Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stupidification of British Columbia/The BC Rail Corruption Scandal Stall Game

  Written by Grant G
Classic baiting and switching performed like a Russian ballet, spins twirls and tosses, a stage busy with dancers, design and artists adorned in tutus and tight pants, eyes easily strained following all the moving parts, I don`t know if we should turn the BC Rail Saga into a ballet or tragic Shakespearian play, although the thought of Gordon Campbell and David Mclean prancing in tight pants is less than appetizing.
 More like a movie titled "The Stupidification of British Columbia"

I won`t dwell on John Van Dongen`s concerns for too long, some people have no concept of reality, blinded by political spin and selective revisionist history have attempted to rewrite facts, where was Van Dongen when Gordon Muir Campbell was betraying this Province, illegally tearing up contracts, lowering of minimum wages, the hst, $4 billion dollar deficit lies going into the 2009 election, election lie after election lie..

  BC Rail Corruption Scandal, Van Dongen`s  concern over the $6 million legal fee forgiveness for Basi/Virk,  a payoff that was made contrary to the long-standing enshrined indemnity policy preventing such payments, his efforts are appreciated, however, where was his concern when Gordon Campbell was giving away BC Rail, where was his outrage when the legislature was raided, why was he silent for 7 long years, His concern seems limited to the Basi/Virk payoff, ...Nary a word from Van Dongen about his Liberal Government for 7 long years saying...

"I can`t comment on BC Rail while it`s before the courts"

A phrase uttered by Wally Oppal, Gordon Campbell, Mike De Jong, John Van Dongen and every other sitting BC Liberal for nearly a decade while BC Rail was stranded in a legal fantasy camp disguised as a courtroom..

From the very beginning, as soon as the stench started permeating the BC Legislature, BC Rail bid and ultimate sale was stinking up a storm and drawing many inquisitive eyes, questions started coming fast and furious and potentially could have derailed the entire deal but then the Gordon Campbell led Government with the skill of a gold metal figure skater executed a triple axle jump and muted all the BC Rail questions and more importantly, the answers...

Christy Clark, a member of the 1996 BC Liberal opposition party... In 1996, Gordon Muir Campbell mayor of Vancouver made the leap and ran for premier of British Columbia, David Mclean was Gordon Campbell`s biggest financial contributor for his run to be premier in the 1996 campaign, David Mclean was CN Rail`s top man.......

Gordon Campbell in 1996 ran on a campaign which he lost but in his platform was an election promise to sell BC Rail and it was that one issue that cost Gordon Campbell the 1996 election...

In 2001 provincial election Gordon Campbell was running again and David Mclean of CN Rail was still Gordon Campbell`s biggest financial donor , why Did David Mclean stick with Campbell, what was his motive, why would the CEO of CN Rail stand by Gordon Campbell for a decade financing him with $hundreds of thousands of dollars...WHY..We know why, he wanted BC Rail..

In 2001 Gordon Campbell stood before the public, he traveled the province from corner to corner and told every voter in every riding that...

"I will not sell BC Rail"

The first thing Gordon Campbell did after winning the 2001 election was start a campaign echoed by all but one of his 77 member caucus that BC Rail must be sold, they fudged the numbers about debt but ignored cash flow, ignored value, ignored the exorbitant cost to acquire right-a-ways and access and land values, construction costs and rolling stock, and they completely ignored the old economic activity argument...

You know that argument..Vancouver trade and convention center, BC Place roof/stadium, both are losing $ millions of dollars every year and both went $hundreds of million over budget when built, yet the classic argument around justifying those losses comes in the form of how much economic activity do they spawn..

Well, what has more economic activity around it than the only North-South railway on the West Coast, a ocean Port Province that`s shipping out record tonnes of coal and record raw logs, $10 of billions of dollars of economic activity every year surrounded BC Rail and Gordon Campbell gave it away...

We received less than $1 billion dollars, by the time you deduct the court cost of Basi-Virk and tax reductions for CN Rail we received but half the $1 billion dollar give-away price...

BC Place roof---$700 million...Vancouver Convention center---$960 million dollars..Canada line--$2.7 billion dollars---Golden Ears bridge--$1.2 billion dollars---Port Mann bridge--$3 billion dollars...

