The key to the BC Rail sale lies in Premier Gordon Campbells beginnings in real estate and land development.

One must never forget that  first and foremost, Gordon Campbell is a real estate man – his past and beginnings were as a developer, and at no time  when dealing with him and his administration should that be forgotten.

Not when it comes to forest land deals the province had been criticized for ( Weyerhaeuser /Brookfield Asset Management deals) , nor when it comes to highway construction and road work deals( South Fraser Perimeter Road and Sea to Sky) . But especially not  if  one begins mulling about the ramifications of the $1.00 transfer of land clause  written into the dubious privatization of BC Rail, which is about to occur on or before July 15th 2009.

While reading the June 27th, 2009 post on The Legislature Raids titled ” BC Rail: Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says Province Wilfully Mislead or Withheld Information About  B.C. Rail ” , something sparked a memory of  an article that talked about the Sea to Sky highway construction. And how the value of  lands along that corridor skyrocketed with the news of the highway construction and the 2010 Olympic bid. And more importantly, how those lucrative properties were obtained.

It was within this chillingly revealing article by Donald Gutstein titled  “Developers are the Olympic Games’ real Winners.” (Georgia Straight, May 31, 2007)  that one finds the connection to the BC Rail sale, and in my eyes, the key reasoning behind that ludicrous $1.00 land transfer clause.

” Some developers benefited handsomely from taxpayer investment in the $2-billion Canada Line and the $800-million Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion. But the main vehicle for creating developer wealth is the $2-billion (including future debt-servicing costs) investment for traffic improvements between Vancouver and Whistler. True, some of this money would be spent on the Sea-to-Sky Highway even if there were no Olympics. But this work was fast-tracked, meaning that projects in other B.C. regions were shelved.”

~snip~

“During 2002, as Poole and the bid corporation prepared their final proposal, the provincial government was studying various options for improving the link between Vancouver and Squamish. As well as looking at major upgrades to the existing highway, the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Highways reviewed possible routes through the Capilano, Seymour, and Indian river valleys. These alternatives would cost more–from 50 percent to 100 percent more–but the result would be a safer, faster ride.

But these alternative routes went largely over Crown land. How could they help future real-estate sales?

The ministry evaluated all aspects of the routes. One factor leapt off the page: “developable land accessed”. Upgrading 99 Northwas ranked five out of five for this factor, with five being the best, or the most. The other options received a score of one out of five.

One area with great “developable land” potential was Britannia Beach, but its ownership was in limbo. West Vancouver investors purchased the Britannia Mine site and 4,000 surrounding hectares in 1989. They struggled from one failed attempt to another to find a way to clean up the site and turn a profit.

Then along came the Olympics, and Britannia Beach’s fortunes changed overnight. Vancouver developer Rob Macdonald came out the big winner. He’s a strong Gordon Campbell supporter, having donated nearly $100,000 to the Liberals since they won the 2001 election. Macdonaldpurchased the offshore company that held a mortgage on the property and pushed for a speedy resolution of the ownership situation. A month after Vancouver was awarded the Games and the Campbell government chose the Sea-to-Sky Highway route, the B.C. Supreme Court turned the property over to Macdonald for an undisclosed amount.

If the Vancouver-Squamish connection had gone inland, Macdonald’s newly acquired property would be worthless. Instead, the highway would go right by his front door.

Macdonald donated more than 90 percent of the land to the province. This was steep slopes that were useless for development and contained “some of the most contaminated land in North America”, according to then–Sierra Legal Defence researcher Mitch Anderson. Let the taxpayers assume responsibility for the cleanup. Macdonald also agreed to contribute a levy of $1.75 million toward remedial work.

Macdonald kept 202 hectares of high-value land for residential and commercial development. He would get further assistance from taxpayers in the form of $27 million for a plant to treat polluted water from the mine, another $99 million for the province to clean up contamination of the lands it got from Macdonald, and millions more from Natural Resources Canada for a visitor centre and mining museum, boosting the value of Macdonald’s commercial property.

~ now  pay attention – here is where BC Rail starts to come in ~

The Squamish First Nation was another big winner in the Jack Poole sweepstakes. In a complicated land swap in 2000, the First Nation ended up with an option to buy land from BC Rail at Porteau Cove in order to create a new reserve and build houses for band members. This had nothing to do with Olympics or highway improvements.

Porteau Cove is one of the very few developable sites between Vancouver and Squamish, a 500-hectare strip on the shores of Howe Sound running south from Porteau Cove Provincial Park to Deek’s Creek.

Developers eyed this land for decades, but it was owned by BC Rail and not for sale. Then along came the Olympics with their highway upgrade, and the land skyrocketed in value. It was now too valuable for band housing. In 2004, the band exercised its option to purchase the land for a reported $12 million. It then signed a deal with Concord Pacific Developments to develop 1,400 homes. Interestingly, two former chairs of Concord Pacific were among the developers on the board of the 2010 bid corporation, along with Poole.

The lots are marketed as being just 25 minutes from downtown Vancouver via the new Sea-to-Sky Highway. If the venture earns just $50,000 for each lot, after putting in roads, sewers, water lines, and public amenities, that’s still a profit of about $58 million to be split between the band and the developer. For its part, the band says it plans to invest the profits in housing and job creation for band members–elsewhere, of course. In Concord Pacific’s case, some of the profits will likely flow back to its Hong Kong owners.

Wow.

Isn’t that just something to get the old brain cells working?

Even going back to the date of the deals talked about above, Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight voiced the  very same concerns in this article of March 2004, titled ” B.C. Rail Deal frees Real Estate ” :

“Consider the facts so far. Prior to the election, the premier told voters that he would not sell the Crown-owned railway. What led him to change his mind?….”

 ~snip~

“CN has contributed $150,000 to the B.C. Liberal party during Campbell’s tenure as leader.” ( recall this article is  from 2004)

~snip~

CN chair David McLean, a Vancouver developer, has been a political supporter of the premier since Campbell was mayor of Vancouver in the 1980s and early 1990s.

McLean was previously chair of Concord Pacific, which also supported Campbell when he was mayor of Vancouver. Concord Pacific developed the north side of False Creek.

McLean also chaired the influential Vancouver Board of Trade in 1993 and supported Campbell’s efforts to replace Gordon Wilson as leader of the B.C. Liberal party.

On November 25, the B.C. Liberal government announced in a news release that it had reached an agreement-in-principle with the District of Squamish to transfer 29 hectares of BC Rail land to the district.

According to the news release, prospective plans for the BC Rail site include developing a full-service marina, a passenger ferry terminal, and cruise berths.

The government also announced that CN will “facilitate” upgrading of the Sea-to-Sky Highway and ensure rail alternatives for the 2010 Winter Olympics. McLean was a director of the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation, which put together a successful bid to the International Olympic Committee.

The major provincial media continue focusing on the activities of political aides at the centre of the story. There has been little coverage of BC Rail’s waterfront property in Squamish.

As the District of Squamish proceeds, there will be no shortage of developers wanting to exploit the potential. B.C.’s biggest players, such as Concert Properties and Concord Pacific, may find such an opportunity irresistible on the eve of the 2010 Olympics.

Executives with both companies were huge supporters of the Olympic bid. Concert Properties chairman Jack Poole is now chair of the organizing committee that is staging the 2010 Winter Games.

The IOC’s endorsement last year set the stage for a real-estate boom along the Sea to Sky corridor. “

 

This is why I have to laugh when reading that, according to the premier, the reason behind the clause was to protect taxpayers….

