Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Accreditation Process for Journalists re: BC Supreme Court Policy on Recording Devices

UPDATE as of February 24, 2012 Link to "Accreditation Process......" has been updated.  The designated journalists has changed hands.  This is a New Link

Journalist Accreditation Process
In June of 2002, the Supreme Court adopted the following policy regarding the use of recording devices inside courtrooms:
1.       Accredited journalists may be permitted to bring recording devices into Supreme Court courtrooms to record the proceedings, so long as:
a.       the use of recording devices is not disruptive to the proceedings;
b.      does not impose additional expense upon the court; and
c.       such recordings are used for the verification of journalists' notes only and are not broadcast, copied or used in any other way or for any other purpose.
2.       It remains within the discretion of the trial judge to exclude recording devices in a particular case, or for a particular portion of a trial.
3.       This policy permits the use of recording devices by accredited journalists in courtrooms only, and not in other areas of the courthouse.
Journalists wishing to take advantage of this policy should first contact one of the members of the Accreditation Committee which is a committee of journalists that has been established to oversee the accreditation process.  Journalists will be required to sign an undertaking acknowledging that they agree to abide by the policy described above.  


The members of the Accreditation Committee are:

Ian Bailey
The Globe and Mail ( B.C. Bureau)
Phone:  604-631-6652
Email: ibailey@globeandmail.com
Terry Donnelly
CBC Radio News
Phone:  604-662-6908
Email:  terry_donnelly@cbc.ca
Petti (Peg) Fong
The Toronto Star (Vancouver Bureau)
Phone:  604-739-1917
Email: pfong@thestar.ca
Keith Fraser
The Province
(604) 683-2817
E-mail: kfraser@png.canwest.com

Neal Hall
The Vancouver Sun
Phone:  (604) 605-2067
E-mail: nhall@png.canwest.com
Jane Seyd
North Shore News
Phone:  (604) 982-8764
E-mail: jseyd@nsnews.com
Stephen Smart
CBC News
Phone:  250-382-4368
Email:  stephen.smart@cbc.ca

*************************************
The old way
Accreditation Process for Journalists re: Supreme Court Policy on Recording Devices

In June of 2002, the Supreme Court adopted a policy to allow accredited journalists to take recording devices into B.C. Supreme Court trials in order to assist them to report accurately on the proceedings. The Public Affairs Committee has now finalized an accreditation process for journalists. Each journalist wishing to bring a recording device into a Supreme Court courtroom must first sign an undertaking that they have read and agree to abide by the following policy adopted by the Court:
1. That the Supreme Court’s policy excluding recording devices remains in place, except that accredited journalists may be permitted to bring recording devices into Supreme Court courtrooms to record the proceedings, so long as:
a. the use of recording devices is not disruptive to the proceedings;
b. does not impose additional expense upon the court; and
c. such recordings will be used for the verification of journalists' notes only and not be copied or used in any other way - in particular that they not be broadcast.
2. That it remain within the discretion of the trial judge to exclude recording devices in a particular case, or for a particular portion of a trial.
3. That this policy permits the use of recording devices by accredited journalists in courtrooms only, and not in other areas of the courthouse.
A committee of journalists has been established to oversee the accreditation process. The  members are:
Terry Donnelly
CBC Radio News
Phone: 604-662-6908
Email: terry_donnelly@cbc.ca

Keith Fraser-
The Province
(604) 683-2817
E-mail: kfraser@png.canwest.com

Petti (Peg) Fong

The Toronto Star - Vancouver Bureau Chief
Phone: 604-739-1917
Email: pfong@thestar.ca

Neal Hall
The Vancouver Sun
Phone: (604) 605-2067
E-mail: nhall@png.canwest.com

Jane Seyd
North Shore News
Phone: (604) 982-8764
E-mail: jseyd@nsnews.com

Stephen Smart
CBC News
Phone: 250-382-4368
Email: stephen.smart@cbc.ca
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c: such recordings will be used for the verification of journalists' notes only

