Sea to Sky highway changes hands as Macquaries Essential Asset Partnerships sells 100% of their stake in the project

**** Breaking News update:

   In an interesting development which is relevent to the sea to sky news I posted today, I  received inside information from an overseas source early this evening that Macquarie Bank has shut down Transtoll, which is a subsidiary of Macquarie Atlas Roads. I was also told that Deloitte is the receiver handling the wind-down, and that in some cases phones have been turned off and employee’s let go.

  This financial news has not been made public by Macquarie worldwide, however  it was confirmed to me this evening, via email with a senior manager of corporate communications and investor relations in Australia, that Macquarie is shutting down the Transtoll business line, due to a lack of business activity( not weakening financial markets) and it has been wound down over a period of time.
 
The company is currently servicing a number of contracts in Australia and transition arrangements will be put into place as part of the administration process. The contract on the sea to sky highway I reported earlier a couple of weeks ago has been completed. 
You may recall Transtoll was one of the original bidders for the failed P3 project of the Port Mann bridge construction.Considering current events with Macquarie and Transtoll’s business line closure, one wonders if there is a more serious economic issue with the Australian based conglomerate with holdings all over the globe.
 
 I am awaiting further comment from Australia this evening with regards to the sale written about below and will post as it comes in.  ~ L. Y.
 
 This latest news passed onto me  via email last night, by my good friend at  Blog Borg Collective,  just confirms why P3 projects (Public Private Partnerships)  and those contentious shadow tolls are such lucrative ventures for investment corporations and funds- they provide a long and secure form of income for companies like Fiera Axiom Infrastructure and the Nova Scotia Pension Agency, who are  both part of the investment consortium that will be the new beneficiaries of your tax dollars, courtesy of their purchase of 100% of Macquaries stake in the sea to sky highway.

Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc., by their own definition, is “an independent portfolio management firm dedicated to generating attractive, long-term investment returns through investing in core infrastructure assets.”

From the news release:

 A consortium of Canadian investors led by Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc. and composed of Fiera Axium Infrastructure Canada L.P., Régime de rentes du Mouvement Desjardins and Nova Scotia Pension Agency (the “Consortium”) today announced it has acquired 100% of the economic interests in the design-build-finance-operate (“DBFO”) concession rights associated with the Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement Project (“S2S”) and Anthony Henday Drive Southeast Leg Ring Road (“AHDS”) from Macquarie Essential Assets Partnership (“MEAP”). S2S, which serves the Vancouver-Whistler corridor, and AHDS, which forms part of the ring road serving the City of Edmonton, are successful public-private partnerships (“P3s”) with the Provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, respectively. MEAP, a private unlisted fund established in 2003, is nearing the end of its mandate and is divesting of its interests in S2S and AHDS in accordance with the fund’s terms.

~snip~

  “S2S and AHDS are exceptional transportation infrastructure assets with an established operating history, a strong contractual framework and an attractive long-term profile, which aligns perfectly with our investment mandate,” said Stéphane Mailhot, Vice President and Senior Investment Director of Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc., manager of Fiera Axium Infrastructure Canada L.P. “We look forward to partnering with the Provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, existing subcontractors and local communities to ensure the continuing success of these projects.” 

 The Province of British Columbia owns the Sea-to-Sky Highway. The S2S concession is a DBFO P3 procured by Partnerships BC to support future economic development within the Vancouver-Whistler corridor as well as transportation requirements for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The C$600 million project, completed in 2010, consisted of capacity and safety improvements to 100 kilometres of roadway between Horseshoe Bay and Whistler. The S2S concession also includes the continuing operations, maintenance and rehabilitation of the highway until 2030.

So how much did the consortium pay Macquarie for their stake in the Sea to Sky highway? No one knows. The company has declined to give a  dollar value of the deal, the terms of which remains undisclosed, however the new investment lead Fiera states that they intend to keep the current day to day management and operating teams. This means that for now, users of the road should notice no difference.

To my knowledge, this is the first time such a large stake in a government asset has been sold in this manner, and bolsters the argument that P3 projects are only a good deal for the private partners who invest in them, since the terms of the concession agreements are long, and income from the project is nearly a guaranteed prospect.

The Sea to Sky highway deal has been the subject of much speculation and discussion since I revealed confidential documents from the concessionaire Macquarie, which indicated shadow toll payments were part of the deal. Called Vehicle Usage Payments, also known as Traffic Volume or Traffic usage payments, are in addition to  the normal maintenance and availability payments made to the operator, and are based on the number of vehicles that travel the highway, the size of those vehicles and the distance they travel. Payments are made monthly from the BC government to the sea to sky operator and although they are capped at some point, the addition of these shadow toll payments beyond the regular maintenance and operation payments ensures a good return on the initial investment of the concessionaire and is an incentive to companies who wish to bid on projects like this one, or to consortiums like the one who now own that stake in the sea to sky.

