Tercon Contracters Ltd vs. British Columbia… the rest of the story.

Official Opening of Kincolith Extension Highway
May 17, 2003
B.C. Transportation Minister Judith Reid is joined by Dr. Joseph Gosnell, president of the Nisga’a Lisims Government (left), and Robert Nault, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada (right), cutting a cedar ribbon to offically open the road between Laxgalts’ap (Greenville) and Gingolx (Kincolith) on May 17, 2003. More than 1,000 people gathered to celebrate the official linking of the two communities by road. Construction on the 29-kilometre, two-lane all-weather gravel road started in 2000. The $34 million, jointly-funded Kincolith Extension Highway traverses some of the most geo-technically challenging and visually stunning terrain in Canada.

~ from the MOT photo galleries. The project that initiated a case spanning nearly a decade.


First today, more from the Supreme Court of Canada’s reasons for judgement, with reference to the actions of the province of British Columbia, Ministry of Transportation:

…The Province accepted a bid from a bidder who was not eligible to participate in the tender and then took steps to ensure that this fact was not disclosed.

…The trial judge found that the respondent (which I will refer to as the Province) breached the express provisions of the  tendering contract with  Tercon  by accepting a bid from another party who was not eligible to bid and by ultimately awarding the work to that ineligible bidder.  In short, a bid was accepted and the work  awarded to a party who should not even have been permitted to participate in the tender process.

…The Province appealed and the Court of Appeal reversed (2007 BCCA 592, 73 B.C.L.R. (4th) 201).  Dealing only with the exclusion clause issue, it held that the clause was  clear and unambiguous and barred compensation for all defaults

…On Tercon’s appeal to this Court, the  questions  for us are whether the successful bidder was eligible to participate in the RFP and, if not, whether  Tercon’s claim for damages is barred by the exclusion clause.

…In my respectful view, the trial judge reached the right result on both issues.  The Province’s attempts to persuade us that it did not breach the tendering contract are, in my view, wholly unsuccessful.  The foundation of the tendering contract was that only six, pre-selected bidders would be permitted to participate in the bidding.  As the trial judge held, the Province not only acted in a way that breached the express and implied terms of the contract by considering a bid from an ineligible bidder, it did so in a manner that was an affront to the integrity and business efficacy of the tendering process. One must not lose sight of the fact that the trial judge found that the Province acted egregiously by “ensuring that [the true bidder] was not disclosed” (para. 150) and that its breach “attacke[d] the underlying premise of the [tendering] process” (para. 146), a process which was set out in detail in the contract and, in addition, had been given ministerial approval as required by statute.

One does not require a degree in law to know that staff of the Ministry of Transportation( MOT) behaved in a clearly underhanded manner in this particular Tercon case. In any other venue, the actions might have even been construed as criminal,  perhaps of a fraudulent nature, which begged me to ask some very pointed questions in the second installment of this series.  

Questions that I strongly feel that not only the official opposition should be asking, but indeed, the general public.

After all, was it not our hard-earned tax dollars being spent here, on years of  litigation that would not have occurred if the province of British Columbia were operating with openness, honesty and transparency? And I urge you to recall that in the reasons for judgement, the Supreme Court did not have to address the issue of awarding that $3million dollar judgement the original trial judge had ruled, because:  ” The parties advise that the question of costs has been resolved between them and that therefore no order in relation to costs is required.”

Aha.  There you have it. How much did  all this litigation and settlement cost the citizens of BC ? An update on that in a future installment.

Let’s go back to biggest questions everyone wants to know the answers to.

Who, within the Ministry of Transportation, called the shots on this bid? Who really orchestrated this entire debacle? And more importantly, where are they now?

The one man’s name who comes up most in the reasons for judgement in the initial trial, upheld by the Supreme Court, is Tom Tasaka –  a name very familiar to most people in the design build industry in British Columbia.

Tom Tasaka (  Pacific Liacom ) was the Project Director of the Kincolith Extension project, and in essence, the go-to guy for the both the contractors and the Project Evaluation Panel( PEP) . Evidence presented in the trial identified Tasaka as the first person to have direct knowledge of the joint venture between Brentwood and the uneligible  bidder, Emil Anderson. (pg.5, section 20 in the above highlighted PDF file) .

Tom Tasaka’s assistant, Nasir Kurji, also had direct knowledge of this joint venture with the ineligible bidder and along with Tasaka, is referred to many times by the judge in her reasons for judgement.  It becomes clear to anyone reading those reasons, that among ministry officials involved along the entire process, that the issue of the clearly proposed joint venture with a ineligible bidder was a subject of  much consternation. Although Tom Tasaka and his assistant Nasir Kurji were well apprised of what was going on, they  still did not hold the  sole capacity to make the decisions of how to handle this by themselves.

This leads us to the chair of the PEP ( project performance panel) and the IRP ( independent review panel)

The paragraph on page 9, section 52 of the highlighted document above clearly shows that the entire pep was aware of the joint nature of the bid between Brentwood and the ineligible bidder, Emil Anderson. It is without doubt, that the chair of the PEP was implicitly involved in the determination of how to disguise the issue  and presence of this ineligible bidder in the above PDF document, as was the chair of the IRP and the IRP itself.

