Clark/BC Rail: Blogger Does Media’s Digging Job

BC Mary, the late crusader and head of a relentless blog and campaign for the full truth behind the BC Rail sale fiasco would be very excited today: another blogger is keeping up the pressure … with a vengeance.

Rebel With a Clause blogger Alex Tsakumis has a new blockbuster offering that certainly raises more questions … a lot of them … about the role of BC’s un-elected acting premier Christy Clark  in the deal (while she was in Cabinet during her previous political incarnation) and whether she acted ethically in the matter.


I have no idea personally whether the allegations in Basi’s note are actually true or just self-serving hearsay …but as a story, it’s terrific.

This fascinating read, complete with video tape and document excerpts, certainly does not look for Clark.  It makes me now more certain than ever that my own blog offering only days ago “Christy, Time to Go” was on the mark and it’s hard to see how she could continue to stay if these latest revelations of how much she knew and any role she had does hold up.

I’m sure the acting premier will be dealing with the assertions and responding to them  in short order.

But my own questions … perhaps not surprisingly …. surround BC’s PROFESSIONAL media: where have they been on shedding light on the deep dark recesses behind the BC Rail sale to CN?  Why has it been citizen bloggers who have sustained the campaign for full truth and dug deep into the dealings behind the deal?

Sure, BC’s media covered the sale and the scandal and court proceedings etc. that followed … but largely only on a superficial Hansardian  level : reporting on announcements, press conferences, political statements and denials and court proceedings.

Any college newspaper or local cable tv volunteers, given the time, could do that.

But where is the digging? Where have been the investigative journalists or teams or document-digging-dobermans?

It strikes me as somewhat strange, and unsatisfactory, that BC’s professional media outlets … in print, on radio and on tv, … with collective revenues and profits reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars have done such a poor job (some would say NO job at all) in digging into the BC Rail sale details behind the scenes.

And they should be all the more embarrassed that citizen bloggers … who some very highly paid pundits in the mainstream media love to denigrate whenever they can … have come up with what certainly seems to be blockbuster information and material that goes to the very top of BC’s political hierarchy.

If I was still working, I’d be ashamed to see bloggers like the late BC Mary and today’s Tsakumis keeping the story alive and exposing more and more of what went on regarding BC Rail’s sale, while we use our vast resources to cover the story only when someone calls a press conference, raises a question in the House, or someone else reveals something we should have dug up ourselves.

Just think what the pursuit of “truth” below the surface on BC Rail would be like without the blogosphere.

And the full publ;ic inquiry that MUST come if the NDP win the next provincial election.

Harv Oberfeld




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54 Responses to Clark/BC Rail: Blogger Does Media’s Digging Job

  1. Larry Bennett says:

    I think it would be more likely to get a full public inquiry if the B.C. Conservatives, made up in part, by Liberals whose hands are clean, were to join in forming a government. I have always found the NDP to be afraid of shining light into dark corners, because, they have been there for a while now, and are part of the problem. Remember, the opposition is part of the government.

    (Response: I think on this one they would go for it …esp after getting a look at government files…and talking to the top bureaucrats. h.o)

  2. Robbie says:

    The sale of BC Rail is but one in a pair of bookends in the BC Liberals stay in power. The other is the emerging story of the insider deal for the L.D.B sale. Bob Mackin, at 2010 Gold Rush, has done stellar work on the file. It needs much more attention, though. Alex also commented on it.

  3. R says:

    Today is a day that hopefully lit a light in the darkness of BC politics.Run with it.’

  4. e.a.f. says:

    The MsM did not fully cover the B.C. Rail scandal because they & their friends benefited from the sale. They belong to the same choir.

    I agree, if not for the bloggers we would not have much relevant news or opinions in B.C. at all.

    I do not expect C.C. to say anything about AGT’s column. Nor do I expect to have the MSM say much or even question CC or the liebeal mlas the next time they appears in public.

    When reading the blogs we find out what is going on with the BCLB’s “sale/giveaway” but do we hear anything on t.v., msm? No. Its all kept quiet.

    The majority of the BC media is a joke. They lead with such things as car accidents, a cat or dog story. I have yet to see them lead with something of vital interest to the well being of the public.

    We see the odd dr. speaking on the state of health care, but that is about it. The MSM is complicit in the deteriorating state of politics in B.C.

    This government can’t even keep hospitals clean or improve the lot of children, who in B.C. have had the highest rate of poverty in Canada, 8 yrs running. If the news media can’t even get it together about child hunger, lack of health care, food & housing security for kids, then they are a sorrrrrry lot.

    Harvey I really enjoy your column. It is informative & insightful. Your blog & several others have kept me informed about what goes on in B.C. & Canada. I enjoying being able to forward them to friends. Its about the only true news we now receive.

    (Response: Thanks. As you know, it is only a hobby for me, no ads etc. … but I believe the blogosphere an important place for others, who agree or disagree, to also have their views read by thousands of others. And sometimes to show up the msm for their complacency when it comes to doing real digging and investigative stories. h.o)

  5. Steve says:

    The only ones afraid of shining a light into dark corners are the BC Liberals, or they would have done so already to clear their name. Dix is on record of saying that there will be a BC Rail Inquiry if he is elected Premier.

