Tercon Contractors Ltd vs. British Columbia ( Ministry of Transportation and Highways)

If it can be said there is any good that has come from the infamous and inexhaustible BC Rail debacle, it would be that it opened my eyes to much of what goes on with the tendering process within many ministries of the B.C. government.

In particular, tendering irregularities, for lack of a better word. Irregularities and mysteries as to how public contracts are awarded to the companies who submit bids for them, big or small.

 I’ve blogged several times about the sea to sky highway ( or the Sea to Sly Highway, as I refer to it), and the Port Mann bridge project, both with regards to the contractors and how  or why those bids were awarded.  I’ve been told by many professionals within the  BC road construction industry that there are serious questions many contractors have regarding  the entire tendering process, whether it be the P-3 model, or what was traditionally an open bid and award process for public projects. Throughout the conversations I’ve had, one thing became glaringly clear :  something is wrong with the tendering and bidding process for public projects in BC.

And nowhere is this more substantially shown than in a lawsuit that has been quietly going on since 2004 , when  a  road construction company said enough is enough, and took the Province of British Columbia to court :  Tercon Contractors Ltd. vs British Columbia ( Ministry of Transportation) .

I say quietly only in reference to the  mainstream media, of course, because I could find naught about it in the news most people read, but law journals, legal publications and construction companies everywhere in Canada have been buzzing about it for years. The implications of the pending outcome of this case are serious for the construction industry across Canada, as well as for how governments conduct the bidding process.

It is a long case, but easily understand to most and there are certain to be arguments made for those legally inclined among you, but let me take you through the gist of it.

The  B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Highways put forth a request for  Expressions of Interest to construct  a 25 kilometre strip of highway in northern BC, in 2001. 6 companies responded to that request, and were evaluated for eligibility through the ministry’s process.

 The Ministry then issued a Request for Proposals, of which only the shortlisted companies that met the eligibility requirements would be allowed to submit proposals. Tercon  and another company, Brentwood Enterprises, both made the shortlist of  companies that met the eligibility requirements.

At some point prior to the submission of the RFP, Brentwood –  who had become eligible based on their company alone –  took steps to enter into a joint venture with another company that had not undergone the eligibility review of the initial process, and the ministry was made aware of this prior to their submission.  Now, this is where it gets sticky.

This excerpt from a case-law comment provides the easiest explanation of what happened then:

Through a series of correspondence and discussions, both pre- and post-RFP closing, the Ministry was alerted to the fact that the Brentwood proposal was, in essence, a joint venture submission on behalf of Brentwood and Emil Anderson.

However, in an attempt to submit a compliant proposal, the Brentwood/Emil Anderson proposal was submitted solely under Brentwood’s name.

  When the Ministry conducted its evaluation of all proposals, the “Brentwood” proposal received the highest rating. Recognizing the potential problem with the Brentwood submission, the Ministry sought legal advice as to how it might accept the Brentwood proposal despite the fact that it was essentially not a submission by a firm short-listed as a result of the RFEI evaluation.

In addition, the Ministry actually amended draft copies of evaluation reports to hide the fact that the Brentwood proposal was truly a submission from a joint venture and amended the terms of the construction contract (“Contract B”) to identify Emil Anderson as a “major member of theContractor’s construction team.” 

Ultimately, the Ministry awarded the construction contract to Brentwood and Tercon sued for breach of Contract A.

The judge found in favor of Tercon and awarded the company $ 3,293.998.00 in damages. She had this to say in her summary, which can be read in the following PDF file  : tercon reasons for judgement 2006 

 The Ministry acted egregiously when it knew or should have known that the Brentwood bid was not compliant and then acted to incorporate EAC indirectly in contract B whilst ensuring that this fact was not disclosed. These circumstances do not lead this court to give aid to the defendant by holding the plaintiff to this clause.

 Of course, the ministry appealed, and the judgement was overturned because the appeal judges felt the exclusion clause built into the contract spelled out the terms concisely and without mistake.

 In their eyes, despite the ministry’s involvement in accepting an ineligible bidder, and disguising that fact from other bidders and their own documents,  the clause excluded the ministry from any actions brought forth by other bidders, as Tercon took to do.  That case summary can be read HERE.