 In this case, the deal goes to 2030 and so Fieria, the Nova Scotia Pension Plan and the third member, Regimes de Rentes du Mouvement Desjardins( 9th largest private pension plan in Canada) stand to benefit from a stable and growing income for their funds over the next 20 years – on the backs of your hard-earned dollars.

This likely explains why Transtoll was awarded a contract earlier this year to ensure the traffic counting mechanisms and the contract, in preparation for this deal.  Anyone interested in purchasing a 100% stake would require absolute assurance everything is in order and that the amount of income generated from traffic volume on the highway would meet investment requirements. Mark Hume of the Globe and Mail picked up this story and did an excellent job of covering it in the Globe and Mail.

With this development, the lucrative nature of P3’s  as an investment for private companies and consortiums has never been more glaringly apparent. The question is, when they have continually been proved to cost the government, and thus, the taxpayers more than a publicly funded project, why are the BC liberals( Kevin Falcon)  still pushing them as good policy? If the return on the investment is so good that pension plans are buying into it, clearly the governments rate of payment on a shadow toll is far higher than one would think makes good,fiscal sense. Will the opposition start asking questions now,

Read the entire history of the Sea to Sky series below, links that include confidential documents and never before revealed details of the deal the government tried to keep most of hidden from the people of BC, as well of the first written record of proceeds from the sale of BC rail being used to pay for the first phase of the Sea to Sky highway.

And since Macquarie has a hand in several other BC projects and seems to be the BC liberal governments pet financier/advisor/profiteer, you might be interested to see exactly what the extent of their holdings are… and ask yourself why so many are in offshore, safe haven tax free confidential countries…? My partner in crime  over at Blog Borg Collective is posting a steller A-list shortly. Check it out.

The Sea to Sky Shadow Toll series:

1. Breaking news: BC liberals inked ‘hidden toll’ into Sea to Sky highway deal – and we all pay for the next 25 years

2. Shadow tolls on Sea to ‘Sly’ highway, the William R. Bennett Bridge,and the BC Rail connection

3. At last! The ministry of transportation responds to my questions…

4. “The B.C. government’s secretiveness is not confined to ‘shadow tolls’. And there is genuine concern they have a lot to hide…”

5. Sea to Sky operator awards Transtoll technical advisory contract to ensure accurate shadow toll vehicle counts on the Sea to Sky highway – despite the government making repeated, public denials that shadow tolls even exist

6.When is an “independent fairness advisor” …not?

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47 Responses to Sea to Sky highway changes hands as Macquaries Essential Asset Partnerships sells 100% of their stake in the project

  1. Norm says:

    At first blush it looks good to see that a least a Canadian company is involved but when one looks at the interlocking directorships an uneasy feeling should begin to develop. One could almost describe those involved as the “Canadian Division” of the Bilderberg Group. Not that I really believe the Bilderberg group is the actual group to be concerned about as they are probably little more than the “public face” of the ones behind the scene pulling the strings. What I don’t understand is why deals involving BC are usually front and center far more often in the Grand Bilderberg projects and probably the biggest Bilderberg project is the North American Water Development project. Haven\t heard much about the NAWDP lately but too many pieces are falling into place.

    Like

  2. Laila says:

    Norm, I find it alarming that the profit margin on this project is such that an investment fund would be so interested in this stake.

    Clearly, that indicates to me that the terms of the concession agreement, with regards to the maintence and operation payments, availability payments and the seperate shadow tolls, are far too generous.

    How much did Macquarie make on this deal? None of the parties involved have been inclined to comment and although I have contacted both Partnerships BC and the Ministry of Transportation, neither have returned my inquries as of yet.

    What is more interesting to note is that Fiera fully intends to purchase more stakes in completed projects in BC as investment avenues, although they are looking more towards private energy projects in the future.

    Will the opposition finally stand up and start demanding some answers on this P3 issue?

    Like

  3. May Mickelow says:

    How and when did all this start, this is perhaps the beginning, and from here the sky is really the limit and this site answers the question of why all of the Liberal hopefuls for leadership and in forming the next government come election time is really so important to the Liberals

    http://www.waterwarcrimes.com/organized-crime–infects-british-columbia-ministry-of-the-attorney-general.html

    Like

  4. John's Aghast says:

    Hi Laila,
    Highway 407 in the Toronto area beat the S2S highway in size, and it too was sold to an investment group. I believe it was about 15 years ago and I remember being astonished at the profit made by the consortium that built it. And I believe your friends at SNC were involved in the purchase.

    Like

    • Laila says:

      I would hardly call SNC my friends..lol, in fact I am sure they wish I would disappear into thin air too, because sooner or later I will get around to them.. but yes, I am aware of this highway and the story behind it, I will post a link to it shortly.