3.......   in courtrooms only, and not in other areas of the courthouse

<==============================>
c:   If an Accredited Journalist is NOT in a court room eg. #54 but in another court room eg. #53 covering that trial or not even in the Court House, he can't use another accredited journalist's recordings as though they were his own to write his story from.   The point of having a recording device is so that a journalist can VERIFY his notes to the recording.   An outsider would have no notes!

    recordings can only be made from within a Court room eg. #54, and not in other areas of the courthouse.  Which means, and you have to be there to see the Accredited Journalists in action while using their recording devices... the devices are not visible.  Its not like they have a red flag or red light that pops up every time their recording devices are turned on.  Its the old saying here.... Out of Sight, Out of Mind.

Then there is the Publication Ban that is imposed every time a Jury is not present eg. the Basi Virk Trial.  Are the Accredited Journalists recording devices taking down every spoken word, if not to be used immediately, then to be used later, after the Publication Ban is lifted.



<==============================>
"Journalist Accreditation Process   2006

The Public Affairs Committee chaired by Mr. Justice Williamson has revised the Accreditation Process for Journalists which allows accredited journalists to bring recording devices into the Supreme Court’s courtrooms for the purpose of verifying their notes. The revised process creates a three year accreditation term. At the end of the term, those journalists wishing to continue to bring recording devices into the courtroom must renew their accreditation."
  This is pretty clear, highlighted in bold above..... verifying their notes!     

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Prime Rate hasn't been moving up or down, according to CIBC, since September 9, 2010

UPDATE: September 22, 2011 at bottom

This statement hasn't changed over at Elections BC:


The Post from December 2, 2010 hasn't changed either.  The Prime Rate was supplied by the principal banker, CIBC, to the Province of British Columbia. The photo below said it was "Updated on Sept 9, 2010" for September 9, 2010

CIBC Historical Effective Prime Rate, another nail in the coffin of the BC Rail trial



Today's snapshot of the CIBC Historical Effective Prime Rate says it was "Updated on December 13, 2010 for September 9, 2010.   Today is February 21, 2011 and the Prime Rate hasn't budged either up, down or sideways for five long months which I guess we can take it to mean that we should be thankful, or maybe the Finance department for the BC Government hasn't been updating their records.





Here we are, and with the help of this graph, it shows we have been moving "sideways" since September 2010



<============================>

Five year overview from 2006 to 2011:
If anyone is looking for the 9% Indemnity Prime Rate on this graph, it would be just about in the middle of the black border to the right of the phrase "Interactive Chart" coloured bar in RED.

The going rate in April of 2004 when BC Rail was sold to CN Rail was 3.75%



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Extinguishments of $6 million debt deal for Basi and Virk was done by whom to kill the BC Rail trial?

I can't remember, was it the Attorney General of British Columbia who forgave Dave Basi and Bobby Virk's legal fees debt to the Province of British Columbia, or was it a couple of  Deputy Ministers who did it?

Highlighting in BOLD is mine:

"7.3.13 Extinguishments   (Under Revenue Management- second folder of three)
1. The responsible minister must authorize all submissions for extinguishment. Proposals must be forwarded for review to the Minister of Finance, through the Financial Management Branch, OCG, prior to submission to the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
2. The Minister or the Deputy Minister of Finance, or the Assistant Deputy Minister, Provincial Treasury, pursuant to BC Regulation 269/92, can conclude a settlement agreement or compromise settlement to forgive some or all of a debt or obligation not exceeding $100,000. In addition, the following CLMB officers have authority to conclude a settlement agreement to forgive some or all of a debt or obligation (principal plus interest) to the following limits:
the director – $40,000;
a manager – $20,000;
a collection officer – $10,000.
3. A ministry may accept a compromise settlement of a debt only after approval by Legal Services, Ministry of Attorney General. A portion of the original debt can be extinguished under the terms of an agreement.
4. Annually, ministries must submit statements of debts extinguished during the fiscal year, together with supporting documentation, to Financial Reporting and Advisory Services, OCG, for Public Accounts reporting purposes."
 The maximum amount of debt is One Hundred Thousand Dollars and it looks like this:
                                                   $   100,000
Six million dollars looks like this:   $6,000,000, so where's the Regulation that covers $6 million.



