Muskrat Falls fiasco provides example for British Columbians of potential future of Site C & why Premier Clark must send project to BC Utilities Commission independent review.


It always freaks people out when I say I’m fiscally conservative. The term evokes images of Harper for most Canadians and the terms slice and dice comes to mind with references to budgets. But the truth is when I say it I don’t mean conservative as in the party, I mean I think it’s important to be really careful and cautious when spending public funds in government. Government needs to make sure all best practices are followed and every bit of due diligence is done.

When it comes to mega projects, the province of BC shows little restraint. While claims of on time and on budget are often heard, what they forget to mention is that along the way, the budget was actually increased and the completion dates  were changed… ;) So, yes, technically on time and budget…but not really.

Last week I talked about Muskrat Falls in a blog post detailing Clarks vow to get Site C past the point of no return – an ominous statement considering the lack of due diligence by the BC government on this project. 

Today, a compelling column on Newfoundlands equally contentious dam project, the one that government commissioned an independent review on in the middle of construction because of escalating costs and other issues -(detailed in the link above.)

I guess they were just wrong.
That’s the very best face you can put on it.
For years, the former provincial government argued we could have our fiscal cake and eat it, too: a Crown corporation could borrow billions of dollars with the government as a backstop, and the red ink would never show up on our balance sheet.
The government’s position was definite: no one would consider the money borrowed to build Muskrat Falls to be part of the province’s debt, because the project would someday produce revenue.

The argument continued: while we might borrow billions for the project, its asset value was worth the same amount as the borrowings. So, presto! No one in their right minds would consider it debt.

(I’ve said before that this is convoluted logic: if you buy a house for $300,000 and mortgage the whole thing, you can’t simply say you’re debt-free because your $300,000 house is an asset. You still have to pay the mortgage and the interest. But apparently that’s not the way provincial math worked.)

“Muskrat Falls will not increase our net debt by one cent. … We will have to borrow on one side (of the ledger) but we will have our asset on the other side,” then-finance minister Tom Marshall said on radio in 2012.

It’s a message repeated when the province brought down its mid-year financial statement in 2012: “Muskrat Falls is a project that will not impact net debt by a single dollar while providing us with an affordable, reliable, environmentally friendly source of electricity for generations to come,” Marshall said.

So is it on our balance sheet, or not?

Last week, the answer came in from bond rating agency Standard & Poors.

In this year of massive debts due to oil price declines, the rating agency — while lowering the province’s credit rating and potentially increasing the interest rates we’ll have to pay for future borrowing — still spent a fair bit of time discussing the “not-a-debt” fiscal liability that is Muskrat Falls.

“We view Newfoundland’s contingent liabilities as high. The province’s primary contingent risk relates to its wholly owned local energy provider, Nalcor Energy, a holding company that owns Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH). Newfoundland has guaranteed C$1.1 billion of NLH’s debt, which represented an estimated 17 per cent of the province’s adjusted operating revenues in fiscal 2015.

“Nalcor (through two trusts) has issued C$5.0 billion of bonds that it used to finance the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project and its associated transmission lines. The debt carries a guarantee from the Government of Canada. We believe the province has an incentive to provide extraordinary government support to Nalcor in the event of financial stress. This view primarily stems from the essential nature of NLH’s service responsibilities, as well as the high profile and economic importance of Nalcor’s other development projects like Muskrat Falls.”

So, it’s pretty clearly on the balance sheet after all.

When we’ve asked questions, we’ve been told a lot of things about Muskrat Falls. There have been a lot of definitive answers: methyl mercury won’t be a problem downstream of the reservoir, the marine quick clay of the North Spur is totally safe, the project won’t go overbudget (whoops — another definite that didn’t pan out), the project won’t go overbudget again (whoops again).