  6. mariner says:

    Lets not forget the 32 page manifesto for the 2001 election, where the BC Lieberals were good enough to state what they would do. As it turned out, none of the promises have been kept.
    What a legacy to leave the province of British Columbia.
    I fully expect something to happen over the coming months – something to make both the provincial and federal governments sit up and take notice. After that who knows – especially if Harper continuues with his DICK-TATOR role and threatening all and sundry.

    Time will tell – dark days ahead.

  7. Josef says:

    I commend my friend Alex in full. Great sortie.

    I agree Christy Clark must go. So must her entire staff.

    There is only one choice left to stop the BCNDP. That choice is a she, that she is from the outside, and that she warned during the BCLib Leadership an inquiry was necessary.

    Obviously, I speak of Alise Mills. There is no substitute. To know Alise is to aspire to be like her. To know Christy Clark after a while is to be bored, then disgusted. To know Kevin Falcon is to either love his brutal honesty or hate the alpha male. Those are your three choices since Dianne Watts has made clear she’s not stepping into the total morass.

    I hope you agree. Otherwise, start packing your bags as “soft socialism” ( Alise Mills, 1:50 of ) is inbound. Washington State will have a Republican free-enterprise Governor, Alberta is always available and Alaska is in good hands. Of course there’s Saskatchewan under Brad Wall… and Alise Mills is a female version of Brad Wall.

    Your call guys, over to you.

  8. Mo says:

    Josef ?? Where do you get your outdated ideas vis a vis the NDP? You do realize that we are now in the 21st Century.

  9. Alexandra says:

    For the love of British Columbia, these Liberals have to go!!
    What they have done to our province is criminal
    There is no greater issue facing us as a collective, then the theft of our assets, and the running into the ground all the economic levers, that made this province the envy of all other jurisdictions.
    It’s hard to focus on any national issues when we have such a mess here in British Columbia
    We are in a situation I have never seen before in my 40 years here…it’s sad, very sad

  10. Merv Adey says:

    Perhaps the bloggers exist because nature abhors a vacuum.

  11. 13 says:

    Global news is busy with BBQ segments and traffic updates. Most of their hard news comes from various feeds and new outlets. Bill Good plays a tape of a Simi Sara interview from the day before and makes like its breaking news. Simi Sara will then play a Bill Good tape and pretend that its breaking news. I dont think its because they dont want to do real news its because there isnt any money to pay for reporters. Or its a conspiracy and the news media is part of “deep capture” by the one world order luminati bunch.
    Either way the days of msm breaking hard news stories are gone and likely will never return.

    It will be interesting to see how Dix and company manage to make the BCR debacle disappear.

  12. Gini says:

    Josef gets his outdated ideas vis a vis the NDP from none other than the same blogger who tirelessly works to expose the role of Christy Clark in the sale of BC Rail.

    I am impressed by his dogged determination to get to the bottom of this dark period in B.C.’s history, but he shows his Conservative partisanship far too often, IMHO.

  13. Norm Farrell says:

    I wonder if many in the corporate media are focused more on survival and/or paving smooth exit roads. The corporations would rather house unpaid interns or recent graduates of BCIT who don’t expect to earn more than $2,000 a month.

    Ian Reid filed an FOI and received from government a document that listed ”Validators” identified by sector, location and title; each with ready-made go-to quotes; all of whom could be counted on to deliver what was needed.

    This was for the benefit of friendly media members who couldn’t be bothered to chase stories by themselves. That would also include folks who preferred to hit the golf courses or give speeches to business groups for generous fees.

  14. D. M. Johnston says:

    The Campbell/BC Liberal era will go down in history as the age of complete political and moral deceit. Premier photo-op is just the natural outcome from this age of deceit. The saddest story in the past decade of deceitful government is how the mainstream media became an arm of government and purged the real stories from the public.

    The mainstream media have so denigrated themselves, that they are seen as nothing more than a third rate act. The once mighty NW’ 98 has become the “Dead Dog 98”; The Vancouver Sun, has become low grade fishwrap; the so called “Fifth Estate”, is nothing more than cadre of spin doctors. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

    It has been the blog and the likes of yourself, Alex, Norman, Laila, Grant and a host of others, who have made the real news available to the public. The blog is no longer the place of wing-nuts, malcontents, and gossip mongers, it is the place of real hard news; the news that the MSM are afraid to tell.

    BC Rail and the BC Liberals are rapidly coming to a dark end, both are so intertwined that one cannot tell one from another.

    I wonder when the RCMP are going to visit the Parliament buildings in Victoria again?