Again, the full implications of the case have yet to hit home, because Tercon took leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, who heard the case early last year : http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/case-dossier/cms-sgd/sum-som-eng.aspx?cas=32460

The Supreme court has yet to rule on this case, although the fact that they are taking so long  would seem to suggest a favorable rule towards Tercon, as relayed by some construction lawyers across Canada. Clearly, there stands at risk  the entire integrity of the bidding system, which appears to be horribly breached.

Should the Supreme court rule against Tercon, we can expect what many categorize as the currently unfair and irregular tendering process to continue, with the resulting  consequences.  As stated in this case comment on the BC appeal:

For many years, Canadian courts have recognized the need to protect the integrity of the tender process. Our courts have often acted boldly to ensure fairness in the tender process, but our courts are ultimately constrained by the law of contract in affording relief to aggrieved bidders.

Where owners have acted unfairly, courts have often decided that the bid contract (created when a compliant bid is submitted) contains implied terms prohibiting that unfairness. When owners have responded by including, in the next call for tenders, express terms which give them wide latitude in the way bidders can be treated, the courts have attempted to interpret those express terms in ways which preserve the integrity of the tender process.

This contest between owners and the courts has resulted in tender packages containing terms which are more and more explicit in favor of owners, and which have recently created much difficulty for our courts in trying to maintain the integrity of the tender process.

~snip~

Owners need to understand that if they include tender terms that allow them, with impunity, to treat bidders unfairly, they may see fewer bids, intentionally non-compliant bids, and higher bids.

 If the Instructions contain terms which allow owners to treat bidders in a way not normally expected (for example, allowing owners to accept non-compliant bids, allowing owners to negotiate with bidders after the close of tenders or prohibiting any claims by bidders for anything related to the tender process), then potential bidders may decide against bidding, may submit an intentionally non-compliant bid (revocable at any time) or bid higher than they normally would.
 
I would be terribly remiss to fail and remind you that  Judith Reid was the transportation minister at the time this project was being bid on. Kevin Falcon took over the Ministry of Transportation in January of 2004, where he remained until last year. I wonder what either would have to say should the Supreme court rules in favor of Tercon and the $3 million dollar judgement ordered to be paid out by the Provincial Government ?
  
$3 million of taxpayers money, at that. 
 
But there is more. Although the bulk of complaints about the government procurement process have occurred in recent years, tendering irregularities  go back  further than that. In the 1990’s, Tercon took the provincial government to court in a wrongful award suit, and won damages as well.  Details are in this PDF document : tercon reasons for judgement north island highway
The government appealed and  was unsuccessful in their appeal . The judgement was upheld, and it is believed that this initial case paved the road for the case Tercon is currently awaiting ruling on from the Supreme court

 Whether  the actions of the government are due to honest mistake, ignorance, incompetence or  corruption in either of these cases, is completely open to interpretation, and I will let you decide for yourself what you believe after reading the links and documents within this post.

 Clearly, something is grievously wrong with how things are operating within public process in British Columbia, and  the question must be asked, why does it continue unabated?

My curiosities for this type of ad hoc policy began when the Port Mann bridge bidder lost their financing and the province still awarded them the contract- simply making the project a public one, rather than a P-3. 

 Even to a layperson with little knowledge of tendering, bids and contract law, it would seem odd. One would think that if the successful bidder could no longer meet the specifications and requirements  of the bid,  in particular, an inability to provide the financing demanded by the province, that the deal would be null and void and the contract would be awarded to the next lowest bidder who met the qualifications. 

It just makes sense – or at least it does to me.

 But then I became really piqued by all the emails I began receiving from very knowledgable people in the industry, who said this kind of thing happens all the time, even with public projects. I posted an excerpt from one of those emails in this post here, highlighted in yellow. I suggest you read it if you have not, because it spells out the issue with the Port Mann failed P3 proposal so concisely.

Many in the BC construction industry have been complaining for years about what they call the lack of checks and balances in public project procurement. This article from 2008, written by Steve Weatherbe,  highlights a concern held throughout much of the industry at that time. Here is  an excerpt:

Then there is the whole public procurement picture in the province, formerly done according to the traditional open and transparent bidding process. This has gone by the boards, says Knappett, since the Liberals disbanded the Capital Division of the Finance Ministry, which had enforced these practices on various spending authorities such as school and hospital boards.

Now a method called “construction management” has replaced the traditional method where the projector commissions a design and puts out tenders based on it, awarding the low bid. Now the projector seeks a contract manager based an ad-hoc points system which according to Knappett is often tailored to favour a company already doing business with the projector. School boards, universities and hospital boards on Vancouver Island are now using this method for contracts too small for P3s.

