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Published by NRF_Vancouver
by Leonard Krog
by Leonard Krog

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Published by: NRF_Vancouver on Nov 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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----------NDP Official Opposition
Room 201 Parliament Buildings
British Columbia
V8V 1X4
– On the seventh anniversary of the B.C. legislature raid, New Democrats are callingon the B.C. Liberals to answer 100 unanswered questions related to the B.C. Rail corruptionscandal. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.
Questions 1-30 (originally submitted Nov. 2, 2010):
1. It‘s now clear that the guilty plea by former ministerial assistants Dave Basi and Bob Virkwas contingent on the decision by the government to foot the full tab for their legal fees. Ithas led to a concerns they used $6 million in taxpayer dollars to secure a guilty plea tosweep the B.C. Rail corruption trial under the rug. How does the government explain that?2. Why did the B.C. Liberal government try to hide this information for a week?3. The Attorney General originally stated that the decision to let Basi and Virk off the hook for their legal costs was made by him based on a recommendation made by his DeputyMinister - but later noted he had nothing to do with the decision. Why did the AttorneyGeneral issue contradictory statements and which one is the correct version? Whatevidence can the Attorney General provide to support that claim?4. We have been told that taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars for Basi and Virk’slegal fees - what is the exact final total? Will the government release the amount paid for legal services provided by the Special Prosecutor’s office? What is the final total of theentire trial?5. Has any such deal ever been struck before for civil servants who plead guilty for breachingpublic trust, and committing fraud? Can the government provide a single example of thiskind?6. This plea bargain agreement with Basi and Virk now sets a precedent for all future andcurrent government staff. Did the government consider the precedent set by thisdecision?7. The Attorney General claimed that the defendants had no money to cover these costsdespite evidence of property holdings that appears to contradict this claim - can theAttorney General produce documents showing that the government conducted a full reviewof the defendants’ ability to pay in arriving at this conclusion?8. Can the Attorney General explain the different standards applied to the legal fees owed byBasi and Virk than the approach taken by the government with respect to erroneous claimsby welfare recipients, for example?
9. Will the B.C. Liberals provide full disclosure into the details of the indemnification deal, andrelease all materials relating to the plea bargain?10. The guilty plea statement by Basi and Virk – a plea that we now know came in directresponse to the government’s commitment to cover all legal costs – indicates that the twoB.C. Liberal assistants acted without the knowledge or consent of B.C. Rail and theEvaluation Committee. The statement does not, notably, state that Basi and Virk actedwithout the knowledge or consent of their ministers Gary Collins and Judith Reid – whynot?11. The plea statement only states that Basi and Virk “did not obtain the consent of their superiors to demand or accept these personal benefits”. Does this statement mean thatwhile Basi and Virk did not obtain permission to accept bribes, they could have receivedinstructions or encouragement by someone in the B.C. Liberal government to strategicallyleak confidential B.C. Rail bid information?12. Without evidence to the contrary, the plea statement suggests that in fact the two former B.C. Liberal ministers were aware of and consented to the actions pursued by their assistants. This entirely contradicts the Premier’s claim that the two staffers acted alone.What evidence can the government provide to prove the Premier’s statement the twostaffers acted alone is not entirely false?13. Which senior B.C. Liberal officials were involved in the sale of B.C. Rail and what evidencewill now not be heard from key B.C. Liberal officials that were set to appear on the witnessstand on the eve of this plea bargain?14. What information would the public have learned about the role played by Basi's boss,former Finance Minister Gary Collins and Virk's boss former Transportation Minister JudithReid?15. What information would the public have learned about the role played by Premier GordonCampbell, whose chief of staff during both the B.C. Rail sale and the raid on theLegislature, Martyn Brown, had already been called as a witness? What did Premier Campbell know and when did he know it?16. Why did B.C. Rail pay $300,000 to the Premier's friend, Patrick Kinsella? What instructiondid the Premier, through Martyn Brown, receive to "give support to Patrick Kinsella and CNRail"?17. Questions have been raised about the role of Patrick Kinsella, the Premier's chief of staff and the Premier himself in assisting in the sell-off of B.C. Rail. When will the public beprovided an explanation on that?18. Will the government release publicly all material in the possession of B.C. Rail or thegovernment relating to the work performed by Patrick Kinsella while under contract to B.C.Rail?19. Did Paul Taylor, the Premier’s new Chief of Staff, play a role in the alleged leak of bidinformation to Pilothouse Public Affairs Group?
20. The plea statement indicates that Basi and Virk improperly disclosed documents toPilothouse including bid values for CN, CP and OmniTRAX and that Pilothouse principalBrian Kieran recorded these numbers which then were included in a Pilothouse briefingdocument to OmniTRAX. Was Pilothouse tapping anyone else in government besides Mr.Basi and Mr. Virk for confidential government information?21. Pilothouse partner Eric Bornman – who was given an immunity agreement by the Crown inexchange for information on Basi and Virk – has reapplied to the Ontario bar. How can thepublic be assured that all the parties that played a role in the tainted B.C. Rail privatizationdeal have been appropriately dealt with?22. Why did key B.C. Liberal cabinet ministers like Gary Collins, Judith Reid and Christy Clarkall leave government in the wake of the scandal?23. Will the government release the list of all the legal costs provided to government officialsincluding former ministers Gary Collins, Judith Reid and Christy Clark?24. What was the role played by current sitting cabinet ministers and possible leadershipcandidates such as Rich Coleman and Kevin Falcon?25. After legislative officers were raided in December 2003, it became clear the focus of theinvestigation was on the B.C. Rail deal, but the B.C. Liberal government went ahead withthe sale saying there weren’t grounds for concern because no elected officials were under investigation. However the proposed sale of a B.C. Rail subdivision was then cancelledwhen government officials learned the accused might have leaked confidential informationabout that deal. This contradiction – why one sale was considered tainted, but the other not – has never been fully explained by the government, nor was it explored in court. Whywas the spur line sale cancelled but not the sale of B.C. Rail sale? What evidence can thegovernment provide to support their decision to push ahead with the sale of B.C. Rail?26. For years the B.C. Liberals have refused to answer questions that the deal was tainted.Now it appears that his government actually tampered with the fairness adviser’s report tosave their political hide. Will the B.C. Liberals finally admit that their government violatedthe public trust in the B.C. Rail sell-off?27. What other testimony about the unprecedented raid on the Legislature and the corruptedB.C. Rail sale will go unanswered with the B.C. Liberal government’s refusal to hold apublic inquiry?28. Will the B.C. Liberals release publicly all evidence pertaining to the trial including evidenceprovided to the defence through the disclosure process?29. In the absence of a public inquiry, will the government commit today to preserving all thedocuments involved in the Basi  – Virk case and the B.C. Rail corruption scandal until theHouse is called back for a full legislative session?30. Can the government commit today to a public inquiry that will examine the indemnificationdeal and the reasons why the government made the decision to cover all legal costs for Basi and Virk?

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