How much money would it cost in 2010 dollars to build 1000`s of miles of track through mountains, bridges over rivers, requiring right-aways, require purchase of both crown and private land, the purchasing of rolling stock and the like, along with a already in-place work force...It would cost $10 billion dollars minimum...Think about this, one pipeline going only from point A to point B, a mere 350 miles of proposed pipeline(Enbridge) is pegged at roughly $ 6 billion  dollars to build...How much for thousands of miles of track through mountains and towns...$10 billion minimum, maybe $20 billion dollars and Gordon Campbell gave BC Rail away for the price of a Single roof...The price of 1 convention center and or the price of a mere 1/3 of the Canada line...

And we didn`t sell BC Rail in the traditional sense, why was it a bid price, why wasn`t there an open bidding process, why were bids in secret, why not divulge the bids in an attempt to get more, like an auction, you put in a pre-bid amount and let others bidders offer more, that didn`t happen....How much money to build a Railway operation like this..From Wikipedia

"BC Rail (reporting mark BCOL, BCIT), known as the British Columbia Railway between 1972 and 1984 and as the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (PGE) before 1972, was a railway that operated in the Canadian province of British Columbia between 1912 and 2004. It was a class II regional railway and the third-largest in Canada, operating 2,320 km (1,440 mi) of mainline track. Its operations were owned by the public as a crown corporation from 1918 until 2004, when the provincial government leased operations for 990 years to CN.[1][2] The track and other assets, including a marine division and stevedoring subsidiary as well as large tracts of real estate, remain under public ownership. 40 km of track serving the Roberts Bank Superport that were scheduled to be sold to OmniTRAX remain under BC Rail management due to that sale being cancelled because of the transaction being tainted by an influence-peddling and bribery scandal resulting in convictions in 2010. The provincial government, which promised when originally elected to never sell the railway, has announced that the crown corporation and its remaining operations and assets would be "wound down" and taken over by various departments of the Ministry of Transportation The details of the sale/lease to CN, which are related to the OmniTRAX affair, have become the subject of protracted public inquiry as part of the proceedings of the trial surrounding a scandal known as the British Columbia Legislature Raids Affair, or "Railgate". Government leaders and civil servants involved with the arrangements to CN have refused to comment on the deal because the matter "is before the courts".
Chartered in 1912, the railway was acquired by the provincial government in 1918 after running into financial difficulties. A railway that ran "from nowhere, to nowhere" for over 30 years, neither passing through any major city nor interchanging with any other railway, its southern terminus was at Squamish and its northern terminus at Clinton during that period. It expanded significantly between 1949 and 1984. Primarily a freight railway, it also offered passenger service, as well as some excursion services, most notably the Royal Hudson excursion train. The railway's operations only reached profitability in 1980, due to large capital and operating debts, which were intended as subsidies to develop and sustain mining and timber economies and employment in the regions it accessed, though through the 1980s it regularly posted significant profits, contributing to the public treasury significantly, and maintained a lower operating debt than any of the continent's other major railways. The railway's operations and management, as one of the province's largest crown corporations, have necessarily been at the centre of public debate since its takeover. Notably, as example, the Social Credit governments of WAC Bennett and his son Bill Bennett forgave the railways' capital debts in 1954 and 1979, respectively, with bookkeeping matters related to that bringing much criticism. The current provincial government has been accused of fabricating falsehoods about the state of its debts and viability in order to justify the deal with CN, claiming the railway was in disarray.[3] Other participants in the bidding process withdrew their bids, saying that CN had unfair access to confidential information about their own operations, provided by the government, and at least one bidder (Canadian Pacific) privately stated in since-released communications that the bid was "rigged". Controversy over CN's management of the line has focused on layoffs, toxic spills and other safety concerns, and cuts in service to some regions. The line has generated profits for CN in the range of $25 million per year since its takeover of the railway's operations."


Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, they did not sell BC Rail, Gordon Muir Campbell gave BC Rail away in what looks like a secret deal made with David Mclean, all Gordon Muir Campbell needed was keys to the BC Government vault..

Christy Clark can`t keep on top of  anything, she blathers away without thinking,  Christy Clark was feverishly working different angles with lobbyists, bribe givers and accepters with intertwined tentacles reaching from here to Ottawa, Christy was perhaps a serial leaker but the uneducated Christy Clark simply wasn`t intelligent enough to have thought up such a convoluted scheme on her own.

Dave Basi and Bobby Virk trial was never about BC Rail, it wasn`t about finding out why we lost BC Rail, it wasn`t about why there wasn`t a highest bid contest for BC Rail, the trial wasn`t about why Gordon Muir Campbell went from corner to corner of our province in the 2001 election writ period and lied to everyone in the province by categorically stating that..

"I will not sell BC Rail, I will not tear up contracts"

The trial was never about that at all, the BC Rail trial that languished in a BC Fantasy land legal amusement theme-park disguised as a courtroom for 7 long years but for one reason and one reason only....