” Government has refused to reveal details of the contract until the bureau has completed its review. But a copy leaked on the weekend showed that the government has the power to force CN to buy for $1 any B.C. Rail line land it chooses to abandon. CN is prohibited from abandoning any routes during the first five years of the deal, however.  Premier Gordon Campbell said this clause was put in place solely to protect taxpayers and prevent CN from potentially offloading expensive environmental cleanup costs onto the government. CN would be compelled to buy such land and perform the cleanup itself if this was the case, the government said.  Campbell said that the agreement with CN makes the company responsible for maintaining all the tracks, railbeds and land on which the railway operates and that the $1 land-sale option simply provides extra protection for taxpayers. 
-  Times Colonist (Victoria), Page A04, 21-Apr-2004  B.C. Rail deal has just one more trestle to cross  By Jeff Rud

Hmm. I think there might be another reason for that clause, don’t you?

Most of all, when you think about some of the lands available for transfer, you find what has the potential to be some of the hottest and most valuable real estate around.  The Sea to Skyhighway and the Olympics have secured and expanded the opportunities for even more development along that corridor and up into the interior.

Clearly anyone can see what connections and relationships were involved in this deal, and the events that have transpired since.

That clause wasn’t inserted to protect the taxpayers of British Columbia, that clause was inserted to ensure a swift and easy land transfer that would become the biggest example of highway robbery this province has ever seen,and likely will ever see.

That clause was inserted to facilitate the most lucrative land deal ever conducted in this province, and without a doubt, there were handshakes,laughter and knowing nods of gratitude happening behind closed doors.

With the date of any potential land transfer coming on or before July 15th, the time to ask the premier directly if the transfer  of these B.C. Rail lands for $1.00  is going to happen  is now. Environmental clean up costs aside, those properties have a future land value in the billions, offering a multitude  of development potential.

Was the real reason for the privatization of BC Rail land development?

I’d say that’s a question only the Premier can answer. But why isn’t anyone else asking?

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71 Responses to The key to the BC Rail sale lies in Premier Gordon Campbells beginnings in real estate and land development.

  1. BC Mary says:

    Dear Laila,

    “The key to BC Rail sale … ” is Gordo the Real Estate huckster.

    Brilliant piece of work! Thank you, thank you!!

    I’ll put up a big fat LINK over at my place, hoping many people wll read this excellent analysis …

    and tomorrow is another day in BC Supreme Court where we find out (I hope) whether Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett has decided to take her promotion to the BC Court of Appeal (which to my mind means more delay, more side-stepping), or whether she has decided to carry on as the BCRail Case judge (which I will view as a sign of integrity). A sign of integrity would be nice.

    Sure am glad you’re on this case, Laila. Stay strong!

    Like

  2. Laila says:

    You too Mary, and thanks. I sure hope we see Bennett sticking with it.

    For once, someone has to do the right thing.

    By the way, I emailed the NDP to see if they plan on making public the gravity of this clause, and if they intend to publically ask Gordon Campbell about whether or not they plan to undertake any of that land transfer.

    I will post any reply or comment.

    Like

  3. Leah says:

    I’ll be watching for a reply from them too Laila…to either of the letters I’ve sent!

    You’re right on the money with the “key” of the BC Rail deal, some friends and I were chatting about this yesterday…they had no clue that Gordo was into real estate and development. Odd that GC doesn’t remind people of that when it comes to knowing the value of land! Yeah, my tongue is in my cheek…

    We can only hope that the Universe sees how wrong this whole thing is, especially combined with the damage the GC government has in mind for the wilderness…and gives the whole lot of them a “cosmic slap.”

    Like

  4. Lynn says:

    Great work , Laila.

    You’ve made some vital interconnections in this piece.

    I especially liked this question.

    “Was the real reason for the privatization of BC Rail land development?”

    I”ve always thought the intentionally floated drug angle of this deal was a means to distract our attention with the bit players and away from the main (and hidden) real estate performance taking place behind the pulled curtains.

    I hope Gutstein writes an update on his article and I look forward to yours as well.

    Well done, Laila.

    Like

  5. G West says:

    What I think we need now Laila is a confirmation of exactly ‘when’ Gordon Campbell ‘decided’ that BCRail was going to ‘go’ to CN.

    I’ve heard allegations that he spoke to caucus about this long before the sale process actually began when he gave them marching orders to that effect – and told them all they’d better get onside.

    If one member of that caucus had the intestinal fortitude to come forward now and confirm the allegations I don’t see how Campbell could sustain his leadership and stay in the office.

    To me, it’s the ‘smoking gun’ analogy that fits the facts better than any other explanation…and, interestingly enough, the MSM are starting to nibble around the edges of this aspect of the case.

    Look, for example, at the headline of Mark Hume’s article on the 27th.

    I’m sure you’ve seen it:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/campbell-controlled-bc-rail-deal-defence/article1197818/

    We’ve suspected, even known, that Campbell was behind the deal from the beginning; suspected that the ducks were in place from the time that the 2001 election was over; felt strongly that evidence in the Basi / Virk case was full of information which linked the Premier to the give away of the railway AND the sleazy way it was being ‘sold’ to the people of the province..

    Anyone who has worked in the upper echelons of the public service since 2001 knows definitively that every single important decision is made at the Premier’s desk…it is inconceivable that these ones weren’t made there too.

    The only question now is how to demonstrate it in such a profound way that even the most jaded British Columbian will recognize who has been rifling through the provincial assets and selling the silverware for the past 8 years.

    And of course, as you’ve written, the necessity to act on this now is more important than ever….somehow this has to stop before the sell off can continue for another 4 years…

    If it could be shown that the whole sale process was simply a dumb show to impress the rubes in the cheap seats and that the ‘sale’ of BC Rail to CN was a fait accompli once Campbell got the mandate in 2001 I think we’d have a game breaker.
    Keep up the good work.

    Like

  6. Near the Britannia lands, starting south of the mining museum, was a 450 acre parcel known as the Makin lands. This included a good amount of developable land and waterfront including the best beach in the area. A family dispute had the property tied up in litigation for years and the lawyers and the receiver kept it that way until the family’s equity on both sides of the dispute was sucked away. Wow, were they effective running up millions in fees to “protect” the land and its value.

    Howe Sound and Britannia is an obvious site for major residential and townsite development. Fortunes will be made in the area two and three decades from now. When we have squeezed out the last of the Fraser Valley ALR, those picturesque mountain slopes and ocean views will be very attractive in Howe Sound. Building lot values of ocean view properties will be $50 – $100 a square foot, in today’s dollars.

    Back in the nineties, when I was loosely attached, BC Rail was the key landowner of the region between West Van and Squamish. Everyone who looked at future land use in the corridor had two questions. About zoning and road planning and they key one, “What will BC Rail do?”

    Campbell and his pal Jim Moody knew the railway was the key to fortunes, if not for themselves and their friends, but for their children and grandchildren.

    A move you will see before Campbell leaves office will be the establishment of new municipal or regional district structures so local impediments won’t stop the big boys from doing what they want.

    Like

  7. astro says:

    Here is a little blurb about Gordo “Early Life” in his biography on a BC Liberal site. “Upon returning to Vancouver, Mr. Campbell worked for the City of Vancouver for three years as Executive Assistant to Mayor Art Phillips. In 1976 Mr. Campbell left the Mayor’s office to work for Marathon Realty. While working at Marathon, Mr. Campbell took night courses at Simon Fraser University and received his Masters Degree in Business Administration. After five years at Marathon Mr. Campbell started his own business, Citycore Development Corporation which would go on to build several projects in Vancouver. During this period Mr. Campbell remained active in Vancouver politics, joining the Downtown Stadium Committee which successfully lobbied the government to build BC Place Stadium at its current location in downtown Vancouver. On the heels of this success in 1984 Mr. Campbell ran for and was elected to Vancouver City Council.” __Notice how he was a lobbyist, even though it was for his own project. It is interesting that his outfit, Citycore Development Corp., was involved in building BC Place Stadium. This is a building in need of major repairs, and a legacy to his development work. It points out to us the quality of his work, work that requires 100’s of millions of dollars to repair. _And he has the audacity to whine that Carole James doesn’t have business experience. Look at what his business experience is costing the taxpayers of BC.