      I would be also be greatly concerned that all of this has gone without any mention from the government as to what is going on with our allegedly public projects. Seems to be we the people, should have a right to be kept informed of major changes like this. The new company says very little other than they are presently keeping the same team, but since no one knowns any details other than them, Macquarie and the government, who knows what the terms of the deal were, and how much was made, not to mention the little things like did Transtoll find anything in their review that might have led to a change in the amount of shadow tolls being paid? Are they the same as before, higher or what ? Oh wait, the government still insists they aren’t really shadow tolls after all…lol..

      Some interesting reading on P3’s- unrelated but not really if you know what I mean – and how they are connected to various pension funds through corporate governance…. http://canadiandimension.com/articles/1968

      Like

  5. Ken Kesey, in “Sailor Song,” suggested that while bullshit makes the world go ’round, it is dope that makes it jump up and down. Maybe for some people, for others it looks like the new dope on the block is P3 highway projects.

    Like

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  7. Jon says:

    Everything the BC Liberals were and are involved in gets more disturbing every day. What other social programs are they going to cut to pay for these dubious shenanigans? What other Ministry are they going to gut? What new tax or user fee are they going to create? Also, the question eveyone in BC is asking. Earth to Official Opposition, where are you?

    Like

    • Laila says:

      Just to clarify, I think some people are assuming the entire project has been sold- Macquarie sold 100% of their stake in the project to this consortium, the province still owns the highway, it has changed hands in terms of operator/concessionaire.

      That being said,if the payments and tolls being paid out on this project become too much for the provincial budget to bear, we could see a complete takeover a la the 407 mentioned by John above. And as I detailed in the sea to Sky series, this is all ” off the book” debt, a la Enron, meaning the true amount of debt the province holds is far higher than the Liberals reported in the last budget and as the auditor found and mentioned in his report. Off the book debt skews the financial forecast of our future greatly. These P3’s may kill us down the road fiscally.

      Like

  8. intheknow says:

    Thanks Laila, and Merry Christmas to you!

    Macquarie either needs the cash, or it is feeling the heat and wants to be out before
    a new government is sworn in the Province.

    They are an Australian company originally, but they run their large network of
    companies out of Bermuda, as you noted. I too have wondered why, and whether
    they might have been acting as personal wealth managers for some of their ‘clients’.

    Like

  9. Jon says:

    I know it’s Christmas so here’s a seasonal analogy. The Grinch (BC Liberals) is up to his usual work while the people of Whoville (NDP) are asleep with “visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads”. The problem is I don’t think there is a snowballs chance in hell of the Grinch’s heart actually getting any bigger.

    Like

  10. Don F. says:

    I was just considering what could motivate a sale such as this and given when you think this was all done behind the public’s back and the state of affairs here in BC it might seem wise for them to cut a profit and move on or be involved when it all goes south.
    It may be part of a greater plan to sell and resell so many parties can have a piece of it and create a maze too hard to untangle when finally brought forth.
    Let’s face it, it’s probably one of the safest investments these people can make all signed and sealed by our government at taxpayers expense. How long did Macquarie own it? It must be lucrative to the extreme for this to take place.

    Like

  11. Henri says:

    Im sure they Fieria, the Nova Scotia Pension Plan and the third member, Regimes de Rentes du Mouvement Desjardins being good corporate citizens paid the HST on this purchase .

    Like

  12. Glenn says:

    Joint Venture projects are composed of a number of partners Generally when the partners are listed they are listed in order of the size of the stake they have in the project. It is often difficult to find the exact percentages but a current web site lists them in the following order
    “The S2S consortium includes Macquarie Group (project manager), Peter Kiewit Sons Co (design-builder), Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM) (engineers and design), JJM Construction, ND Lea, McElhanney Engineering Services Ltd, Miller Paving and Capilano Highway Services.”
    Looking at the list my guess is that the Macquarie portion may be 1/3 with Kiewit holding another 1/3 and the remaining 1/3 split among the rest. It is also important to note that the ratios are constantly changing.
    One of the “big games” for workers on a joint venture site is watch the employee list of who is sub-connded from which company – changes usually indicate the direction the various partners are shifting in their control of the JV and the percentage of workers from each company is generally regarded as the portion of each company’s control.
    As much as the big politics are “interesting” to watch, the job site politics have their own interesting pieces.

    Like

  13. Ray Rogers says:

    I still think that the Port Mann bridge project will eventually be turned into a P3. The only reason it didn’t go that way before was because of the financial meltdown. Now that McQuarrie has freed up some capital there might be a move in that direction. Especially if Falcon wins the leadership battle.

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  14. Laila says:

    That won’t be happening. I have a very large story coming on the Port Mann deal.

