Christina Joan Clark(e) – and her former husband, Liberal power player Mark Marissen – have both been named as defendants in a long-standing supreme court civil action, and were scheduled to stand in a 2 day trial by judge September 28th, 2011.
However, an order for adjournment was signed August 26th, and a new trial date was to be rescheduled by counsel – that date has yet to be posted as confirmed with the court registry yesterday by phone, nor has the matter been settled. The clerk noted that from the notes on the file, the adjournment was requested by the plaintiff, not Marissen and Clark, however she could not confirm that without the actual document in hand.
With a supreme court civil trial possibly still looming over her head, sources tell me this was yet another contributing reason she did not want to call a fall election. Simply wouldn’t do to have any press on even this kind of thing in a campaign, if the judgement didn’t go in her and Marissen’s favour.
The case stems from a car accident that occurred September 2008, in which court documents allege Christy hit the other driver from behind, while driving a vehicle leased by her former husband- Volvo Canada is also named in the suit,which was filed in Supreme Court in early 2009.
Now,in a rather ironic twist, it was none other than Justice Anne Mackenzie that presided over the latest order to adjourn and reschedule…. a name familiar to any and everyone following the BC rail story for the last few years. Also interesting in a Bornman(n)-esque kind of way, is that in the statement of claim and statement of defence spell her last name as Clarke, not the more familiar spelling of Clark. Just counsel being cautious, or did Christy drop the letter e somewhere along the way, like Eric Bornman(n)was known to do throughout his career?
But here are my questions. And perhaps some of you won’t like this line of questioning, but oh well, the questions must be asked.
How is it that they so easily found $40 million in this tight budget to bolster a ship contract, when they can’t afford to even hire new staff for the Jimmy Pattison outpatient centre, they simply moved over some existing staff from Surrey Memorial, creating closures and longer wait times there? I just had a test there and the facility was creepy in it’s desolate, upscale, EMPTY nature. Very few staff to be seen, very few patients( I saw three) empty halls, empty rooms, nothing going on… but lots of high end amenities and machinery… I spoke with a worker I did find, and she said it was like this all the time. Always empty, and worse yet, the mess left behind at Surrey Memorial all for the sake of making this financial white elephant look slightly useful.
Add those two little bizarro scenarios to the fact that Kyle Washington, chairman of Seaspan International, was a member and supporter of Falcon 20/20 during the BC Liberal leadership race, as well, a financial contributor to his leadership campaign. The Election BC link to the scanned campaign documents for Kevin Falcon went dead shortly after I posted it, as reported by several readers. It still gives people a ” Bad Gateway” message as stated in the comments below. Thanks to a wonderful friend and reader, I now have the scanned Falcon leadership contributers, in this PDF document. falconscontributors
Hmm, I would hate to think his support and friendship with Finance minister Kevin Falcon would lead the government to fork out so much to make this bid better – in particular since Kyle Washington and family are hardly lacking funds. No, no,I couldn’t imagine Falcon would reward a supporter by helping to sweeten the pot.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words.. what does this one tell you? ( And a reminder to scroll down and read the HST agreements that the government would rather you not see, and how far they would go to prevent that from happening.)
B.C.’s auditor general is going to the province’s Supreme Court to get information about defence costs related to the Basi Virk corruption trial.
John Doyle filed a petition Tuesday seeking an order for access to records and information, arguing that the information is essential to an audit due at the end of June.
Auditor John Doyle is an exceptionally busy man, and an exceptional man. I have written to him with my concerns on P3’s and how they are accounted for, and what impact that nefarious accounting will have on provincial budgets- as well as the long term impact on the provinces true debt load. Other progressives have made similar contacts with their concerns on BC Hydro and Ipp’s. Each time, he has replied personally, with thoughtful and insightful comments and at times, at length. I believe he is absolutely committed to doing his job the best he can, and this action supports that.
Will this be the avenue that finally reveals all? Watch this story as it develops and how our unelected premier deals with the questions that this development will undoubtedly resurrect.
With the recent combination of distractions revolving around strata president duties, my sons highschool graduation and my garden, a very important report I have waited on nearly escaped my attention. I say nearly, because thanks to a wonderful reader who knows I have a fetish for such things, I spent the greater part of my free time yesterday evening mulling over the report, and not watching the Canucks take on game 5.
The office of the Auditor General of BC finally issued a long-awaited report on the Academic Ambulatory Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital – one of the earlier P3 projects completed in BC.