  15. kootcoot says:

    “Sure, BC’s media covered the sale and the scandal and court proceedings etc. that followed “

    That is almost a false statement Harvey. The pretend trial and pre-trial activities were almost completely absent from all mainstream media, print, radio and television. Even on the rare occasions that a reporter or two actually attended hearings and filed a story, the stories were often spiked by the likes of Lucinda Chodan (who famously told BC Mary that “when there is news we will publish it” and then was offended that BC Mary posted her statement. That other clown who is now in some ombudsman position with the CBC, but was an editor with the Stun during the fake trial also constantly maintained nothin’ was happening at Robson and Smithe that concerned the good folks of BC and preferred to play act as a judge at the fireworks in English Bay and write about that VERY IMPORTANT STUFF.

    It was only when the trial was terminated and Basi and Virk bought off that the mainstream press started paying attention, and then only to the six million, as if the loss of a billion dollar asset was irrelevant. I guess the media felt used because they had been keeping their mouth shut for free (except for the advertising and speaking engagements and future positions with the PABlum Brigade) while Basi and Virk got six mil!

    One of the funniest aspects of the mainstream media coverage was when there was a secret meeting of some of the principals early on under Justice Bennett. This was so secret that it was held before the court opened early in the AM and the lawyers and other staff had to walk upstairs because the elevators weren’t working that early. Anyhoo, Glow Ball had a short feature because it was so strange to see lawyers and officials entering the building and meeting at 6:30-7:00 in a semi dark empty courtroom on one newscast, and then in subsequent newscasts the item was disappeared.

    Then there was the well known to we “cultists,” conviction and sentencing of Dave Basi’s cousin in Victoria for being the drug kingpin of Southern Vancouver Island, the same cousin whose calls to Basi in Finance Minister Collin’s office had been the original target of the EveryWhichWay wiretaps that accidentally exposed BC Rail wheelings and dealing. This major “organized crime” conviction and eight year sentence, usually mainstream media fodder of preference, being sensational and not harmful to political/corporate idols, went entirely unmentioned for months in ALL media, even the Victoria Times-Colonist until BC Mary somehow stumbled across the actual court records and published the information. This actually elicited a pitiful excuse for an explanation/apology from an actual accredited member of the “club” of co-opted (and embarrassed) reporters/editors.

    If one recalls, right after the infamous raids on the Ledge a top police official warned that organized crime had infiltrated much of British Columbia, but what he didn’t mention was that it appears to many that the largest, or at least the most successful/profitable criminal organization in the Province was headed by Capo Campbell.

    (Response: “Almost false” statement? They may not have covered AS MUCH or as detailed as you or I would have wanted…but if you do a Google News search, there are more than 9,000 MSM BC Rail articles in the last year or so (as far back as their “news” archive apparently goes), so let’s keep it real and not suggest they were “almost completely absent.” h.o)

  16. Ian Fromme-Nelson says:

    Thanks, Harv — the work that you (& AGT and a few others) do is crucial. You’re right about the mainstream media, they’re useless and should hang their heads in shame. Typing up press-releases from PAB or PMO is NOT journalism, it’s hucksterism — or worse.

    Ha ha, “Liberals whose hands are clean” — yes, and perhaps the wise King Solomon himself will also return to lead this marvelous coalition, eh Larry?

    (Response: I wouldn’t say they’re useless. There’s a first class investigative series unfolding this week in the Vancouver Sun about scrap dealers still improperly accepting and reporting scrap metals. But far too often, the MSM now cover the easier stuff: accidents, fires, press conferences, issued reports, stuff served up on a platter … on feeds or features … with no real investigative digging or resources necessary. And people ARE noticing and more and more reducing their reading, listening and viewing. h.o)

  17. DonGar says:


    You are right about some in the MSM doing their best to discredit any blogger that challenges and exposes what is happening while they sit back and do nothing. No heavy lifting unless its about a bear in a tree. My fear is they are bought and paid for which makes any story they write or position they take questionable.

    The only free press left is on the internet but reader beware.

    (Response: You are right about readers beware. Because of the very openness and independent nature of the internet, there can be a lot of trash out there. But I believe most people are smart enough to see through a lot of it …easily detectable by the bias, even insults, name-calling and wild accusations that often seems to expose the lousy ones. But over all , the benefits of the blogosphere in giving voice to “the people” without going through the MSM is immeasurable. h.o)

  18. Hans Goldberg says:

    I do not envy Adrian Dix, how he has to unravel this corruption and outright theft of assets, BC Rail, BC Hydro, BC Ferries, IPPs, BCLC. What was the bidding process on the BC Place renovation? Now this pipeline threat to BC fisheries and tourism and native rights.
    The BC Liberals managed this province right into a cash cow for large corporations.

    (Response: Of course, the real questyion is whether an NDP government would be any better? Or just siphon off public funds to their own core supporters, funding sources and wacky projects … like millions and millions for concrete-separated bike lanes across the entire province if Meggs got elected! LOL! 🙂

  19. Henri says:

    so let’s keep it real and not suggest they were “almost completely absent.” h.o.
    Lets not only keep it real but truthful as well ,That should have read the MSM were and are completely and totally incompetent .
    They spin the news in what ever flavor their corporate sponsors wish.

  20. Don says:

    Harvey … I’ve been enjoying your blog since its inception but have never commented until now.