    Like

  15. Ray Rogers says:

    Glad to hear that – thank you – and I look forward to more of your fine work.

    Best of the season to you and your followers.

    Like

  16. Laila says:

    Thank you Ray, and to you as well. I like to think I share some of the best audience around, and it makes the work worth it!

    Here is why we don’t want Maquarie, or any other half-assed,secretive P3 investor models in this province. Kevin Falcon has a lot to answer for as the Minister in charge of the MOT for nearly all of the over-priced, over-extended and over-blown infrastructure projects in this province. Read the links above to the past stories if you haven’t for all the gory details, but now a link from Erik Anderson, economist, he sent to me via email:

    April 4, 2008
    New York-based corporate governance service RiskMetrics Group has delivered a stinging rebuke to Australia’s infrastructure sector, and in particular the “Macquarie Model” which has been mimicked by Babcock & Brown, and has spawned a generation of toll-roads, airports, telecommunications and power generation stocks.

    In the most detailed independent research of Macquarie Group and Babcock satellites to be published, Risk Metrics critiques the financially-engineered infrastructure model for its high debt levels, high fees, paying distributions out of capital rather than cashflow, overpaying for assets, related-party transactions, booking profits from revaluations, poor disclosure, myriad conflicts of interest, auditor conflicts and other poor corporate governance.

    The RiskMetrics research is likely to send shockwaves through the sector and give both state and federal governments cause for concern as governments have mostly privatised public assets via these structures.

    RiskMetrics is a leading adviser to institutional investors both in Australia and overseas. They have been a critic for some time of individual transactions, but this is first time they have strung all the pieces together, and raised doubts about the model’s viability.

    An example of RiskMetrics’ previous scepticism was its advice to domestic institutions to vote against the Macquarie Bank remuneration report last year. The result was a 20% protest vote against the bank’s pay structures.

    Anyway, this report is a haymaker.

    Although the report has not put a figure on it, fees in the billions above normal public-private partnership (PPP) rates of return have gone to the investment banks.

    “The infrastructure model raises investment-related concerns that can be grouped as follows: a series of issues related to the sustainability of the model; a danger of overpaying for assets; fee structures that deliver high fees and provide an incentive to increase a fund’s size; and accounting practices that have the capacity to provide an overly robust picture of a fund’s profitability,” says the report.

    The model was “pioneered by Australia’s Macquarie Group” and the research covers Macquarie Airports, Macquarie Capital Alliance Group, Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group, Macquarie Media Group and the original and largest fund:

    Macquarie Infrastructure Group and Babcock & Brown spinoffs Babcock & Brown Infrastructure, Babcock & Brown Capital, Babcock & Brown Environmental Investments (presently subject to a takeover offer by Babcock & Brown), Babcock & Brown Wind Partners and Babcock & Brown Power, as well as Rivercity Motorway, Duet, Hastings Diversified, Challenger, ConnectEast SP AusNet and Spark Infrastructure.

    The initial success of the model, at least in capital raising and fee generation terms, has allowed the growth in infrastructure funds to expand overseas into US and European markets.

    RiskMetrics, meanwhile, had been chipping away earlier at the more ambitious deals being done by Macquarie-type acolytes, such as Allco Finance Group.

    For example, it recommended strongly against the Allco proposal to buy Rubicon Asset Management last year, and institutions came close to voting the deal down.

    Allco principal David Coe had led an Allco roadshow to spruik the merits of the deal and it finally scraped through.

    In retrospect, Allco shareholders should have taken RiskMetrics’ advice. The Rubicon transaction proved disastrous.

    The three Rubicon trusts are now down more than 80% in just a few months and Allco teeters on the verge of insolvency.

    In the case of Allco, the proxy adviser raised doubts about corporate governance and potential conflicts of interest on the Rubicon.

    It should also be noted that the adviser was a critic of MFS, Centro and ABC Learning for some of the same reasons it has criticised Babcock and Macquarie in its latest, most in-depth, paper.

    Those three, like Allco and Rubicon, are close to corporate extinction.

    MFS, Allco and Centro all favoured the externally-managed model as does the Hedley pubs stable of companies which has just fallen into trouble. Many real estate trusts or REITs also have the trust structure.

    Their underperformance has been significant since the downturn in credit markets as the aggressive financing practices, and booking profits from revaluations, hamper performance when credit spreads blow out and asset values come under pressure.

    But back to the latest RiskMetrics report. Of prurient interest is their work on fees.

    As an extreme example, it takes Babcock & Brown Wind Partners which “had operating cash flow of $14.2 million in the 2006 financial year, but paid distributions totalling $48 million in relation to that year. The distributions were equivalent to 54% of the total cash receipts from customers during the year,” says the report.

    “Even the most mature infrastructure fund of all, Macquarie Infrastructure Group, is no exception.

