Brookfield Asset Management, Gordon Campbell and British Columbia’s best assets

 Damn, I love Google. I just love it! Couldn’t live without it , I think.

For example, on my blog stats today I noticed a sudden and rapid increase in Google search terms of a company called Brookfield Asset Management.

Specifically, ” Brookfield Asset Management” + “Gordon Campbell”…

Nothing sets off my radar faster than something like this,because if someone else is curious about it to that extent, I probably should be too.

So, being the curious person that I am, I decided to find out what all the fuss what about – especially since I recently blogged about Patrick Kinsella’s lobbying activities and in that blog post, Brookfield Asset Management happened to be listed as as contributor to the BC Liberal Party between 2001 and 2008 to the tune of  $51,400. 

 Not an insignificant sum, I would think. At least not to me. But then again, I’m not a politician or an executive.

The blog post that this information can be found in, IS one of the items returned on the Google Search Results when you put “gordon campbell”  and Brookfield Asset Management  together. Here is the link to that post, which can be found on my site. https://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/the-kinsella-connection-it%e2%80%99s-no-secret-that-patrick-kinsella-is-one-of-gordon-campbell%e2%80%99s-closest-friends/

Let’s begin the tip-toe trip through the vast confines of the world wide web….accurate word( web) to use in this case.

Here is the page that comes up when you google ” Gordon Campbell” + ” Brookfield Asset Management” :

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=gordon+campbell+and+brookfield+asset+management&meta=&aq=f&oq=

This may be interesting for those of you who have not heard the names together, because  this company has quite a few interesting and contentious relationships  to Campbell and the BC Liberals….. and the company has also had a firm grip on some of BC’s  best and most precious forest assets – which appear to have become the West Coast’s best real estate.

Let’s have a look down the page …

 ” Gordon Campbell” and ” Brookfield Asset Management”.  Yes indeed, quite the relationship between the BC Liberals and this company- read for yourself on these links:

 1)  http://forestpolicyresearch.org/2009/02/26/british-columbia-remember-all-those-envro-regulations-local-jobs/

Excerpt:

” The previous owners of this forestland, Weyerhaeuser, had obtained
special certification for their logging practices in order to get past
tight restrictions set by buyers of lumber such as Home Depot, and
European markets. The standards needed to meet these regulations
forced the logging multinational to leave small clumps of trees
throughout their clear-cuts, including small buffers along watershed
tributaries. Certification was approved, trees were cashed in for
dollars, and investors were paid.

At the same time international and domestic consumers were duped into believing that logging in BC is regulated by the highest environmental standards in the world. Then Weyerhaeuser sold all of its forestland on Vancouver Island to Brookfield Assets Management IncThrough the BC Investment Corporation 25% of Island Timberlands is owned by BC Government employees via their pension funds.Since 2005, profits from this logging company have been stored offshore in Bermuda by Brookfield Asset Management in order to minimize taxes paid in Canada. Island Timberlands is now cutting down the buffer trees which completely defeats the purpose of Variable Retention logging practices. ”

-snip-

” Since 2001 Premier Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government has stripped away these regulations, cut back the Forest Service staff, and given hundreds of thousand of hectares to multinational forest companies, which they are selling as real estate.”

-snip-

“Brookfield Asset Management Inc. has been strategically placing forestland on the real estate market along the east coast of Vancouver Island.”

Hmmmm…. there is another link on this site to full details – WHICH IS A MUST READ for all British Columbians who value this province :

http://islandlens.blogspot.com/2009/02/forest-lands-liquidated-into-real.html

2)  Another mention in this Georgia Straight  story from December 2008:

http://www.straight.com/article-177689/court-decision-nullifies-regional-bylaws-linked-rich-colemans-controverisal-landuse-decision

 3)   Yet another mention that tells the tale of a native court case that was won against BRASCAN, the previous name of Brookdfield Asset Management :

http://www.pej.org/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=4028&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

However, one that I found most interesting, was this link to a Tyee Viewpoint by Will McMartin in January 2007 :

4)   http://thetyee.ca/Views/2007/01/31/HealthAuthorities/

Excerpt: ( head 3/4’s of the way down under the header” Cross Pollination’ to locate in the link)

Brian Kenning, previously managing director with Brookfield Asset Management (formerly known as Brascan Corporation), was appointed by the Campbell government to the board of directors for B.C. Rail in 2001.

He was named to Catalyst’s board last year.

Another Campbell-government appointee to B.C. Rail’s board is Robert Phillips, a former MacMillan Bloedel executive. (He earlier had been the Crown corporation’s president and CEO.) Phillips sits on a number of corporate boards, including that of a Richmond-based income trust, Tree Island Wire Income Fund.”

Wow…… I guess it’s true when they say it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know….

5) I also noted this story in the Globe and Mail of who is just now joining Teck Cominco’s board :

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090420.WBstreetwise20090420165133/WBStory/WBstreetwise

None other than Jack Cockwell, the chairman at Brookfield Asset Management……. this all leads me to this list of rather large and important donations made to the BC liberal Party from 2007 , information available at http://www.elections.bc.ca/  I must remind you that there is nothing illegal about rather large forestry, mining, and media corporations giving substantial donations to the BC Liberals, but it is interesting to me in particular, when in politics,  the companies who  do contribute  always seem to get lucrative contracts down the road. Just saying.

