CBC In Depth
B.C. Raids
CBC News Online | September 14, 2004

On Dec. 28, 2003, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Victoria police raided two offices in the British Columbia legislature.

Police said little about the investigation at the time of the raid, only that it was based on information uncovered during a probe of the drug trade and organized crime.

The warrants the police used to raid the legislature were sealed and media lawyers, including those representing the CBC, applied to have them unsealed.

In March 2004, a B.C. judge released a summary of the sealed warrants, which said the police were investigating a possible breach of trust in the sale of B.C. Rail.

No charges have been laid in connection with the raids.


June 5, 2001 - A month after the Liberals sweep the B.C. provincial election, David Basi is named ministerial assistant to Finance Minister Gary Collins. Bob Virk becomes ministerial assistant to Transportation Minister Judith Reid.

April 2002 - RCMP and Victoria police launch a joint investigation involving schemes to trade B.C. marijuana for cocaine. The investigation also looks into organized crime and possible police corruption.

March 2003 - David Basi buys a house in Shawingan Lake, B.C., as a rental property.

Fall 2003 - Nine people are arrested in Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto as part of a 20-month investigation into drugs and organized crime. No one is formally charged.

Dec. 1, 2003 - B. C. Attorney General Geoff Plant is told by his staff that a case requires the appointment of a special prosecutor and may involve a search of the B.C. legislature.

Dec. 7, 2003 - Mandeep Sandhu is elected to the executive of the Liberals in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.

Dec. 9, 2003 - Police raid Mandeep Sandhu's home in Saanich. Police question Sandhu and seize a computer. Sandhu is later released. No charges are laid.

Dec. 11, 2003 - William Berardino is appointed special prosecutor to oversee an investigation involving a member of the Victoria police and appointees at the legislature.

Dec. 15, 2003 - Constable Ravinder Dosanjh is suspended with pay by Victoria police in connection with an ongoing investigation. Police Chief Paul Battershill later says the suspension is connected to a drug investigation and the raids at the legislature.

Dec. 27, 2003 - B.C. Solicitor General Rich Coleman calls Premier Gordon Campbell, who is on vacation in Hawaii, to tell the premier to expect an important call in the next days. Coleman says later he did not give Campbell any details.

Dec. 28, 2003 - RCMP and Victoria police execute nine search warrants at seven locations across the province, including two offices in the B.C. legislature.

The locations include:
  • Dave Basi's office in the legislature and his home in Victoria.
  • The legislature office of Bob Virk.
  • The offices of Erik Bornman and Brian Kieran, of the Pilothouse Public Affairs Group, which has close Liberal connections.
  • The Vancouver home office of Bruce Clark, Prime Minister Paul Martin's chief fundraiser on the West Coast
  • Police also visit the offices in Port Moody of Mark Marissen, Martin's campaign manager in B.C. Police say Marissen might be the "innocent recipient" of key documents.
  • At about the same time the rental house in Shawingan Lake is raided, police say it was a marijuana grow-op.
Coleman calls Campbell to brief him on the raids.

Dec. 29, 2003 - Dave Basi is fired from his job as ministerial assistant to B.C. Finance Minister Gary Collins. Virk is suspended with pay.

Dec. 31, 2003 - B.C. Finance Minister Gary Collins returns from a vacation in Hawaii. Collins tells reporters he knows no more than the public about the case and adds his assurance that the raids will not affect government business.

Jan. 2, 2003 - The B.C. Supreme Court hears an application from the media to unseal the search warrants. The case is put over until Jan. 14.

Jan. 7, 2004 - Premier Gordon Campbell meets with reporters in Victoria after returning from vacation, and says he doesn't know much more than basic details. He also reveals that Basi received $54,000 in severance pay.

Jan. 8, 2004 - Media reports say the raids may also be connected to the B.C. government's plans to privatize B.C. Rail.

Jan. 11. 2004 - B.C. NDP Leader Carole James calls for a public inquiry into the raids and related matters.

Jan. 14, 2004 - Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm of the B.C. Supreme Court adjourns the media's request to unseal the search warrants. He scheduled further hearings on Jan. 21 to give the Crown a chance to find out how long the investigation may take and to decide whether an edited summary of the warrants can be released.

March 2, 2004 - Dohm releases a summary of the search warrants, which says police were investigating whether two government officials leaked information about the sale of B.C. Rail for their personal gain.

Sept. 10, 2004 - Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm orders the release of court documents, although about 80 per cent of the information was blacked out to protect the ongoing police investigation. The documents allege two B.C. Liberal aids released confidential information about a government deal to privatize a portion of B.C. Rail in exchange for a job with the federal government.



Media can see 20% of B.C. raid information: judge (Sept. 10, 2004)

Judge releases B.C. legislature raid warrants (March 3, 2004)

B.C. legislature search warrants to stay sealed (Jan. 14, 2004)

Search warrants remain sealed from CBC B.C. (Jan. 14, 2004)

Premier speaks about police raids from CBC B.C. (Jan. 7, 2004)

Prime Minister Martin dismisses Liberal link to B.C. raids (Jan. 6, 2004)

Police raids in B.C. linked to drug investigation (Dec. 29, 2003)

Embattled political aide fired, another suspended from CBC B.C. (Dec. 29, 2003)

B.C. minister returns to deal with fallout of police raid (Dec. 31, 2003)

Collins says he has no new answers from CBC B.C. (Dec. 31, 2003)

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