    It had operating cash flow of $306.9 million in the 2006 financial year, but paid distributions totalling $512.9 million in relation to that year.

    Furthermore, the distributions were equivalent to 116% of the total toll revenue received during the year.”

    The ”stapled” entities of the infrastructure model “have multiple boards, and are run by an external management company employed under a management agreement providing for substantial fees.

    Many of the features of these vehicles appear to make it practically difficult, and possibly expensive, for investors to replace the external manager if dissatisfied with its performance.”

    In sum, RiskMetrics finds the model probably has more in common with private equity than with publicly traded property funds.

    mwest@fairfax.com.au

    That being said, I wonder if Fiera, and the pension funds who have bought Macquaries stake in the project,were fully apprised of the contentious nature of the entire deal : the debt being off the books, the details that were never revealed to the public,the hidden terms of the finances and the continual lies and denials from the BC government as to the existance of the shadow tolls, everyone in the industry already knew were there. Considering the ongoing scandals plaguing the current Liberal government, is it such a wise investment for them afterall, considering that if the NDP were to get into power, all of these deals will be pulled apart and scrutinized with a fine tooth comb.

    I for one, will be pushing for a conversion to user based tolls on the sea to sky,with exemptions for residents in the corridor. Let the non-residents of the highway who make up the vast majority of road users on the road, pay to play. It is only fair to the rest of BC to remove the shadow tolll, which will be a fiscal burden when combined with the other projects the Liberals have used them on,not to mention the province has to find ways to bring in that money to make the payments to Fiera now, some other way… ie, increased gas taxes.

    What will be the true final cost of this project? If only we could determine the truth behind the terms of what our government agreed to…

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  17. Raj Sangha says:

    Very Good to see this!Very Good,yes,because I am thinking this Falcon is not so smart to have as premier, right? He is making so much a mess of this province all over the place and I am thinking so much to how we are going to be getting out of this nonsense with what he has been doing, right?So can you please be keeping these stories coming more so I can read to my friends in punjabi who are not reading and writing so good like me now, or maybe you can be having us to choose to be translated choice, ok? Very Good and thank your very much.

    from Raj of Surrey.

    Like

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  19. Kim says:

    Apparently your new computer kicks ass Laila. You continue to amaze me with your investigative prowess! It’s so great to see Blog Borg Collective actively contributing too, thank you both.

    The question that comes to my mind is, just how much debt have these people incurred on our behalf? When you factor in corporate tax cuts, giving away our assets in BC Hydro, Ferries, Rail, ALR, TFL’s, rivers, and these hideous contracts you are uncovering for us, it frightens me to no end. Our grandchildren will be wage slaves if we don’t all man up right now and put a stop to this rape.

    Seriously.

    Like

  20. anonymous says:

    Another can of worms for the Falcons, the Clarks and anyone else trying to secure a seat.

    Brilliant the way you have this composed. Particularly your additions in the comment section here. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new investors suddenly saw a dip in their numbers as confidence drops with this information. The bigger picture of your complete series is by far, one of the most damning chronicles of the Liberal Legacy, and a staunch warning to those aching to lap at the Liberal trough like Macquarie has.

    Santa should drop a Webster under your tree.

    “qui audet adipiscitur”

    Like

  21. R Graham says:

    Good research Laila!

    Although the NDP has been accused of being asleep at the wheel, much of that lethargic perspective can be blamed on MSM. MSM was very quick to pounce on the dissention in the NDP caucus, but they paid very little or fair attention to any other issues that were raised by the opposition.

    In order to restore any semblance of democracy in this province, all of the incumbent Liberals need to be booted from government. It will be a tough row to hoe, because the Business Elite will pulling out all the stops to prevent the NDP from becoming government.

    And dammit the far left have to pull in their horns and start working for the Common Good, if there is any chance of exposing the Liberals for their fraudulant behaviour. Failure of the centre and left to work together will not give the NDP the required majority for rectifying the ills of the current regime.

    The NDP also have to recognize, if they are successfully elected they will have to battle the right-wing extremists on a daily basis. In today’s world that will be far worse than contending with sundecks, Nanaimo gaming issues and the fast ferries. The nasty Hochsteins and the Shephards are only peons in todays hierachy of belligerants.

    I am not an NDP member and never have been, but I can not stand the level of deceit that has been committed by these faux Liberals.

    Like

  22. Glenn says:

    Spent most of the day looking at the released details of the Windsor-Essex Parkway in Ontario
    http://www.weparkway.ca/ Looks like the successful bidders have been selected. Not the same group as th local ones here. (the Kiewit/Macquarie gang backed another bidder) but as this article points out the participants can change. Interesting that the words justifying the project sound the same as here. Some of the details do not make sense such as the cost of the project and the size. But then when the details of the project are hidden from the public the same as here making sense of the details is a challenge.

