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COMMENTARY · 2nd June 2010
Robin Mathews
The Dysfunctional Supreme Court of British Columbia

The electronic court list announced the BC Rail Scandal Basi, Virk, and Basi trial would go forward at ten a.m. this morning. It didn't.

"The club" was informed. Most of the Mainstream Press and Media didn't appear - having been told through their grapevine that the day was adjourned. The "public"? Who cares about the public? Clearly, every evidence points to the fact that Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie doesn't care a rap about the public.

Put it this way. Before business closing yesterday, counsel must have known there could be no court sitting today. They would let the judge know promptly. Her FIRST RESPONSIBILITY was to tell the public she serves that today's sitting was off. Perhaps she told the list-makers on Monday that Wednesday would be sitting. Her responsibility - her FIRST responsibility - was to correct that information yesterday. She obviously didn't.

And if she didn't learn until midnight yesterday of the continued adjournment, her FIRST responsibility was to correct the incorrect listing, even with a special announcement in capital letters on the site.

I dressed, went in pouring rain to the court. I looked at the posted list. No Basi,Virk, and Basi. But I saw Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie will be hearing immigration matters at two this afternoon. The court is so regularly inefficient, I went up to courtroom 54 anyway. I waited a few minutes, and then ran into one of the sitting sheriffs. He recognized me and told me the sitting is adjourned for another day, and the lists must be watched from day to day - adjournment may extend.

He told me that he, himself, only learned this morning of the continued adjournment.

As I was leaving, a journalist (not in the loop) had arrived, and I explained the situation to the journalist..

British Columbians have to see this minor matter as part of the flagrant arrogance of the officers of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Remember, when the accreditation committee of the Supreme Court (a strange little bloc) refused me accreditation, spokesperson for the committee, Neal Hall (Vancouver Sun) said I might approach the sitting judge - Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie. I wrote to her asking for accreditation so that I might use a recording device without delay. Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie refuses to reply to my request.

Can that be anything else but towering arrogance?

I don't see that and today's mess as an insult to me. I don't have a wounded ego. I see it as an insult to all the people who read my reports and to the whole population of British Columbia which expects from their Supreme Court officers - before all others - demonstration that they understand their position of Public Trust.

Two things: in my column called The BC Rail Scandal "Conspiracy Theory" I asked if the 'conspirators' are setting the stage for a shipwreck of the trial. If the trial is shipwrecked, British Columbians must demand a full, open Public Inquiry (with the freedom to recommend criminal charges) of EVERYTHING concerning the BC Rail Scandal - with special reference to the Gordon Campbell cabinet and Gordon Campbell's associates in the transfer of BC Rail to CNR.

Secondly: Do the repeated mistakes and the demonstrations of contempt for the public displayed by Supreme Court officers point to bias in favour of the Gordon Campbell group? The last letter I wrote to Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie and the Chief Justice asking for action on the wrongful appointment of William Berardino as Special Crown Prosecutor ... has been ... completely ignored.

The word to describe that is "appalling". There is so much that is appalling in this trial it enters the realm of sociopathology. I will stop there. Think about it.

Interested in more - READ IT ALL HERE.
Delay, delay, delay
Comment by Barry English on 3rd June 2010
Delay, delay, delay . . . that's the main defense in this case, delay everything until nobody remembers what they were accused of in the first place. This time, it is important enough that it could possibly bring down the provincial government, so delay, delay, delay.