There are a number of findings as well as a number of key recommendations the Auditor General makes that I find alarming and should be brought to the attention of all British Columbians and yet again, there has been nothing in the press that I can find about this report. Although this project was started in the early part of this decade – it was not opened until 2oo6-in my experience researching the P3 projects built since then, nothing has changed.
Among the Auditors key findings:
Overall, we concluded that not all of the key value-for-money goals of the Academic Ambulatory Care Centre P3 project were met:
* Construction was completed on time, but the final capitalized value of $123 million was 29.5% higher than the estimated capital cost of $95 million disclosed in the Project Report.
*The use of a P3 contract was not effective in controlling VCHA initiated design and scope changes.
* The performance-based payment structure for operations and maintenance of the facility does not represent good practice.
* Facility users are generally satisfied with the building and services provided. However, there has been no public reporting on the ongoing results of the project since the Project Report was released in 2004.
* The P3 agreement is flexible in allowing for change. However,VCHA was unable to provide us with documentation to support the analysis and approvals for key contract amendments.
The government has repeatedly been shown to be incorrect in the biased and incorrect Value for Cost reports issued at completion of a P3 project. They have repeatedly been shown to be in a conflict of interest with regards to Partnership BC being in charge of promoting and pursuing P3’s for the government, but also evaluating them.
I spoke with Erik Andersen, who is a founding director and economic advisor of the BC First Party, about this report last night, and he had this to say:
“After more than ten years of gaining an appreciation of how P3 projects have turned out in Canada (see John Loxley’s “Public Service: Private Profits“) one would think our government would be way up the learning curve on this process.Sadly that seems not so.
BC Auditor General’s audit of this P3 project found that instead of it costing $95 million, it ended up at $123 million. He gives two main reasons for the over-run. $11 million occurred because of less than adequate pre-construction preparations and $17 million because games were played with the selection of discount rates in order to give favorable pre-contract status to the P3 option.
Professor Loxley recounts a generous collection of these kind of games picked up by other Canadian Auditor Generals. It seems our government has a decided bias to P3s no matter the evidence available from other jurisdictions that these are not crafted and executed in the publics’ best interest.”
Erik has been a valuable colleague and resource for my work, as our interests and concerns are remarkably similar in nature. While I have mainly concentrated on the governments many P3 infrastructure projects, Erik has led the charge for a full reveal on BC Hydro’s structural changes and operations, which he believes are designed to bankrupt the crown corporation to sell it off to private interests, not unlike BC Rail. Not just theory, he supports this belief with comprehensive studies and analysis.
I can say with confidence that I look forward to more revealing reports to come forward as this report indicated the office of the Auditor General will be looking at other P3 projects in the future. Considering the repeated examples of P3 projects being conducted to preserve and protect the interests of the private corporate partner rather than taxpayers dollar, I could not more strongly urge all British Columbians to take an interest in this report, and P3 projects in general.
Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary,1911
Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer
A funny thing happened while writing this post earlier today. I was searching google images for a photo of Christy Clark and Gordon Campbell, and guess what ? They all seem to have disappeared – even cached versions are now redirected to Christy Clark’s premier page on the government of B.C. website.
In fact, the only photo I could find of the two of them together, remains in existence in a cached version… on my site! ( click image to enlarge)
Kind of funny, no? If you can find one of the two of them together, save it to your computer before it disappears too. She seems to want to break any association between the two of them.
The powers of the BC Liberal party never cease to amaze me, nor do they surprise me any longer. I have personally had contentious or telling links disappear within hours, gone dead, and even the cached versions gone and it hasn’t only happened to me, but other writers as well. What the Liberals don’t want known, they will work very hard to make disappear, and if they can’t make it disappear, they will push the spin cycle button and wash that news right outta your hair faster than can blink your eyes.
With her narrow margin win in Point Grey this evening, one thing has become clear to nearly everyone watching her tonight. Christy Clark has become a stunning example of blind ambition, big money, and bad politics. And today the voters backed that up at the polls in a stunning way, despite the rain, despite the media and despite the thousands of people she talked to… Christy barely won. Barely.
Was it because she has taken more than a few pages from the Campbell Guide to bad politics? Re-hashing old press releases and posing for photo opportunities out the ying- yang. Taking credit for projects, initiatives and openings that she had nothing to do with. Saying little of anything with substance, but smiling widely and pushing the ethnic buttons all over the lower mainland. Don’t say it isn’t so – it is, and we both know it.
Tonight’s win does not bode well for Christy’s future. Her rosy glow has already begun to fade as more candid shots of her show the narrowed lips and eyes of a politician who will do and say anything to get to where she wants to be.