( At this point I highly suggest interested partied to read  the original trial judges reasons for judgement, from sections 55 through  to the end, with emphasis on section 69 . The duplicity and determination with which ministry officials set out to ensure all documents did not reflect the joint venture with an uneligible bidder is staggering.  )

So, we have the project director involved in hiding the true nature of the bid components – Tom Tasaka.

Tom is now with SNC- Lavelin and has had a hand in many major projects  in British Columbia, as well as consulting regularly for the MOT. He was the project director on the William R. Bennett  Bridge  in Kelowna , which has come into the news again recently because the MOT still hasn’t produced a report into why one of the expansion joints wore out and needed to be replaced only 14 months after opening.  http://www.kelowna.com/2010/01/06/still-no-word-on-cause-of-faulty-bennett-bridge-joint/

We have his assistant, Nasir Kurji. 

Nasir Kurji also moved onto SNC- Lavalin for a time, and his name has popped up in relation in many MOT related companies such as Miller Capilano Maintenance, the company running the checkpoints on the Sea to Sky.

We have the Chairman of the Project Evaluation Panel – Dirk Nyland - ( page 10 article) .

 Dirk Nyland is the Chief Engineer for the province of B.C, and interestingly enough, penned a little article about the success of the Kincolith project  here, on page 4 of this newsletter  http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/Publications/roadrunners/rr03-fall-02.pdf  Notice nowhere does he mention the extraordinary efforts of the ministry staff involved in ensuring the preferred bidder got the contract in the first place. ( did Tom Tasaka and Nasir Kurji get cash awards for a job well done? Perhaps not, considering where the case has ended up)

And don’t forget, the transcripts clearly indicate that the entire PEP  was aware of the deception, as was the chair of the IRP, if not the entire panel.

Herein lies the problem in determining where the buck stops on this kind of unethical manner of  conducting government sanctioned business.

This was not a cut and dried case where one person clearly committed some form of deception and was fired as a result, once the offensive behavior was revealed.

This was an entire team of ministry officials charged with the responsibility of  ethically, honestly and transparently handling public procurement. On behalf of the government of British Columbia, and by that respect, the people of British Columbia no less!

Is it possible to place the onus on just one person, for which the responsibility for all of this rests?

Surely, the ultimate responsibility would rest upon the shoulders of the Minister in charge at that time, none other than Judith Reid, whose name comes to us recently again with regards to the Basi-Virk trial.  Of  course, another in the list  from the top down, is Dan Doyle , who was appointed Deputy Minister right around this time , following an already long career in ministry. Dan is most recently newsworthy for being the executive vice president of VANOC, and was appointed as chair of BC Hydro last year.

But time marched on, as did this case, through another Minister- Kevin Falcon. Surely he must have been aware of this case proceeding to Supreme Court? And now Shirley Bond.  All  of these other players have fared extremely well in the years since the Kincolith Extension Project was first conceived and put out to bid, which would indicate to me a fair acceptance of this kind of behavior by the government.

(It is also worth noting that the ineligible bidder that was the source of all the MOT’s egregious behavior in the  Kincolith Extension project has gone onto win a wide variety of lucrative bids with the MOT and most recently VANOC.  In fact, they built the 201o most talked about venue in the media recently, the Whistler Sliding Centre.  )

I spoke with Ministry spokesperson Dave Crebo by phone this afternoon,  advised him former Tercon Chairman Glenn Walsh had given me a statement and asked for a response to the Supreme Courts ruling. He had this to say:

” Generally speaking, we are still looking at this. The decision just came down on Friday and this was something that happened nearly 10 years ago, but I can tell you that the Ministry rarely used that  exclusion clause. But we are still looking at it, and we need to look at it more before we can comment further. “

I also contacted the NDP’s transportation critic rep for a comment, but nothing was received by the time I posted this.

I will be watching closely to see how the government plans to address this issue – both the Liberals and the official opposition -  because of  the continuing complaints of many contractors who say tendering ” irregularities” like this case have been happening for years, in all areas of procurement. 

What is needed is a full and independent inquiry into the actions of the ministry then, and now, to reveal the truth of what is going on in that portfolio. If the government intends to stand by its claim of administering an honest and open government with integrity, let it start with the Basi- Virk trial upon our doorstep, and end with the Tercon Judgement. The integrity of the entire bidding process, the future of local industry in our province, and what little faith we may have remaining in our elected officials, depends on it.

 Backgrounders:

http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/breaking-news-supreme-court-rules-in-tercon-contractors-ltd-vs-british-columbiaministry-of-transportation/

http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/tercon-contractors-ltd-vs-british-columbia-ministry-of-transportation-and-highways/

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53 Responses to Tercon Contracters Ltd vs. British Columbia… the rest of the story.

  1. BC Mary says:

    Laila,

    This is a landmark investigation to which many journalists, politicians and businessmen will refer in years to come.

    I especially appreciate this assessment of the dubious Ministry of Transportation into which the current premier is trying to grant management rights over BC Rail. That’s a step which must be stopped … and you’ve gone a long way toward explaining why it must be stopped.

    Thanks a Bilion for your work on this.

