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CONTRIBUTION · 8th September 2011
Bill Tieleman
Vote against Gordon Campbell receiving the Order of BC Here now.

The Advisory Committee includes B.C. Liberal Penticton MLA and Speaker of the Legislature Bill Barisoff, ex-B.C. Liberal Surrey candidate Barbara Steele, the Union of B.C. Municipalities president and Surrey councillor, and John Furlong, picked by Campbell to run the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. [...] If you notice a common element in this selection committee it would be that most members have political or governmental connections to the former Campbell government.

But honouring Campbell, Emerson and Dobell is merely the latest manifestation of this entire province being out of order.

For example, after six-years of legal wrangling and bombshell pre-trial allegations by defence lawyers for ex-B.C. Liberal government ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk, the actual B.C. Legislature Raid trial suddenly ends with only two witnesses testifying.

A surprise guilty plea means that the next expected witness, former Finance Minister Gary Collins – now senior vice president of the Belkorp Group of Companies – doesn’t testify at all about the $1 billion 2003 privatization of B.C. Rail. Neither does Premier Christy Clark, or Campbell, or a host of current and former elected officials or political staff.

The B.C. Supreme Court never hears the testimony of Erik Bornmann, the provinicial lobbyist who admitted bribing Basi and Virk with over $25,000 cash and other benefits to obtain highly confidential internal government documents on the B.C. Rail bidding.

Bornmann and Pilothouse Public Affairs business partner Brian Kieran got the inside track on the process to aide their client – losing bidder OmniTRAX.

Kieran was in possession of initial bids of the top three bidders – information given to him by Virk, according to the “statement of facts” filed in Court.

Bornmann and Kieran also paid for Basi and Virk to take a free trip worth $3,000 to a Denver Broncos football game in Colorado during the bidding process.

Bornmann and Kieran turned Crown witnesses against Basi and Virk – and were never charged with any offences.

Flash forward to today. Bornmann has now been accepted as having the “good character” to practice law in Ontario despite his bribery confessions.

Kieran was chosen by Monday Magazine in Victoria to bump out Sean Holman, the Jack Webster award-winning investigative journalist http://www.publiceyeonline.com/ , as its political columnist.

Kieran’s application to become a member of the Legislative Press Gallery was also accepted by its existing members, giving Kieran access to areas restricted to politicians and media only.

Premier Christy Clark’s brother Bruce Clark was the subject of a police search warrant executed on his home office and other confidential documents related to the $70 million potential sale of B.C. Rail’s Roberts Bank Port Subdivision spur line were found there – given to him by Basi and Virk, again according to the court’s “statement of facts”.

Clark, a lobbyist at the time for Washington Marine Group [owner of Seaspan] was not charged with any offences and did not testify in the abbreviated trial. The Port Subdivision sale was cancelled when RCMP informed then-Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon that the process was tainted.

Bruce Clark went on to play a key fundraising role in the federal Liberal Party of Canada, chairing their high-end donor “Laurier Club” and working on the leadership campaigns of both Paul Martin and Stephane Dion.

Asked by Global TV’s Randene Neill on December 8, 2010 about Bruce Clark’s involvement in her leadership campaign, Christy answered: “Um, my brother is, does not have a formal role in my campaign, but he is a supporter you know.”

And so it goes in British Columbia.

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