    I agree fully with DM Johnston above. Sadly, I don’t always expect truth & honesty from our politicians but I am exceptionally disappointed in the state of our MSM. Their mandate should be truth, accuracy & objectivity in reporting & accountability to the public; friendships & favours shouldn’t enter into it. I’ve tired of shouting at my television & muttering while I read the paper … so I either don’t bother anymore, or I follow blogs like yours. Thanks Harvey, for keeping it real!

    PS: I would love to hear views from those who are teaching, or have taught, journalism. However, given the present state of reporting I suspect that “ethics in journalism” has become a “no-fail” course.

    (Response: Good to hear from you. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know how critical I have been about the media, when I felt they needed it. So much so one of my oldest colleagues at Global called me a Judas and refused to shake my hand when I attended someone’s retirement party. But funny, he never refuted any of my blog criticisms. ALOL! nd many tell me I’m “right on” in my occasional analyses.But there still many good reporters on radio, in newspapering and in tv: if only their bosses would give them the time and resources to do the job properly. And if they need more money, maybe lay off some of the shallower ones we see so much of on tv covering 1:30 mindless, meaningless crud stories that make us glaze over and use the savings on real experienced reporters who could do more gripping, entertaining real news stories that could run four or five minutes and not only hold existing watchers but attract new viewers …like we used to! h.o)

  21. kootcoot says:

    “Almost false” statement? They may not have covered AS MUCH or as detailed as you or I would have wanted…but if you do a Google News search, there are more than 9,000 MSM BC Rail articles in the last year or so”

    If you check out those 9,000, you will likely find many of them are the same, just off the wire in different papers, or excerpts or mentions in blogs and other places. Also, as I said, the media all of a sudden started paying attention at the end of the trial and the six million dollar bribe. Early on when Elizabeth Bennett was presiding over the pre-trial hearings and the ongoing obstruction of justice being performed by the ongoing failure to comply with discovery by the government forces it was almost crickets in the media, of course not totally un-mentioned but VERY much less covered than rated by its importance to the people and the public interest. Hell, the Pickton trial (being gory and sensational and all) rated a daily feature that ran even during court recesses lasting weeks, yet a trial that involved an asset belonging to the citizens of BC and serving many of those citizens and businesses rated being buried, belittled and ignored.

    I stand by my statement, that compared to the significance of the issue, other than a splash right after the Raids themselves (the famous black front page on the Vancouver Sun with a bunch of questions printed in white) and then a reawakening of interest at the pre-mature and questionable end of the phoney trial, coverage was virtually non-existent and the whole topic was treated as less significant than the death of Michael Jackson or Carole James’ hairdo. BTW Harv, I assume you understand the meaning of the word “almost.”

    Leonard Krog can claim little or no credit either as he pretty well ignored the entire issue until the six million dollar pay-off. Meanwhile, most of the questions published on the front page of that Vancouver Sun a few days after the raids remain unanswered to this day, and mostly un-asked by mainstream toadies since.

    One interesting question that came up in the year between the raid and charges finally being laid was the differing treatment of the two Basis and Bobby Virk. A government that claimed to know nothing of what was going on for some still undisclosed reason fired some with pay, while some went on paid leave, but never disclosed the reasons and of course were never really asked to explain.

  22. kootcoot says:

    “There’s a first class investigative series unfolding this week in the Vancouver Sun about scrap dealers still improperly accepting and reporting scrap metals.”

    I would consider an investigation into the poverty and inequality that drives people to steal scrap metal at least as worthy of an investigation, but let’s stay with the stuff that doesn’t ask any difficult questions and can be simple low level bad guys, wouldn’t want to disturb the high level bad guys that steal entire railroads, rip off BC Hydro, BC Ferries, ICBC or the BCLB when there are little guys to go after now would we?

    (Response: That would be a good investigative series too …but you may not like ALL the results. Yes, many involved in crime do so due to bad family poverty, lack of education, drugs etc. BUT in the 38 years I spent reporting…in print as well as tv…I also witnessed many thieves in court who were bright and could have had good jobs, some even from good homes and backgrounds but preferred to sleep in rather than get up every day to go to work, enjoyed going to the beach or hanging with similar friends afternoons and evenings … and just make lots of dough FAST and with as little effort as possible when they needed it by stealing from others …who did work long hours and hard to earn and buy their things. Maybe we should investigate that as well! h.o.)

  23. Gloria says:

    Campbell works for Harper. So do the Christy Clark BC Liberals. Boessenkool a Conservative, was placed in with the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals, works for Harper and lobbied for Enbridge. The BC Conservatives, support Harper’s Enbridge pipeline. That was a huge let down for me.

    BC’s assets and resources, have been thieved and sold. There is nothing left of this province, to recover with.

    Any party, having to clean up this mess of a province, has my sympathy.

  24. I am always amazed by the rather disturbed in the blogosphere, who continue to promote my philosophical conservatism (fiscally) and disregard my philosophical liberalism (socially).

    Yes, Gini, I am worried about the NDP–and not because I haven’t discussed it with top NDPers or that they aren’t equally concerned that the forces who tug at their collective apron won’t try to rule them. Your idiotic comment about my feeding Josef–or anybody else, is typical of the uneducated and ignorant.

    You are the doctrinaire fool on the left, as many of the Conservatives I have throughly criticized, are fools on the right.

    I am against the pipeline the Conservatives propose. I am against tankers up the coast line. I am against the HST. I am against closing the Kits Point Coast Guard station. I am against bringing back the issue of abortion (I support a woman’s right to choose). I am against bringing back the gay marriage issue (I fully support gay marriage or unions–their choice and am TOTALLY supportive of gay bashers going straight to jail–for life, as in the case of the able bodied gay man from the Davie Village who is now in a wheelchair).

    I support in a real increase in the minimum wage and an increase of welfare rates (actually, an overhaul of the entire welfare system).

    But I also believe you should be able to keep as much of your money every year, as possible, and support tax cuts for businesses to keep jobs going.

    There is a balance, which the two political solitudes in this country deny. I don’t. I think human ingenuity is our greatest asset and in order to exploit it, we must play fair.

    The BC Liberals have demonstrated that they can’t.

    The BC NDP won’t say how they will.

    Very disappointing on both counts.

    In the future, you might consider looking at the reams of posts I’ve done critical of ALL sides of the political spectrum and not show yourself off as simply another left wing nutter…wailing away about right wing nutters.

  25. Harvey,

    I wanted to thank you for your incredibly kind words.

    Any kind of compliment from you, is more than I deserve.

    What you did while a journalist will never be repeated and I’m honoured to have you mention me–more over call you a friend.

    I have, in the last year, often thought about calling it a day. This is a very tiring proposition and as you know I have other interests that feed my growing family.

    However, I feel an obligation to the public’s right to know.

    Thanks to you and Norm Farrell, I have often been inspired to carry on.

    Much appreciation, again, for your kindness and professionalism towards my work–even if we rarely disagree. 🙂

    Let’s have lunch soon.

    Be well my friend.

    (Response: Your complimentary words are appreciated, as always. And lunch sounds even better! 🙂 h.o.

  26. r says:

    TSP-the semantics party
    the 500k a year party. re -BC Ferry,BC Rail.
    media managers at port mann media event(in China called minders)
    The Ipp party-Liberals started with 34 billion BC debt and now is 55 Billion in what 11 years.?

  27. morry says:

    Does my heart good to see the three of you communicate herein: My sincere thanks to Mr. Farrell Mr Tsakumis and Mr Oberfeld

  28. kootcoot says:

    “That would be a good investigative series too …but you may not like ALL the results.”

    You insult my intelligence Harvey. I don’t recall saying (or thinking) that all crime is like something from Les Miserables. Of course generally the more intelligent and higher class of criminal doesn’t sell dime bags on the corner of Hastings and Main or steal copper from potentially live transformers. No, they generally participate in much more lucrative criminal activities that pay off much better and harm many more people and very few of them ever do much time. Bernie Madoff, Mark Milliken and Conrad Black are the exceptions in this criminal class – most of them are pulling down millions of dollars in bonuses for mortgage fraud or being bailed out by taxpayers for driving their equity firms to the edge of bankruptcy and rather than doing time, can look forward to perhaps advising Mittens Romney on economic issues until he launches WW3.

    (Response: I certainly wouldn’t want to do that. I was just referring to YOUR own words: “an investigation into the poverty and inequality that drives people to steal scrap metal”. Seems to me that may account for the motivation of some scrap metal thieves, but until you show me EVIDENCE in the form of a study or statistics, I’ll continue to assume most of those who cut phone lines to homes, businesses and even hospitals, and also take brass grave or bench makers are just lazy, evil no-goods who aren’t “driven” to steal but are motivated by their own selfishness. h.o)

  29. John says:

    This is really so easy to figure out why some of you great bloggers don’t go back to the blue’s words spoken in our ledgislature by Joy Macphail or Jenny Quan many years ago they both to their credit predicted all thats happening today dudes I was smelling this crap as it unfolded I dare all you great and mighty blogger’s call up the blues from another era and see for youreslves and tell me how anyone from either side could say they knew nothing they all cover each others ass intervener status John Van ding dong man we are so gulliable why did’nt the NDP take up intervener status as the opposition tough question to answer not really mark my words nothing will come of this they all cover each other and thats why a public inquiery will at best imbarass the perps and not punish if there is one lets not waste money and make the terms harsh all perps will end up where they belong and the railway will come back where she belongs to the people of BC,there that won’t be such a waste of money on an inquirey would it?