That reason being this...

 "No comment on BC Rail, it`s before the courts.....No comment on Basi/ Virk while they`re under investigation"

Media questions to Gordon Muir Campbell, to Wally Oppal, to John Van Dongen, to Mike De Jong, to many BC liberals..

Mr. Premier, can you elaborate on your friendship with David Mclean..

 "No comment on BC Rail, it`s before the courts.....No comment on Basi/ Virk while they`re under investigation"

Premier Campbell, can you elaborate the connection between Patrick Kinsella and BC Rail, why was Patrick Kinsella working for you, BC Rail and CN Rail all at the same time....Mr Premier can you explain why you lied about selling BC Rail during the election writ..Mr. Premier how much money did David Mclean give your election campaigns, did you Mr. Premier promise David Mclean BC Rail if you won the 2001 election, Mr. Premier....Mr Premier...Mr Premier..

All of those questions and more were answered with..

"No comment on BC Rail, it`s before the courts.....No comment on Basi/ Virk while they`re under investigation"....."Everything will be revealed after the trial"..

So what indeed the BC Rail trial was all about was.....It was a 7 year trial designed to do nothing but allow StoneWally Oppal, Gordon Campbell, Van Dongen, Mike De Jong, and every other BC Liberal to stand up in both public and the BC Legislature and state..

 "No comment on BC Rail, it`s before the courts.....No comment on Basi/ Virk while they`re under investigation"

A 7 year game of stall and deflection while the criminal sale and obviously pre-arranged deal between Gordon Campbell and David Mclean made it`s way through the lens of time...

For the Basi and Virk trial was never about the rail give-away, it was about two sleazy BC Liberal insiders who were dirty for years, taking bribes on everything they could, Basi and Virk were asking and receiving bribes before Gordon Muir Campbell was even in office ...And what were the possible consequences of a Basi/Virk conviction on accepting bribes, British Columbia never sold the Roberts bank line, Basi and Virk`s bribes had no affect on that, at most those clowns should have been charged for taking bribes for years, the penalty would have been at the very most ...A fine and maybe 6 months in jail, but no, the Basi/Virk con game was about allowing Gordon Campbell and the entire corrupt bunch of Liberals to be able to say for 7 years..

"No comment on BC Rail, it`s before the courts.....No comment on Basi/ Virk while they`re under investigation"

Meanwhile Gordon Campbell has been rewarded by Stephen Harper and has a sweet gig in London with a driver, a chef, a residence and a $250 k salary and his BC Gold-plated BC pension, the same pension he campaigned on removing, he not only didn`t remove it he enhanced it...

The Basi/Virk trial was never about justice, it was always about the denial of justice, a 7 year year get-out-of- jail-free-card for Gordon Campbell and all the corrupt BC Liberals..

A 7 year free pass,  a pass that BC`s corrupt media bought hook, line and sinker.....
Written by Grant G

The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open


Anonymous said...

Can you imagine how the slimy media in this Province would have covered this scandal under an NDP Govt? The Legislature being raided by the RCMP under say a Premier Harcourt instead of their ass kissing buddy Gordo. Not to mention if an NDP Premier had been caught drunk driving in another country. Wow..they would still be covering it and would not stop until the NDP Premier would be forced to resign. Under Gordo it was a 3 day story and then it was ordered dropped by the Media masters in Toronto. Disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

The MSM have totally failed the citizens of this province. It really is disgusting. I'm really grateful blogs like the Straight Goods are here.

Anonymous said...

Judicial inquiry, nothing less. Maybe Mr. Braidwood would head it up? If not, someone from outside the province, even the country needs to head it up.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy,oh boy!! The most concise, erudite synopsis I've ever seen. Should be required reading by every voter in the province/country. ESPECIALLY the part about the cost to construct. $20 Billion operation for the price of a roof!!
Only in BC you say? Pity it wasn't in Quebec.
Kudos Grant. Now how to inform the general public?
John's Aghast!

G.W. Andrew said...

You're absolutely right.

There were high crimes committed in the case BCRail Robbery.

Things is, i'm afraid we're up against hard-core pirates and brigands who will go to the mat to win.

i Just can't convince myself that those nefarious criminals are soon going to do an about face, miraculously stand down on the day after their electoral defeat, and then willingly allow a bunch of un-initiated outsiders to start getting to the bottom of this mess.

Meaning to say that we need to be vigilant in monitoring this coming election, and be prepared for dirty tricks in the counting process.