We were told that Muskrat Falls is the cheapest option for new electricity. When the project started, we were told that ever-increasing oil prices meant that by January 2017, our oil-driven power bills would inevitably increase by 37 per cent over 2011. In fact, at least so far, those rates have stayed relatively flat, thanks to the cheap oil we were told we wouldn’t have.

So what else might they be wrong about?

It’s a chilling thought.

Something wicked this way comes.



Scary because if you swap ” Site C” for “Muskrat Falls”, you might be taking a look into the future for BC. All the same issues. No independent review prior to construction.Don’t worry we need it, it’s all good, we know what we are doing.

Only they don’t, it’s not and they clearly didn’t.

Let me be perfectly clear. This is an important lesson for the province that the premier, Bill Bennett and BC Hydro need to heed.

bennettclarkBoth provincial politicians and BC Hydro often assert that Site C has undergone a rigorous environmental review and has been examined by the Joint Review Panel – neither of which can or are qualified to examine the cost or financials of the project.

In fact, even The Joint Review panel recommended Site C be sent to the BC Utilities Commission for an independent review for that purpose – the province of course continued to ignore all of this .

I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it. The province of BC has not done due diligence on Site C and has failed its inherent responsibility to taxpayers by not doing so. And instead of admitting a failure of process and protecting taxpayers from a Muskrat Falls scenario here in BC, the premier has now vowed to get this mess past the point of no return…..

I can only shake my head at such financial irresponsibility.

Check back tomorrow for a compelling photo blog I’m working on and more on BC Hydro and Site C – if there was ever a time for Trudeau and the environment minister to release the rationale for approving the Environmental Assessment Certificate the Harper cabinet kept secret, this is it.





Did the BC government fail in its duty to release important information-without an FOI-that contained any evidence of : “…a risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health or safety of the public or a group of people”.

Some think so:

And I agree. The duty to protect all and any life and environment comes before everything.

It all comes down to who knew what… when?

Will we see any resignations now?

VANCOUVER, B.C.—The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association has filed a complaint with the BC Information and Privacy Commissioner over the BC government’s failure to release information in its possession about the now-collapsed Mt. Polley tailings pond.

Section 25 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) requires a public body to release information “without delay” without a FOI request where there is “…a risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health or safety of the public or a group of people”.

“The situation in Mount Polley certainly seems meet the law’s requirements,” said FIPA Executive Director Vincent Gogolek. “If the government had information about past problems with the dam around the tailings pond, they should have informed local residents as required by law.”

Following an earlier complaint by BC FIPA and the UVic Environmental Law Clinic about public bodies failing to release information under this section, Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham investigated the situation. In a report released in December 2013, Commissioner Denham found the BC government failed to carry out its legal duty to release information prior to the collapse of the Testalinden Dam in Oliver.

She also made a number of recommendations for improvements.

“When the Commissioner recommends action on release of information affecting health and safety or the environment we should expect that the government would take action,” said FIPA Executive Director Vincent Gogolek. “It is important for the Commissioner to investigate not just to see if the BC government has again broken the law, but also to see if they have done anything to implement her recommendations.”

Vaughn Palmer: On mega-projects, not much balance in B.C. Liberal claims of ‘on budget’

I was happy to see Vaughn Palmers column today, because his readership far exceeds mine and this story really needs to be read by all British Columbians. He also gives a tip of the hat to a December 21st blog post I did right before Christmas when the SFPR opened, to which I’ve already thanked him for.  It’s a good read, as he takes a look at how the BC Liberals claims of on budget often mean anything but.

Here is an excerpt:

“VICTORIA — When the provincial and federal governments cut the ribbon on the new $1.264-billion South Fraser Perimeter Road just before Christmas, the accompanying press release declared “SFPR opens on time and on budget.”

It was neither, according to earlier press releases from those same two governments.

Jan. 12, 2009. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and then-premier Gordon Campbell met at Fraser Surrey Docks to announce the official start of construction on a 40-kilometre, four-lane highway linking Deltaport and Tsawwassen with the Trans-Canada at the Port Mann Bridge.