Greg Baynton, president of the Vancouver Island Construction Association, says the industry has been trying for five years to get the Liberal government to discuss the issue. His view is that the government has hitched its fortune to the P3 star in reaction to the 100-per-cent cost overrun of the Vancouver convention centre.

But the overrun was not an indictment of the traditional tendering system, he says. “They had such a sense of urgency about the convention centre they removed the checks and balances.” The originally projected cost of the centre, moreover, was concocted out of thin air. No design had been done first upon which to base an estimate.

~snip~

“What happens when contracts aren’t tendered openly and the results aren’t transparent?” asks Knappett. History provides the answer in one word, he says: “corruption.”

It’s 2010 now, and nothing has changed since the publication of that article. At the time, then finance minister Carole Taylor had this to say about P-3’s and other public project procurement issues :

Finance Minister Carole Taylor told the Business Examiner that, local contractors are often let in on the big P3 projects as sub-contractors.

“They are a huge success,” she said. “There are over 20 now and all are on budget.” She cited the huge overrun with Vancouver’s convention centre as an example of what can happen without P3s.

“When we can transfer that kind of risk to P3s, we do.”

Taylor further contended that Partnerships BC is not necessarily involved in P3s: the independent spending authorities can negotiate these on their own.

As for procurement by these authorities of projects not destined for P3s, Taylor said the provincial government was looking into the construction industry’s complaints about inconsistency.

Today, the complaints remain regarding the entire tender and bid process in British Columbia. But isn’t it refreshing to hear that the person being billed as a shoe-in for premier loves the concept of P-3’s?

Another thought that occurred to me while looking over all of this, is why hasn’t someone taken this up with the competition bureau? If they can address bid-rigging, they should be able to address these procurement irregularities, because the effect is essentially the same. Collusion, and deception, resulting in the same companies getting all the jobs – over and over again. Seems to be an unfair market practice if you ask me.

  Should the Supreme court find in favor of the Province of British Columbia in the Tercon case, construction companies and contractors  can look forward to more unease when submitting bids to the ministry.  A ruling of this nature would be saying in essence, that it is perfectly legal  for the province to treat bidders however they wish to – with unfair practices, or  even with the use of deception, as long as the exclusion clause is there.  To say that this opens the door to intentionally non-compliant bids is an understatement.

My hope it that the court sees fit to uphold the integrity of the bidding process,  and rule in favor of Tercon, so that contractors can feel safe to bid in good faith without worrying whether or not the province is making deals on the side.

To do anything other, is to condone corruption within government by our highest court- a concept I find disturbing, to say the least.

36 thoughts on “Tercon Contractors Ltd vs. British Columbia ( Ministry of Transportation and Highways)

  1. John

    Outstanding work Laila. This is a first rate post that merits the attention of all British Columbians, if they want to really understand how our government works, regardless of Liberal or NDP.

    My question to Shirley Bond is how she plans to spin this when the ruling comes out? After reading this, I talked to a collegue in that field who confirms that most feel the court will rule for Tercon.

    The worms are being exposed, one at a time. I bet the Liberals are not enjoying this post.

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  2. Great work, Laila … and a big reminder of why we need to have the BC Rail fiasco come to trial.

    There are reasons why the BCRail-CN deal isn’t fully opened to public scrutiny even now. I think you’ve just explained a lot.

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  3. Skookum1

    Just a reminder that all these highway construction and maintenance contracts and tenders are due to the dismantling of the Department of Highways under the Bill Bennett Socreds; the first wave of “privatization”, whereby profits were created out of thin air by letting private companies charge for services branches of government were already doing….on top of the already high costs on building roads in BC, given our geography, add in cash-mongering by contractors, and in all the big cases, the “graft surcharge” on big projects like the Coquihalla and, no doubt, the Sea to Sky Olympics-rebuild (on top of all the other Sea to Sky rebuilds in the last thirty years)….

    Here’s a question though – how much do these bidding processes themselves cost? Not just in terms of salaries and offices, but productivity delays due to the time taken by the process?

    And isn’t Emil Anderson part of a multinational??

