I mentioned in a comment on another article that I’ve heard reports from people doing business with the province who say they are encouraged to kick-back part of what they are paid by taxpayers. I’ve also had reports from contractors forced into doing business with BC through indirect agencies, then asked to reduce charges so that managers of the BC Liberal friendly agencies can take a bigger piece of the action.
This is not now subject to review by the BC Auditor General, who’s heard the same stories, which makes him dangerous to BC liberals if reappointed. Don’t expect to read comments about this from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation or from non-investigative journalists in the compliant corporate press.
BC Rail is the big issue and I’m told by insiders that the NDP is serious about conducting a full review of the transactions by which the province disposed of the railway’s assets. It’s not just the rail operations, it is about the involvement of someone very close to Gordon Campbell who paid particular attention to BC Rail’s land bank; an asset worth hundreds of millions. I asked if the paperwork would be available to any inquiry and was told that copies are being held in numerous places and cannot be eliminated. An honest review will review almost everything.
It has been suggested to me that one of the prime operators orchestrating the sale of BC Rail is planning to flee the country so that he is beyond reach of any inquiry.
For years, we have had an economy in British Columbia based on corruption. Teck and other corporations paid for a friendly government and got it. Teck’s profits rose by more than 1,000 percent during BC Liberal administration while the public share of natural resources dropped more than 30%. That might be worthwhile if employment increased but the capital intensive mining industry doesn’t actually employ many people in this province.
Other winners are Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and Joy Global Inc.(JOYG), the world’s largest mining equipment providers. By the way, don’t bother looking for the amount of corporate income tax they pay to British Columbia. They don’t pay anything.