Thursday, May 08, 2008

RailGate Revisited.....

.....What If There Was No Bribe?

What the heckfire am I talking about?

Well, awhile ago some folks, folks like Vaughn Palmer, wondered if there might have been a quid pro quo in the RailGate deal.

Essentially, if it did take place, the theory was that perhaps some kind of deal had been struck with OmniTrax that, if it stayed in the bidding for the big mainline deal that was won by CN, it would then win the 'consolation prize' known as the Roberts Bank Spurline.

Why is this significant?

Well, besides the fact that it smacks of back room deals and fake 'competition' that has nothing whatsoever to do with the public good, there's also the fact that if such a 'deal' was in place there would have been no reason for the agents of OmniTrax (ie. their lobbyists) to 'bribe' David Basi and Robert Virk.


Because the only people that could have made such a deal with OmniTrax in the first place would have been Mess'rs Basi and Virk's bosses at the time.

Got it now?


At this point, unfortunately, many British Columbians likely view this kind of thing as little more than the tinfoil hat-assisted speculation of the RailGate Obsessives Club, of which I am a nominal member.

After all, the piece by Mr. Palmer referred to above was actually published a year-and-a-half-ago.

Thus, just as many British Columbians would probably agree with the anti-obsessives.

Interestingly, however, it appears that the judge in the case, Elizabeth Bennett, may not be one of them.

Bill Tieleman, both in 24 hrs and on his blog has that story:

A review of potential evidence by Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett indicates two government aides facing corruption charges in the B.C. legislature raid case will use cabinet documents to mount a defence that they were only following orders.

Documents released yesterday by the New Democratic Party opposition include a review by Bennett of two boxes of cabinet documents related to the $1-billion sale of BC Rail that shows she deems many of them as relevant to the defence of David Basi and Bob Virk.

And Bennett described one briefing document as not only relevant but wrote "consolation prize" in her notes - referring to defence arguments that Basi and Virk were ordered to deliver a consolation prize to a failed BC Rail bidder for staying in the process.


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