Friday, December 28, 2018

Railgate Revisited v1 - The Trigger.


When the BC Legislature was raided 15 years ago today rumours of 'why' were already lifting off before the 37th document-stuffed cardboard box was hauled out of the infamous rockpile that a then very young 'A.B.C. Architect' (whose real name was Rattenbury) finished building in 1898.

And, as intrepid online Railgate chronicler-in-chief 'BC Mary' noted sometime later, the Horseman were quick to fan the rumour-mills flames:

When police entered the B.C. Legislature with Search Warrants on a quiet Sunday morning, 28 December 2003, they made history. Never before in Canada had police breached the sanctity of the people's parliament.

Public shock deepened over 6 days. TV News cameras had shown the 20 uniformed sergeants carrying 32 boxes of confidential cabinet documents away from the B.C. Ministries of Finance and Transportation. But no premier, no prime minister stepped forward to explain the meaning of this shocking event. Both Premier Gordon Campbell and Prime Minister Paul Martin simply said, "I know nothing."

Had it not been for RCMP Sergeant John Ward, the public would have been adrift. But Ward spoke directly to the people of British Columbia, recognizing the public's need to know. As if he knew nobody else would tell us much.

He said a drug probe had triggered the raid on the legislature. He said that the suspects are alleged to have been involved in an organized crime network exchanging BC marijuana for U.S. cocaine which was then sold throughout Canada. The public later learned that cocaine profits buy guns - guns for the international arms trade selling into Afghanistan for example.

Sgt Ward estimates $6 billion a year is sucked out of British Columbia in marijuana traffic alone. Organized crime has so much cash, it's weighed, not counted; money-laundering is a major concern for the criminals.

Sgt. Ward added "... the spread of organized crime in the past 2 years has been like a cancer on the social and economic wellbeing of all British Columbians ... it has reached critical mass." There's so much more to this story...

Interestingly, however, it turns out that a special prosecutor's office had apparently been working behind the scenes to sever the organized crime wing from the Horsemen-piloted flying rumour monger factory before it even took flight.

Bizarrely, that story came out almost five years after the fact, as noted at the time by the newly-crowned PropRep dragon slayer who has been known to pity any and all fools who rush in, Mr. Bill  (with a 'T') Tieleman:

The RCMP was directly instructed by a Special Prosecutor that “organized crime” had “not penetrated the B.C. Legislature” but used the phrase anyway to justify a December 28, 2003 raid there to seize documents, it was alleged in B.C. Supreme Court Thursday.

Defence lawyer Kevin McCullough, representing one of three former B.C. government aides facing corruption charges, read from a recently disclosed document that indicated David Harris, a member of the Special Prosecutor team, told the RCMP their planned news release was wrong two days before the raid...


What was it really about Alfie?

Stay tuned....

And, whatever you do ('every which way'-assisted or not)....Do not skip ahead and have a peek under 'The Big W'....OK?
Full Disclosure...The proprietor of this wee little F-Troop-listed (and always fully/overly hyphenated) blog was once featured (or, at the very least 'listed') in Mr. T's then definitive alphabetized compendium of all the Railgate players that then fit...Said compendium was published in the Tyee in on the fifth anniversary of the Ledge Raids....Which, of course, was still more than a full year before the actual trial began for real (allegedly).....



Lew said...

More “Ws” left unanswered in this saga than there are in a Warsaw phone book. My trusted iMac gave up the ghost yesterday and I suspect eight years of exploring them played a big role in its demise.

I’m convinced that if even one of the key players can be put in a spot similar to the one enjoyed by say, a certain southern Cohen, their lips would be vibrating like a Chickadee’s cloaca. Since it is abundantly clear that laws were broken in securing the guilty pleas that ended the trial before suitcases and hockey bags full of “Ws” were dumped on the witness stand, it seems to me that those responsible for breaking those laws should be held to account. There’s no doubt that easy and obvious action would start the great unravelling.

I had high hopes the NDP would fulfill the promises made on that front, but it is apparent Mr. Horgan and Mr. Eby are not going to act on their respective duties in the public interest. I don’t for one second buy their mewlings about the administrative challenges with a full public inquiry, and opinion polls show the majority of the public wants one. But leaving that aside for the sake of argument, there is no public inquiry required for the Attorney General of this province to stand up and explain how the law was not broken in execution of the deal. Even one of his predecessors, Geoff Plant, says that as a matter of law, there could not be a legal agreement tying the guilty pleas to the waiver of liability for the accumulated legal fees. There was. Mr. Eby owes us an explanation. He can ask his current deputy to assist. After all, he signed the deal Mr. Plant says would not be lawful.

John Horgan and the NDP have done some very laudable things, and by and large have provided good government since achieving control. But there are some major disappointments as well; and they sting. Serving eggs benny for breakfast doesn’t mean dog turds will be acceptable lunch fare.

RossK said...


Alliteration gone wild!

I very much agree with your thesis about what went down at the back of the deal.

At the time Paul Willcocks and I had a most interesting back and forth with the good Mr. Plant on his very own, gasp!, 'blog'.

But I propose that we return to all of those machinations later.

Because for now I want to deal with the run-up to the

More on that coming soon...


e.a.f. said...

please, please, I want to know.

totally agree with what Lew wrote. I've gone from the side, of no need for an inquiry, lets get on with the present to I WANT TO KNOW. I WANT TO KNOW. Too much has happened.

You always wonder and you also wonder how some people got so rich so fast, without ..............

RossK said...



And your refrain comes awfully close to one of those old TPetty anthems...