    You can also find more about Campbell’s connection to David McLean at this Tyee article, “How Gordon Campbell’s Policies Made a Rich Friend Far Richer”
    As far as I’m concerned, Campbell always planned to sell BC Rail. He lost the election in 1996 because he said he would sell it. He changed his tune for the 2001 election but he never changed his mind. He simply lied to us. I wonder if he was involved with any leaky condos?

    Like

  8. Laila says:

    Astro( great link to that Tyee article) , Norman, G West – Thank you for all the bits and pieces of information, really helps to flesh this out a bit more. And G.West, you’ve got it right on- when DID Gordon decide BC Rail was going to CN ? Big leap from ” I’m not selling” to SOLD to the highest bidder in the back!!

    Lynn, Leah,thanks for the support- helps to know we are heading in the right direction. Looks like someone at CTV was spending a bit of time on this post yesterday, so who knows, maybe we’ll see the real estate aspect in the news sooner rather than later.

    My other question is, why isn’t the NDP all over this angle? They jumped on the emails but even that seems to have lost steam – I swear, if I was an MLA right now, this would be OUT THERE every single day until I got an answer.

    Again, why , with the information on the clause that is available, has no one asked the Premier about the potential of land transfers? That certainly is not before the courts right now, it is a legal clause in a viable contract

    Like

  9. Gary L. says:

    Laila, I must echo B.C. Mary’s Posting “Sure am glad you’re on this case, Laila. Stay strong”!
    And as an aside may I also take this space to direct that quote to B.C. Mary as well.
    When all of the facts surrounding this issue come out [and they will] the manipulations, lies and deceit will boggle the mind………………. and eradicate careers.
    I wonder how Bernie Madoff is doing this fine morning?

    Like

  10. Laila says:

    Ha! 150 years for a financal scam? ( Tells me that to some courts, money means more than lives. When was the last time you heard of a murderer getting a sentence like that? )

    Scanned the news this am- seeing nothing about this clause or this land development aspect. Spread the word everyone, about all of this. Send them the links to this post and to BC Marys. Let’s get this out there as far and wide as we can, and hope people demand action from the NDP to hold this Premier accountable for more than just those suspiciously deleted emails…..

    Like

  11. Leah says:

    G. West,

    “If one member of that caucus had the intestinal fortitude to come forward now and confirm the allegations I don’t see how Campbell could sustain his leadership and stay in the office.”

    I think there may be one person who was in caucus at the time this idea was hatched, but who did not stay on-side, he became an independent.

    Paul Nettleton.

    Whom I’ve noticed has been extremely quiet lately! Paul, just in case you’re checking out blogs to see exactly who cares about this deal, we do. Please get what you know “out there”…help us to help this Province.

    Like

  12. Laila says:

    Leah, I believe BC Mary is in touch with Paul Nettleton, let’s try through her – she did have a blog post based on his correspondance re: Lara Dauphinee, so perhaps she has somethng already on her site we’ve missed.

    Like

  13. Leah says:

    As an aside Laila, I’ve written two letters to Leonard Krog/Carole James regarding an injunction to stop this transfer…I’ve heard absolutely not one word back from either.

    I’ve also posted messages on Carole James Facebook for everyone to see – she hasn’t answered or acknowledged ANY of those comments either. It would appear that the NDP are trying to ignore those of us trying to get this done? Do they stand to gain from it too? If so, how?

    We NEED a clean political party in this province. One that can’t be bought, threatened, blackmailed, or shut up. Who do we nominate? :)

    Like

  14. Leah says:

    Nettleton left the BC Liberal Party caucus in 2002 after strongly protesting the privatization of part of BC Hydro in an open letter to his colleagues.
    Nettleton then sat as an independent MLA and also opposed the sale of BC Rail.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    It would appear there’s no luck on this issue!! He left a tad too early…

    Like

  15. G West says:

    Actually Leah I don’t think that’s necessarily the case…I have a strong suspicion that the ‘decision’ to give BCRail to CN was made ‘before’ Nettleton left caucus.

    I think the Campbell forces are more than a little concerned that the defence has subpoenaed Nettleton and that he may very well have some interesting things to say to Bennett’s court about what Campbell said to caucus long before the ‘FOR SALE’ sign went up on the third largest railway in BC.

    The question then will be whether or not some other members of caucus (or Cabinet) from those times will have the guts to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about this deal…

    Like

  16. Laila says:

    Leah, I have declared my intention to run in the election- in fact, I’m planning a move to a riding where I think I have a very good chance of winning back a seat from the Libs. However, the question then would be if I ran for the NDP( if I would qualify) or as an independant. However, 4 years from now can’t help us today.

    I have not heard back on my email either. This could only help the NDP, but I do think they are distancing themselves. I do know several people are spending quite a bit of time here over the last couple days, from the Leg. PAB ? A lot of blackberries too.

    G, I think the correct analogy would be the sinking ship. Do they stay on board, or jump before it goes down? Some have already jumped, I’d say.

    I see Michael Smyth is filling in for Good, maybe someone can get a call through on this issue if they have open line. hint hint

    Like

  17. kootcoot says:

    Laila, it is great to see you back in thesaddle and blogging so effectively again. Your rustic sojourn must have done well by you (and for us).

    As to the Gordo/Real Estate connection, that is All he has EVER been about. And not just that but he has virtually specialized in exploiting for private profit land that was originally given to RR’s as a reward for making the investment to PROVIDE SERVICE to communities, resource extractors, farmers and manufacturers. I always thought that as Canadian Pacific was removing rail service from community after community (Nelson, Kalso, Slocan and myriads more) that they should have been required to return the land to the public for public use, or at least public benefit from future development. The most egregious example is the Esquimalt-Nanaimo RR lands on the northern part of Vancouver Island where the Railforad was NEVER even built north of Nanaimo yet private companies have profitably logged (free even of the laughable forestry regulations) for decades anyway.

    But in the case of CP, the railroad that USED TO SERVE my area, Gordo was involved up to his armpits via Marathon Realty (the main [or maybe only significant] private company on his resume) in turning old now “surplus” railroad GRANT land into shopping malls or other developments designed to line the pockets of the “in” crowd. Shopping mall in Kamloops and Chako-Mika in Nelson are each perfect examples but only two of many!

    Farmers used to have to develop their “homestead” land grants and establish an agricultural business or LOSE their claim if they didn’t carry out their end of the bargain. But these guys just get land for free, from US and eventually do whatever will make THEM the most money.

    So Gordo isn’t just a sleazy land developer, but he has specialized in alienating public/railroad lands for the use of the moneyed class in both the private sector (Marathon) and in so called government (the BC liaR criminal organization posing as a government). If people had been paying attention to what Gordo does, rather than what he says, we wouldn’t be in the current pickle jar in which we find ourselves.

    The rich ALWAYS have the ability to look after themselves but when we approach fascism as with the Campbell and Harper governments, the rich, the corporations and the government all team up to look after their interests only at the expense of everybody else.

    Like

  18. Leah says:

    Hold it! He may well have something of interest. This is an excerpt from a letter to BC Mary (from her blog, I hope she won’t be upset about the reprinting part of it here):

    This is Paul Nettleton speaking:

    It was at this meeting that I was asked to assume the role of Critic for BCR and lead the discussion on its future for the BC Liberal Party. I accepted this responsiblity and committed to work towards an informed presentation to the caucus on the future of BCR. I was relatively young, idealistic, politically naive and believed strongly that I was embarking on an endeavour that would promote and protect the interests of my constituents who had so recently placed me in this position of what I viewed as a sacred trust.