  2. Curt says:

    This government doesn’t give a hoot about fairness or the law. They owe alot of people and corporations. They know they’re wrong and buy time and hope no one finds out until they’re taken to court. Another example was the healthcare contract they tore up to privatize. Found by the SCC as wrong and that has cost us millions. Let alone what it’s done to hard working decent people of this province. Tthis is a dictatorship, not a government and Gordo and his gang have got to go. How they sleep at night is beyond me?

  3. Mike Boileau says:

    Laila:
    I am impressed. As a former, long time contractor to the GVRD and BC Hydro I can attest to your article. I have seen it all, ( Corruption), from rigged tenders to self appointed Inspectors favouring one contractor over another at the expense of Public Safety. I litigated the GVRD six different times on my own and won all but one of those litigations. That was simply because they were so blatant in their heavy handedness towards Contractors like me that would stand up to them.
    I honestly thought there was nobody out there who gave a damn. The media would not listen to me when I went straight to Bill Good with evidence of corruption and graft. I also note the terms, “That is an old case” and “That was a long time ago” being used to stiffle comment on specific issues. The Courts move slowley so people loose interest. I hope there will be public interest in the Basi-Virk Trial.
    Oh, the stories I could tell you.
    Mike Boileau

  4. Laila says:

    Mary, so nice to see you today! Thank you for your support in thism and for thinking so well of my work. You’ve set a good example : )

    Curt- When I started looking into the public procurement process in BC in early 2009, I ended up with more questions than answers, and in my line of work that is a red flag- or at least to me it is. Then I stumbled upon this case, and in looking into what happened here, stumbled onto others. It was clear to me that here was an issue that contractors had been calling for help on, quite openly, for some time and nothing was being done about it!

    You can look forward to more stories like this in the continuation of this series on corruption and collusion in BC.

    And to answer your last question Curt. They don’t have any issues sleeping, because they are totally at peace with their actions. But I can tell you this. This is much deeper than Campbell. It’s going to take a full house-cleaning to clean this mess up.

    Mike,
    You are so kind, thank you.

    First of all, Bill Good is not, I repeat, not, anywhere near an investigative reporter, and don’t take him as a representative of the rest of that particular field. There are many very good investigative reporters out there being muzzled by editorial boards and nothing for a budget to spend time digging into stories. The days of massive exposes that took months and maybe years to complete are gone for the most part.

    I don’t get paid for what I do on this blog, this is my work, my passion and outlet. If I can make change happen through what I do here, and tell the stories that need to be told, more the better.

    And in the end, Bill Good’s loss may be my win… ; )

    Your story is not the first I have heard, and I suspect, will not be the last unless all the contractors make a stand together and tell what needs to be told. I hope to help that happen here in BC, and hold the government to account while it does. There needs to be a full inquiry into this plague of rot.

    You, and anyone else, can always reach me through my contact page above. I try to reply as soon as I can.

  5. First-rate investigative journalism. I became more and more impressed with every passing word. Extremely well done, top shelf.

    Congratulations!

  6. Laila says:

    Thank you Alex, as I mentioned, you can look forward to more shortly. Even in Tercon, there is a story within the story…. This seems to be getting a lot of attention on the east coast right now.

  7. James King says:

    Well done Laila. The most important lesson that the public (if it were to become widely aware of the facts surrounding this case) can take from this example of the way ‘business’ is done by the current government of this province is the increasingly obvious realization that the only people who will benefit from the Campbell years are Campbell friends and hangers on.

    Furthermore, the public should also know – and perhaps take some heart in the fact – that in virtually every one of these cases (and there are very many of them) the government (including most significantly the Premier) has had advice – both legal and professional – which has been ignored.

    There is still a professional civil service trying to do its job in this province…despite the fact that the premier and his friends are largely ignoring the good advice being provided by these committed and increasingly-frustrated individuals.

    They too have stories to tell.

  8. workforfun says:

    James King raises important, potentially legal issues, that could very well mark the end of the Campbell reign on stupidity. As well as the increasingly questionable facts arising out of the Tercon case, that you are documenting all to read, there must be dozens of potential court cases in the making – where the premier and the government will lose and cost the province more money – on top of what has already been wasted.

    The Nurses Union is a good example of what can be done on appeal ($84,000,000 awarded aginst the BC Governemnt) and I am certain that more will follow. However, it will take another union or someone with a fat wallet, able to carry through on their intentions.

    I certainly hope that things start to spiral out of control for Scampbell and the Fiberals – we need them out as soon as possible to reduce damage done, as much as possible.

    Thx.

  9. Genuine says:

    work for fun that would be,the hospital employees union ,you know the ones that use to cost less and do a great job and now,it cost more to do a substandard job,I guess the liberal solution is worse than the one we had? did you hear about canceled surgeries,because of unsterilized instruments,the good doctor spotted bone on one of the tools he was supposed to use and had to improvise,and all other surgeries were canceled ?or was I hearing gossip?

  10. Justmaybe says:

    Genuine, it wasn’t gossip – but before you judge, perhaps you should wait until the real situation is set out for all to read. If it ever is…and I sincerely doubt the facts will be put out for all the judge. Suffice it to say that this may well turn out to be more of a management issue than a worker issue. They’re trying to do the best they have, with what they have.

    Sorry for being off topic Laila.