    And Laila, here’s a research project for you: I’ve been trying to find out the costs of, and who paid for, the Omineca Resource Road, which is a very big, very long gravel highway from the area north of Prince George to the Kemess Mine at Thutade Lake (near Tatlatui Provincial Park, north of Smithers); Thutade Lake is, by the way, the official headwaters of the Mackenzie River (i.e. where the maximum length of that river is calculated from, via the Peace and Finlay). It’s an amazing road, if you look for it on satellite maps (e.g. Google Earth), though unlabelled….must have been VERY expensive. It helped make the Kemess Mine get going….but I doubt very much the mine company paid for its construction; I can’t find anything, not easily…not even in Hansard, where I would have expected it to be debated; it’s theoretically under the Mines ministry but nothing in their webpages either…

    Googling it I DID find mention of the Omineca-Stewart Connector, which will extend it westwards to cross the Stewart-Cassiar and upgrade the existing road to Stewart. Lots of bumpf, and a few Hansard mentions about what a great thing it will be; but no mention of its costs, who’s gonna build it (‘xcuse me, think it might be Kiewit…) and WHY it’s needed. Add on rumours of overland road connections for Ketchikan, Wrangell and Juneau and I think you get the idea…..roads being built in BC, by BC’s money, for the benefit of Alaskan towns and ports…..

    Who knows, maybe Sarah Palin’s got some of the consulting contracts…..

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  4. Good stuff Laila…..I almost can`t bear to look at the contracts,the excess, the skim…..I suspect the reason Kerfoot had the door slammed on him over building a stadium with his own money was done for a reason, to keep from being shown up, in other words Kerfoot would have built a great stadium for 60 $million and put Campbell`s skimming bidders to shame……
    And the one that blows my mind is…..100 $million dollars per yer,every year for 25 years for maintainence on the upgraded sea to sky highway…Thats 2.5 $billion for maintainence for 25 years!……Mcquarie and Keiwet….
    Corruption at it`s finest…Cheers

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  5. Your alarm is particularly appropriate because this government has a continuing record of “irregularities” that result in costs for the public and profits for BC Liberal insiders.

    Open tendering is useful for acquiring paperclips but, when big dollars are distributed, the Campbell gang needs a system with more predictable results. Construction management provides that result.

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  6. If people only knew, eh? … and yet today there was the announcement by CanWest that 25 of their newspapers will be offered for sale …

    Vancouver Sun, The Province … right on down to small newspapers … and I keep thinking:

    wouldn’t it be great if bloggers capable of the newsgathering we see right here on Laila’s blog, could form a co-op and buy even one of those newspapers?

    That’s what’s so badly needed in British Columbia … A VOICE!
    .
    .

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  7. SB

    Wonder how many Liberal insiders have profited on those other deals detailed we can only imagine lets hope they lose and soem details come out, BC Mary wouldnt it be nice to see those papers bought like CHEK TV and run free of corporate interference and actually print some real news that isnt fake filler or fluff

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  8. Laila

    Skookum, I’m getting to work on that right now. There is something in what you’ve told me that fits right in line with a tip I received a while back about some rather odd construction projects going on in the middle of nowhere…. this might just be the missing link of that, and yes, it had the Palin connection. Her office had a lobbyist registered from 2008 to mid 2009, who met with Richard Neufeld, Joan Mcintyre and Gordon Campbell about the Alaska gas pipeline project. I’ll give you a shout on your email more about it later tonight. Thanks for this !

    Grant, I think you are right on. And thank you : ) united , right?

    Norman, when I first read the most recent case, I couldn’t believe it. It literally took a few days for the full implications of this to sink in, because both cases are stunning examples of how things work in BC public projects. It’s a travesty, and I can’t imagine how all the contractors who are honestly trying to make a living deal with this kind of crap.

    Thanks Mary, for the kind words. And, yes, as soon as I heard the news about the local papers, I thought the same thing. In fact, I bought a lottery ticket.. hehe.

    Imagine that. The first day British Columbians open the Sun or Province and read stories like this. What an eyeopener it would be.

    The other thing is, how many more cases are there like this out there? How many times have ” irregularities” happened, some legit contractor gets burned, and nothing happens because it takes deep pockets to litigate ?

    Bottom line is, the transportation ministry is going to end up paying twice for this project, and it comes out of all of our pockets.

    Sal, you heard it here first..lol…now where are the bikers and mob connections?

    More tips and emails have come in since this posting, so look forward to more stories on this type of crap in the month to come.