    It was some years later in the Vancouver office of the premier within months of the election of 2001 that I was informed by Mr Campbell and Martyn Brown (Shirley Bond and Pat Bell were also present) that the pre election promise to maintain BCR as a Crown Corporation was about to be broken.

    Written April 14, 2009

    There are some excellent articles with/about Paul before that date, just enter his name into the search box and scroll to:

    North to Alaska … by rail. Even then. (from April 6/09)

    ” I oppose the sale of B.C. Rail.” (from March 9/09)

    “We were aligning ourselves with CN … ” approx. June 2001 (from March 24/09)

    …for a start… :)

    Like

  19. kootcoot says:

    Environmental clean up costs aside, those properties could have a future land value of millions, if not billions of development potential.

    BILLIONS!

    Any government that was truly concerned with environmental issues and sane transportation planning would have upgraded the BC Rail line to Whistler for the Olympics AND ever after, instead of pushing through the Eagle Ridge Bluffs to build the new improved Sea to Die Highway to save a few minutes of the trip to go skiing, well at least until gas gets too expensive to burn except in Lexuses, BMWs and Mercedes.

    I know I would rather finish a day of skiing by having a couple drinks at the lodge and then a comfortable worry free home on the train (with another drink in the bar car if necessary) it would be faster, safer and less evironmentally destructive in EVERY way (ie construction and operation).

    I am glad that I at least got to ride the old BC Rail from the interior down to North Van (where I caught a bus to E. Van where I was living at the time) before ol’ Gordo made that an impossible dream.

    Like

  20. Leah says:

    Well…hell! That last comment was a tad late! lol

    Laila, I can guarantee if you run in an area I live in, you have my vote. But please…run for the Big Chair!!

    You can do it, we know it.

    Like

  21. Anyone reminded of a movie directed by Roman Polanski starring Jack Nicholson and John Huston? Vaughan Palmer needs to watch it.

    When major media consciously decides to ignore a story, or potential story, they license insiders to loot with little concern about discovery. All the artists need do is cover their tracks with layers of complexity, privilege and powers of redaction.

    A crack addict with a knife robbing an all night store, we understand. That’s easy. When politicians, PR specialists, lawyers and other people in suits conspire together, they spin a web so dense, ordinary persons are hopelessly embroiled.

    It happened in BC before, in a slightly smaller way, decades ago. Family members of a politician traded in land for commercial properties that just happened to gain value through proximity to new works of government.

    Oh well. After a generation, money regains legitimacy.

    Like

  22. astro says:

    Norman Farrell, the name of the movie, one of the best, is “Chinatown.” Actually I have thought of that movie with regard to some of the real estate schemes that have taken place in BC. The scene where Nicholson watches the water flow out, in a special bypass, to the sea while farmers need the water for their crops, lowering the value of their land and making it easy to buy for the developers. And the theft of money from the unwitting elderly in the retirement home. A fabulous movie and one of my favourites. I may have to watch it on Canada Day.

    IMO, Paul Nettleton was removed from caucus for opposing the sale of BC Rail and the privatization of BC Hydro. And I believe he was black-balled after he ran against Shirley Bond in the 2006 election. He had to leave PG to find work.

    Like

  23. BC Mary says:

    Laila, and everyone:

    What a brilliant lineup of passion, brains, ethics, and commitment! What a pleasure to read all this …

    Now …

    if each of you will TELEPHONE the office of Leonard Krog immediately. DEMAND that Krog (the lawyer) take the initiative and seek the injunction to stop the bleeding off of further public land assets. Tell him that I’ll put out a call for $$ contributions to help with the fees involved. Tell him that Joe Arvay (the lawyer) might help.

    Tell them also that July 2nd be damned – the date is July 14 or possibly even 15 — the whole point being how cruelly unfair, maybe even illegal it is to ask us to take on the financial losses WITHOUT ever having seen the Agreement between BCR and CN.

    Limp, evasive, unworthy as they seem to be, the BC OPPOSITION is where this initiative should come from. And yes, for reasons unknown to me, we as BC citizens must SHOVE them forward firmly. SHOVE them into action. Get us that injunction to save what’s left of BC Rail lands.

    And Norman Farrell, I have copied your excellent comment (above) and hope I have your OK to reprint it at my place, so more people can see what you’ve said. It’s so important to speak up now.

    And please Lord, let Laila be premier someday soon.

    Like

  24. I’ve blogged on my site about Dziekanski’s death and, more generally, about our failure to make police accountable for protecting, not abusing, civil rights. In reality, these subjects are connected to the principles at play in BCR.

    It is no accident that public officials refuse accountability for themselves and their soldiers and servants. Campbell, early on said all the right things about transparency, he promised the most open government anywhere. Gradually, greed and arrogance took over and controlled his actions.

    A leader surrounds himself 24/7 with sycophants and has his worst acts applauded by those who hope to share the booty. Rather few leaders can avoid believing in their own infallibility when it is constantly reinforced.

    On Tieleman’s site, I offered a quote from Roger Ebert’s writing about the great movie Chinatown. Robert Towne’s script examined human nature and exposed the timeless qualities that corrupt the powerful. It is worth watching.

    Mary, you are welcome to use whatever words of mine you wish. More can be read at:

    http://northerninsights.blogspot.com/

    Like

  25. kootcoot says:

    RE:”Anyone reminded of a movie directed by Roman Polanski starring Jack Nicholson and John Huston? Vaughan Palmer needs to watch it.

    The movie is indeed “Chinatown” and in ways (most likely conciously) it is based on what happened to the Owens Valley (South of Mammoth Mtn. Ski Resort on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada – Bishop, Big Pine, Independence and Lone Pine) as the City of Los Angeles stole the water rights out from under the feet of farmers who were creating an Eden of Agriculture. They used trickery, lies, and deceit and it even wound up involving locals blowing up the headgate of the canal to L.A and trying to occupy it to keep their water.

    I have a whole paper library concerning the ongoing (various issues have been in court for over fifty years and I just recently heard that the locals recently managed a small victory)decades long battle. Since I can’t send my books to anyone interested Google “Owens River” “Los Angeles Water and Power” or similiar keywords, I’m certain there is mucho info on the ‘net!

    I’m so familiar with it because I lived there (Bishop) once upon a long ago and still have friends and family in the area.

    In recent years L.AWP wasn’t happy taking the ENTIRE river, but commenced pumping ground water to add to the natural runoff from 14,000 ft mountains on both sides of the valley. The result has been the Mojave Desert moving north in latitude and up in elevation miles and miles year after year and saline deposits appearing a hundred or two hundred miles north of where they ever used to be.

    An entire large lake (Owens Lake) that once carried sternwheelers hauling ore from the Nevada side, has been merely a huge (hundreds of square miles) salt flat since I was a young fellow.

    If Chinatown wasn’t loosely based on this episode, it coulda been!

    BTW Laila, I love WordPress, it informs me of new comments without the un-necessarily telling me when I add another – perhaps the one that the Gazetteer and the Galloping Beaver use could figure out how to do that. I don’t really need to be told in an email that I just left a comment – and WordPress knows that!

    Like

  26. BC Mary says:

    Norman Farrell,

    Many thanks indeed. I rather thought you’d say OK so I ran straight over to my place with your note clenched in my teeth and posted it immediately on the main page under the list of BCRail properties.

    This is only fractionally because there’s blogger problems today and so far I haven’t been able to access the comments section of The Legislature Raids. But I assure you, I would’ve posted what you reported on the main page no matter what. It’s the kind of information we so badly need to share.

    And did everybody phone Leonard Krog? You did? Well, let me know and I’ll immediately post a request at my place for contributions which will go into a Trust Account to help with the legal costs.

