Written by Robin Mathews
Kinder Morgan. Economist Robyn Allan in TYEE. Corporate Robbers in British Columbia. The National Energy Board …. A part of the story Robyn Allan doesn’t tell.
The story is so large, so corrupt, so – to many, many ordinary Canadian eyes – so criminal - Robyn Allan couldn’t possibly have told all of the Terasen/BC Transmountain Pipeline System story. More has to be laid out. British Columbians must know, first, that the National Energy Board is their enemy – and they must treat it – openly – as that. (Other enemies are more obvious.)
In his 2014 book PARTY OF ONE, about Stephen Harper, Michael Harris writes (p. 153) that in a policy paper “generated by bureaucrats in Harper’s International Trade Ministry” the National Energy Board (NEB) is described as “an ‘ally’ of the Harper government’s resource development plans.”
Anyone who has had doubts, at all, will see in what follows that Stephen Harper is a major enemy – probably enemy Number One. And he has made the National Energy Board his lackey. Need we say more?
For Robyn Allan’s article, readers need to go to Thetyee,ca 17 November, 2014.
In the article – in brief – she makes clear the intimate ENRON connections of Richard Kinder. (ENRON, for those who have forgotten, is the gigantic U.S. Energy corporation built on accounting fraud to revenues of around $111 billion in 2001 before it exploded and bankrupted in a corruption scandal lasting years and costing honest, trusting people $ billions.) She makes clear, as well, Richard Kinder’s brilliance as a tax juggler (and evader), and his brilliance in slipping the former Canadian corporation based in Vancouver, Terasen, and its holding - the Trans-Mountain Pipeline System - into wholly U.S. hands and almost as wholly into a life under U.S. law.
What almost NOBODY mentions now is that a few short years ago, the pipeline causing the present Burnaby Mountain actions - and the corporation to which it was attached - made up A WHOLLY, PEOPLE-OWNED, BRITISH COLUMBIA OPERATION feeding revenue into support for education, healthcare, etc.
Let’s put it simply. A plan was put into effect – beginning about fifteen years ago - to rob British Columbians of their public corporations (and the wealth they generated), and to hand all to U.S. private corporations. The plan was also to impoverish British Columbians and to teach them to live in poverty. Terasen’s demise was only a part.
The major activity of the sell-out happened under Gordon Campbell’s Right-leaning Liberal government when Christie Clark was Deputy Premier and (later) judged to be a violator of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms as Minister of Education. That attack on Public Education was a part of the movement to “the privatization of everything”, including the education of B.C.’s children – a still on-going, as yet uncompleted program.
For those saying the RCMP officers on Burnaby Mountain arresting demonstrators are very nice fellows who are just doing a job that our splendid Rule Of Law in Canada forces upon them – it’s time to re-think!
It is a fact (read Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun, Nov. 24 and Nov.27) that the injunction gained by Kinder Morgan against the demonstrators is a highly dubious legal tactic rejected by a number of judges and ex-judges. As well … the RCMP in British Columbia has a growing reputation as - to put the matter plainly – a corrupt organization. Never mind the unexamined (but much rumoured) RCMP role in the Pickton Farm Missing Women story. Stay with “politics”.
Many believe premier Glen Clark (the late 1990s) was set up, vilified, falsely investigated, and politically ruined by a mafia group made up of the Gordon Campbell interests (political and corporate), the Mainstream Press and Media, and the RCMP … with the unfortunate assistance of certain forces in the higher courts of British Columbia. (More on that aspect later.)
I didn’t like the smell of the RCMP investigation of Glen Clark. I wrote to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP asking for a review of the investigation (which was rumoured to be improper). The Commission (in my experience) appears to be a front organization employed to prevent serious investigation and action. The review I asked for began. I received non-informative monthly notes. Then it was stopped by two Vancouver RCMP officers who informed me that 28 volumes of evidentiary material on Glen Clark had been put at the disposal of prosecutors. (Remember: when he was successfully ruined, the judge on the case declared Glen Clark innocent of all charges against him.)