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  9. Skookum1

    There’s definitely something out there online about a road connection to Juneau via the Taku River…..I think it may be part of the Special Resource Management Plan up that way and would involve the Taku River Tlingit if so. I’ll see if I can remember where I saw the blurb….and somethjing rings a bell, too, about a highway westwards from Telegraph Creek, which would lead to Wrangell via the lower Stikine.

    Note in all three cases the staggering geotechnical costs, particularly no the Alaska side of the line (where the terrain is the worst). I’ve studied the topograhy between Stewart and Ketchikan for other purposes and it’s bogglingly rugged; and in that case would involve a violation of the pristine nature of the Misty Fjords National Monument; my guess is the terrain would require extensive tunnelling….and in all three cases very impressive bridges, particularly to Wrangell…..the counter-impilcation of these road connections for the Panhandle is that the northwestern sector of BC would become their economic “hinterland” and also the recreational suburbs of the Panhandle cities….. which would also be able to grow considerably, with more markets, more industry (from more resources) and also with room for exurbs on the Canadian side of the frontier. Chances are in all cases that the bulk of construction contracts will be to American companies, with American workers, despite the fact that most of the length of these new highways (and/or railways?) would be in BC…..we’d hear “not enough skilled labour” or “unqualified contractors” etc……

    Preventing this, in fact, was the whole point of the boundary as it is, whether as first laid out by Britain and Russia, and later by the US and Britain (Canada’s, and BC’s, views were not taken into account in the 1903 treaty). If the BC position had been held to (instead of shuffled aside), both Wrangell and Ketchikan would be on Canadian soil…..

    The Juneau highway especially would be a big boon for the Yukon’s economy, with overland traffic to the Panhandle from the Lower 48 and from Upper Alaska probably causing huge growth in the Yukon…..

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  10. Skookum1

    Myself: “about a highway westwards from Telegraph Creek, which would lead to Wrangell via the lower Stikine”

    Er, maybe that’s the Iskut route I was thinking of, rather than via the Stikine; I’ll be back about that once I look up whatever it is I thought I saw….can’t see, though, why the route wouldn’t be “forked”, since so many tongues in both Alaska and BC are….IIRC there’s some connection between this concept and the Klappan Coalbed Methane Proposal for the so-called “Sacred Headwaters” (“Kablona”) around the Nass/Skeena/Stikine/Klappan headwaters area….

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  11. anonymous

    You think you are so smart with these stories of yours, but you are wrong. No one cares. This is old news Laila, just like you are.

    If I were you, I would stop poking your nose into things that don’t involve you. Remember the old saying curiosity killed the cat.

    Meow.

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  12. anonymous

    Big feal.

    Judith Reid is an upstanding member of the community, and had no personal knowledge of this deal, and Kevin Falcon is the nicest person. He would have nothing to do with this, and this is really nothing more than a disagreement. Tercon clearly wanted to get something for nothing and took a risk. Why do you think the government won on appeal? Because they knew what the terms said in the contract, that is why.

    Why don’t you get a real job. And not politics. There isn’t any room for blonde bimbos who rely on their tits to get them places.

    Leave the real work to the men, because it is a hard job and not easy to wrap your head around.

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  13. Skookum1

    Judith Reid MAY be an upstanding member of the community, and at dinner parties Kevin Falcon MAY be the nicest person….but rest assured anybody who assails someone to their face, without cause, for being a “blond bimbo”, calling them “old news” and instructs them to keep their noses out of where they don’t belong is somebody who’s out to intimidate and bully someone who’s getting too close to the truth. And is DEFINITELY neither an upstanding member of the community, nor anything like a nice person……

    Smacks of dirty tricks a la Basi and Bornmann, in fact…..

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  14. hey a$$whole anything that concerns taxpayer funding is all of our business,and I for one would like to know when I’m being screwed by a political party and their friends,so screw off and stop threatening people alla-spiderman did to Tieleman, your not scaring anyone fool keep shining those lights the cock roaches will soon scatter once those pukes who were appointed to high places,start to fall and feel the heat,then maybe we can start to get answers to still unanswered questions because everything this liberal party does is before the courts they are not a govt they are rapists!

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  15. anonymous

    This is no more news of importance than Kate Gosselins new hair extensions.

    Don’t you think that if this case had any importance at all, that it would have been in the papers already, or on the news? It hasn’t because no one cares, so you should just drop it before you really piss someone off and you have to start looking over your shoulder all the time. Messing with peoples jobs might really piss someone off, so just move onto something else, if you are smart.