  11. SB says:

    So where does the money flow this is all about whos getting a cut or a kickback in one way or another it somehow has to come down to cash in pockets any good ideas yet anyone?

  12. kootcoot says:

    Hi Laila, this is just to show that I can access your site this morning!

  13. Laila says:

    Morning everyone, dealing with a horrific case of strep throat right now, hence the delay here.

    James,

    Thank you for really highlighting the reason why this story, (and as you pointed out, the many others that exist) is so important.

    It is ironic that while the legal community has been focusing strictly on the significance of exclusion clauses in relation to contract law, no one is touching the clearly deceptive and unconscionable actions of ministry officials!!

    And from the other cases brought to my attention,it is clear that doing business with the MOT( and likely the other ministries) can be a haphazard affair, because there is absolutely no assurance of good faith or honesty within the MOT’s public procurement process.

    The other aspect that still exists in the entire process, to this day, is how current projects are awarded. The same companies are getting the jobs again and again.I’m told that if you piss off someone in the ministry, you won’t see a job for along time, no matter how often you bid.

    Genuine, Justmaybe, no apologies for your discussion, this is a free speech zone, and it is somewhat related. I believe this type of bidder favoritism is inherent to every ministry.

    SB, there will be more to come on this shortly. And I would like to tell readers who are having a hard time understanding the process and what happened here, that the important thing to remember and focus on, is how hard the ministry worked to make the ineligible bidder look like a subcontractor to try and ward off a lawsuit by other bidders when this debacle was inevitably discovered.

    The ministry broke their own rules, they knew from day 1 that the bid was a joint venture, and subsequently participated in actions that easily can be perceived as corrupt and unconscionable.

    The ministry will no doubt try to deflect any criticism on this case by focusing on the exclusion clause, and will either ignore any questions over the deception that took place, or say it was so long ago, it has no relation today.

    The ironic thing is that it is relevent today – All the people involved in this deception are still either employed by the ministry or doing work with the ministry on a consultants basis. What does that say about the standards of our government? What does it tell the small and midsize companies out there that are left out of the bidding process ?

    Thanks Koot- for those who tried to access my site during the mid-day Friday, you likely had a bit of a surprise, as I did. A technical problem in the US resulted in an outage to the service and for several hours everything was gone. Scary, but it was nice to see it back!!!

  14. Genuine says:

    I was not judging ,but correcting your mistake,it was the BCGEU,that had its contract torn up not the nurses union and Laila your comprehension of a layman’s writing,astounds me . that’s exactly the point I wanted to make ,this government treats all ministries equally all very questionably .

  15. anonymous says:

    Excellent job, Laila, and when this is all said and done, they will tell the tale of ” the little blogger who could. ”

    Take down the provincial government, that is.

    Let me share some knowledge with you.

    You have some very powerful people quite riled right now, because you have come closer to exposing all the truth than anyone ever has.

    Dan Doyle has always been the master of the MOT.

    Certain people within the MOT are well known for their favortism to certain contractors, and their lack of ethics. You said in another comment today to follow the money, and you are correct. The money trail will lead you to places the premier would rather you not go.

    Tercon took the MOT on in the 90′s, and paid for it by not getting any jobs for an intolerably long period. This is well known in the industry. The same has happened to other contractors who complained about the completely corrupt bidding process.

    That is why you need to continue on this story, Laila. As James said above, there are many, many more cases just as this. The premier and his ministers have been advised as to the risks, and sometimes they go ahead as planned regardless.

    You should ask for the legal bills of the MOT while you are at it.

  16. workforfun says:

    Genuine,

    It was my mistake re BC Nurses Union – not Laila’s.
    Incidently, there were three unions that took on the provincial (BC) government and they were
    Hospital Employees Union (HEU)
    BC Government and Services Employees Union (BCGEU)
    BC Nurses Union (BCNU).
    Their appeal was successful and has made SCampbell and The Fiberals take notice of what was done.
    As other have said, there probably is a lot of court cases waiting in the wings, to take on the government over broken promises, shady deals, questionable practices etc. – the list goes on.

    I think the next interesting case will be the BC Rail sale – lots of questions and no answers.

    My original comments were to illustrate how the provincial government is screwing up and not to endorse any union (s) at all – though I do think the unions have been instrumental in getting the standard of living and safety, that we all enjoy these days – union members or not.

    Thx

    workforfun

  17. Genuine says:

    DUH! what’s your point I agree with you or can’t you understand what’s written?

  18. anonymous says:

    Now, juvenile comments between the two of you aside, can anyone tell me why the chief engineer is still the chief engineer after this?

    What did the ministry do to discipline Tom Tasaka, Nasir Kurji, Dirk Nyland and the Project evaluation panel for their parts in this fraudulent representation of the deal?

    Moreever, why would the ministry keep doing business with people who clearly will do anything it takes to get the job done?

    And where was Dan Doyle and Judith Reid in all of this?

    Is there any coincidence that all this happened around the time of the BC Rail debacle, or was this just a particularly corrupt period for the government as a whole ?

  19. BC Mary says:

    As BC gets closer to trial-time for Basi, Virk, Basi and BCRail, I’d certainly like to know if Judith Reid’s whereabouts are still unknown. Where’s Big Media on this?

