From the Tyee: ” Libs look like they’re hiding info until election ends: ethics expert.”

The Tyee has again highlighted an irritating yet important issue for the Libs this election in the following article excerpts:

BC Rail Trust Fund: Timing of Financial Blackout Questioned


Libs look like they’re hiding info until election ends: ethics expert.


By Andrew MacLeod
Published: May 5, 2009

That a trust fund dedicated to northern development failed to publish its financial statements on time suggests possible political interference, says a Simon Fraser University business ethics professor.

“My sense is we do have a problem here,” said Mark Wexler, who teaches at SFU. “Without a good explanation, the public is led to believe the Liberals have something to hide by putting it off until either just before the election when nothing can be put into the press or after.”

“If they do deliver it one day before the election, that seems awfully convenient,” Wexler added.

The BC Liberals founded the Northern Development Initiative Trust when they privatized B.C. Rail in 2004 to soften the blow to the already hurting northern interior of the province. The trust has received $185 million in taxpayer money, but Tyee columnist Will McMartin reported yesterday the directors failed to meet an April 30 deadline to publish their updated financial statements.

And, as McMartin reported, there is reason to believe the trust has lost tens of millions of dollars.

“If Campbell was in the opposition, I don’t think he’d find it acceptable,” said Wexler….”

~ snip~

“The fund has likely lost in the order of $25 million after directors shifted to a more risky investment approach, the Tyee’s McMartin calculated.

Wexler said The Tyee’s calculations looked about right. “They wouldn’t have lost nearly as much had they maintained the portfolio they started with,” he said. The directors kept a low-risk portfolio when the economy was relatively stable and moved it into higher-risk investments at a time when there were clear warning signs, he said. “Their acumen as businessmen is somewhat in question.” ”

….. read the remainder of this column on the Tyee website here:

Another must read is the lead up by Will McMartin :

A New BC Rail Cover-Up?

The Campbell government put money from its BC Rail sale into a trust, but a shift to riskier investing likely lost $25 million. We can’t know for sure, because trust directors are breaking the law by not posting statements.