    (Response: Go for it… if you have the interest in such detailed research, you have just as much access as a citizen as we do. And apart from paying for the ferry cost, hotels for a few days etc, you will also get a nice holiday in Victoria out of it as you plow through the old blues at the legislature. h.o)

  30. Larry Bennett says:

    Alexandra – Firstly, I do not wish to live under a socialist regime and be referred to as being part of “collective”.
    And it seems that Mo has forgotten that, under the last NDP government, dozens of gas and oil exploration companies pulled up, lock, stock, and barrel, and moved their operations to the mid-west U.S. (of course, the NDP has never had a candidate in the Peace River country in the province’s mighty north-east.) And where was Mo when, the stunningly arrogant Joy McPhail took away control of the community elected hospital boards from the locals, mostly in order to push through her extreme feminist agenda? And of course, we could go on about the Fast Ferries, but, well, why bother? And anyway, Glen is now working for that great capitalist, Jimmy Pattison – how’s that working, Jimmy?

  31. Gini says:

    I totally agree that readers should beware of internet trash, “easily detectable by the bias, even insults, name-calling, wild accusations………”

    However, in defense of the MSM, I have found that Michael Smyth of the Province has written some explosive columns about Clark and her seemingly corrupt party recently. Even Palmer has come out minus the kid gloves.

    One can only hope that the rest of the MSM follows suit because unfortunately, the majority of British Columbians tend to get their news from these sources.

  32. I actually would like to support koots general sentiments on the issue of the raid. The media paid it less attention than Adrian’s bloody skytrain pass. I’m exaggerating for effect, but it’s true.

    Koot has a very valuable point–even if he’s making it as only he can. 😉

  33. John says:

    Just say’n Harvo, really tho I already know whats been said saw it all live ,we all know it’s there,but what say you about the intervener status and shouldn’t that be the job of the opposition after all we don’t pay them for us to go looking for justice or do we,it looks like it’s everyone for themselves.Let’s face it nobody actually gives a **** or they would actually do the detailed research themselves and thats what I was really getting at,so don’t answer so snidley you chose this (hobby)blogging not I.

    (Response: There are, of course, different kinds of blogs. Some report, others comment, many raise issues worth being examined. Certainly if info comes my way that interests me but has not been publicly reported (esp like media ratings/comings and goings), I enjoy it, and must admit I still do quick research on some of the topics I rant about … but I have no intention of spending long hours or days in retirement doing for free detailed investigations like those I used to to do when I was working. It’s call Freedom 65! h.o)

  34. kootcoot says:

    Harv, you certainly cherry-pick what little piece of my comment to which you will respond. I thought we already dealt with Les Mis – don’t you have anything to say about the upper class style of criminal – you know, the Madoffs, Millikens, Lard Black of Crossdressing and so forth – and their peers who commit similar scams, but avoid prosecution entirely?

    but more to the point:

    “(Response: Go for it… if you have the interest in such detailed research, you have just as much access as a citizen as we do. And apart from paying for the ferry cost, hotels for a few days etc, you will also get a nice holiday in Victoria out of it as you plow through the old blues at the legislature. h.o)”

    One doesn’t have to hop a ferry and take a holiday in Victoria to ” plow through the old blues at the legislature.” That is one place where even this government has maintained transparency as every page of Hansard is available online all the way back to January 1970.I’ve personally perused (and published quotes from) the glory days of the two superwomen opposition when Joy and Jenny managed to at least embarrass 76 of Campbell’s accomplices, though getting straight answers from them was a whole nuther issue.

    More recent sessions can even be viewed on video, for those who prefer not reading.

  35. kootcoot says:

    I didn’t realize until today that Hansard was published online from so far back, actually I don’t think the BC Ledge even published a Hansard until 1970 but for an interesting explanation of the online presence see:

    Guide to the Old Hansards Web Project@

  36. John says:

    Thanx Koot.

  37. Kranky says:

    I.F.Stone, I.F. Stone, I.F. Stone!!! Look him up, you deadheads in the MSM. The definition of courage under fire during the Macarthy era. Real investigative journalism, digging through publically available material, in other words , WORK! I’m in full rant now, Harv, but really, is there a working press in this province today? If so, name names. This country needs a Leveson inquiry of it’s own. Politicians,press, and police really need a light shone on their incestuous relationship. There, I feel better.

    (Response: Glad we could help you vent. The blog also often does the same for me! h.o)

  38. Mo says:

    @Larry Bennett: you have myopic vision, The NDP have come nowhere near the anti-democratic acts that define the BCLiberals over the past ten years. To not see that is to be a true ideologue that you paint yourself by your words.

    PS Glen Clark is doing great with the Pattison Group.

    PPS Glen’s vision of Shipbuilding in BC was proved right by …wait for it…Harper.

    (Response: The one question I wish some working reporter would ask Glen clark is how he feels personally working for a company that is reputedly so anti-union???? h.o)

  39. Henri says:

    Further to my comment of
    Henri // Jun 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm #19

    A veteran B.C. political cartoonist says his newspaper has backed down in a fight with one of Canada’s largest energy companies over a spoof of an advertisement.

  40. Josef says:

    Alex, Gini
    I read “Barbarians in the Garden City”, have engaged in passionate Internet dogfights w/ BCNDP and also finally watched + listened to the Maestro of Punditry in Alise Mills to learn all I ever want or need to know about the New Democcupy Party.

