Sea to Sky operator awards Transtoll technical advisory contract to ensure accurate shadow toll vehicle counts on the Sea to Sky highway – despite the government making repeated,public denials that shadow tolls even exist.

The latest development in my ongoing investigation into the province’s many P3 projects has been the surfacing of a news release from Transtoll, courtesy of a reliable source, that announces that the company was awarded a contract in June of this year on behalf  of the Sea to Sky Highway Limited Partnership, the operator of the Sea to Sky highway.

I broke the story of the hidden shadow tolls on the Sea to Sky a couple of weeks ago, here on the blog. Despite repeated  public denials to myself, News 1130 and the Squamish Chief newspaper that shadow tolls exist on the Sea to Sky highway, Transtoll was awarded a technical advisory contract in June of this year, to review both the contract and hardware for the traffic counting hardware currently installed on that highway. The press release can be viewed in full PDF format here: Transtoll_20100601_Sea2Sky

The Ministryof Transportation has been caught in an outright lie. