Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive Oct 18, 2010)

The Ballad of Casey Jones*

By Bob Cooper




The sudden manner in which the BC Rail trial headed for the Roundhouse surprised me initially but when I took a few minutes to think about it, it came down to two choices.  They could let this train wreck keep going until next Spring (a conservative estimate) and risk whatever revelations might come out under cross examination or cut their losses now and run for cover.  I’d say proximity to the next election carried the day.  Interesting as well that the plea came on the eve of Gary Collins taking the stand.  Hey, just sayin’.  Coming on the same day as Colonel Russell Williams’ guilty plea to First Degree Murder with photos of him in ladies’ underwear gratuitously shown on national news all day was just a bonus.

Then came the news that the government had authorized the use of tax dollars to pay the legal fees for Virk & Basi which came close to six million dollars.  Yes, $6,000,000.00.  Well, it certainly got the HST Recall Campaign off the front page. 

The way most of the mainstream media handled this has been rather wanting with many seeming to swallow what they were given with very little questioning.  An exception was veteran Global reporter John Daly who secured an interview with Virk and Basi shortly after the plea was entered.  He pointed out that some were suggesting that they had been bought and asked if that were true.  Both replied “No comment on that, you’ll have to ask the Office of the Attorney-General”. 

 For those without Interview/Interrogation training, that’s not a denial.   A truthful person would simply have said ‘No’.

It was a full 24 hours before the Premier was seen but he certainly didn’t disappoint.  Bristling at the very suggestion he told reporters there was no need for a public inquiry because this had nothing to do with government.  It was, you see, just 2 criminals acting alone without anyone above them having the slightest knowledge of their skullduggery.  It’s right there in the agreed statement of facts that was read into court.  They said so.  Right there.  Can’t you read?

Then, after declaring that a public inquiry would be far too expensive, he admitted the government had paid the legal fees for  these 2 ‘criminals’ who were acting alone.   Just because.  Case closed.  Let’s move on.  I thought he was going to use the word ‘hush’.

So Premier, you’re asking the public to simply take the word of 2 convicted ‘criminals’ plus that of a politician who’d promised not to sell the railway in the first place.

Say, how about those Olympics? 

Fireman!  Shovel that coal and let’s get out of here.

* The Ballad of Casey Jones  


Bob Cooper is a retired Vancouver policeman.  He walked a beat in Chinatown and later worked in the Asian Organized Crime Section and the Homicide Squad.


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