Try as she might, she is stumbling already. Watching more than a couple of videos of her at town halls like this one in Richmond, she appears less at ease, stumbles on her words and uses far too many of those filler words we all rely on when we don’t know what to say: Umm, ok, well, now, you see…. could it be that she knows that all the big money behind her, all those corporate advisors and friends who are waiting to lap at the river of money sure to flow in their direction under her leadership, are worried she won’t make it? Did they back the wrong person? Could it be that she really doesn’t have any real change to offer, that she is banking on the mom image to fool people long enough for her to get a foot in the only door she’s really wanted to be in since she left so many years ago?
Sure it is. And that is just the beginning.
She still has the BC rail issue stuck to the heel of her shoes, every single pair. And it isn’t going to go away, the people will see to that. She still has the association of having been one of Campbell’s minions back in the day. She can’t shake the stink of the mess she left behind with teachers, education and those most vulnerable in society during her failures in those ministries. And guess what? When she resorts to the same bad politics as Campbell did when he was most desperate, she only strengthens the argument she is more of the same old thing we’ve had for the last ten years.
Big money. Bad politics. Blind ambition. Frankly, I’ve had enough of all three.
I received this from a dear man and reader, Ray Eagle, who so kindly shares with all of us this letter he recently sent to Christy Clark. Dare I say… it is hard to soar like an Eagle when governed by turkeys ?
Many thanks to Mr. Eagle for sending this to me.
Dear Premier Clark:
It was a shock to learn that despite your expressed intentions to make your Government different to that of Gordon Campbell’s you have selected Gwynn Morgan of SNC Lavalin as your transition advisor. Selecting him, of all people, hardly bodes well for change!.
Nevertheless, there are a number of issues that should be addressed though I can see already that convincing you of their importance will not be an easy task. The following are the ones that I consider to be important:
As a regular user of the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale ferry route I think the privatization of B.C. Ferries is a failed experiment and it should be returned directly to government control. This so-called privatization is, in any case, purely semantic and has not resulted in any meaningful efficiencies.
One of the first items on Mr. Campbell’ agenda was the mean-spirited act of removing the reduction on the first ten visits to chiropractors and physiotherapists, which took away the ability of many people to afford the cost of repeat visits in the first vital days of injury. To bring back the reduction would be a meaningful step towards your promise.
Mr. Campbell also cancelled a benefit to B.C. seniors, which was to pay only the dispensing fee on all prescribed medications. He immediately made them pay the full cost to a certain level under the so-called ‘Fair Pharmacare’ legislation. As an eighty year old senior (as of April 4) I think it was a reprehensible act and again I think that if you mean what you say this should be addressed. I take four medications for certain medical problems, none of which are lifestyle related. I wrote to the Government suggesting that in the case of people on permanent medication the previous rule of paying only the dispensing fee should be restored, as opposed to those who are prescribed a single course of medication for a temporary problem after which the need ceases. Despite taking the suggestion to my MLA, Ralph Sultan, nothing came of it. Fortunately my prescription costs are not prohibitive compared to some seniors, but a restoration to the original subsidy would be helpful, instead
of the pure ‘fluff ‘ handed out to seniors in lieu of real help.
Lastly, there is a great anomaly which needs addressing. When you were a talk-show host you strongly defended the Cambie Street merchants in their quest for compensation, especially Susan Heyes in her valiant fight against the construction companies and several levels of government. During that time I had several letter exchanges with the Hon. Kevin Falcon, who is now your Deputy Premier. He was vehemently opposed to any compensation for the merchants and I am sure he remains of that opinion. He must be absolutely gleeful that Ms. Heyes has been hung out to dry by the companies who built the Canada Line, abetted by the three cold, uncaring Appeal Judges who found in their favour. Now you have compounded this anomaly by bringing Gwynn Morgan onto your team, a man who represents a company that is responsible for Susan Heyes’ present predicament.
The arguments of the Appeal Judges make absolutely no sense, especially their assertion that a bored tunnel would cause as much disruption as cut and cover. In a letter addressed to them I pointed out that that they had obviously made up their minds to uphold the appeal and built their ‘shoddy’ arguments to fit that end.
If you have the conviction that you demonstrated before gaining the Premiership you should seek some means to help Susan Heyes stave off bankruptcy. You should also bear in mind the lasting consequences if the appeal decision goes unchallenged. The result will be that no small business owner or individual is safe from ruin or interference by any level of government or large corporation that wishes to construct a mega project, regardless of whether its impact is temporary or permanent.