The accompanying press release described it as “the $1-billion South Fraser Perimeter Road project.” In calling for bids to build the road, the provincial government had earlier announced: “Construction will begin in 2009 with completion in 2012.”

On that basis, it strikes me that it would be more accurate to say that the road was opened a year late and almost $300 million over-budget. But regular readers of this space will be familiar with the more flexible approach that the B.C. Liberals have taken toward the concept of being on time and on budget….”

Read the rest of Vaughn’s column, here:

And here is my blog post from Dec 21st – note the right before Christmas, under the radar grand opening. And Christy while Christy was no where in sight on this one, a host of other local and provincial politicians cashed in on the photo op…..


*Also coming soon:  the story of the intentional closure of New Jersey bridge lanes to create an intentional gridlock is one that’s very interesting to me, for several reasons… and the clue is right in this link…

I’ll have more on that once I pull out some information that was passed onto me by a trusted source last fall.

BC Liberals pat themselves on the back over SFPR ‘highway’ opening a year late and $464 million over budget

I’ll give the BC Liberals this: they sure know how to crank out a photo-op and they know how to spin a deuce into silk and make it look like they invented it.

Case in point, the grand opening the of much heralded… and criticized… South Fraser Perimeter Road -aka Highway 17 ( the old highway 17 is renamed 17A).

Spin, rinse, repeat.

Yes indeed all the politicians came out to glad hand and pat backs, including Rich Coleman, Peter Fassbender, Barinder Rasode, Todd Stone, Nina Grewal and Kerry-Lynne Findlay.

Remarkably enough, they even managed to tie this project that is over a year late in completion, to Christy Clarks biggest failure to date, the BC Jobs Plan:

“Completing the SFPR was a key goal in the province’s Pacific Gateway Transportation Strategy, which supports the ‘The BC Jobs Plan’ to expand markets for B.C. products and strengthen infrastructure to get goods to market, ensuring B.C is North America’s gateway for Asia-Pacific trade.

The SFPR will generate economic and business opportunities and lead to 7,000 long-term jobs in Delta and Surrey through improved industrial development opportunities along the corridor.”

But what is more ridiculous than claiming that the South Fraser Perimeter Road will lead to 7,000 jobs ( how the Liberals get these numbers no one really knows) , is this this little gem on the press release:


On-time and On-budget?

Some of you will have caught this… and will be laughing, scoffing or otherwise shaking your head in disbelief, but for those of you not privy to the joke, the punchline is “ SFPR opens on-time and on-budget.” This is a Liberal patented tag-line, and is a complete fabrication. They count on very few reporters knowing the full history of this project that was plagued with problems from day 1.

In July  of 2008 when the project was announced and the Requests for Qualifications went out,the press release with it stated construction would start in 2009 and completion was 2012.

In early 2009, the short list of consortiums were issued the Request for Proposals and again, the completion date was stated as 2012.

However, something went wrong between April 2009 and May 2o10, the date of the next press release that announced who the successful bidder was: not only had a major change had been made in the corporate makeup of the winning bidder, but the completion date had suddenly been delayed for an entire year, with no explanation given!

BC Liberal Claim number 1 -South Fraser Perimeter Road on time?  False.

Let’s talk budget now.

In 2006, the  construction budget in future dollars for the SFPR was estimated at approx.  $700 million dollars.

