An open letter of interest to all British Columbians, received by email today:
October 5, 2009
Gary Bass, RCMP Deputy Commissioner, British Columbia,
and Commanding Officer E Division,
5255 Heather Street, Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 1K6.
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
(some of the people to whom copies are sent are listed at the end of the letter)
Dear Deputy Commissioner Bass:
This letter is directed to you as senior RCMP officer in British Columbia requesting, in the strongest terms, a full RCMP investigation of Gordon Campbell, premier, and all others directly connected to the corrupt “sale” of BC Rail in order to determine the innocence of each one or to allege criminal impropriety where suitable and to lay charges.
I will specify for you areas of impropriety that I believe suggest the possibility of criminal behaviour. I will not cite the Criminal Code except in a very general way. The RCMP and objective Crown Prosecutors frame and prepare criminal charges in such cases.
In large, general terms Gordon Campbell, his agents, and others may be said to be operating a gigantic Political Ponzi Scheme in which they assure British Columbians they are guarding and securing and growing the wealth and potential wealth of British Columbia for the future while, in fact, they are alienating it to private sources for enrichment – and doing so in ways that call into question their fiduciary duty and the legality of their actions.
I refer in this letter to the BC Rail Scandal only.
Before setting out the basis upon which I request investigation I must – because of the political, legal, and ‘policing’ conditions in British Columbia – write a Preamble as preface or introduction.
(1) The RCMP Policing Situation
The RCMP, nationally, has not – in my lifetime – been so deeply and seriously suspected and criticized for the misuse of its powers. In British Columbia since, at least, the presence of Peter Montague on the Commercial Crime section of the Force and the infamous arrival of a television crew WITH RCMP at the time of the search warrant raid on the home of Glen Clark, the standing of the RCMP in the province has plummeted downwards.
Perhaps the blind arrogance of the RCMP shone in neon lights when the same television crew was present at Montague’s retirement party a few years later and gave him a gift – without investigation or comment by the Deputy Commissioner’s office.
The present Robert Dziekanski affair and the game-playing with facts by RCMP officers at the Braidwood Inquiry constitute a major scandal. Whatever Mr. Justice Braidwood chooses to report and find, many British Columbians see members of the RCMP – in a major matter of brutal violence – as acting like untrustworthy children when asked to utter simple facts. Those officers (under direction?) employ what seems a studied, a calculated refusal to see what every serious Canadian sees – that the adoption of Taser use in Canada has become a major catastrophe, and the behaviour of officers in Vancouver International Airport was – to the most casual observer – deeply offensive.
That you, Gordon Campbell, and RCMP Commissioner William Elliott, for instance, hold fast on the matter doesn’t fool Canadians for one instant. It merely adds to their certainty that your organization is so deeply sunk in malpractice it will employ almost any ruse to continue unacceptable behaviour and to protect RCMP wrongdoers.
I need only – in that context – mention the names of Ian Bush and Kevin St. Arnaud.
I bring to your attention that very, very brief history to point to the fact that many people have a growing belief that the RCMP cannot, normally, now, be trusted to respond to public concern such as I express here with anything like appropriate action. You must show me and other British Columbians that the growing belief is unfounded.
(2) Your Own Situation in B.C. Now
Beyond, perhaps, your own control, you are Deputy Commissioner in B.C. and commanding officer of E Division by appointment (in fact) of disgraced and displaced former RCMP Commissioner Guiliano Zaccardelli. That cannot be a comfortable situation for you, nor can it be enhanced by Paul Palango’s suggestion that Zaccardelli’s “favourites” were elevated to high positions.
Under such circumstances, your rigorous attention to principle and your scrupulous pursuit of justice should be apparent to all British Columbians. I suggest that is not the case.
Your communication (made public) with Gordon Campbell about the Dziekanski Scandal, for instance, is simply not acceptable. The fact that you might be called upon to investigate a premier for wrongdoing should always figure in a relation you have with any premier. Your engagement in twenty minutes of chummy chatter with Gordon Campbell, sharing warm sympathy over what might be murder or manslaughter by members of your Division is alarming.
You are, remember, reported as well to have written to RCMP Commissioner William Elliott after he “assured” you of his on-going support “for all our folks in E Division” (without regard on his part, it seems, for the matter of their criminal guilt or innocence). You told Elliott that “your calls to the members is a big hit and it is the buzz around Richmond this afternoon”. They were calls, you will remember, to the men involved in the Taser death of Robert Dziekanski, men who have faced a Public Inquiry to determine if possible, the extent of RCMP incompetence and bad faith.
