Thursday, March 12, 2009

RailGate Re-Jigged.....And The Walls Come Tumblin' Down.



From Neal Hall's report of the latest RailGate proceedings in today's VSun:

VANCOUVER – The trial judge in Basi-Virk case raised the issue of BC Rail’s connection with lobbyist Patrick Kinsella Thursday in court, saying she had read about it in the newspaper.

I don't know if you want to address any issue related to the Kinsella documents or not," B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett said (today in a hearing regarding a separate matter of cell phone records). "I gather there are more documents."

And with that Premier Gordon Campbell and the Capos, including the man who many now call Stone Wally, did a long, slow exhale.


Because despite the fact that Defence lawyer Kevin McCullough responded by:

".....saying all he knows about the matter is what was raised in Thursday's Vaughn Palmer column in The Vancouver Sun."


The matter of BC Liberal Rainmaker Patrick Kinsella's $300,000 payment from BC Rail (both before and after the deal with CN went down) are NOW (thank-you, Mdme Justice!) before the courts.

Which appears to have happened, at least in part, due to the mighty power of Vaughn Palmer's double-edged, high profile sword/fencing foil.

But then came a weird, even more out of nowhere-type kicker from the Defence:

....He (McCullough) reminded the judge there is an email from 2004 to Mr. Kevin Mahoney, then vice-president of BC Rail, from another executive, asking: "Why are we paying this guy?" and the response is that Kinsella is a "backroom Liberal."....

And so, by actually raising the vague possibility of a potential maybe/kinda sorta connection between Mr. Kinsella's payments and the Liberal Party, bizarrely, the Defence very likely just gave The Premier and The Capos a whole new rockpile with which they can now set the Stone Mason to work building an even higher wall.

For the time being at least.


Thanks to Laila for the tip on the story from Mr. Hall.
Meanwhile, on the matter that was actually scheduled to be at hand in court today, the Judge told the Defence that their request, which was being argued against by a Campbell Gov't lawyer on the 'absolute' nature of parliamentary privilege, for MLA's cell phone records to see if they were talking to lobbyists (specifically the non-Kinsella-aligned folks from Pilothouse) involved in the RailGate deal at the time, was too 'broad'......Double Aaaargh! (why?....Because the Defence is sure to be back, with yet another more 'focussed' request leading to even more delay).
Update: A much more fulsome report of today's RailGate court proceedings, from the incomparable Robin Mathews, is now up at Mary's.


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