However, rising costs of land expropriations drove that cost far higher ( a very disgusting but routine story in itself when it comes to Ministry of Transportation projects, see my end links for how the MOT conducts its land deals…), and the Liberals announced that an additional ‘contingency’ was set for $300,000. ( what budget doesn’t include a contingency, I don’t know..but that’s how the Libs work)

In fact, in August of 2010, it was announced that the ministry had increased the budget by $37 million found in savings to other capital projects… never saying where those savings had come from:

*Total cost of construction upon announcement: $700-800 million dollars (  it depends on which press release you look at- it changes)

*Total cost being heralded by politicians today? $1.26 billion dollars. ( this figure also varies depending on past press reports)

*Total actual cost overruns according to my calculations ?  approx. $264 million – or around a 40-45% increase

BC Liberal Claim number 2- South Fraser Perimeter Road on Budget? False

What else the BC Liberals press release didn’t tell the public

Beyond the fallacy that this project was on time and on budget, the press release failed to mention a number of other items. The project was plagued by controversy from the beginning:

-Even losing bidders win, when it comes to the BC Government… who hands out million dollar stipends to losing bidders to compensate them for their time and expense. SFPR included.

-Despite the fact it was pushed as a nonstop freeway route where trucks did not have to stop and idle, and despite the massive cost overruns, the project was still downgraded significantly from a highway with no stops, to a highway with lighted intersections… intersections that would not only result in congestion on opening day ( hence the Saturday before Christmas opening), but intersections that will result in safety issues as well.

Now, not only will trucks to the port have to stop and idle, they will be mingling with cars and minvans since the province is now pushing this route as  not only the only free alternative to the tolled Port Mann bridge, but a fast way to the ferries. Unfortunately a lack of clear signage has already resulted in lost motorists, prior to the opening.

– Nor will the Liberals tell you about the Railgate connection to all of it…which is huge. It is not something that has been talked about other than a side story, but is very significant of itself.

– And they certainly left out about how absolutely vital the SFPR is to the shadow plan to industrialize and build homes on the ALR land south of the Fraser…which might explain all the smiley faces in the photo above. This is a must read.

No… the BC Liberals won’t tell you any of that in their feel good, lets all hold hands and sing Kumbaya together press opp. They don’t want you to know they are going to have to rebuild all those intersection a few years from now, and that they could have saved taxpayers a ton of money by doing it now. They don’t want you to know that the safety of the road was questioned before it was completed, as linked to above.

They just want you to drive on the damn road so they have enough road count numbers to justify the construction of the items they chose not to do as costs escalated. They just want to share the momentary joy of having completed one portion of the plan to remove much of the ALR south of the Fraser, to share the momentary joy of getting truck to the port before the expanded Panama Canal takes a portion of our shipping container traffic away.

Fiscal responsibility went out the window long ago. Don’t be surprised when the traffic jams start being reported on the news every day… this new road/aka highway was destined to be a dud before it even opened.

Merry Christmas Todd. I know it’s not the mess you created, but you certainly stepped into it.

This week’s column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Changing the rules doesn’t make LNG ‘clean’ energy

Yes, yes, yes, I know I’ve teased you with hints of the post on the BC NDP, and a couple other gems, but I’ve come down sick with a nasty head cold and cough that makes me feel like my brain is cotton.  Thankfully,I managed to get this weeks column done just as I was starting to get sick, but that’s going to be it for a day or two until this passes.

This week, Brent and I debate this question” Are LNG profits worth the trade-offs in B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions targets?

I say no, but this is a tricky question to debate  because as the narrative gets pushed along that burning LNG is dirty, so begins the push for Site C and other ‘clean’ projects – regardless if they could even be constructed in time to run any LNG plants on Clarks timeline. Therein lies the real danger of these debates.


The BC Liberals, under the leadership of former premier Gordon Campbell, passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act in 2007, requiring the province reduce emissions by at least 33% by 2020.

A lofty goal, and one the province has adhered to. Now Premier Christy Clark and her liquefied natural gas dreams could change all that.

Clark has found herself under fire from critics over her claims that B.C.’s proposed LNG facilities will be the cleanest in the world. In fact, she has gone as far as saying they will do the world a “favour,” a comment predicated on her theory that exported B.C. LNG could replace the use of coal in China, thereby reducing world air pollution.

Like all things that seem too good to be true, her claims of B.C. having the cleanest LNG facilities in the world one day are as premature and foolhardy as her assertions about related job creation and profits.