 Teck Cominco & Subsidiaries: $216,000

Canfor: $71,000

 Goldcorp: $79,000

Encana: $56,490

Elk Valley Coal: $56,490

Telus: $52,400

Aquilini Group: $50,000

CanWest Global: $50,000

Brookfield Asset Management: $50,000

TimberWest: $44,600

West Fraser: $40,200

Catalyst Paper :$40,000

Interfor: $38,000

Jim Pattison Group & Great Pacific Investments: $34,000

Now, isn’t that something? I wonder what the donors list will look like for this election when it becomes available!!!

If you are an average person like me, let me ask you this question.

When you read the links , hear  and understand the story of how all these companies and politicians work together, doesn’t it make you wonder what else the BC Liberals will sell, or give away? Does it make you wonder where the premiers priorities for the enviroment really are?

I’m curious….. and I wonder what Gordon Campbell has to say about all this, since he has been on the campaign trail telling all the forestry workers how hes saving their jobs, making BC lumber important, valuing our provinces resources…..? 

How does he justify all of this?

And  more importantly, where will it end ?

 *************News Update, April 29th @ 1pm:***************

LangfordNDP Leader Carole James today announced her plan to acquire 12,000 hectares of forest land sold-off to private interests by the Campbell government.

 “Gordon Campbell has presided over the biggest sell-off of public resources in BC history,” said James. “Since 2004, he’s given away 120,000 hectares of our forest lands to private interests. Today I’m announcing my plan to repair some of the damage the Campbell government has done to BC’s wild west coast.

 “Our plan will achieve several key goals identified by the community. We will defend rural lands and the coast from uncontrolled development, help resolve treaty negotiations, establish community forest jobs, preserve recreational access and create expanded provincial parks.”

 James announced her intention to negotiate with Western Forest Products to acquire 12,000 hectares of lands formerly in Tree Farm Licence 25. The lands stretch approximately 40 km along the South Coast of Vancouver Island from east of the Sooke river most of the way to Port Renfrew, including five kilometers of Coastline.

 “These forest lands have supported industry, recreation, tourism and the wild values of BC’s west coast for decades. Without consultation, the Campbell government turned these lands over to real estate development, violating the public interest,” said James.  “We will change that and protect this unique area.”

 The lands were released from TFL 25 for private development in 2007 by then-Forests Minister Rich Coleman, whose actions in this case prompted a subsequent investigation by the Auditor General.

 “There was absolutely no consultation with communities about the use and removal of this land. We want to be clear that once we acquire this land we will consult with communities about the best use.”

 James also committed to a strengthened Private Managed Forest Land Act to improve protection and management of watersheds, wildlife and public resources that are impacted by activities within private forest lands. The Act will work alongside an updated old growth strategy for coast and interior old growth forests.

 Well Done, Carol! 

It’s nice to see that at least one of the Party leaders running had the vision and concern to address this issue… Now Carol, can you get an answer from Campbell on why this isn’t an issue for the BC Liberals?

8 Comments on “Brookfield Asset Management, Gordon Campbell and British Columbia’s best assets

  1. “Now, isn’t that something? When you read the links , hear and understand the story of how all these companies and politicians work together, doesn’t it make you wonder what else the BC Liberals will sell?

    Keep track of your kids, Laila, because if retail picks up again and the third world runs short of cheap labor, maybe Gordo could cut education costs and generate income by exporting child labor, calling it “cultural exchange” of course! Those being neglected in government care would run out quickly in a real BOOM market.

    • RossK and Koot, I think you both have it right. This is a massive company with many divisions, many of which have been checking out this post for the past 24 hours. One in particular is the power division in Quebec( get back to work you guys).

      Funny you mention a possible “cultural exchange” Koot – I read last night the Surrey School board is short $9.5 million to cover the school year. We are going to be short 6 school days, so they might have to cut those days and add minutes onto all the others to make up for it. One of the reasons they are short, they claim? A downturn in the number of foreign students who pay to come here and study.
      quote:
      ” Due to a global recession that has left almost no one unscathed, the district will see a drop in international students, a lucrative source of funding for school districts all over the province. McNally says the district plans to market the program more aggressively, especially in China and Korea. ”

      Pretty bad when our school systems rely on foreign kids for profit making ventures, just so our kids can actually attend ! Shirley Bond should explain how this happened,considering how great and strong the provinces economic position is in ( according to Gordons campaign mantra)

  2. Thanks for the in-depth coverage. All of the relationships and dealings you’ve mentions are incredibly damaging, but what gives away how damaging is the lurking on your sight. Based on the number and power quotient of referrers you’ve listed as having visited your site, it appears there are a lot of nervous people out there tonight. Let’s hope big media does its job and informs the mainstream.

    Great post, Laila.

  3. The Canadian Constitution, is no longer a decree. Civil rights, freedom and democracy, have been shut off. Corruption and greed is profound. Truth and being accountable, has long passed. The two main reasons of, corruption, in Canada are, our politicians and the, RCMP. Corruption, spread to government agencies, and services, and is now out of control. There will soon be, the fact, there are not enough wage earners, low income family’s, and seniors, to support our corrupt, governing officials. There are no jobs, people have lost their homes, we are going to be shafted, with another, asinine, tax. The HST, will cause, thousands more people to become homeless. Those people will be, low income families and seniors. Our voices were ignored. Canadians, were literally told to shut our mouths, because, the HST, is going to be forced on citizens regardless. This means, instead of the government thieving 7 months a year of our incomes , we will then have to pay 8 months a year. The HST, is the most unfair tax of all, low income residents pay the same percentage, of citizens who, earn a high income. If residents of BC, thought the carbon tax was a tax grab, just wait til the HST, is forced on, people who are already burdened, with unfair taxation.