    At this point, John Cummins would be a slight improvement over Christy Clark. Alise Mills would be the best Premier BC ever could have… ever.

    I stand by these remarks. Yes, Alex is correct – he takes swipes at all and lands hard blows at the criminally stupid.

  41. Larry Bennett says:

    So kootcoot, you agree that Milliken, Madoff and Lord Black have paid for their sins? I, for one, am not so sure that our Lord was really guilty of much anyway, other than acting snotty every time he speaks of GWB (and that is mostly because he didn’t give him a pardon) and I don’t think you’ll find many “dime bag” dealers (whatever that is) or copper thieves cooling their heels in B.C.. And Black has a much better vocabulary than anyone since W.F. Buckley (Jr.), and I trust you won’t mind if I forgo Hansard? That would be unduly harsh punishment for anyone.

  42. 13 says:

    Harvey you ask a great question . How does Glen Clark feel working for a company so anti union?
    I feel that I understand why a former trade union supporter can work for Jim Patterson. The private sector unions have turned into exactly what they claim to protect workers from. Greedy corporations. All they want is to collect dues and look after the union executive. Great pay awesome pension plans. The two that I am familiar with have many members that make peanuts as far as wages go.
    The Teamsters have company truck drivers making as little as $14 per hour. The CAW which I currently belong to is not worth the $50 per month that I pay.
    Believe me when you read about well paid union members they are either public sector or they have a trade ie electrician or welding. The later jobs pay well union or non union.
    I think Glen Clark is a realist. He saw which side was going to prevail and sold out and joined the winning team.
    Glen Clark is a perfect example of a disenchanted NDPer. He is the face of the quiet majority that realize that the lofty ideals of the NDP are gone.
    But you are so right Harvey. Why hasnt someone stuck a mike in Glens face and made him squirm?

    (Response: Well, as I’ve written before i support unions when they do a good job, get workers decent wages and benefits and protect workers from nasty employers, who would give them crap wages, no benefits, unsafe working conditions if they could. But it’s up to the membetrs to ensure the unions work. When I was VP of CEP at BCTV, I used to hear all kinds of whining from members … who never attended a union meeting, volunteered for a union committee and would violate the agreement anytime it benefitted them to do so. The union can make you strong and be relevant …if workers not only demand it,but volunteer, serve and do the job needed to make sure the types you mention don’t gain or keep control. h.o)

  43. 13 says:

    Harvey your right of course. The union is only as strong as the membership. Unfortunately of the two that I mentioned and in the field that I work most of the members are from economic backgrounds that are so far removed from North American standards and conditions that they have no knowledge or understanding of what a union could do for them.
    As for participation the Teamsters were quite happy when at the regular monthly meeting they rarely had enough members present to have the quorum needed for a meeting. The CAW doesnt even hold regularly scheduled meetings.
    The only way to ensure a strong union is to have a closed shop in an enviroment that dictates all workers must belong to the union. This limits entry to the workforce and controls the supply and demand. A concept long since forgoten by the NDP. Right to work. Replacement workers allowed. Secondary pickets not allowed. The NDP should stand up for unions and reverse all anti union laws. Make union membership manditory. But they have chosed to try the middle of the road. BC is a polarized province.

  44. Blaine Young says:

    Harv, You’re right … and I’m stupified. I haven’t seen any mention of this breaking news in the msm today. This is “Christygate” if there ever was one. Where is the media on this? Unbelievable!! Keep up the good fight. Eventually the truth comes out.

  45. e.a.f. says:

    dear 13,

    unions are only as good as their members. If members are not involved, don’t attend meetings, don’t volunteer, don’t run for office then the union dies. The members then have the unions they deserve.

    it should be understood that in these times it is very difficult for unions to get a decent agreement for their members. Don’t blame the unions. If you didn’t have a union you’d be making even less.

    Many people believe unions no longer have a place in the workplace but if not for unions, we’d all be working for min. wage & min. wage wouldn’t be as high as it is, we’d be at $5. an hr. like some american states.

    Patison is a business man. He is in the business to make money. I do not consider him anti union so much as driven to make money.

    Why Glen Clark went to work for him? Glen Clark had a family & he needed to have a job. If you missed the interviews on global, Patison was the only one who would hire Glen Clark prior to the trial. You see Patison trusted Glen Clark to be honest, as some of us also did.

    The msm was just so fast to get on the band wagon to paint Glen Clark as some sort of criminal they couldn’t wait. Of course when we had real criminals like the lieberals we don’t hear much of anything from the msm.

  46. 13 says:


    I have been president of my local and or a shop steward for more than 30 years. Its nice to say that the union is only as strong as its members and maybe that is the case. Of the three unions I have belonged to the two I have mentioned have not in my opinion done enough to deserve the support you so freely give. I am not saying that unions havent made our lives better, they most certainly have. My point is that the private sector unions have been legislated to the point of irrelavence. Furthermore the NDP the supposed friend of the union member have not made any real attempt to strengthen unions by repealing union busting laws.
    As for Pattison , he closed down his highly paid Overwaitea warehouse in langley and sent the work to Alberta. Ask his Save On employees if the new Price Mark operations pay as well. Ask Aggressive Transportation what Pattison did when he moved to Pro West Trucking. Pattison is a union buster who has paved the way to closing many many good paying union jobs

  47. crh says:

    To ’13’

    I’m really surprised to hear that you are a shoppie. Reading your comments over recent months suggest to me that you are on the side of those greedy righties. Now I’m so confused as you continually denigrate those that are supposed to be on your side. Being a regular lurker, I have put you on ignore long ago.

