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Business: The Bank of Canada eyes economic threats at home and abroad 
Thursday 23 June 2011
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AUDITOR WANTS BC RAIL TRIAL COSTS
UBC RALLIES BEHIND BLINDED STUDENT
TOM FLETCHER (Black Press)
B.C. Auditor-General John Doyle has applied to B.C. Supreme Court for details of the legal defence costs for Dave Basi and Bob Virk, convicted of breach of trust last fall for their role in the sale of BC Rail operations. In a petition ﬁled Tuesday, a lawyer for the auditor-general’s ofﬁce said the information is needed so Doyle can sign off on the province’s accounts for the ﬁscal year. The province’s lawyer offered to comply, but lawyers for Basi and Virk cited lawyer-client privilege and refused, the petition states. Ministerial assistants in the B.C. Liberal government while BC Rail operations were up for sale in 2002-03, Basi and Virk pleaded guilty in October 2010 to disclosing conﬁdential bidding information and accepting beneﬁts from a competing bidder. Their guilty pleas put an abrupt end to an eight-year investigation and court case that began with a police raid on the B.C. legislature. The B.C. government’s decision to pay an estimated $6 million in defence costs has been a lightning
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Dave Basi, left, stops briefly to speak to reporters outside B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver in this file photo from October. rod for critics. The policy was for the government to pay for legal defence of employees charged in connection with their ofﬁcial duties, and recover those costs if the employee is found guilty. Cabinet members have insisted there was no political interference in the decision to pay Basi and Virk’s legal bills, made by the deputy ﬁnance minister and deputy attorney general. They determined that the majority of costs from years of pre-trial arguments would never be recovered from Basi and Virk, and costs to taxpayers would continue to
mount without the guilty pleas. In legislature debate in February, interim NDP leader Dawn Black noted that the $6 million legal payment was the same amount cut from the Crown prosecutor budget this year. “The government only covers defence costs in the event of an acquittal, but two Liberal insiders were given a last-minute sweetheart deal that cut short the BC Rail corruption trial,” Black said. Liberal house leader Rich Coleman replied that the accused ﬁled a statement of fact with their guilty pleas, stating that they acted alone.
Friends of a University of British Columbia student whose husband is accused of gouging out her eyes when she returned home to Bangladesh for a visit earlier this month are raising funds to help pay for her recovery. The shocked UBC community also plans a rally this Sunday to protest violence against women. According to their Facebook page, the No More Violence Against Women; Justice for Rumana Monzur, about 225 people already plan to attend the rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. “This is so horrible,” Lucy How wrote on the page. “I cannot believe it. I am deeply shocked.” UBC president Stephen Toope said in a statement posted online that Indian doctors have assessed Monzur’s eye injuries and agreed no further treatment is possible. She is now blind. He said Monzur is now recovering at home with family. Toope said the UBC community has created a fund to help pay for Monzur’s recovery and the university is also mulling long-term plans to help the 33-yearold complete her master’s degree in political science. “This tragic occasion is a poignant marker of the need to work to protect the fundamental human right of all women to pursue education,” Toope said. “The allegations that her commitment to her studies was a factor in the attack are of grave concern.”
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