    Like

  23. Lynn says:

    A salesman/woman receive a commission for making a sale.
    What kind of “commission” does campbell and his stooges receive for selling our province? Otherwise there is nothing in it for them.
    Where is the gang stashing their pay off cash?

    Like

  24. chuckstraight says:

    Thank you so much for your work. Incredible that none of this is (yet) making it`s way into the sugar coated news.

    Like

  25. Skookum1 says:

    I was just considering what could motivate a sale such as this and given when you think this was all done behind the public’s back and the state of affairs here in BC it might seem wise for them to cut a profit and move on or be involved when it all goes south.

    Something a lot bigger than any of us, at least that’s the way the hidden behemoth of the free market (meaning really only five or six people at the top of the money tree) sees US.

    Here are two things to consider, in response:

    1. During the Free Trade election or the Meech Lake debates, a report was leaked in Washington, from the State Department (not BY the State Department…I think), concerning the American territorial agenda if Canada should fragment; they were interested only in BC and Alberta, the rest they didn’t want (I’d presume Yukon was included, and the NWT)….economics are often the first wave of invasion and insurrection, though here it’s happening in more abstract terms; though not unlike the American takeover of the Californian and Hawaiian economies prior to the overthrow of those governments.. That won’t happen here, not like it did against the Kingdom of Hawaii and the Spanish ancien regime in Cailfornia. But it’s a reminder that you don’t have to conquer a place to own and control it, you can just buy your way in. And I don’t mean by investments.

    2. Considering the ongoing volatility of Canadian national fractures in the last thirty-forty years, of course the US is keeping more of an intelligence eye on us than they’d admit, and that’s including indoctrinating our police with the value system of theirs, likewise theirs…and they’ve watched BC politics with a sketchy eye before; all the way through in fact, though i won’t stop to give examples. it’s a dodgy place, and where things are dodgy there’s a lot of grease, and a lot of dodgy business deals, but also where there’s this element of the population that’s hostile to big business/capital in all its forms, a hideout of commies and leftists and hippies and sexual deviants etc….a cold-weather California.

    That’s not so much my point, but set in that context of them watching Glen Clark launch the Salmon War and the degree of populism behind him in that; that must have alarmed the f**k out of them and THAT, ladies and gentleman, is who is most clearly behind, adn with the greatest motive, to overthrow the godless socialists who dared defy the American (well, Alaskan…) right to steal their fish?

    Campbell came out against Wilson and then Clark with an agenda; it’s really quite easy to see whose….especially given who owns what here now.

    Like

  26. Crankypants says:

    Well Laila, your reports on the shadow tolls and this new information should be considered your Christmas present to all of us, and moreso the citizens of BC. We would be none the wiser about this whole situation without your dogged determination to get to the bottom of things.

    Have a Merry Christmas.

    Like

  27. Nathan says:

    Bang on, pretty lady! Thank you for the big news on Transtoll! There’s been skads of speculation about this for some time down here,but imagine a Canadian writer breaking big news for us aussies! Righto, I’ve sent this on to all the business papers here! Wikileaks Canadian style, are you? Happy Christmas from all us down under! Cheers!

    Like

  28. pwlg says:

    Some great investigative journalism going on in this metro region. I concur, Webster awards for a few independent journalists are in order.

    Unfortunately the Webster has been turned into a mutual admiration club by the same forces that give us product placement in the news, in depth pablum by burnt out news announcers, a public news broadcaster intent on acting like a TV version of Vogue.

    Thanks for your continued commitment and service.

    Like

  29. RossK says:

    Does the death of Transtoll mean that the Shadow Tolls are now….

    Zombies?

    .

    (fantastic work by both Laila and NVG at the BBCollective)

    Like

    • Laila says:

      Busy this morning, but here is a look at who in charge at Fiera, the new operator of the S2S, which shows previous employees of all Campbell and Falcons favorite contractors : SNC, Macquarie, and Hatch…. http://www.fieraaxium.com/en/team.html

      RossK, Transtoll is not handling the traffic count on the S2S, they just did a consult and review of what was already there in the contract and the mechanisms prior to this sale. I believe, if memory serves me, Kiewit is still in charge of collection and handling of the counts, although that job may fall to the new stakeholders.

      pwlg, there are a hell of a lot of excellent independent’s out there, I agree. Thank you for your support !