The Clark government knows that natural gas would most likely be needed to power the proposed LNG plants. Knowing this, the Clean Energy Act was changed in 2012 — meaning from that point on any natural gas burned to fuel LNG plants was to be considered “clean energy.” In fact, it is anything but clean.

Read Brent Stafford’s column


READ the rest of this weeks column, and vote for whom you think should win this weeks debate here:

Petro-China executives face corruption probe.

Petro-China lost $1 billion dollars in market value in one day of trading, as investors bailed  following news that the corruption probe in China had been expanded to include three executives at Petro-China.

Trading of shares in PetroChina and unit Kunlun Energy Co. KLYCY -8.19%were halted Tuesday ahead of PetroChina’s disclosure that three of the companies’ senior executives were under investigation by the Chinese government for “severe disciplinary violations” and had resigned.

The news followed by a day parent company China National Petroleum Corp.’s announcement that one of its executives was being investigated for the same reason. Neither PetroChina, the country’s largest listed oil company by capacity, nor CNPC have released specifics about the probes, but the term “severe disciplinary violations” often implies corruption investigations in China.


Analysts noted that investigations into Chinese state-owned enterprises, or SOEs, operating in the energy sector aren’t unprecedented, pointing to the arrest and resignation of former China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. chairman Chen Tonghai.

Mr. Chen was given a suspended death sentence in 2009 on corruption charges after he admitted to improperly accepting more than $28 million in bribes. In 2010, the company, known as Sinopec, also admitted that one of its employees took bribes from German auto maker Daimler AG.

This news piqued my interest entirely because Petro-China is a stakeholder in several Canadian projects, including heavy investments in Alberta’s oil and gas, as well as Kitimat’s LNG terminal.

In recent months, new President Xi Jinping started a very high-profile anti-corruption campaign after declaring corruption to be a threat to the survival of the Communist party.  While allegations of corruption at the executive level are nothing new to the corporate world globally, in China the penalty is potentially lethal.

Case in point, the case of Zeng Chengjie, who had been referred to often in news reports as the Bernie Madoff of China.  He was executed by lethal injection, and Chinese officials didn’t even inform his family prior to the execution. What struck many around the world in this case, including Araminta Wordsworth of the National Post, was the disparity between how Communist party members and officials are dealt with, and how everyone else is dealt with:

Liu Zhijun embezzled more than three billion yuan ($505-million), including $9-million in bribes. Investigators also discovered he owned 16 cars and more than 350 apartments, and supported 18 mistresses. (According to Chinese media reports, these figures represent about one third of what he actually stole.)

Zeng Chengjie, described as the Bernie Madoff of China, raised 3.5 billion yuan ($570-million) from more than 20,000 people, and was responsible for investor losses totaling 620-million yuan.

Both were found guilty, but guess which one was executed? Why Zeng, of course. The self-made businessman found himself unprotected after a clearout of officials who had encouraged him to get into the business in the first place.

Liu was the railways minister and a high-ranking Communist Party official with stellar family connections.

How – or if- the current investigation involving Petro-China and its parent company executives impacts it’s business outlook longterm is unknown, but this latest story highlights two big issues for me.

First,Chinese state owned businesses operating and investing in Canadian resources and infrastructure is still a big catch-point for many Canadions concernd about how that threatens Canada’s ability to control our own resources.

Second, the irony is not lost on me, of the stark contrast between the Chinese Communist Party pushing an anti-corruption probe forward…as superficial as it may be… while Canadian officials and politicians  sit and twiddle their thumbs when the subject of corruption comes up in our own country – with the exception of Quebec’s Charbonneau Commission.

*recent Canada-China news:

“The good thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.” ~ Andrew Tanenbaum

In going through my emails this evening – a never-ending job these days it seems – I came across one from a reader commenting on the Twitter exchange between Rich Coleman and myself on March 20th of this year.