    To “Anonymous 12:45″, in answer to your question “Was this just a particularly corrupt period for the government as a whole?” … I’ve always regarded that first term of the Campbell Regime 2001-2005 as the Wild West revisited … the Campbell Gang had drooled and battled for years to take over the government …

    and wow, did they take over: 77 to 2. That’s power!

    Does it seem logical that they behaved correctly, with fastidious care and concern for all citizens? Or does 77 to 2 suggest that the Campbell Gang could run roughshod over the niceties, the details, the due diligence, and simply grab whatever they wanted, accountable to nobody?

    Why else would the BCRail-CN deal still have secret sections which the public (the previous owners) have never seen?

    A responsible news media would’ve been onto those breaches … shining a bright light into those dark corners … telling the public to be on the alert. But British Columbia didn’t — and doesn’t — have a responsible media …

    which is why Laila’s investigative reporting is so desperately important.

  20. Derek Richer says:

    B.C. Mary. It is worth considering what the mainstream media are doing about tracking down the various “characters” involved in the B.C. Rail/CN Rail caper. For the time being, however, most coverage is focused on the circus – quite a convenient arrangement the government has achieved by doling out free tickets to journalists.

    Keep up your invaluable investigative work on the B.C. Rail file; someone has to do it. Responsible citizens deserve to know what the truth is about the matter, and also to learn how far criminality ranged up the political ladder.

    Laila. Your coverage of the Tercon case is an essential part of exposing the crass corruption ranging throughout the Liberal government. Well done.

  21. Steve says:

    Laila, I just heard on good authority( that I unable to divulge) that you have caused quite a commotion with your story and demand for inquiry into the ministries activities, and the bidding process.

    It’s about time. Please, push forward with this request with the opposition and the people of BC so we can stop what has been happening for far too long. Others are no longer able to turn a blind eye for fear of being caught up in the fall.

    Excellent pieces, all three of them. I’ve never come across a layperson with such an exact grasp of the procurement process and such a depth of understanding of what has gone wrong with it in the BC government.

    I would also like to say that the other comment thread effectively pushed this one off your sidebar, which I suspect was the intention. This is by far the more dangerous story than a mere two week event. This story is the beginning of the end for some.

    Thank you.

  22. zweisystem says:

    Laila, excellent article, keep at it!

    It has always been Zweisystem’s belief that SNC Lavalin underbid the RAV/Canada Line, based on insider knowledge of the switch from bored to cut-and-cover subway construction AND future considerations on other capital projects in BC. Far too many people from the BC government ranks are now working for SNC.

    Much of SNC/RAV financing is still hidden away in our murky world of FOI’s. There are way too many dots that all connect!

  23. Genuine says:

    Who,isn’t doing their job ? Oh!!! They have free tickets to the big show too.They have a lot of bottles to empty out on Granville these nights,someone call the police.

  24. Genuine says:

    Could you imagine,having to foi evidence.

  25. Randy says:

    Hi Laila,

    I saw Vaughn Palmer wrote about this today. Considering his piece comes so long after the decision, I wonder if he read yours!!! Good job on scooping all of them, because you had the original story before the decision was even announced!!

    Well done on sniffing out the big ones!

  26. Laila says:

    Hi Randy,

    Yes, my email box was flooded this morning with links to Vaughns piece.

    I did send an email to Vaughn on February 12th, right after publishing my blog post.

    That email was BCC’d to several other individuals who also might find interest in the story.

    See below:

    Now, this is a story, and more to come.
    How often does the Supreme court note how unethical the behavior of the MOT is?
    History here: http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/tercon-contractors-ltd-vs-british-columbia-ministry-of-transportation-and-highways/
    Today’s ruling, and statement from former Chairman, Here : http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/breaking-news-supreme-court-rules-in-tercon-contractors-ltd-vs-british-columbiaministry-of-transportation
    Laila ”

    This was exactly one day prior to their story in the Sun business section that appeared on the 13th.

    Vaughn replied to me on the 14th, thanking me for the link on my posts, and for the background material and said he would give it a read.

    See below:
    ” Re: Tercon Contractors vs. British Columbia‏
    From: Vaughn Palmer (vpalmer@shawlink.ca)
    Sent: February 14, 2010 1:21:51 PM
    To: Laila Yuile (lailayuile@live.com)

    thank you for the link on this and all the background material.

    i will give it a read. ”

    His article appears today.

    I emailed Vaughn this morning to ask about it, and this was his reply:

    ” thank you for the note on the column.
    if I quote anything from your site, I will most assuredly credit your site.
    but the column was entirely based on the supreme court of canada decision, which it quoted extensively.
    the decision was also reported in the Sun the day after it was released.”

    –vaughn

    So there you have it.

    My original story on Tercon appeared on this blog on January 8th. Then again on February 12th with comments from ministry and the previous chairman, Glenn Walsh. The follow up on the main players came shortly after.

  27. Olga says:

    Hi Laila,

    I read the same article by Vaughn Palmer this morning in the Vancouver Sun, “High court stands up for fair bidding process-Transportation ministry accepted inteligible bid, then tried to cover it up.” He ran with your scoop and gave you no credit.

