was rushed to release just days before the big deal with CNRail went down way back in the fall of 2003, and then was by BC Liberal Party Lickspittles to wash away any and all 'taint' that was raised by non-CN Rail bidders that ran away scraming that the fix was in.

Here is an example of Mr. Brown's obfuscation for a compliant proMedia nation from 
Neal Hall in the VSun last Friday:

....(David Basi's lawyer Michael) Bolton also showed another Vaughn Palmer column, published Nov. 19, 2003, which detailed how The Vancouver Sun had received a copy of a letter from CP Rail to the premier's office, complaining about a lack of fairness in the bidding process and withdrawing its bid.
In response, the government released a "fairness report" from consultant Charles River Associates, which concluded the bidding process was "fair and impartial."
Bolton suggested to Brown that the fairness report authors did not contact CP Rail or another bidder, OmniTrax, and instead wrote a "phony report" to justify CN as the winning bidder.

"I don't accept that," Brown said. "I don't believe that for a second. It reflects the highest level of integrity."....

Interesting that, don't you think?

Mr. Brown just did not accept Mr. Bolton's, and this is Mr. Neal Hall's of the VSun's word, 
'suggestion' that the Fairness Report's authors did not contact CP Rail or other bidders that complained about the fix being in.

Well, given all that....

Here is a very specific question for Mr. Hall, and/or his Editors, and/or others at the VSun staff who may or may not be following up on Mr. Hall's stuff:

Have they even looked at that 'interim' Fairness Report that was rushed to release in Nov of 2003?

And if they have, indeed, looked at that report, have they read the following very, very explicit passage that does not
'suggest' anything:
"Note: At the time at which this report was submitted, the transaction process was not yet complete. Thus, our observations and findings are based only on the steps that have occurred to date. Also, we have not interviewed the three finalist proponents so their comments and views are not represented in this document."


Pre-trial publication bans are one thing.

But that Fairness Report' has been used to wave away the 'fix was in' allegation repeatedly by Mr. Brown during his cross-examination by the defense in the real trial, with the jury present.

Thus, there is absolutely no excuse for this "he said/she said" crap from the proMedia without follow-up when the source material is right there for them to peruse so that they can state, unequivocally, based on the documentary evidence, that what Mr. Brown said when he responded to Mr. Bolton's 
"suggestion" was flat-out wrong.

And if Mr. Brown can be so flat-out wrong about such a fundamental aspect of this case, why should we, the public, and/or the jury, believe that he can be right about anything at all?



Now, with WhiskeyGate rising, and allegations of fixes flying every whichway but loose, there is now a 'Fairness Monitor' of equally questionable effectiveness, as noted a couple of weeks ago by Bob Mackin:

...The BCGEU strike notice was made June 29, the same day that bidding closed for the Distribution of Liquor Project. That's the fancy name given the controversial privatization of the LDB warehousing and distribution.NDP critic Shane Simpson complained in a June 22 letter to George Macauley, the so-called fairness monitor who has a $74,900 contract to oversee the process. Simpson wanted Macauley to recommend the government postpone tendering until a business case is released, industry consulted and a replacement hired for LDB general manager Jay Chambers. Chambers drives away from his job as the head drink retailer in B.C. on July 6 to preside over the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C. Roger Bissoondatt will act as g.m. until a replacement is hired.

Simpson, who 
cited my May 8 story in Business in Vancouver during Question Period, already called the privatization "tainted" because of thecozy relationship between Exel Logistics, B.C. Liberal lobbyists Mark Jiles and Patrick Kinsella and the liquor minister, Rich Coleman.

Simpson got his answer from Macauley on June 25. In a nutshell: the Victoria lawyer and economist says he has no power to intervene, because of the terms of his contract that were set by the government. He is watching the process and making sure bidders follow the RFP requirements. He will submit a report next March, after the contract has been awarded. He can't do anything else...


Kind of makes you wonder if there is anyone being paid oh, say, $6,000 a month for 49 straight months to supply 'strategic advice'  to the Liquour Distribution Branch as well?

Hypothetically speaking.

Of course.



kootcoot said...

Ross, if I remember correctly one of the few things that came out during the first couple of non-responsive or amnesiac witnesses at the so-called "trial" was the fact that the two principles who produced the Fairness Report for Charles Rivers were NO LONGER associated with the firm, not necessarily by their own choice or somethin'

In other words, CR Associates managed to dis avow the whole smear, somehow, or thought they had.

RossK said...

Interesting Koot--

Didn't know that. More than normal turnover for a company like that?


kootcoot said...

I'll have to probe Mary's archives, there's likely something there about this, it came up during the shortened trial phase under the firm fist of Annie Mack. Hell, it might even be info in the actual public domain, if the jury was present.