    Like

  27. astro says:

    So you think this is bad? I think this is just a warm up for what comes down the pipe in Recognition and Resolution Agreement with the First Nations. A lot of the province could be up for grabs. Why wasn’t it an election issue? Why was it removed just after it was announced in the press? With Campbell’s record, I believe we have a lot about which we should be concerned.

    Like

  28. Leah says:

    Astro, I think you’re right.

    I went to Carole James Facebook page again today to check for any kind of rhetorical reply to what I’ve been saying. Nothing. Someone else’s comment about this situation had been removed.

    The only thing she was concerned about today was the R&RA, and that it absolutely must get underway, her headline:

    “Concrete action needed to ensure broad consultation on recognition legislation”

    There is NOTHING on her site about the BC Rail deal, it’s as if it doesn’t exist! One poster said an injunction is a “waste of time”…etc. When did the NDP become so damn apathetic, and just what IS their real agenda anyway?!

    I’m serious, we NEED a new party in this province, a party of bull-dogs with attitudes! If an election were called today, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be voting NDP…for the first time in my life. I’ve voted for them since I was eligible to vote…that’s a long, long time. Their attitude, ineptitude has completely alienated me.

    Like

  29. Laila says:

    Leah –

    What you say is quite alarming to me. I know their are the contingent that refer to the BC Rail ” Cult”, but for God’s sake, how the hell obvious does it have to get that a this is not a joke? Really ????

    I’ve been talking to a lot of people, and getting letters from far more than the NDP would like, that say they are feeling lost and without any options. I’ve heard NDP ‘lifers’ say they won’t vote NDP again if the party doesn’t find some leadership and focus.

    As it begins to un-ravel – and I believe it finally is- the BC Rail scandal may bring an end to several politicial careers.

    However, unless the NDP collectively get a pair of big ones, it may also spell the end to several careers for them as well.

    If this doesn’t happen, then I forsee the political climate being prime for the creation of a new political party in BC…

    Like

  30. G West says:

    Laila,
    I’m sad to write that I’m beginning to agree with you…but still hoping I’m wrong…The people I know (knew) in the NDP were not the kind of ‘step easy now gotta be nice‘ people I see representing the party and creating its public image today.

    I know Carole James put out the message that she wasn’t going to ‘personalize’ her campaign against Campbell; wasn’t going to back up anyone who spoke for the party unless they assumed that posture too. I know her failure to defend Mabel Elmore over a perfectly plausible and entirely innocuous remark about ‘Zionism’ was part of that policy position.

    I know it’s difficult for a woman in politics, especially since there’s always a double edge to the sword of making things ‘personal’ and women, bless them, don’t seem to go there as readily as men do…but, I think the main reason Carole James is not the premier of the province today is simply because she IS a woman.

    There was no way she could overcome the deficit of male public opinion who will NEVER vote for a woman in this province…

    But, that being said, what is happening to the province, what is happening to the children, the poor, the First Nations, what is literally happening to the public assets of the place under the campbell dictatorship is PERSONAL.

    It’s personal to everyone who cares about the past, the present and the future of the place.

    It’s more important than the popularity of any political leader and its more important than building a positive public image.

    All that is bullshit if the rape of this place and its people continues – if the NDP can’t see that, then you’re right Laila, it’s time for something new….

    If this kind of wake up call doesn’t move the people in the caucus off their default position of ‘niceness’ then they need to move over.

    Now.

    It’s time to get real ‘PERSONAL’. This is my province too.

    Like

  31. Gary L. says:

    “If this doesn’t happen, then I forsee the political climate being prime for the creation of a new political party in BC”
    The time is prime in this Province for a new Political Party.
    It is interesting to see though, that the B.C. Conservative Party is rife with infighting. They ran 26 Candidates in the last Election, and garnered only 2% of the Vote.
    So, unless an Alternative Party emerges, the turnout of elegible Voters in this Province will continue to spiral downwards.
    And if that prevails, we all lose……………….
    Cheers…

    Like

  32. kootcoot says:

    Here, here to G West:

    You are right IT IS PERSONAL!

    I don’t know what to do about a third party, though non-of-the-above is appropriate right now. I also agree that Laila should sit in the stonepile in James Bay, and if she ran in my riding, I would vote for her under any banner but BC liaR.

    I must confess though I slightly disagree with Mary, about her going straight to Gordo’s hopefully soon to be vacant chair. I don’t believe in the IGGY approach!

    Like

  33. Leah says:

    Yes, G. West, it is very Personal!

    I take it personally when emails are not acknowledged – never mind answered. I take it personally when a leader that I voted for doesn’t take 10 seconds to say something like “we’re working on it.” I take their inactivity, and the ignoring of their electorate very seriously. I’m not the only one – you should see some of the numbers in FB who have commented about leaving the party, and NOTHING has been said by Carole in return. I don’t think she even bothers to read her own site!

    The BC Conservatives are collapsing under their own weight, Hanni and a number of others have walked out, the party is in tatters.

    The Greens? Like I’ve said before – they’re too much like Campbell in too many ways. The only difference is they have an environmental plan…sort of.

    Which leaves us with? Creating a NEW party. One that is built from the ground up, on SOUND principles and values. Not beholden to Big Business, nor to Unions. (This from a Union member?! Yes!) If you’re not owned from the outset, you have no debt to “pay back” when you’re in power, other than the debt owed to those who elected you. That alone is worth it’s weight in gold/platinum…and would most likely be understood by everyone during an election run.

    Does this sound like something we should be working toward? Hell, Yes! The time has come the walrus said…..

    Like

  34. At least the disciples of labor knew what they stood for and remembered the principles when it mattered. Today’s version of the NDP are people who recall the the bounty and comfort that went with government when their party held power.

    More than principle, they cling to the promise of power. That dictates riding down the middle, being ever the reasonable alternative.

    A citizens’ movement that holds to protecting British Columbia’s public assets is more likely to succeed. How to make it go?

    Who is ready to organize a citizen’s commission to inquire into the sale of BC Rail? Unfunded, unresourced except for volunteers with nothing to gain. We can hold a trial of Gordon Campbell in absentia. First, we need prominent non-partisan people to serve as Commissioners. The rest of our cult can be the research soldiers.

    Like

  35. BC Mary says:

    Stephen Leacock could raise a laugh when he wrote about his horseman “riding off in all directions” but in politics, it can’t work. In politics, it’s called “splinter groups” and the math for any one splinter party never defeats the hated majority government.

    The wily old fox W.A.C. Bennett got his tactics right when he brought all the B.C. splinter groups together to confront “the socialist hordes at the gate — that’s how he demonized us — and it worked. Apparently he remembered that he’d had a rough go of it at the start when HE was the splinter.

    Consolidation worked for Preston Manning, too, who preached “Unite the right.” Stephen Harper continued with the technique and, by trickery, consolidated the genuine old Progressive Conservatives, the Reforms, the Socreds, into whatever it is they call themselves now.

    The Canadian landscape is littered with new parties in which strong, well-intentioned Canadians (Mel Hurtig, Paul Hellyer, Gordon Wilson) tried to make a difference. Both “new” parties mentioned above — parties who fought us tooth and nail — also had immense funding behind them. It would be different with a genuine citizens’ party.

    So I’m against splintering into “new political parties”, especially in this case, because the New Democrats have nothing to be ashamed of except this gang of do-nothings in Opposition right now. The New Democrats have genuine roots in B.C., and a record to be proud of.

    The current deplorable BC Opposition could, in my view, be cleaned up, shaken up, revitalized (Laila springs to mind), and then the old giants brought back (Barrett, MacPhail, Corky Evans … ) in advisory positions to guide a revitalized party, maybe with a new and better name, like the B.C. Party.