  28. workforfun says:

    Seems that even some journalists are emulating the characteristics of our beloved premier. Now we have Vaughn Palmer trying to take the credit for Laila’s good work – hhmmmmm!
    Seems whatever Gordo has, it is catching – so much for honest and truthfull reporting – oh yeh, I forgot, it was in the Vancouver Sun – one of those papers dictated to (controlled) by Gordon Campbell eh!

    Well done Laila – keep up the good work :-)

  29. Grant G says:

    I have acussed Vaughn Palmer of Plagerism myself.
    Vaughn Palmer has no shame,when Vaughn needs a story he looks to us bloggers,yet he`s so quick to condemn us in print and on the cutting ledge on CKNW…
    Vaughn isn`t worthy,he`s a hack, as for Vaughn`s coverage of this story,he even portrayed the story as an NDP problem,shame, Canwest and Kirk Lapointe(The unethical one) should be ashamed of themselves!

  30. Laila says:

    Thanks to everyone for your personal emails and your comments today, and because it just isn’t possible to answer all your emails personally with the volume,I think it is best to acknowledge all of you here. Although I know how many readers there are across Canada and the USA that stop by daily, it was rather intimidating to see all your emails this morning!!

    All I can say is this. I know what I did, and why I sent those links to Mr. Palmer on the day the judgement came out – because this is a huge story with clear examples of corruption within the MOT, and no one had been writing anything other than legal opinions regarding the implications of the exclusion clause ruling.

    In essence he has done that.

    He has said via email he would credit me had he quoted from my site, but he did not, he took all the information from his article from the SCOC ruling…. and he does not feel he needs to insert a link to a source of a judgement, when there are several other places to get this information as well…. and yes, there was a small story in the biz section of the sun on the 13th, the weekend paper, but I emailed Vaughn on the 12th ,the day of the SCOC ruling, and immediately after I posted my story.

    Two other small papers picked up this story from my site, and ran it with my byline, previous to Vaughn’s column, and on the February 12th post, highly respected retired journalist Harvey Oberfeld comments on my work on this so far:

    ” What a great story. Your original piece on this case and today’s follow deserve a Webster Award … especially since NO ONE in the mainstream media has done as good job of informing the public what has been going on here .. and how ministry officials twisted reality to help steer a decision to the bidder they preferred ”

    Link: http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/breaking-news-supreme-court-rules-in-tercon-contractors-ltd-vs-british-columbiaministry-of-transportation/

    There is a post up on The Legislature Raids today, highlighting an older story relating to the BC Rail case, and is written by Ian Mulgrew .

    In that news item by Ian, he cites BC Mary for bringing it to his attention, and that it appeared first on her site.

    ” This significant event went apparently unreported until it appeared on citizen journalist Mary Mackie’s blog [http://bctrialofbasi-virk.blogspot.com/] and was brought to my attention Monday. ”

    Just saying, that’s how some people do things.

    Now…. in a rather ironic twist, I forwarded Vaughn’s article of today to former Tercon chairman Glenn Walsh, who I have been in contact with and spoke to immediately following the judgement to get his reaction to the ruling, and he had this to say by email about Vaughn’s article – reprinted with his express permission:

    Laila
    I met with Palmer a number of years ago to try to interest him in this and other transportation stories, but he wasn’t even interested then!
    Glenn

    Imagine!!

    Vaughn had a chance years ago to tell this story, straight from the horses mouth – and didn’t.

    Isn’t that something ?

    I will say that Vaughn’s loss on those other stories… will most certainly be my gain!

  31. anonymous says:

    Laila,

    Those of us who have been following your work here in Victoria, know well what you have done. Let it be a lesson not to email Palmer anything again. You are not the first person this has happened to, ask around and there are many in the business who will tell you a tale or two.

    Your work on this site is excellent and vital to revealing what is happening in Victoria.

    However, I must say how embaressing it must be for it to come out now, from Tercon’s Glenn Walsh, that he actually met with Palmer years ago about this story and others, and Vaughn turned him down!!

    My my. That is just the icing on the cake. Well done.

  32. workforfun says:

    \Glenn Walsh’s comment re meeting Vaughn Palmer – who expressed no interest !

    ROTFLMHO

  33. SharingIsGood says:

    Laila,

    You are among three selfless angels watching over our province:

    BC Mary
    Alexandra Morton
    Laila Yuile

    It would not have hurt Vaughn Palmer one bit to have credited you with giving him this scoop. As a matter of fact, it would have raised him up a few notches from the lowly ranks from which he has been skulking ever since he first helped Gordon Campbell and his minions ascend to power. Vaughn Palmer is unworthy of his audience.

  34. Laila says:

    SIG, you are too sweet. Although I definately feel a deep love for this province, selfless angel I am most definately not!! hehe.

    Like many British Columbians born and raised here, I have a vested interest in securing the brightest future for not only my children, but theirs to come in future generations.

    For the record, I received an email from Vaughn late this afternoon stating that he is writing a followup to todays column, and will be thanking me for directing him to this story…. credit to him, and I sent off a thank you for the courtesy.

  35. Derek Richer says:

    Laila, you deserve great credit for providing a detailed account of the disgraceful Tercon affair, and also for managing to get it covered in the mainstream media. Despite the failure of Vaughn Palmer to recognise your coverage on the issue, the end result is far more important. Vaughn Palmer’s column is highly visible and has a large following. The tide will turn against Campbell and his clowns when evidence of government corruption is widely disseminated for public consumption.