Scrolling back to that morning, Coleman had nattered about John Hogan’s comment on NW: “There is a sucker born every minute.”

I called him out and commented that he was hypocritical for taking after Horgan, when he refused to apply the same standard to Bill Bennett’s now infamous  “NDP Turds” comment.

Later on that day, Coleman was still nattering about it and out of the blue tweeted a  YouTube video of himself talking about David Black’s refinery as compared to the NDP response to myself and another follower. When I asked why he was sending me his YouTube video, what followed was a snarky response to me that he thought I deserved some ‘face time’ and that my call out behind my feed wasn’t constructive.

Clearly, either I had hit a nerve or Ritchie was having a bad day. Either way, the exchange did not go unregarded by many.

Fast forward a couple of weeks to this new video of Rich Coleman, titled: Q: How do you feel about direct criticism from the press/media?  

Please take 2 minutes to watch this.

Ah yes… there we go, those horrible blogs that write things that are not factual, just make things up and have no standards or accountability. Those blogs can just say anything and isn’t that a shame? No one to hold them to account. Sounds like a bunch of politicians!

First, I will be the first one to agree that there are some really terrible blogs out there that will write anything, say anything and to hell with what anyone thinks. That is the nature of the internet and it doesn’t just apply to blogs. Reader/buyer beware.

However, there are also many excellent blogs out there that offer a different type of public service and alternative news source, some of which are on my blog roll to the side. I write both opinion pieces and editorials, but have also broken some very compelling news stories. The Sea to Sky Shadow Toll series, the precedent setting Tercon vs Ministry of Transportation decade long litigation and SCOC ruling and many others. Some have been covered nationally, some completely ignored, but the stories are here nonetheless, with proof, documents etc. The same goes for many other top BC bloggers.

I absolutely trust that all of our collective readers can tell the difference between what is good, accurate and verified… and what is not … and in that respect the blogosphere is no different from my more mainstream colleagues.

There are very good journalist’s, reporters and columnists… and at the opposite end there have been unsettling cases of reporters or columnists who have plagiarized work or even simply made things up. I won’t even get into the other issues plaguing reporting and conflicts of interest.

That is human nature, and as the quote above states, there are so many standards to choose from even where there is a set of professional expectations written to adhere to. It is glaringly obvious that in the video above, Rich Coleman fails to see the irony of his lament over bloggers who make false statements and or those who criticize him.

For in fact, if I were to have the inclination to make such absurd videos, I would say how difficult it is to be a journalist, or a blogger, when politicians say things that aren’t factual, or distort facts.

Or when they deflect a question because they don’t feel like answering when the truth isn’t working for them.

Or when we have to file Freedom of Information requests for basic information from a government that claims it is  the most open and transparent government BC has ever had.

Or when they deliberately withhold and politically interfere with legislative process and or reports because the truth is going to show they once again, deceived the public who voted them in.

I’m all about accountability. I can’t speak for anyone else, but if my name is on it, and I wrote it, I have to answer for it.  I verify sources, have hard copy backup, documents, whatever I need to write my stories.  It’s my name, my reputation and I’ll answer to what I have written or risk the consequence.

From what I have seen over the last  two years in particular, that is a higher standard than either Coleman, or most of his Liberal caucus colleagues can say about their own behavior. Hence the quote in the headline: “The good thing about standards is that there are so many of them.” Coleman seems to like to pick which standards apply to others…but not apply them to his own party.

This brings me to an excerpt from an older post that I will leave you with today, since we are talking about standards and accountability. I think it is quiet relevant again, since we are mere weeks from an election and new government. Something to think about.

Why are our politicians and public officials not held to a higher, and stronger level of accountability?  Where does it all start and how do we fix it?

I noticed an oath of the wall of the legislature when I visited Victoria last month, the Oath for Public Service Employees.