A top RCMP officer must communicate even with corrupt politicians in power. We know that. But your haste to report to the political appointee-Commissioner of the RCMP in Ottawa your joy that Gordon Campbell expressed indiscreet sympathy for your officers – who may in fact be murderers – reveals that you, perhaps, do not know the obligations resting upon you.
I do not wish – even for a moment – to turn the focus of this Preamble away from concentration upon the RCMP. But it is fair to observe what I believe is a significant lapse in the behaviour of the presiding judge Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett in matters relating to the BC Rail Scandal. Here, appeal may be made to Common Law traditions arising from the experience of ordinary people, and the concept of “equity”. What in a particular situation may fairly be deemed to be just, especially as the situation bears upon the public good and reasonable, ordinary perceptions of justice? What is reasonable to conclude about possibilities of guilt upon the examination of behaviour and action as presented in evidence before the court? What reasonable action(s) in a particular situation will serve the pursuit of justice? Those are plain questions calling for plain answers.
Judges in our system do not have the initiating and investigative powers of judges, say, in the French legal system. But judges in our system are not excused from responding to an accumulation of evidence of wrongdoing falling outside the formal accusations before them – especially where the public good is clearly at stake.
In the BC Rail Scandal court processes, evidence pointing to possible serious, criminal wrongdoing by political and other actors at the highest levels of the “sale” of BC Rail has been so consistently and repeatedly exposed that Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett was called upon (a) to draw attention to it for the sake of the public good (b) to question the Special Crown Prosecutor about the absence of charges in the matter, and (c) to direct him to take up the matter with the RCMP investigators and to report back to the court. She could in extenuating circumstances have gone farther.
She did none of those things, thereby placing upon you, now, an additional burden. Her extraordinary replacement by Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie, it appears, is intended not to repair but to extenuate the significant lapse by Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett.
In her first appearance as judge in the matters of the BC Rail Scandal Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie had – as I observed and considered her actions – the dry humourless drive to apparent efficiency that is sometimes found in ideological reactionaries. It may be that her energy will be directed to pushing ahead the charges against the three cabinet aides, Basi, Virk, and Basi, and to exerting significant effort to prevent attention focussing on what may be other, more serious crimes wrapped up in, related to, and an organic part of the accusations before her.
Your role is not an easy one. But you must show me and other British Columbians that you are not a mere tool of Gordon Campbell, not his political instrument, not governed by the highly questionable drift of the court – and that faced with evidence that he and associates need criminal investigation, you can pursue that necessity without hesitation.
(3) The RCMP and the BC Rail Scandal
Having sat (as an ordinary Canadian) through, and reported upon (for two websites) the Supreme Court hearings concerned with the allegations of criminal behaviour by Dave Basi, Bobby Virk, and Aneal Basi – for what is now years – I have concluded four things about the RCMP in the matter.
To begin (a) I believe the Force has acted – perhaps in concert with the Special Crown Prosecutor – to delay, to scramble, and generally to obstruct the disclosure of evidence necessary to the defence of the accused.
In addition (b) I believe – from listening to pre-trial hearing argument and the revelation of information day after day – that the RCMP chose improperly to limit the scope of its investigation to the three men accused.
The statement no later than 48 hours after huge amounts of material were seized (from the December 28, 2003 search warrant “raids” on legislature offices and other venues in Vancouver and Victoria) that no elected official was being investigated is astonishing. It has become more and more and more astonishing as time has passed and as evidence of possible wrongdoing has pointed more and more in the direction of Gordon Campbell and associates.
Finally (c), and with considerable reluctance, I have come to believe the charges against the three accused alone may not only constitute what may be a huge miscarriage of justice but also, perhaps, a depressing act of Racism.
If, as I believe, that BC Rail Scandal may have involved criminal wrongdoing at high levels of cabinet and other institutional positions (whatever may be the guilt or innocence of the three accused), the setting upon three Sikh men by the RCMP and the Special Crown Prosecutor – and on those three men only – smacks, to me, of cover-up and scape-goating of the sleaziest kind.
That last section of the Preamble, and all the sections taken together provide a picture of the RCMP in British Columbia of such a negative kind that your response to this letter must be clear, direct, expeditious, and unequivocal if all the suspicions stated are not to be confirmed.
The Request for Investigative Action by the RCMP
The request to you, Deputy Commissioner, involves investigation of matters arising from the BC Rail Scandal. It involves the possibility of additional charges being laid, if warranted, against major actors – political and other, up to and including the premier Gordon Campbell, in the so-called “sale” of BC Rail.