    Which means we’d be “starting” with 33 MLAs instead of floundering like Eliz. May with no representation at all.

    Anyway, that’s my opinion. And here’s the trigger for renewal:

    In my view, it’s an immediate imperative that we drag the James Gang kicking and screaming to do their duty with this injunction against what’s going to happen on July 14, 2009. . My gosh, have you seen Island Tides (now with 33,000 circulation including Saanich) in which they endorse the injunction 100%?? Look for the headline on Page 4: Editorial: Full Disclosure. I mean … this could be the start of the new party. What do you say, Laila? G West? others?

    Anyway, I vote for Stand On Guard for “for B.C.” today … and for forcing the 33 MLAs (being paid handsomely to represent us) to do their duty.

    Much love to you all, for this Canada Day.

    Like

  36. Leah says:

    Mary, I understand what you’re saying…and agree with much of it. Another splinter party this province does not need. But, it can’t use the present form of the NDP either. If they don’t willingly start doing the job they’re in opposition to do – then what’s the point of paying millions more in salaries?

    I worked for the NDP during the election, as I have every election past. This was the first time I felt somewhat angry while manning the phones…hearing things like “she’s flip-flopping like a fish out of water”…”she doesn’t have what it takes to lead a party, never mind a Province.” Though I could not, and did not agree with them at the time – I did agree. Later. Out of 13 post-election “headlines” on her FB site…None are about the BC Rail debacle. Not one. It’s not even part of the conversation. What will it take to bring it to her attention? With the numbers who have written letters from your and Laila’s sites alone – she can’t say she didn’t know we are concerned.

    People who were part of her campaign were worried about her “handlers.” If a leader doesn’t speak from the heart, from her/his own knowledge base, the people know it. Zoos have handlers, cattle have handlers – people don’t. For that matter, why the hell would she allow people from another province to tell her what to say and do here? They didn’t have a clue about what’s important here! And she didn’t appear to have the strength to tell them “no, this is what matters to the people, this is what matters to me.”

    For instance; I asked why she wasn’t speaking about TILMA (it’s that agreement that will be used to force the BC Rail deal to completion)…I was told “it’s too complicated for the average person to understand.” Explain what it is, what it does then. I’m here to tell you that if I have a reasonable understanding of it…then everyone can! I’m very, very average! My question now is: Does the NDP even know what TILMA does?

    But, you said it best….”it’s an immediate imperative that we drag the James Gang kicking and screaming to do their duty.” Why should we have to drag them kicking and screaming to do what they’ve been hired to do?

    Gordon Campbell has already let it be known he’s considering a fourth run at office, if he does, the corruption of government and control of media will be so ingrained that it will be decades before British Columbian’s really know the truth of the damage done. If Carole is still in office when he tries it again, I fear another win by the Liberals. The best thing that could happen to the NDP party is a change of leader – one who speaks from the heart, head and gut. Someone who isn’t afraid to turn politics back into the “blood sport” it was in our past…when it took a real passion to STAND for what you believe in, come hell or high water. Someone that speaks with absolute surety of the issues affecting BC. Will she allow that change to happen willingly? I don’t think so Mary…she’s been bitten by the same bug that has ruined many politicians who started with good intentions – comfort and and the goodies that come with office.

    I hope you had a great Canada Day, we truly do live in the best country in the world! And yes, Leonard Krog/Carole James will be receiving another letter tomorrow morning as soon as I’m home from work.

    Like

  37. SharingIsGood says:

    Astro, you asked about Campbell and leaky condos. Here is a comment I made to the Tyee back in January. I note that the link to the notaries no longer exists. I wonder who made that link disappear? And, I wonder if its disappearance had anything to do with my publishing the link on the Tyee?

    http://thetyee.ca/Views/2009/01/30/Sullivan/

    SharingIsGood30-01-2009.

    It seems that the city has become wise to Mayor Sam. Will those same voters be just as wise when Leaky Condo Campbell runs for the third time. Campbell’s provincial government is just as leaky as the condos that were built under his watch. The provincial government is leaking money and resources at a pace that far out-stretches any added value that a 6-7 billion dollar olympics will bring us. Just like Mayor Sam, Campbell doesn’t care about the citizens of BC, he never has.

    In the Scrivener (published by The Society of Notaries for BC ), Robert S. Reid, comments about how Gordon Campbell (the Former Mayor of Vancouver,) while he was Leader of the (BC) Opposition (1995), tried to introduce legislation that would absolve municipalities (and therefore, himself) of any responsiblities for leaky condos. Further, he [Campbell] was mayor of Vancouver when such protection had been added to the city’s charter. Thankfully, that charter was never enacted; however, since becoming premier, Campbell has done nothing but continually drag his feet on the issue provincially and hinder the compensation of good hard-working people who bought condos.

    It’s been the same with schools – and his glorious education roundtable that did nothing! Housing for the homeless, and places for our seniors to live have been ignorred to an even greater extent. And more children continue to die while in the Ministry for Children and Family development’s care! He just doesn’t care.

    Now that it’s election tme, there will be some announcements and photo ops here and there about his party doing something, but he has been willing to do nothing for 7 years. He has done nothing to protect the the most vulnerable, and he doesn’t care about the aging people who have slaved their whole lives to build the roads we drive on, the hospitals we were born in, and the dams that produce our electricity.

    http://www.notaries.bc.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=461&Itemid=1075

    http://blog.myleakycondo.com/index.php?op=Default&Date=20070529&blogId=1060

    Like

  38. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » The key to the BC Rail sale lies in Premier Gordon Campbells beginnings in real estate and land development. « I’m Laila Yuile, and This Is How I See It

  39. Laila says:

    Sorry about the absence everyone – sometimes juggling kids and commitments leaves little time to blog. Let alone being Premier…hehe. Let me start with MLA, and save Premier for later when my kids are older. But I like that you think I could do it. Did I mention I do have a solid background in a couple sectors?

    Leah, your story really bothers me. I’ve been a James supporter for a long time, and what appealed to me was her “realness”. I’ver heard the same sentiments echoed again and again from devout NDP’ers- we have enough fake and PR derived crap coming out of Campbells mouth and from his handlers, let’s get bak to what it’s all about. It’s true what you say about speaking from the heart and from your own knowledge. Anything else comes across as contrived.

    While I understand and get what you are telling me Mary, I still think if the party doesn’t sort itself out soon, I’m certainly not going to wait around for it to do so. Neither will a lot of other people.
    The people of BC want someone to inspire them. Someone who remembers what it means to be an elected official, someone who remembers who in the end, pays their salary.

    I’ve got to say, quickly, SharingisGood, that I’m getting pretty jaded. How many times have I heard of deleted comments and disappearing links? Far too many times to count.

    The Leaky Condo story will never end. Far too many builders are cutting corners in an effort to fulfill contract obligations that were won with bids so far under what is realistic to ensure the job is done properly. Inspectors see it all the time- shoddy workmanship and inferior materials.

    Why is it that the Premier never seems to get questioned on all of this in more than a passing manner? When will he sit down with a local newsperson and answer to all of this issues?

    Oh, wait. I forgot. Silly me! He doesn’t ” Do” real interviews, and we don’t seem to have a local hard hitting interviewer who is allowed to ask the hard questions anymore.

    Like

  40. RossK says:

    Re: GWest’s questions way, way, upthread:

    If I was to hazard a guess as to the date of the release of the decision to (at least some) members of the Premier’s caucus, it would be the Fall of 2001.

    At the latest.

    .

    Like

  41. SharingIsGood says:

    Posted previously on BC Mary’s: The Legislature Raids

    Open Letter to Carole James, Leonard Krog and all of the BC NDP MLAs:

    RE: Interim Injunction to Prevent the Transfer of BC Rail Lands to CN Rail:

    Doing nothing means that you are complicit in the transfer.