As a member of the British Columbia Public Service, I, ………………………………… , [employee name] do solemnly swear/affirm [circle one] that I will

1 loyally serve the people of British Columbia through their democratically elected government,

2 honour and faithfully abide by the Standards of Conduct for Public Service Employees, and

3 to the best of my ability,

(a) act with integrity, putting the interests of the public and the public service above my own personal interest and avoiding all conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived,

(b) safeguard confidential information, not divulging it unless I am either authorized to do so or required to do so by law,

(c) base my advice, recommendations and decisions on the objective evidence that is available to me,

(d) serve the government impartially, and

(e) conduct myself honestly and ethically, in a manner that maintains and enhances the public’s trust and confidence in the public service and does not bring it into disrepute.

Interestingly enough – and I would love it if someone could help me out here – I could not find anything more than the following for the oath an MLA must swear before the Lieutenant Governor before becoming a member of the Legislative Assembly:

I, ………………, swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II [or her successor], her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.

( It is interesting to note that it does not state ” I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the people of BC…” but rather, they still bear faith to the queen of  a country that bears no real status in our governance in modern times.  To me, changing this would be a start. )

I,______________________, affirm that I will serve Her Majesty duly and faithfully, and to the best of my ability fulfil the responsibilities and trust granted to me as a Member of the Executive Council of British Columbia.

I,______________________, affirm that I will keep confidential all matters dealt with in the Executive Council, and I will not disclose any of the same to any person other than a Member of the Executive Council except as authorized by it or as required in the lawful discharge of my duties as a Member of the Executive Council.

Affirmed before me at Victoria, British Columbia

this___ day of________, AD 20____


Wow.  Apparently, our government expects and  holds public service employees to a higher standard of professionalism and dedication than they do themselves… Really. Go back and read those oaths again, and then you tell me what’s wrong with this picture.

It surely won’t solve everything, and it certainly will not prevent an unethical and dishonest person from being elected into public office, but it would be a start.

 The time has come when the people of British Columbia will not be taken for granted any longer, because after all, it is was not the Liberals who made this province what it is, it was us, and it will always be us.

  Politicians of every party across this great province would do well to remember that, because  British Columbians are a powerful political force in their own right.

What’s it like working with Premier Christy Clark? “She’s a role model for the next generation…” ~ Rich Coleman, minister of everything.

Thankfully, I’ll never have to find out. However, Rich Coleman, minister of everything under the sun has, and actually likes working with Christy so much, he made this video on YouTube just to prove how much he likes working with her.

Hmm…  ok….is it just me, or does Rich Coleman look like he’s in an interrogation room? Did someone make him do this video? Is there a bomb under his chair ? Why does he look so nervous? Why is he blinking so much?

Hmm. let’s think back… we have Milfgate, the Boessenkool botched investigation,Christy’s spending,spending,spending, nonstop pandering ( In her heart, shes a Filipina) which has now been revealed as part of an elaborate plan to make some quick wins of the ethic communities…. and she’s a role model for the next generation ?

No wonder the poor man looks like a deer caught in headlights.

Now.. while you are chewing on that bit of gristle ( and there are more, and I refer to all of them as gristle because they are really, really hard to swallow )… I’m working on two items for you… a new blog for the Huffington Post BC on the leaked emails and Clarks reaction… and an item for a new venture I am working on.

Enjoy… or…laugh… or … run for the hills… take your pick.

(And I apologize for the lack of posts, I’ve been quite sick and only doing wee bits here and there. )

Friends helping friends: The story of how the BC Liberal – SNC Lavalin connection persists with Christy Clark.

Click on the photo below to see Gwyn Morgans person contributions to the BC Liberals and Christy Clark.

Gwyn Morgan

Now…. let’s go back and read this story, detailing some of the conflicts behind the proposed Victoria LRT line, SNC and Clark.

The BC Liberal – SNC Lavalin connection: Moral hazard is when they take your money and then are not responsible for what they do with it.