The pecking order of who gets to do what when it comes to Extinguishments goes something like this:

Responsible Minister - Attorney General
Forwarded through - Financial Management Branch, OCG
Forwarded to Lieutenant Governor in Council (Cabinet)
Forwarded to - Minister of Finance

However "a settlement agreement or compromise settlement to forgive some or all of a debt or obligation not exceeding $100,000" can be done if it is pursuant to BC Regulation 269/92 (which dead ends because the hidden link to the Regulation reads like this http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/reg/f/finadmin/269_92.htm but you end up here http://www.bclaws.ca/default.html) shifty bast....   But in the paragraph it lists off who can execute BC Regulation 269/92 and they are "The Minister or the Deputy Minister of Finance, or the Assistant  Deputy Minister, Provincial Secretary".   Not a hint of the Deputy Minister to the Attorney General and yet it was the Deputy Minister of Finance and the Deputy Minister of the Attorney General that stopped the trial in its tracks.

And if you're wondering what the "Financial Management Branch, OCG" is the OCG stands for its the Office of the Comptroller General.

All these people within the various departments of the BC Liberal Government, while the BC Rail trial was being heard by a jury, suddenly up and decides that it was in the best interests of ... taxpayers... to stop the trial.    Hmmmmmm.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

October 18, 2010 Last day of the BC Rail Trial: Why were the RCMP in Attendance?

Its been said here before, by many others too, why has the AG Courts Service Branch kept the public in the dark on all trials in Vancouver (perhaps even the whole Province), by not creating a Singular On-line Schedule (instead of the DOUBLE ONEs) so the public could have attended the high profile Basi Virk trial, also known as the BC Rail Trial on a daily basis, on time.

On the very last day, October 18, 2010, the Court room was packed with the Press, 7 RCMP officers and not very many of the public (we obviously didn't get the email memo) for such an auspicious moment to witness the guilty pleas of two defendants, with the third defendant having his charges Stayed.

I received a history lesson today that left me wondering just what happened so suddenly, so unexpectedly, on October 18, 2010.   Why were there so many high profile RCMP officers inside Court Room #54, when there was a STANDING order from the Judge that said otherwise:

"....In the case of Mr. Collins, he has a lawyer here every day. As best I can read in the newspapers, he's speaking for Mr. Collins," McCullough told Justice Bennett in asking that any witnesses for the subsequent trial be banned from attending the disclosure hearing.

McCullough also noted the presence of an RCMP officer who will be called to testify in the trial as one of the investigators.

"There will be a ban from here on in -- any witness cannot be in the courtroom," Bennett ordered immediately."
- Bill Tieleman  May 4, 2007

From the Vancouver Sun there's this photo of the Defense team, and their clients, walking down the stairs to the Glass wall to the waiting reporters outside of the Court House, and who's that standing to the left in the photo?




"Kevin DeBruyckere. RCMP One of the lead RCMP investigators in Project Everywhichway, amazingly Inspector DeBruyckere is also by coincidence the brother-in-law of B.C. Liberal Party executive director Kelly Reichert.

DeBruyckere disclosed that information to his superiors in March 2004, but defence lawyers have strongly argued that his relationship is a conflict of interest that should have had him removed from the case, but have not at any point alleged any impropriety on the part of either DeBruyckere or Reichert."
Bill Tieleman  Dec. 29, 2008


Seems straight forward to me, Publication Bans are imposed, a little cardboard sign is left standing on the Clerk's desk near the Judge so it could be read by all, but you'd think that either someone would be standing with a Checklist (photos included) to ensure that no witnesses would enter the Court Room, or there would be a sign indicating there was Witness Ban along with a Publication Ban of who wouldn't be allowed into Court Room #54 at the door.


On or before October 18, 2010 who told who what when?   and did the Judge not take note of the, ummmm, indiscretion of a Court ban having been possibly broken or was it all over except for the shouting, long before the public was informed?