  48. 13 says:


    Thanks for your concern. Unlike most of the leftwingnuts I can see both sides of most issues. I have no problem being an active union member while not supporting the NDP party line. I am not led around on a leash and have the ability to think for myself.
    Happy ignore or happy ignorance

  49. D. M. Johnston says:

    I contribute to posts on another blog and I had recently a phone conversation about BC Rail with another contributer and interesting one it was it was.

    My civil law is somewhat rusty, but if a contract (all sales are contracts) is proven to be illegal, then the contract is null and void or the sale is null and void.

    If this happens to the BC Rail because of illegalities found in an inquiry the BC Rail sale could be declared illegal and the Railway returned to BC in complete pre sale condition, including land!

    I believe it is for this reason that the BC Liberals are scared s***less of an inquiry, for if an inquiry found malfeasance in the sale of BC Rail with enough illegalities to make the sale void, Gordon Campbell’s great gamble would have fizzled like a wet squib. Further, the mainstream media would be completely embraced for ignoring one of BC’s major political stories since BC became a province! With the MSM so embarrassed, those lowly wing-nut bloggists would have been proven right all along, which certainly not look good on those in the media wishing to win an ‘Order of Canada’ or a senate seat.

    The stakes in the BC Rail fiasco are very high indeed and I just hope that the NDP will have the moral fortitude to order a BC Rail inquiry if and when they are elected government.

    Premier Photo-op’s memo just adds more tinder dry fuel on the BC Rail file, the question is; “is it enough to set the BC Rail domino’s falling?

    (Response: Just to keep it real, it’s not the premier’s memo that has recently surfaced…it’s Basi’s memo to himself referring to the premier. But if its contents arec accurate, sure is dynamite. Only a judicial inquiry will sufficiently air the matter. h.o)

  50. e.a.f. says:

    As I said Patison is in the game to make money. He does it how he sees fit. I don’t think its anything personal or anti-union. He is just getting ahead of trends.
    I am sure the new stores pay less. all employers are trying to pay less & unfortunately many people, the workers themselves, are falling for the corporate line.

    I see these self serve check outs in many types of stores now. I simply refuse to use them. I still use the postal system, I don’t bank on line, I avoid self serve gas stations, etc. All of the things we were told would reduce costs, did, but not for the customers, for the owners.

    I am a retired trade unionist. I held office & worked as a business agent. I have been an NDP supporter for 50 yrs. & a trade unionist for 30. I haven’t had illusions about any political party but I do know which one will serve me better.

    Some trade unionists were still angry with Dave Barret 20 yrs after he ordered the ICBC union workers back to work. They never got over it but he did become the employer. Too often people expect the NDP to be the answer to all of labour’s problems but they aren’t & never will be.

    The NDP hasn’t been in power here for 10 yrs so how are they going to change anti union legislation? Will they when they come to office, who is to say. The first order of business of any government is to stay in power. We also need to remember that no matter what the party, once they become the government they become the employer.

  51. 13 says:


    I find it interesting that we all bash the msm. Yet you refer me to the global piece where they show Glen Clark and Jimmy schmoozing.
    I did see that piece of fluff on global. I certainly didnt let that form my opinion on either Pattison or Glen Clark. You can try all you want to make Pattison a harmless buisnessman. He is what he is. Union buster and one of the best. Clarks ethics must be very flexible to work for that organization.

  52. 13 says:

    Back in the day before Macdonalds Consolidated (Safeway) busted the union in order to compete with Pattison when you delivered to the Safeway warehouse in Burnaby they had a sign next to the receivers office.

    It was large and framed and proudly proclaimed

    ” This is NOT a Jim Pattison company”

  53. Judi Sommer says:

    Hi Harvey,
    Yet another thoughtful post tha tpulled Alex T into the conversation. I’ve read his blog for some time so thanks for bringing him into your conversations with us.
    Good to see his digging has borne some fruit in the MSM with the Province’s Mike S. The infamous memo by Basi seems to have hit a bit of a nerve with our erstwhile premier who claimed it was simply egotistical grandstanding. That may well be proven to be true but to me, what is really significant is the date on which it was written:weeks before the raid that was the flashpoint for the BC Rail fiasco. I doubt Mr Basi has clairvyant gifts so what would his motive have been? Now that the story is out there thanks to the tenacity of Alex, let’s hope that this will prompt some digging by some real newshounds in the MSM. I have to hope there are still some out there!
    A nice tag-team post with Alex-I hope neither of you are planning to hang up your journalistic cleats!

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