BC Rail

Citizens, wake up please

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.

Categories: BC Rail, Natural Resources

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20 replies »

  1. Thanks. My problem is having people go on the record while their financial situations are at risk. Anyone who speaks out would be off the list of service providers, even if they are honest operators.

    Recently, I asked a much experienced person about what I should say to people who tell me things in confidence but won't go on the record. He said, “Tell them to take the money, then speak out.”

    I wish it were so simple, but I also know what it's like to pay a large monthly mortgage payment.

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  2. Yes, Norm, corruption is everywhere in BC's bureaucracy, politics and legal arena, but please don't put all your hopes in the NDP basket. The NDP are NOT going to poke the eye of the very powerful who pull strings behind the scenes, and some in the NDP are as bad as the Liberals in being out for themselves at all costs.

    Yes the NDP may be better in some respects than the Liberals, but be very careful about canonizing the NDP. You'll be sorry. Just like the people who canonized the Liberals when they swept to power on the basis of promises they did nothing to fulfil once they were in power.

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  3. Have I cononized the NDP. Hardly. I've already said I'll hold them to the same standards. Which means they better ensure that accountability is unconstrained.

    If any NDP character think they can merely switch chairs with the current cheats, I'll be there.

    Except that, after talking with Dix and other NDP leaders, I don't believe they want to change chairs with current crooks; they want to make government different and accountable.

    If they are not serious, I'll be on their asses in the same way I complain about the thoroughly crooked BC Liberals.

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  4. Yes , it does appear that you may have unlocked the “pandora's box” of The BC Liberal party's real agenda. This “is” corporate and white collar criminal behavior. We need an Anti Corruption Commission desparately, in this province and its not the usual “familia” we are after here. If the NDP are serious about “taking back Our BC”, they can start be launching, “a full scale Judicial inquiry”, into all BC Liberal government, contracts and business dealings, besides BC Rail.

    What you are talking about here, is an “orchestrated conspiracy”, by a political party, in government, to defraud taxpayers, and to allow business to accept kickbacks, in doing business with the government.

    These are very serious accusations indeed. I believe that the RCMP Organized Crime unit, newly established in Ottawa, over the Quebec mess, might be worth a phone call…on the record.

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  5. Hey to you people in the choir! Yes, that's us, that read Norm, Laila, Ian (and although I won't admit it), Tsakumis daily. BC Rail is the BIG issue! How come, when it costs +/- $7 Billion to contruct an 1100 km pipeline (Enbridge) we only got $1 Billion for a working rail line, c/w engines, cars, contracts, and an undisclosed amount of property for TWICE AS MUCH railway. Like 2500 km. Yes, MAYBE $1 billion, instead of $10 Billion, or more!
    How come nobody addresses the “fact”, (are there any facts in this scandalous affair?) that we didn't really receive $1billion; but only $750million? The other $250 million was for the Federal rebate for taxes, which we indemnified by putting up $250 million in an 8% interest bearing account in case the Feds didn't come through.
    Did the Feds indeed come through?
    If not, is there any truth in the rumour that by 2013 BC will have compensated CN to the tune of $750 million, thus effectively having 'gifted' BC Rail to the CN?
    I believe we need an inquiry to resolve those questions. Apparently no one else is prepared to respond.
    John's Aghast

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  6. Well it seems perfectly clear that the RCMP don't care about Liberal corruption. They like to keep their eyes on NDP'ers. What a sick place BC is.

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  7. ” 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.”

    Gordo did his apprenticeship at “privatizing” land that should have reverted to the crown when CP withdrew services to community after community, yet kept the land they had been gifted to provide the sevice. He learned the tricks of the slimey trade working for Marathon Realty!

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  8. Marathon Realty privatized CPR reversionary land—land that should have reverted to the federal government(the people of Canada) when it was no longer needed by the railway. In 1996, the multinational corporations General Electric and Oxford Properties paid almost a billion dollars for Marathon Realty. Fairmont, another multinational, owns many of the CPR and CNR hotels. I wonder if Canadians can handle the truth.

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