    It will be interesting to see the outcome of the upcoming B.C. Rail trial, especially when coverage is focused on the erased government e-mails, and the highly coincidental promotion of Madame Justice Elizabeth Bennett to the B.C. Court of Appeal (a clear demonstration that the Liberals are willing to do anything to mask their shameful conduct).

    It is disturbing to realise that Palmer had an opportunity to run the Tercon story years ago. It does raise the spectre of political manipulation of the news media. Given Vaughn Palmer’s reputation, one would assume he has the independence to side with the force of truth and justice. Actions do indeed speak louder than words. Most journalists in the mainstream are puppets these days. This helps explain why Campbell and his clowns remain in power.

  36. Derek Richer says:

    Laila, I’m glad to hear that Vaughn Palmer will be giving you recognition for your hard work on this issue. That is a decent action on his part. Perhaps he will now be more vigilant in his coverage of the provincial government. In any event, we must thank you Laila for improving the prospects of justice, accountability and decency in this province.

  37. SharingIsGood says:

    Laila,
    Congrats for the belated weaselly recognition.
    SIG

  38. Laila says:

    Thanks Derek, for your commentary. I too was surprised to hear that he had turned this story away, because the initial trial had already occurred at that time, so it was a newsworthy story, at least to my way of thinking.

    At least it is out there now, and unlike the Basi Virk trial to come, this is not before the courts, so there is absolutely no reason the Liberals can refuse to answer questions from the oppposition. Considering that all the main players in this case are still making a hell of a lot of money on payroll or consult fees, those are some pretty loaded questions.

    I’ve been working feverishly, literally, on the rest of the stories in this series, to wrap them up and get it air tight. Hence the lack of blog posts this week. Something will be coming soon.

    SIG. the proof is in the pudding…

  39. SB says:

    Go Laila Go
    Palmer and Baldry are Liberal owned hacks Baldry is so deep in Liberal you know what he will never get out and Palmer not far behind no class either your followers know and so do those lazy msm twits that youve done the hard work shame on them.
    I am looking forward to the rest of the story

  40. Laila says:

    IN section B3, Vancouver Sun, Vaughn Palmers follow up column to yesterday’s article on the Tercon Case I forwarded him…

    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Lone+contractor+stood+protect+fairness/2610852/story.html

    “The full judgment in Tercon Contractors vs. B.C. ministry of transportation and highways is available through the website of the Supreme Court of Canada. I also thank freelance writer Laila Yuile for drawing this case to my attention.”

    And thank you, Vaughn, for acknowledging it.

  41. Garth West says:

    You did a lot more than ‘draw’ this case to his attention Laila… in fact, you did all the necessary work for him. Given what we know about the preamble and Vaughnie’s previous “disinterest” in the story when a principal from Tercon ‘brought’ it to him, even this craven acknowledgement seems hollow and disingenuous.

    Vaughnie was left to draw a couple of conclusions and give Campbell a rather mild slap on the wrist….while, as he always does, managing, just as he did yesterday, to deflect the ‘real’ responsibility upon an earlier government .

    Fact is, whoever the rotten apples at the ministry were, their MO fits the BC Liberal mode precisely – and these are the guys meant to look after the ‘public interest’.

    The guy is shameless and he manages ‘never’ to offend his buddies at the Grand Pacific Athletic Club doesn’t he?

    I wish Vaughnie would actually report on some of those overheard conversations, full of jokes and chuckles….but, like so many short-arsed folks, he’s just happy to have some friends!

    I’d like to see some further digging into the relationships between the folks who were calling Campbell shots in the ministry since the Tercon contract – especially the ones who engineered the ‘deal’ to give BCRail to CN for the net value of $1 billion dollars minus about the same in accumulated tax savings. Last time I looked there was still a huge contingent liability registered in the budget notes to cover the liability to CN if the tax breaks happened to go south….

  42. kootcoot says:

    Vaughn isn`t worthy,he`s a hack, as for Vaughn`s coverage of this story,he even portrayed the story as an NDP problem,shame, Canwest and Kirk Lapointe(The unethical one) should be ashamed of themselves!

    I wasn’t that impressed with Vaughn as a music critic either, but at least he wasn’t a danger to the province commenting on bands.

  43. Genuine says:

    This case was drawn to his attention years ago,but he has people to protect crooks not the public he should be protecting jeez what a sellout ,he once had a grudge but it wasn’t a lieberal grudge if you know what I mean!

  44. salvatore bennedetto says:

    I am sure the nasty emails he got, such as mine, had nothing to do with his change of heart. Too bad honesty has to be forced. Nice of you to be above his level and acknowledge his meager words.

  45. concerned citizen says:

    Re: SharingIsGood’s comment about British Columbia’s angels, named as

    BC Mary
    Alexandra Morton
    Laila Yuile

    I agree wholeheartedly, and I am very proud to note that all of these angels are women and mothers, as am I. Their demonstrated qualities of passion, intelligence, integrity, and persistence are very inspiring to me personally. They hint at the huge potential collective wisdom and power women of the world could tap in order to limit human ugliness and to grow human beauty. May many more of us be inspired by these heroines.