I hope that you will give due consideration to these suggestions because their implementation will go a long way in proving that you mean it when you promise to do things differently, though with the appointment of Gwynn Morgan a large part of that promise has already been negated!
Never would you find a more fitting quotation to apply to our newly unelected Premier’s cabinet appointments. Just because everything is different, doesn’t mean anything has actually changed at all.
I, like many others, watched the live feed of yesterday’s undemocratic proceedings, and I say undemocratic because in this rare instance, democracy has not yet reared her lovely head. There is nothing democratic about swearing-in a leader that has not been duly selected by vote of the people, and if anything, Ms.Clarks glowing expression throughout the ceremony smacked of smug regard in the faces of those who bode her no good will.
However smug she is now, she would do well to enjoy her time in the big chair and take as many photos as possibly to sit and bitterly reminisce over in the cold, dark days of certain defeat. Defeat, because in choosing her cabinet she has effectively terminated whatever chance she may have had in showing cynical British Columbians that she is any different from Campbell at all.
Where to start? Appointing the privatization king, Kevin Falcon, to finance minister and deputy premier was the hail Mary of all mistakes. Falcon, who so proudly pointed out endlessly on his leadership campaign that big business is his best friend, will prove a big barrier to the Liberals winning any election based on the overwhelming public perception that he is Campbell incarnate. If he runs the ministry of finance like he ran the ministry of transportation, we can look forward to a heavy push towards privatising services across the board, as well as a strong surge of P3 projects in entirely new and possibly untested venues. Family first values? Not with this Falcon. He is well-known for stating that he prefers China’s undemocratic methods of forcing projects on people without having to deal with things like public consultation! And we know he loves the HST, so good luck with that one.
And what possibly can I say about Rich Coleman except that he’s been around the Liberal block so many times he’s gone a little past his expiry date and should have been left on the back shelf like sour milk. Remember, it was under Coleman’s watch that 10 jails, 24 courthouses and the Vancouver pre-trial were closed.He was also the minister that rejected calls for a public inquiry into the death of Frank Paul – not once, but twice, first in 2001, and again in 2004. Toss in some issues with the BCLC …. and it’s clear Christy’s choices again leave the people of BC lacking.
Where I find Ms. Clarks mindset for her families first agenda so troubling is to have allowed Mary Polak to stay in cabinet at all, appointed to Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. This woman is so clearly unqualified to handle any position of authority with regards to decisions that directly affect humans of any age, that she too should have been shelved on the sour milk shelf with Rich Coleman. Seriously. She leaves the ministry of children and families with a black cloud of shame over her head for failing the vulnerable and special needs children of our province, a horrific mark on her, and on the Liberals who instead of addressing what they have done wrong, will deflect and make some ridiculous statement about how much money they have put towards families. Is Polak the right choice to steer Aboriginal issues in this province, a segment of our population that is plagued with addiction, poverty and youth depression and suicides? Never.
What I find so interesting is that Christy is facing a variety of difficult challenges in the province, challenges that mean balancing economic hardships with environmental concerns that have been blatantly ignored by Campbell’s government. In appointing so many of the same key players with the same values Campbell demonstrated – ” friends take care of friends” – Christy has revealed her stunning lack of depth in understanding the electorate in the province she is now deemed with running. Does she not get that people don’t want to hear or see Patrick Kinsella’s name in connection with yet another premier? Does she not care that we find it repugnant that she has chosen people working with Enbridge and SNC- Lavelin to head up her transition team? Maybe not, after all this is the premier who loves Manswers…
Clearly, contrary to her claims, Ms. Clark did not listen to the people of BC while working as a talk show host on CKNW, because if she did she would have some inkling that her future as premier is bleak and short. Being a mom does not make you a better premier, but being a person with integrity does. By refusing to discuss the documented proof of her involvement with key players in the sale of BC rail, by refusing to call even the most limited inquiry into the payment of Basi and Virks legal fees, she has effectively killed her own claims to creating an open and transparent government, a contradiction in terms to her own actions she will not be able to back out of at the polls.
As opportunistic as the rest, she has surrounded herself with corporate players and backroom manipulators rivalling the worst -or best- of Campbell’s era, signalling that her hockey mom, families first persona is just that. And considering how Ms. Clark has bought and paid for a good part of Vancouver’s media,( including CTV’s Chris Olsen ‘ On your side’, who is obviously no longer on your side, after all ) – I suspect she has already anticipated the need to create the biggest PR team in BC history to create a bed of roses out of her pile of dung.