    To put it in a social worker’s terms (something Ms. James should clearly understand): it is as though you suspect your partner of abusing your child – all the signs are there – but you avert your eyes and close your ears because to think that it is actually happening to your child is more than you can bear. So, you leave your child to be raped by your partner behind the closed door. Your child is forever changed for the worse, and you let it happen.

    When you became an MLA, you swore an oath to stand for the people of this province. That oath demands that you open the door to expose the secret BC Rail deal for the people of BC. Democracy demands your action. Though you “sit in opposition” you were elected and are amply paid to act, not sit.

    Either you act swiftly and efficiently with the full weight of the party to have an interim injuction placed upon the the BC Rail land transfer, or I pull my support from the NDP. I have had my fill of our BC Liberal government and an ineffective, do-nothing opposition.

    SharingIsGood

    Like

  42. Here is a review of Gordo’s evolution as that relates to open and accountable government. It demonstrates why we should never believe statements from the BC Republican Party.

    http://northerninsights.blogspot.com/2009/05/you-cant-handle-truth.html

    The test by Campaign for Open Government particularly demonstrates our sad situation.

    Like

  43. Leah says:

    Hey guys, check this out from Mary’s blog! I think she may have found a mover in the party of the immovable!:

    Thanks to all who have written or visited or telephoned Leonard Krog today.

    “And now a strong voice from within the New Democratic Party has added to our efforts. I wrote to Peter Dimitrov this morning, explaining our efforts to activate the B.C. Opposition. Here is the result … Peter’s e.mail which he sent to:

    Carole James
    Leonard Krog
    Shane (Simpson?)
    Adrian Dix

    with copies to Allen Garr at The Courier
    Vaughn Palmer at The Vancouver Sun
    Bill Tieleman at 24 HOURS
    Sean Holman at Public Eye Online

    Hi Carole, Leonard and Shane,

    On July 14, 2009 the BCR/CN Re-purchase Option agreement will be executed, transferring significant assets to CN for $1.00…forever more, whilst the previous deal is still secret and whilst we have the ongoing BC Rail trial.

    Will the party be providing some public leadership on this issue in the form of (a) minimally, a denouncement and (b) a request that this be postponed pending “x, y, z” conditions;

    or better: Is the NDP considering itself, or in association with others, raising this matter in BCSC, seeking an injunction and other equitable remedies?

    ..surely it is not good to sit around with our hands in our pockets and just watch as significant assets being transferred from the public to private hands ..without so much as a whimper of protest or action? It seems the party could get some public traction on this issue.”

    Thank you,

    Peter Dimitrov

    Hey, it’s a good start! I actually smiled when I read it :)

    Thank you Mary!!

    Like

  44. boots says:

    The P3 Files
    Privatization, Profit and Porkchopping
    WILL OFFLEY | July 1st 2004

    http://canadiandimension.com/articles/1968

    Like

  45. Laila says:

    Just thinking-

    There seems to be a lot of interest in this post from the ministry of transportation as well as Borden Ladner Gervais ( think BC rail).

    Such big busy people, making time to read this wee post. Why is it that some larger independent press hasn’t taken this even further? The Tyee? The real estate angle contains much legitimacy if you ask me.

    But then again, none of this jives with the spirit of 2010, does it?

    Like

  46. kootcoot says:

    Laila, as to:

    “But then again, none of this jives with the spirit of 2010, does it?”

    I’m not trying to be difficult but I would have to say it jives EXACTLY with the TRUE spirit of 2010.

    The whole Olympic exercise has become a big game of insiders using inside connections and information to score construction contracts (whether or not the project is the right project in the right place, as long as it provides profit for the RIGHT PEOPLE) and the annointing of certain real estate with enhanced value thanks to the palm greasing, back slapping co-operation of VANOC and the Campbell Family. Of course I may be making myself seem like I believe in the “tooth fairy” by even suggesting that VANOC and the Campbell Family aren’t two segments of the same rotten pie.

    I think it very likely that Vancouver-Whistler 2010 will make the Montreal Olympic experience look like a raging success and help Mayor Drapeau rest in a more relaxed state of peace. After all, at least the Montreal hole of public debt neither happened during a global recession, nor did it need to depend on snow to provide the conditions for many events.

    But then I guess they can make phoney snow just like they can skate below sea level on the slowest oval on earth…………..it ain’t about the athletic accomplishment, it’s about the money made by the “in” crowd and if half of the hospitals in the Inferior Health Authority need to be closed in order to be able to afford to destroy Eagle Ridge Bluffs to help rich folks spend less time in their Mercedes, who am I to criticize?

    “There’s a hole down by the coast where all the money goes”
    with apologies to John Prine

    Like

  47. BC Mary says:

    Leah asked (above):

    ” Why should we have to drag them [the NDP Opposition] kicking and screaming to do what they’ve been hired to do?

    Well, of course, we shouldn’t have to. But they’re all we’ve got at the moment. So that’s the basis of why I’m suggesting that we, the citizens, have to remind the Opposition of their duty … of what we want done. OK?

    And getting back to the topic of Gordo the real estate salesman, there’s a story in The Globe and Mail today titled

    PRIVATE PROPERTY: The Nisga’a pave the way

    It’s full of weasel-words describing the wonderful world of bank loans and mortgages which will be theirs, once they’re receive title to their own bit of land, I say it’s just like the Tsawwassen Treaty which was a fig leaf covering the transfer of A.L.R. lands into private ownership by the Tsawwassens who will then have to pay property taxes because it’s private property and then … they can sell the land to pay off their debts.

    We all know that any protected lands come under constant attack, whether it’s the Agricultural Land Reserve, the Land Conservancy, Provincial Parks. But the author of this cruel report doesn’t seem to know that.

    The author, Joseph Quesnel, is part of a think tank headquartered in Winnipeg, concerned primarily with Manitoba and Saskatchewan issues. I left a comment asking if he knew very much about Gordo’s big real estate dreams.

    Plus: I don’t get it that Gordo is able to make these “Land Transfer Transaction” deals when we all know, too, that First Nations lands are a Federal matter. God forbid that Gordo & Harpo have worked out a deal !!

    Like

  48. BC Mary says:

    CORRECTED COPY, S.V.P.

    BC Mary, on July 8th, 2009 at 4:42 pm Said:
    Leah asked (above):

    “Why should we have to drag them [the NDP Opposition] kicking and screaming to do what they’ve been hired to do?”

    Well, of course, we shouldn’t have to. But they’re all we’ve got at the moment. So that’s the basis of why I’m suggesting that we, the citizens, have to remind the Opposition of their duty … of what we want done. OK?

    And besides, we’re paying them anyway for the next 4 years … so imagine adding … adding the work and expense of building a new party on top of that (and setting up a ready-made adversary paid by us to sit around eating chocolates) … and it just doesn’t seem like a good idea.

    Getting back to the topic of Gordo the real estate salesman, there’s a story in The Globe and Mail today titled

    PRIVATE PROPERTY: The Nisga’a pave the way

    It’s full of weasel-words describing the wonderful world of bank loans and mortgages which will belong to these First Nations, once they’re receive title to their own bit of land. I bet the P.A.B. wrote the column. I say it’s just like the Tsawwassen Treaty which was a fig leaf covering the transfer of A.L.R. lands into private ownership by the Tsawwassens who will now have to pay property taxes because it’s private property and then … they can sell the land to pay off their debts. And guess what, they’ll sell their precious land to Deltaport to fulfill Gordo’s expansion dreams.

    We all know that any protected lands come under constant attack from real estate developers, whether it’s the Agricultural Land Reserve, the Land Conservancy, or Provincial Parks. But the author of this cruel report doesn’t seem to know that.