Documentary materials, 1(a), submitted to the court (some released to the public) will, I allege, lead reasonable and prudent Canadians to believe that Gordon Campbell, his agents, some cabinet peers, and – probably – others worked together not only to break an election undertaking to assure that BC Rail would not be sold but to violate the undertaking in a fashion intended to mislead and to defraud British Columbians.
1(b) Those materials will give evidence, I allege, that very large sums of money from the provincial treasury were expended in the process of misleading and defrauding the public.
Documentary materials, 2(a), submitted to the court (many now on public record but inexplicably withheld from public scrutiny) will lead reasonable and prudent Canadians who know the burden of the information contained in those materials to believe, I allege, that the true financial and physical state of BC Rail – and the business potential of BC Rail – were manipulated by Gordon Campbell, his agents, some cabinet peers and – probably – others in order to present a false picture to the public with the intent, in fact, to practice a fraud.
2(b) Those materials, I allege, will give evidence that very large sums of money from the provincial treasury were expended in the process of conducting that manipulation and, in fact, practicing the fraud.
3(a) Documentary materials submitted to the court (some released to the public) will lead reasonable and prudent Canadians to believe, I allege, that Gordon Campbell, his agents, some cabinet peers, and – probably – others set to work to prepare a misrepresentation of the true state of BC Rail with the intent to offer it for sale by what was to be advertised as open public auction.
3(b) Those materials, I allege, will give evidence that very large sums of money from the provincial treasury were dedicated to the construction of the said misrepresentation.
Documentary materials, 4(a), submitted to the court and discussed there will lead reasonable and prudent Canadians, I allege, to believe that the said open public auction of BC Rail was, in fact, an intended, calculated, and practiced fraud; and that the transfer of BC Rail to CN Rail was intended from a time significantly before the announced (fraudulent) open public auction.
4(b) Those materials submitted to the court and discussed there will, I allege, give evidence that very large sums from the provincial treasury were dedicated to the construction of a publicly declared open public auction which was, in fact, not held and which was, rather, an expensive smokescreen elaborately created to disguise the previously determined intention to transfer BC Rail to CN Rail.
5(a) Documentary material and information given in the Supreme Court of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett by the lawyer for the Executive Council (the Gordon Campbell cabinet) records that – on the order of Gordon Campbell or his agents – evidentiary material of possible primary relevance to the defence of the criminally accused in the BC Rail Scandal was ordered to be and was destroyed.
The discovery of some of the emails since that declaration does not change the fact that government records were recently destroyed that may contain key evidentiary material in a case that saw charges laid in 2004, and that the materials were destroyed by the order of Gordon Campbell or his agents. RCMP investigation must determine the responsibility for the destruction of materials and must lay charges of criminal impropriety if such charges are warranted.
Without naming criminal wrongs involved in the five sections presented, I believe reasonable and prudent Canadians would see in them evidence leading to allegations of criminal breach of trust, criminal fraud in the use of public money, criminal violation of fiduciary duties, and the criminal destruction of evidence. I believe legal experts would find in the five sections evidence of criminal acts that I have not identified.
I formally request, Deputy Commissioner Bass, that the RCMP undertake without delay – and that you publicly announce – full investigation of Gordon Campbell and all others involved in the BC Rail Scandal and “sale” of BC Rail to CN Rail; that the RCMP investigate all the people, elected or otherwise, involved in the “sale” of BC Rail in order to clear them of suspicion of wrongdoing or to lay charges against them for allegations of criminal wrongdoing.
I formally request as well that you acknowledge this letter without unreasonable delay and that you proceed, publicly, with the “full investigation” that I request here.
People to whom copies of this letter are sent: Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie, William Berardino, QC and Andrea MacKay; Janet Winteringham, QC; Michael Bolton, QC, and Claire Hatcher; Kevin McCullough; Joseph Doyle, Robert J.C. Deane, George Copley, Mel Hurtig, Paul Palango, Paul Nettleton, Margaret Fulton, Michael Byers, John Calvert, BC Civil Liberties, Leah Herman, June Ross.
vivelecanada, the legislature raids site (BC Mary), Charles Boylan CFRO, K. Lapointe, Vancouver Sun; Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications; Mark Hume, Globe and Mail; Gary Mason, Globe and Mail; Lawrence Martin, Globe and Mail; Canadian Press; Dialogue magazine; CKNW; Neal Hall, Vancouver Sun;