I asked for the review to continue – to find if the RCMP had investigated Glen Clark improperly. I received no answer. I waited. And I waited. And I waited. Almost THREE YEARS LATER I received a report by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP on the investigation of Glen Clark by the RCMP in British Columbia. The Report was short. It informed me that the two officers of the RCMP had IMPROPERLY closed the review I asked for.
Then the Report advised me that The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP had decided to leave it up to the “discretion” of the B.C. RCMP whether it would open up the review I had asked for and continue it! Readers will have to guess what the Vancouver RCMP decided ….
In almost every dirty, large, BC political activity thereafter, I believe the RCMP has come out with dirty hands.
The move to “the privatization of everything” has involved education, transportation, energy, infrastructure, medicare … and more.
The bastard privatization of BC Ferries began early in the 2000s and has been a disaster. Readers of the legislation creating the “privatized” entity can see its sham nature. Not only was the move a way to get “fake” revenue for government, but it was a privatization that wasn’t privatization. The expensive Ferry Commissioner structure is, in my judgement, a useless, paper creation. The BC government still calls the shots – and places its cronies onto the unnecessary and useless Board of Directors – paying them well. At the same time the “privatized” corporation pays its top administrators hockey-star salaries as the organization they run sinks deeper and deeper into the slime of privatization.
Ordinary British Columbians and the economy of the coastal communities are being savaged. But who cares, for privatization is continuing.
THE BIG BC PRIVATIZATION which is, strangely, hardly talked about is the privatization of what was BC GAS. That was the publicly-owned corporation operating the transmountain pipeline which is being fought over on Burnaby Mountain… and more. BC GAS, I have been told, twinned with BC Hydro. The two worked together, making modernizations possible and good budgeting, balanced books, and contributions to B.C. General Revenues in support of education, health care, and other public needs.
The huge pressure for ‘privatization’ came (globally) as the fight-back of the corporations intensified, greedy for the money that was – after the Second World War – going into social needs and the decent living of the population. That was when private corporations began bribing, coercing, threatening, undermining, mating with, and otherwise taking over governments.
And so it was under a New Democratic government in B.C. that BC GAS was permitted to “go private”. The politics of that needs research! But the NDP was “going right” with the tide, was beginning its more than decade-long sell-out, its acceptance of privatization policies, of “Free Trade” Agreements, of the falsehood that lower taxes on private corporations spur employment … and more.
The NDP, however, demanded that the privatized BC GAS, now called TERASEN be headquartered in British Columbia and remain in Canadian hands. As soon as Gordon Campbell took power (after the rigged destruction of Glen Clark and the BC NDP) work was started on selling Terasen to U.S. interests. At the same time, David Hahn, Gordon Campbell’s personal pick for head of the bastard privatization of BC Ferries, spent his first three years or so travelling the globe in an attempt to dump BC Ferries onto anyone in the world who would buy it. But potential buyers were all too smart….
And so BC Ferries became, as I see it, a private club for Gordon Campbell government and friends and associates … to play with (creating cruise-style monsters) and to squeeze for any cash that could come out of it.
Public concern wouldn’t let BC Hydro go the same way. And so it is being wrecked more carefully. Divided now into three parts, one part was handed to a portion of the Scandal Prince called ENRON, a portion that managed to slip away and rename. And so Accenture – a private corporation - has the management of a third of BC Hydro. A new entity has been formed to manage the distribution of power created by BC Hydro – and it, apparently, is overseen by a major U.S. private, continental energy manager.
The privatized run-of- the-river creations (of the Gordon Campbell/Christie Clark governments) are – to my mind – such a scandal of corrupt contracts and environmental disasters they need a Royal Commission Inquiry with the full right granted to the Commission to recommend criminal charges wherever deemed warranted. Whatever development of the energy resources of British Columbia rivers was to be undertaken, it should have been careful, long-term planned, and minutely managed in the public interest and by public ownership under the BC Hydro banner. Privatization of BC’s waterways has been a financial, engineering, and environmental disaster of gigantic proportions.