    The author, Joseph Quesnel, is part of a think-tank headquartered in Winnipeg, concerned primarily with Manitoba and Saskatchewan issues. I left a comment asking if he knew very much about Gordo’s big real estate dreams.

    Plus: I don’t get it that Gordo is able to make these “Land Transfer Transaction” deals when we all know, too, that First Nations lands are historically a Federal matter. God forbid that Gordo & Harpo have worked out a deal !!

    Like

  49. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » 70 things Gordon Campbell still hasn’t told the public about the sale of BC Rail. Or the rest of the government. « I’m Laila Yuile, and This Is How I See It

  50. Jo says:

    I am looking to the Western Block Party. The west really needs to be separated from the east. It would be so much easier to expel a, corrupt, lying premier such as Gordon Campbell. He belongs down east with the rest of the fascists. Indeed Hitler would have taken a lot of pride in Campbell, and indeed Canada, for carrying on his legacy of corruption. I am fed up with the west having to fund the east. Campbell is a gangster, he lies, gives himself a 53% hike in pay. His cronies did very well too. He forced the carbon tax on the people, lying about the deficit to be re-elected. After promising there would be no HST, guess what? Campbell lied again. He sold the BCR out from under the noses of BC citizens. He is selling our water. He did the criminal act of DUI. Not that he gives a damn, the HST is going to put single moms, low income families and seniors on the street, homeless. He should be forced to pay the money back he has stolen from BC citizens by selling out the BCR. He really should be in prison for his crimes, as, an everyday person certainly would be.

    Like

  51. salvatore bennedetto says:

    So who is in line to be the bock head?

    Like

  52. Norman Farrell says:

    How many parties will Western Block’s Doug Christie roll through before he finds one that works beyond the same old band of bigots?

    He talks about BC being punished with “unsuitable immigration.” What does he mean, too many people with blond hair and blue eyes or something else?

    He also stands against sewage treatment for Victoria, preferring the natural solution of dumping it untouched into the ocean. Yes, bring back the good old days. Remember when the ferries used to toss garbage overboard? That’s the root of the expression, “Follow the Birds to Victoria.”

    Like

  53. Laila says:

    Jo, good luck with that Block Party- definately not for me. But I have to agree with you on the HST issue. This tax,combined with a zillion cuts to services and education, will be the death of the middle class, I suspect. The horrific gap between rich and poor is becoming more like a canyon every day. At least, that is what I see- people paying more for less.

    However, I’m glad to see Jo’s post bring back this old blog to the forefront, because this IS what the premier is all about.

    Like

  54. Helen says:

    The Western Block Party, maybe has some good points, but every party thinks they all have, the good in the country in mind. Problem is, Campbell, sure in the hell doesn’t.. Harper, doesn’t either. He said, he was against the HST, and then bribes, Ontario and BC, to push the HST through. Who, really fell off the turnip truck? Canada, is so foul with corruption, decent citizens, are ashamed by what Canada stands for. This is not a free, honorable and democratic country, citizens rights have been stripped from them. This means, our constitution, is null and void. We, had, better get used to the corruption, there will be worse to come.

    Like

  55. Laila says:

    So what would you think of Carol Taylor as premier? Would that get anyone voting Liberal?

    And who would you put in charge of the NDP?

    Seems there is still room for a valid third party, if you ask me, although the BC conservatives seem to gaining too, thanls to the worst premier in history, Good old Gordy.

    Like

  56. salvatore bennedetto says:

    Lots of points for her, especially since she abandoned the wobbly ship.

    Like

  57. Impeach Campbell says:

    Besides the video w/charlie smith, this is one of the most important blog postings you’ve done to bring it all together. May I suggest you devote a page to items like this? PAB hates things like this coming up again, and again, and again…

    Excellent, please keep at it, and know that between you and BC Mary and a few others, there have been many sleepless nights for a few people in the Legislature. It is time for Campbell to go, and the truth to be known about this man. But, again, be cautious in going where angels fear to tread.

    Like

  58. SB says:

    As for teh question about Taylor , she may be good but she jumped to a TD Bank appoint,ment after dropping a tax that benefitted them in big ways , that and the issues in Victoria are deep deep within the Liberal party so unless she can come up with an entirely new set of officers and satff who have never been involved we will get much teh same with apretty smiley face instead of Campbell sneering and doing as he likes the Liberal party needs to be gutted i would trust none of them at this point , NDP needs a new leader someone who instills some confidence and can bring some votes in although at this time all they need to do is wait the BC Liberals will have huge issues when people see the Olympics price tag and they try to sell off more of BC to bail out and the HST added will likely destroy the Liberals for ages in BC NDP knows all they need to do is not say anything stupid buta real leader with a good plan and with some media presence woudl do wonders.

    Like

  59. Laila says:

    Thank you Impeach, we all do our parts and this certainly is not a singular effort. By the way, I rather like your handle…

    Someone told me once that the best thing to do is to take a deep breath, and then go where angels fear to tread, and that was the difference between a good interviewer and a great one. I like to think that applies to everything in life, going that extra mile where most others choose not to. And I look up to BC Mary on that front. A wonderful example of going where angels fear to tread.

    Like

  60. workforfun says:

    Hi Laila,

    First time I have seen this thread – I only started visiting a few months ago. Boy have you done a real good job – congratulations. you have managed to get everyone on board with this and contribute. It is very disturbing when you read what has been happening here in BC and the media and press ingored it !!!!

    With your approval, I would like to send this thread out to a number of people who, if interested, could certainly pass it along.

    Great piece of work – well done.

    workforfun

    Like

  61. Laila says:

    Sorry, workforfun, I missed this earlier! I am not on the computer often right now, so forgive me in the delay on this.

    Feel free to share far and wide. Often the pieces of the puzzle are there, we only need to put them together! If I may say so, this is a must read for everyone in BC.

    I must also say, thank you for your kind words and ongoing support. I do read everything you send me, but due to volume of mail I can’t always reply to everyone- I do have 4 kids, after all !

    Like

  62. Greg says:

    This is by far the most telling post on the BC Rail- Basi-Virk Saga, and everyone reading should be sending this link to everyone in their contact list via email.

    By the way, listened in last week and you were very informative, I do hope as well that Guy gets a link up to that segment.

    Like

  63. Annie Mayer says:

    Here it is, October 25th, 2010 and I’ve been ignorant of these details.
    I’ve known what kind of “man” the premier is, but he’s worse than I thought.
    I read this, and I’m another long time NDP member who is wondering what to do in the next election.
    Who stands on guard for me?

    Like

    • Laila says:

      I do Annie, as do BC Mary, Bill Tieleman, Rafe Mair, Ian Reid, RossK, Powell River Persuader, Alexandra Morton, Twyla Roscovich and a host of other’s who are often called right wing socialist wing nuts!!!!

      Take heart, we are united and more and more I wonder if we don’t need a revolution here in BC of the kind to be written about in history books for years to come….

      I have much more to say to the other comments – which I have all read and appreciate because this list is promising to be the epitaph on the headstone of Campbells career ! – BUT…. right now I have to dedicate myself to a blockbuster post that I am working on. Tune in tomorrow morning for a revelation of epic proportions for the BC public.

      Like

  64. Norm Farrell says:

    Wow. That’s quite a tease. If it is big news this week it must be really big.

    I’m looking forward to reading your blog tomorrow.

    Like

  65. Derek says:

    I heard from someone in Ottawa that you initiated and are actively involved in a federal investigation of significant proportions concerning some bids in BC projects.

    Care to comment?

    Like

  66. DEECEE says:

    GET MIKE SMYTH AND JOHN MCCOMB TO TAG IN WITH THEIR REVELATIONS ON THE BC RAIL FLOATIE.

    Like

  67. Pingback: Politics of Food « Sister Sage's Musings

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