And yes…. no surprise here… SNC gets the new skytrain line project:

SNC Lavalin awarded Evergreen Line rapid transit project in Metro Vancouver

Former SNC head Pierre Duhaime formally charged with fraud.  ( yes that would be the very same Pierre whose indignant quotes regarding the corruption report in Quebec are included in the first link above)

In a related story, the revelations and allegations keep piling up in Quebec’s Charbonneau inquiry into corruption in the construction industry there : an engineering firm confirmed today that it engaged in  “inappropriate conduct” in the financing of political parties in Quebec and the awarding of municipal contracts as outlined in recent allegations to the province’s corruption inquiry.

One can only wonder if there is a politician in British Columbia who is ready to take on similar and ongoing allegations relating to bidding “irregularities” for both provincial and municipal contracts in our fine province, several of which I’ve written about here on this site.

When companies bidding on contracts:

  • wine and dine politicians and senior staff members;
  •  engage in the excessive financing of political parties and candidates;
  • advise and mentor politicians while holding active contracts;
  • provide access to entertainment, go on personal vacations with and otherwise provide gains to provincial and municipal politicians that would, without a doubt, be considered a conflict of interest or influence peddling….

… then we have entered the realm of corruption.

It has been revealed in the ongoing corruption inquiry in Quebec that Habs tickets were the currency of choice for companies eager to corrupt city and provincial officials and staff.

Hmm…anybody sweating yet?

We find ourselves with a premier who campaigned on bringing open government to the people and then quickly revealed herself as being more secretive than Campbell ever was. A premier who mandates transparency and accountability to ensure tax dollars are being spent wisely to give British Columbians a better quality of life… but applies that mandate selectively, targeting her foes and protecting her friends.

My repeated calls for a full investigation into the government bidding process within all ministries of the government of B.C. ( and certain municipalities) have gone unheeded or acknowledged by any party in British Columbia, even when bolstered with a federal report indicating a lack of accountability, experience and transparency in the process.

To do anything less, is to condone corruption within government by our elected officials, by those deemed with the power to stop it.

Time for Minister Rich Coleman to step down – calls to Surrey Councillors absolute political interference in process.

There is more to come on Coleman and the Gateway story – it’s huge and is still developing on several angles, but Alex Browne of the Peace Arch News scooped a hint of it with this story just out:

“BC Liberal MLA Gordon Hogg says he is “surprised” and “disappointed” to learn that B.C.’s minister responsible for gaming made personal calls to Surrey councillors during last week’s public-hearing process on the Gateway casino-entertainment complex.

 “I’m planning to have further discussion with my colleagues on this,” the Surrey-White Rock MLA said Tuesday.

Hogg said it’s a matter of concern for him that his BC Liberal colleague, Rich Coleman, was talking to council members between two public hearings on the South Surrey project.

Hogg said such conversation was open to interpretations that it was an attempt to influence the decision.

Repeated attempts by Peace Arch News to reach Coleman since Monday morning have been unsuccessful.

Couns. Tom Gill and Bruce Hayne confirmed to PAN independently Tuesday that they had both received calls from Coleman between the first public-hearing session Jan. 14 and a second session Jan. 18. Both councillors said Coleman advised them that if the project didn’t pass, Surrey would not receive any other applications through BC Lottery Corporation.”

This is not only unregistered lobbying, this is political interference from a Minister who should, by position, remain exempt from comment or influence in any manner. As a former RCMP member, Coleman more than anyone, should know this.

I would hope Coleman would do the right thing and step down immediately, but failing that, Christy Clark needs to do the right thing and ask him to stand down pending a full investigation into this proposal from beginning to end. Well done to Alex Browne of the Peace Arch News for this!!!!

*** A little bit of connection here…. Senator Larry Campbell has a seat on the board of directors of Great Canadian Casino…. perhaps Coleman was/is gunning for a seat on the board of Gateway Casinos ?