      Nathan, glad to be of service, I have had some inquries from major outlets in the US and one in the Uk today, I expect the aussie papers will pick it up after Christmas, since you are ahead and it’s christmas eve there now…Macquarie has not released this information on Transtoll to the news yet, no releases have been done, this was given to me by a source close to Macquarie and confirmed with the company in your country. Not a surprising move ,considering their global profile in Europe is not recovering and doesnt seem likely to anytime soon, I actually question why our then Transportation minister, Kevin Falcon, decided to keep them on as an advisor to the Port Mann??? Seems with all the bad press, the government would do well to save itself some cash and get rid of them at this point. ( that is more for my local readers benefit, Nathan)

      No Julian Assange, but I appreciate the compliment. I do think he has done a great service in revealing some horrific details in what governments would prefer to keep hidden – crimes far worse than what our government here has commited by far, in BC. Merry Christmas to you too!! I hope the scoop on this info helps.

      CrankyPants, thank you for those kind words. Just doing what I love to do, and frankly, I wish I could do more. Perhaps Santa will send me some domestic assistance..lol… But santa did give me an early gift this year with NVG… he and I think so much alike at times, it is frightening! We once were even reading the same link at the same time, and then sent each other that link…lol.. it was pretty funny. He is brilliant!

      Chuck, thank you very much, and have no worries, it gets around well enough! Amazing what readers can do with mere email. Yes, it would be lovely to see this on the front page of the business section, but you know what? There is so much good work being done by local writers and bloggers that doesnt make it to the press all the time. That doesnt seem to stop the truth from being revealed though…

      Rgraham, I agree very much all these current liberals need to be evicted. I am not worried about Clark, she has quite the mess to deal with on her hands with BC rail associations. RossK has the scariest photo of her on his site… shiver!!! Her eyes are postively evil looking, kind of like Cruella Deville from 1001 Dalmations..lol..

      Abbott may very well come up the middle quietly like so many are saying. Falcon is the dangerous one to watch for – Stephen Harper and crew were deeply involved in the Gateway project he has been pimping on the lower mainland and have a lot at stake here with the investments being made with the ports etc. They are billing this entire thing back east as Canadas gateway, so if a candidate with more federal leanings gets into power, it might play havoc with some of their initiatives and future plans for the area. Falcons backers are mainly from the conservative part of the BC liberals, and his big backer, Gerry St. Germaine is a federal conservative as well.

      With what I have uncovered in the Ministry of Transportation so far, and Falcons political style, it’s like Campbell all over again, except he is far younger and will live longer… although, I hear from a source that his press ops and events up north have been poorly attended, with 5 to 10 people being sadly in attendance at several!!!

      anonymous, certainly this information may have an impact on Macquarie if the business press start looking at it, which I see they are. Bad timing with Christmas but what can you do? The truth is still there in four days. I worked hard on this Sea to Sky series, many long hours in the middle of the night when the kids are sleeping…lol. No nannies, housekeepers or anyone else to take up the slack!
      Thanks for the words of support and Merrry Christmas to you !!!

      Kim, the amount of debt on this project alone is staggering ,and I will be getting some information on that shortly, I hope today if I have time at all… you might be surprised how much the Liberals have kept from us. BC rail, really is just the tip of the iceberg – the Ministry of Transportation is rife with similar examples of favoured bidding, destruction and alteration of documents and tainted deals. Remember the Tercon series ??? http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/tercon-contracters-ltd-vs-british-columbia-the-rest-of-the-story/ This is a must read for the clearly onerous behavior of government officials, which many classified as fraudulent and criminal.

      Raj, thank you for posting! I will see what I can do to make it easier, I really don’t know if wordpress has a translate option. I am happy to imagine you reading to your friends. Merry Christmas to you and best over the new year.

      Like

  30. Erik says:

    So..our tax money is being laundered?

    Like

  31. RossK says:

    Sorry to be a little loose with details Laila.

    I really just want to be able to scream….

    Zombie Tolls!

    .

    Like

  32. Mike says:

    Amazing research you are doing here Laila.

    No surprise, but a fairly thorough search of CBCnews yields zero results on this topic.
    Keeping the public in the dark, our corporate media swine have really outdone themselves on this one.
    This secrecy and stench of this deal could generate more public outrage than the HST.

    I’ll be linking people to this site, and be back to read more.

    Like

  33. kootcoot says:

    Laila sez in a comment at the top:

    Will the opposition finally stand up and start demanding some answers on this P3 issue?

    Whoosat? You mean we have an opposition?

    Not giving you a hard time Laila, good work, but I do have to wonder what you are referring to when you say “opposition.” Oh yeah, it’s those other guys (and gals) with gold plated pensions and expense accounts that go along to get along!

    Like

  34. Ivana C. Justice says:

    Wherefore art thou, official opposition?

    Here we are. You-uuuu hoo-oooo……..

    On the balcony……. brimming with excellent material for any one of you brave enough to make a BIG official noise.

    We’ll be releasing video of Grinch Campbell stapling antlers to Basi’s head, while making off with all our assets in a great big sack…….film at eleven.
    Oh yeah. I forgot – this may only air on the blogs of the very brave, who dare to reveal the truth.