BC Ferries, BC Gas, BC Hydro … and BC Rail! Having privatized (profitable) CN Rail and seeing it become a U.S. private corporation headquartered in Texas, privatizer Paul Tellier (an avid and public Continentalist wanting a single currency for North America … and more) came to visit B.C. at the turn of the century. While here, he advocated that (profitable) BC Rail do what CN Rail had done. Gordon Campbell was eager.
It is my contention that the whole ‘privatization’ of BC Rail was corrupt, perhaps criminal. I asked the BC RCMP to begin investigation and it refused. I believe that private corporate interests, ‘inside’ government agencies, and cabinet powers set about to destroy any profitable operation of BC Rail, to undermine it in the public’s eyes, to ready it to hand away … and then, corruptly, to place it in the hands of the Texas people who owned CN Rail.
In order to do that, many, many, many people had to be part of the activity. Three lower-order functionaries – Sikhs incidentally – were charged in a strange and almost accidental set of circumstances. The charges were ballyhoo’d to be the result of a determination to get to the bottom of corruption in the BC Rail Scandal. The three men were, rather, in my mind, used as part of a gigantic cover-up to protect the real criminals in the privatization and giveaway of BC Rail.
Following and reporting on the four years of court action against the men, I came to believe, without doubt, that they were used to cover-up for the real criminals.
And it is here we have to bring in Stephen Harper. His cabinet in Ottawa did two key things. When the judge on the Basi, Virk, and Basi trial was being responsive to the needs of the Defence lawyers, repeatedly ordering evidence be provided to them that would assure a fair defence, she was removed by an action taken by the minister of justice in the Harper cabinet. The judge who replaced Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett was, in my judgement, “a patsy”. Shortly after being placed on the case, she was raised to the position of Associate Chief Justice of the B.C. Supreme Court … and a little later to the Appeals Court of B.C. – all actions of the federal minister of justice acting, we may be sure, in close consultation with Stephen Harper, prime minister.
The switch of judges on the Basi, Virk, and Basi case was managed by Patrick Dohm, then associate chief justice of the B.C. Supreme court. He was the judge who (earlier) signed the search warrant to surprise search (with TV crew accompaniment) the home of premier Glen Clark where no incriminating evidence could be found. Dohm was the judge who later signed the more than twenty search warrants that accompanied the famous (BC Rail related) search warrant “raid” on B.C. legislature offices. He insisted that only one of the homes searched must be forewarned by the police. That just happened to be the home of Christie Clark.
The “raiding” RCMP officers discovered at the address of a lobbyist for a Railway interest certain confidential cabinet documents. He was never charged, nor was he (as far as anyone knows) further investigated. By the merest coincidence he turned out to be Christie Clark’s brother. The investigating RCMP never sought a search warrant for the address of premier Gordon Campbell – an obvious target, and they had a precedent in the search warrant obtained to search the home of then premier Glen Clark. Gordon Campbell’s home, in the minds of many, was much more likely to harbour incriminating evidence than Glen Clark’s home was – perhaps the reason the RCMP avoided Gordon Campbell’s residence.
When the trial was terminated (it wasn’t over), Gordon Campbell had sunk to an historic low in ratings by the population. He might be said to be despised as the story of his privatizations became widely known. What would become of him if he remained (now no longer premier) in British Columbia?
Stephen Harper solved that problem, naming Gordon Campbell to one of the top positions among diplomats of Canada – naming him Canada’s High Commissioner in London, England, where he is living out his life humbly, in the devoted service of the Canadian people. I believe there is evidence in the whole story to suggest that Gordon Campbell and Stephen Harper worked (and work) for the same global private corporate forces which intend to privatize everything and to turn Canadians into paupers and beggars in the process.