    My heartfelt thanks to all of them.

  46. workforfun says:

    Note the total lack of compassion and integrity with this Liberal government. They could take lessons from you guys – especially the female MLA’s there. I am thinking that they all have miserable personal lives and end up taking it out the contented and happy families through taxation, cut backs and service denials.

  47. Genuine says:

    why won’t palmer take on any comments?what are you afraid of you puke! just in case he’s looking for a good story on your site Laila, he forgot how to report fairly it been a while you know?and vaughn a lot of people have the same sentiment I do ,it took almost 8 years to break the sponsorship scandal but it broke your credibility is all but gone now and also that of a few other of your friends just imagine when all these stories you missed really comes out where will you and your cronies go like the infamous bill the pill and baldry and mike sniff,and the kinsella plant crusty,scambell was right you guys are truly transparent!!!!!

  48. zweisystem says:

    Laila, the following comment from the Susan Heyes lawsuit against TransLink is interesting.

    “Even Pitfield suggested that RAVExpress/Bombardier was in the bidding as “a charade” which drew protests from MacIntosh et al.”

    Campbell’s great P-3 a charade? The RAV/Canada line bidding process a charade?

    I have personally talked to the Siemens reps who were bidding on the project and they all but said that the RAV bidding was fixed.

    I normal time, this would be investigated, not so in BC, where it is business as usual.

  49. Derek Richer says:

    Attached is a link to the Road Runner magazine published by the BC Ministry of Transport. (Laila refers to it above). In an article written by Dirk Nyland, the chief engineer for the Kincolith extension project, it is stated that “The use of the “alliance” process on
    the Kincolith Extension Project allowed
    the project to be delivered on time and
    within budget. The changes made to the
    design under this process resulted in savings
    of an estimated $1.68 million.”

    http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/Publications/roadrunners/rr03-fall-02.pdf

    In retrospect the “alliance” method of construction led to a costly court case which has cost far more than $1.68-million. In the article the payment of cash bonuses to ministry employees is featured. One must wonder why the bonuses were paid.

    The following statement implies something interesting:

    “All these MoT staff were commended
    for readily adapting to this new process
    and working closely with the construction
    contractor staff to effectively and
    economically deliver this project.” How ironic.

    What sort of economic and social damage will emerge from the Rav line construction? We are already aware of the $300-million savings subsidised by the Cambie merchants. What other ugly secrets await taxpayers?

    As a matter of note, I have driven the extension highway to Kincolith, as well as the rough connector from Cranberry Junction (on the Cassiar Highway), and the main Nisgaa Highway. The Nisgaa Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park near New Aiyansh offers stunning views of the volanic devastation that engulfed two Nisgaa villages and more than 2,000 souls about 250 years ago. Volcanic rock stretches for miles across the landscape.

  50. Skookum1 says:

    Not that you coudn’t look it up yourself, but:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisga%27a_Memorial_Lava_Beds_Provincial_Park

    Note the other official name is
    Anhluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’asanskwhl Nisga’a Provincial Park

    http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/nisgaa/

    The eruption killed 2,000 people and wiped out two villages, a few years before Captain Cook cruised by…..

    Mount Meager, by comparison, was about 2350 BP, though its devastation was even more extensive. Ditto with Baker’s last eruption.

    Something to think about when you drive through Brohm Ridge and Rubble Creek/Garibaldi, and those miles and miles of lava beds between Brandywine/Daisy Lake and Whistler……and those new rumblings of magma beneath Nazko, which are the new signs of life from the Anahim Hotspot…..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anahim_Hotspot

    Also to note that the “correct” modern form of the name Kincolith is Gingolx (“place of skulls”) and that if memory serves me right it wasn’t always a fishing village; it was a smelter and port town, part of the Portland Canal-Alice Arm industrial complex – another of BC’s vanished “tomorrow countries”; from the Premier mine to Anyox, all that’s left in that area is Stewart….and Kincolith…..

  51. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Northern Insights / Perceptivity

  52. Skookum1 says:

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that the RAV/Canada Line was also built by a corrupted bidding process. Those of us old enough to remember know that the original Skytrain contract went to one of the main backers of Bill Bennett’s re-election in 1983, with the public winding up with one of the most expensive-per-kilometre of all available technologies…..

    I think the project among us, now, should be to find public spending projects and contracts in BC that WEREN’T corrupted bidding process and where graft and cost overruns did NOT come about……

  53. impressed says:

    Hey Laila

    I finally got some time off and have been reading all your old posts.

    What a treat!This is a phenomenal story,in my eyes as steller as the BC Rail saga for the longevity of the case and the corrupt actions of the government officials.

    I didnt understand why you always say BC rail was only the tip of the iceberg until I read this,and a whack of your other exposes.It’s so deeply ingrained in the culture of how the ministry does buiness,isn’t it?

    Thank you for seeing the bigger picture because even though an inquiry might shed light on the truth of BC rail, it just ain’t going to do a damn thing for the rest of the corrupt bastards.

    Hope you had an amazing Christmas and are resting your mind for whatever you have next,because you are a one hell of a investigative writer, woman and humanist.

    Namasta

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