    Why so quiet, ndp? Fast-cats got your tongue? Get over it – It’s nothing compared to this travesty.

    Is it some shady labour deal?
    Is it SkyTrain, RAV, land sales misdeads?
    Is it hot in here….or only me……

    Come out, come out wherever you are…..

    Take a wide stance.

    Send your fists in the air.

    To ALL those who are scheming still – to sell off our water, our province piece by piece, and setting the standard for the most corrupt government ANYWHERE…..

    We’re mad as hell, and we’re NOT going to take it anymore!

    To all of the MLA’s who have been elected to serve the people. Many of you are disgusted with the actions, or in-actions of your labels. Now is the time to form a strong REAL opposition of independents. (And if I hear the word ‘elites’ one more time I’ll puke).

    This is Canada.

    The U.S. seems to have gone all FOX news, all the time – all poisonous cotton candy. Let’s learn from this, and not repeat it.

    Christy Palin is just a distraction.
    There is much more at stake.

    Police should not investigate police.

    Doctors should not be the only authority to determine medical malpractice.

    Lawyers should not investigate legal misconduct.

    Politicians who betray the trust of the citizens who elected them MUST be held accountable for their silence -their part in the destruction of our environment – by the electorate.

    We have the framework to have a just and fair society, if only a few good people stand tall, and say enough is enough.

    “Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.”

    Theodore Roosevelt.

    Here’s the hard-pan for standing our ground.

    Like

  35. Lynn says:

    We the people are the official opposition.
    Let’s take it to the streets. Grind the economy to a halt by reducing what we spend. Stop going to the movies, stop going out for dinner, stop the luxuries.
    Take your cash out of the banks.
    F**k ‘em.

    Like

  36. Curt says:

    http://northerninsights.blogspot.com/

    Thank you Norm, for continuing along with Laila in how things work.

    Thank you Laila for all your hard work. Be safe and have a wonderful Christmas, you and your family.

    2011 will be the year of the “truth” for every citizen in this province as all of you continue to publish the evidence. Yourself, Mary, Norm, Grant, Koot, Rafe, Bill, and the list goes on.

    Happy New Year to you all.

    Like

  37. Donna says:

    Campbell and the BC Liberals, need to be eradicated from our province. The sea to sky highway scam, and, Campbell’s corrupt sale of the BCR, is sickening, corrupt and evil. Can we convince, all of the hard working people, regarding the Fight HST and the recall, to have a blanket, mla recall done? Our Constitution is ignored. Our Civil Rights and Liberties, have been taken away from us. Democracy and Freedom, is nowhere to be found. All we see in BC is, corruption, greed, criminals, broken promises, arrogance, deceit, evil and cheating to win. What really blew me away is, P. M. Harper, chastised the BC people, for driving Campbell out of office. All of the vile things Campbell has done to this province and the People, and Harper praises Campbell? This I won’t forget, come Federal Election time. Nor should anyone forget, Harper’s part regarding the HST either.

    Campbell belongs in prison, and so does everyone involved in, his corrupt sale of the BCR. Their assets, should be seized to pay back the citizens of BC, for their corruption, and their crimes against us. We must not allow, what was done to us, to happen again. We are living in, a fascist and a dictatorship regime. We want the BC Liberal Party, the hell out of our province.

    Like

  38. Jon says:

    Donna, and just to think that’s just the tip of the iceberg of corruption floating in the BC LIBERAL SEA, we all know that 90% of that iceberg is hidden underwater. Ivana C. Justice, (I like your handle) I think that there are quite a few people wondering what’s going on with the Official Constipation, nows the time to actually save some face yet they bury their head in the sand, what gives. There are other ways to get your message out besides the BC Liberal controlled MSM all it takes is a little hard work as blog sites like this one have proven.

    Like

  39. impressed says:

    December 28.

    This is still a huge story,big importance for many a reason.

    Press still sleeping full of turkey?

    Like

  40. Parzone says:

    Hi Laila,

    Thank you for all you’re incredibly inspiring work …so far.

    I would just like to add that I think I remember the Abbotsford Hospital was flipped a few times with huge gains made.

    Happy New Year to all.

    Like

  41. Laila says:

    Yes, you are right Parzone and in fact I was forwarded information over my Christmas break that I have yet to post, but will shortly, to indicate that this is the case. Again, this is not well known to the general public, thus again demostrating the lack of openness and transparency in the Liberal regime.

    Thank you for posting and for your words of support. I hope I continue to inspire with more big breaking stories to come in the weeks that follow.

    Like

  42. John's Aghast says:

    Looks as if Bernie Madoff needs some company!

    Like

  43. Pingback: “Are Tax Havens robbing the government of P3 revenue?” |

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