To close (though there are pages more that might be said), a brief look at the courts and the RCMP…. I said earlier the RCMP refused to investigate the central actors in the BC Rail Scandal. And throughout the legal proceedings in court the Defence lawyers repeatedly suggested the RCMP was not fully and fairly cooperating and was delaying submission of evidentiary material. My own observation was that the RCMP spent endless time on the three lower-level operatives who were charged and no time on anyone else under suspicion.
I revealed that the Special Crown Prosecutor (who had to work closely, after his appointment in 2003, with the RCMP) had been appointed in flagrant violation of the legislation governing the appointment of Special Prosecutors. And so the investigation - since he was appointed - and the conduct of ALL the court proceedings were in doubt as to their legitimacy. He was, clearly, not legitimate as Special Crown Prosecutor, having been a close associate of both the Attorney General who appointed him and of the Deputy Attorney General.
He was illegitimately in the courtroom as Special Prosecutor. But he had also been working in close relation to the investigative forces of the RCMP from 2003 until the pre-trial began in 2007 … and even after, as an illegitimate appointment. What did that mean about the investigation by the RCMP?
Those matters got worse when I reported to the Chief Justice, the Associate Chief Justice and to the judge on the trial that the Special Crown Prosecutor was illegitimately in the court. I gave them the evidence – which was simple enough. The clearly stated legislation describing the requirements of a Special Crown Prosecutor had been wildly violated, visibly, and incontrovertibly.
The officer of the court who replied to the information I had sent to each of the judges reported to me that since none of the three judges had participated in the appointment of the Special Crown Prosecutor they would do nothing. The fact that the highest court in British Columbia, the Supreme Court, was being used by an illegitimate Crown Prosecutor – and that the Chief Justice and the Associate Chief Justice were responsible for the administration of justice in that court – didn’t interest them. And so I wrote to them again. And they would do nothing, again.
And then, (as I read the situation) to conclude, in order to prevent the trial of the three accused men from revealing information about the major criminals in the BC Rail Scandal, the trial had to be shut down to prevent further cross-examination of witnesses. Street language might say that the accused were bribed into letting the trial end. Six million dollars was paid by government (by B.C. taxpayers, that is) to cover all the costs of the accused. And the charges against them were cleaned of anything important. The trial stopped … without ending.
Who initialed the six million dollars to be paid? No one could find out. And the RCMP, of course, didn’t investigate. The Auditor General of British Columbia tried and tried and tried to find out who authorized the payments – and couldn’t find out. The premier, Christie Clark , and her Attorney General, Shirley Bond, somehow prevented the Auditor General from ever finding out – though he even went to court to force release of the information.
At the beginning of this column I said that the information about Burnaby Mountain, about the Trans Mountain Pipeline System, about the RCMP on Burnaby Mountain arresting demonstrators, about the dubious injunction against the demonstrators, and about the history of Richard Kinder supplied by Robyn Allan doesn’t tell the whole story.
The whole story needs to be told of the determination of the Harper federal cabinet and the Gordon Campbell/Christie Clark cabinet (as an unholy alliance) to privatize everything, to give it to U.S. interests, and to pauperize and make beggars of the British Columbia population ... and in the process to pollute and destroy the environment in which British Columbians live. The whole story needs to be told of how BC GAS was first turned into Terasen (for no worthwhile reason), and was then dumped by the Gordon Campbell government into the lap of Richard Kinder and friends.
If that hadn’t happened (and it shouldn’t have happened) there would be no battle on Burnaby mountain now. The story of Richard Kinder is interesting … and horrible. But the sell-out of British Columbia’s publicly-owned wealth by the Gordon Campbell/Christie Clark team is more interesting to B.C. people – and more horrible.
When that story is known, then the ease with which the Kinder Morgan forces have moved into B.C. and are dictating to the B.C. government, to the Harper government, and to its lackey organization called the National Energy Board becomes as clear as it needs to be.
Written by Robin Mathews
The Straight Goods
Cheers Eyes Wide Open