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This Cannot Be The End Of BC Rail

The promise was made, “BC Rail is here to stay.” Then they sold it. Then the legislature was raided by the RCMP. Three people were charged with varying things such as fraud, accepting gifts, and offers of employment. Seven years later, the trial was set to resume. Finally, hopefully, we would discover what happened, who was responsible and what they got. Then, suddenly, poof! Two of the defendants David Basi and Bobby Virk pleaded guilty “to one count of breach of trust, and one count each of receiving rewards, advantages and benefits in exchange for providing confidential information to lobbyists working on behalf of a U.S.-based railway company.” So now we know the truth. We know that these people benefited from information they had. They passed it on to a US based railway company Omnitrax, likly with the intention of getting some money palmed off in return. They are guilty, albiet, to very watered down charges that don’t include mentions of fraud or the gifts they recieved. But here’s the thing. These people are at the center of the $1 billion dollar sale of an asset we were promised would remain ours. We are not able to hear from the finance minister of the time, Gary Collins, who was the boss of Basi and Virk. There were numerous other witnesses we were to hear from, including lobbyists and a former fundraiser for Prime Minister Paul Martin. Now, we will not hear from them, because Basi and Virk have helped all of them save face.

A public inquiry must be called. The NDP today called for an inquiry and have started peititioning members and others to write to the government and sign online forms in order to consolidate public support for an inquiry. It only makes sense. Basi and Virk will receive no jail time. They have to pay back only the amounts that they have testified that they received (who knows if these are even the real amounts). They will do some community service. They have both expressed their satisfaction with the trial being over but British Columbians deserve answers. We deserve to know who else benefited from the selling of BC rail and whether or not anyone else supplied secrets to outside bidders. Did the Liberal government lie again to British Columbians by promising something in a campaign and then turning their backs on this promise? British Columbians deserve to know. We cannot allow this to be the last word.

2 comments to This Cannot Be The End Of BC Rail

  • cosmicsync

    We know that these people benefited from information they had. They passed it on to a US based railway company who then used that information to purchase BC rail away from British Columbians.

    That’s not quite accurate. The information was passed to Omnitrax. BC Rail was “leased” to CN.

    On the subject of an inquiry, in order for such an inquiry to get us closer to the truth, it is imperative that the evidence from the case not be destroyed. It has been suggested that this is exactly what will happen within a matter of days.

    So while you’re writing your letters to your MLA demanding an inquiry, it’s of the utmost importance that you also demand that the evidence is preserved.

  • Logan

    Thanks to cosmicsync I have corrected my factual error. Thank you for helping me to keep accurate. Cheers.