Fraser Surrey Docks was a fitting background for the official launch of the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR)project on Monday, January 12th 2009, which was attended by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Gordon Campbell along with the provincial Minister of Transportation & Investment, Kevin Falcon, and federal International Trade Minister Stockwell Day.
The governments’ decision to hold the launch at Fraser Surrey Docks clearly demonstrates the importance of our terminal to the Vancouver Gateway, particularly our role in facilitating international trade and commerce, and in creating new economic opportunities for the region.
As a new, reliable and efficient transportation corridor, we expect the SFPR to benefit Fraser Surrey Docks and our surrounding communities; to improve travel time for many of our employees; and to enhance our value proposition to customers. The SFPR will also allow cargo to reach its destination more quickly and thus lowering overall transportation costs. In addition, it aids in connecting Fraser Surrey Docks to several industrial hubs including the USA, the Interior of BC and the province of Alberta.
Yes, very fitting indeed, to hold the launch at a facility owned by Macquarie Infrastructure,part of the worldwide conglomerate, the Macquarie Group – a company the BC Liberals have assisted in establishing a solid presence in British Columbia.
By March of 2007, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners had closed on the purchase of 100% of Fraser Surrey Docks, a strategic move on their part to add to the Macquarie groups growing holdings and investment in ports worldwide. Among Macquarie port and shipping holdings?
Halterm in Halifax, Canada, DCT Gdansk in Poland, Changshu Xinghua Port in China, and a joint venture with Hanjin Shipping with operations in Japan, Taiwan and the United States.
In 2008, Macquarie hired Mark Jiles to lobby the government with the sole purpose of promoting P3’s and the Gateway Project. He registered as active with the Lobbyist registry from September 2008 to January 2010, and contacted Partnerships BC in addition to then transportation minister Kevin Falcon, as well as Ian Black, Ida Chong, Mike De Jong,Rich Coleman, Kevin Kruegar and ex finance minister Carole Taylor.
Of course, we know Macquarie tried to but did not succeed in getting the money together for the Port Mann P3 model, however they were kept on as ” advisors”, the details behind this arrangement never made public, on orders of Kevin Falcon, then transportation minister.
As part of the Gateway project, the SFPR will be a vital link for Macquarie as owner of the Fraser Surrey Docks, as well as shipping lines and port terminals in China, and Japan, both targets in the Asia-Pacific market Kevin Falcon still speaks so fondly of.
Mark Jiles certainly must have done his job well…
To be sure, it might be argued that Macquarie stands to profit most from the SFPR,maybe even more than Deltaport, and more than the stealthy developers who have gobbled up land left,right and centre along the route – BC Rail Properties among them.
Making money on both ends and during shipping is a profitable venture not often imagined by any corporation, and certainly the BC liberals have been kind to the Macquarie group in many ways- the Sea to Sky highway, the Port Mann, Duke Point Power Project,Hluey Lakes,Sechelt Creek are but a few examples of their increasing investments in British Columbia. ( I am sure there is more- stay tuned as I delve further into these relationships in a future post)
However, it was none of this that actually struck me as funny when researching the extent to which Macquarie has become comfortable with the BC Liberal Party. In fact it was a message board on the internet that grabbed my attention immediately, because it showed David Bassett as the dinner chairman for a Liberal dinner fundraiser.
I am pleased to bring to your attention our first major election campaignfund raiser, the BC Liberals Fall Dinner on Thursday, November 20, at theExecutive Plaza Hotel and featuring Minister Black as our Keynote Speaker. Wedo expect a sellout, and would be delighted to include you in the evening in a supportive manner.I have attached the order form and invitation for your consideration. Should
you have any questions or wish to know about some of the sponsorship and
auction donation opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail
at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling me at 604-640-0322.
Thank you in advance for your support.
David Bassett, Dinner Chairman
The 2008 BC Liberals Fall Dinner
In Support of Re-Electing Hon. Iain Black, MLA
November 20, 2008, The Executive Plaza Hotel (Coquitlam)
Hosts: The Port Moody-Coquitlam Riding Association Contact: Dave Bassett, Dinner Chairman, 604-640-0322
Macquarie has strategically placed itself in many sectors at risk for privatisation if the BC Liberals continue to govern this province – highways, hydro and other energy resources as the IPP projects on the coast.
The Liberals have repetitively shown us (whether Campbell,Kevin Falcon and now Christy Clark), that the relationship between government and big business does indeed thrive in the dark.
On the eve of a new premier being selected for British Columbia in a way already riddled with contentious allegations, what will it take for the people of British Columbia to say enough is enough and turn the light on, once and for all ?