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  16. SB

    Response to Anonymous – you are why we must rid BC of the Liberal cancer its suffering from today the entire party is a boorish bunch of bullies from Scampbell on down.
    The maisntram media is not reporting anything unless its from paid party hacks and PR people maybe you knwo how they pay folks like you to do these things quite classless anyways and certainly more in line with police state atitude than democracy .

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  17. And by the way anon,isn’t this before the courts?another deal before the courts man that says a lot and I read it on the blogs not those crappy papers you refer to that are in so much financial difficulties,because of the crap they try to pass off as news nobody’s buying and they still haven’t realized that we don’t buy the shit they or the liebs are selling,it’s not on our radar to buy shit we flush it .OK!

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  18. john's aghast

    Bravo Leila, I don’t know what being ‘a blonde bimbo’ has got to do with it, but you’ve certainly dared to go where no-one else has dared to go; or had the intelligence to understand the issues. Unfortunatly, transportation doesn’ t have the same cachet that medicine or education has and thus its more or less slips by the mainstream media and the untutored. Your article should be required reading by the electorate. I personally don’t give a rat’s ass what you look like as long as you keep up this calibre of reporting.

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  19. Laila

    Well, well, well…. I see the trolls came out to play last night and again today while I had my day off.

    Thank you to the gentlemen taking care of business for me while I was baking chocolate chip-craisin cookies today- it is always nice to know someone has my back. ( SB, curt, genuine and Skookum1)

    Now.

    To both anonymous commenters:

    First, I’ve never really put much stock into anonymous comments and kindergarten style name calling. Although it does reassure me that I am getting closer to my mark.

    Second, this lawsuit is of extreme importance to one of the largest industries in British Columbia. I can’t wait until the day I hear the ruling, but until that day, rest assured, I will still be making calls,digging up information, talking to people and seraching documents. So, perhaps it is you, sir, who should be watching your back. If you have something to hide, I will find it.

    ” John’s aghast ” – thank you for the kind words. I certainly had many experienced professionals who assisted in explaining how the industry works in a very easy to understand manner. This post is for them, as are the ones to come in weeks ahead.

    Well, that was interesting! Now, I’m off to bed. I’ve started training, again… lol..

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  20. Skookum1

    Re the Anon post at 9:55 – this is a mafiosi-style threat, and to me indicative of the kind of people who support, and work for, the BC Liberal machine…..chances are, also, it’s the same rude-mouthed individual who’s been making nasty at Mary’s blog.

    The tools of ignorance are hatred and fear……

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  21. Leah

    Laila, you’re obviously doing the job that no one in power (or their sycophantic bum buddies) want done – keep it up! If you have a good and trusted friend who knows computer/internet protocols well…do try to get the IP numbers (at the least) of the ones sending threatening messages. Not too many people know that when you have that and start drilling down on it – you can figure out exactly where the comments come from. Right to the house number. If the uglies wanna come out and play, make them pay the price.

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  22. SB

    Re ISP information, i actually have an ISP search tool being i have 3 kids who were using computers i thought knowing how just in case would be smart it is possible and easy to search an isp and might kind of interesting to see where those came from.
    Laila you may have me disagree one day but i would never resort to that sort of behavior and id never tolerate it from or toward others keep up the good work.

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  23. Kim

    Good work Laila, as usual. SB, you are usually good for a differing view, nothing wrong with that. The trolls have been busy lately. I agree, its time to flush them out, if not down the toilet (judging from the personal attacks, that may well be where they came from!)

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  24. fasted

    What we have here is a situation where people with a little knowledge can get it all wrong. Laila should do a little research on Tercon’s owner Glenn Walsh and his hit team of hired engineers/lawyers before she starts up the bandwagon.
    Tercon has been involved in spurious lawsuits against the BC Govt for years looking to pick up money for the cost of a legal retainer. Pretty good money if you can get it.
    Look at what happened with the Kootney Ferries project amongst others before you spout off about things you know nothing about.
    In the case of the Kincolith Extension project that is under debate in this blog, Tercon’s proposal also changed dramatically between the original RFEI and the RFP. Any of you have any inkling about how different the alliance contract used for this project was from the more usual design/bid/build, or design build for that matter?
    The judge in the case didn’t have enough contracting knowledge to build a doghouse and had to be led by the nose through the entire trial. I know cause I was there.

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  25. Skookum1

    Re SB’s comment:

    Recently I found about an interesting tool within Wikipedia called WikiScanner. Its database includes a list of IP addresses of government offices and company sites in many countries, including Canada, and exists for the purpose of checking to see if a given edit is in conflict of interest with Wikipedia guidelines (which frown on governments and companies as well as individuals editing their own pages). Not all Wikipedia edits are monitorable this way because once a user has an account their IP address is no longer accessible to regular editors and admins; but the list of sites/IPs is published as a stand-alone item, and in cases like we’ve seen with the not-quite-veiled anonymous threat above a scan of the database for a matching IP is perhaps worth the while; the list itself is the first link on this google search

    http://www.google.com/search?q=wikiscanner&sourceid=mozilla2&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    Others example more about WikiScanner.

    Wouldn’t if be fun if the IP address from Anony-nuisance turned out to be the Public Affairs Bureau, or perhaps Burrard Communications or another “connected” office, public or private?

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  26. Laila

    Busy day folks,so excuse the absence today.

    To answer a few questions, yes, I do have the IP addresses for Mr. Foul mouthed anonymous poster, and yes I have already traced both. Both trace back to private residences. Neither have bothered to mask their visits via proxy.

    I’ve never really had an issue with PAB, and perhaps that is in part due to the fact that most people know I was in investigations for some time. There isn’t much I can’t trace and yes,although wordpress tracks IP’s for people who comment, I also have seperate software that tracks visitors as well. Not because I care who all of you are and where you come from, but only for threats like the ones posted here.

    As we speak, the IP’s associated with the nusisance comments have been forwarded to a contact who can further trace them, as Leah said, to a street address.
    Should be fun, no?

    Skookum, you are a wealth of knowledge. This wikiscanner promises to be very helpful to bloggers as well, for times like this.

    I would like to say that visits from Victoria, and Ottawa, have tripled since this post. In particular, the Ministry of Transportation has spent quite a bit of time here yesterday and today…. our tax dollars hard at work!

    Fasted….

    I have read all the information on both the past suit , and the one that Tercon and the ministry are still waiting judgement on.

    The facts remain the facts. And in particular, the facts I am interested in are the ones where the ministry of transportation officials altered documents to make it look like only eligible company was submitting the proposal, when clearly it was a joint venture. The documentation is clear that Brentwood could not do the job on their own.

    Whether or not you consider the first judge to be inexperienced with construction contracts and the tendering process is irrelevant to me. The appeal was one solely on the presence of the exclusion clause.

    I would also like to mention that the Supreme court did hear this case, and have taken a long time to rule on it. I hear this could mean good things for Tercon- and every other contractor out there who might have to submit bids to the government knowing this exclusion clause pretty much indicates all bets are off.

    Now, since you were there, perhaps you should identify yourself and tell your side of the story, because I , and many others, would like to hear it. Perhaps you are one of the government lawyers, or one of the officials who got called on their bad behavior?

    And really, Fasted? I think the government, with the facts presented in this lawsuit, has really given us a brilliant example of the various interpretations of the word…. spurious.

    I look forward to hearing your side of things. Please, we are all waiting to hear from someone who was there.

    Like

  27. faceless bureaucrat

    Laila, your blog is well written and fact based and is a useful tool for bureaucrats to stay abreast of topics of interest, such as the Tercon case. Kudos to you and your colleagues in the blogosphere like Alex, Sean, Bill and BC Mary (& others) for the work you do. We may not always agree with every interpretation or assumption but one of the reasons you have been getting lots of traffic from government is that you have told this particular story in a highly readable way and have included good links.

    Like

  28. Lynn

    At the risk of stooping to a subterranean level, anonymous you are a tool, but for whom? Last time I check we are living in Canada were it is the LAW to freely express opinion. Judging by your infantile comments I would hazard a guess Laili is on to something your master doesn’t like. Way to go Laili! My only regret is I didn’t stumble upon your blog sooner. I am forwarding your blog address to all my MAINSTREAM taxpayer friends.So, anonymous, you are fast becoming out numbered. Guess it is time to find a new dimly lit sandbox. The next question that has been asked quietly is, was there corruption occurring during the last provincial election? Maybe anonymous was in charge of counting the ballots? How the heck did the libs get back in again?
    Keep up the great reporting, Laili. It is much appreciated.

    Like

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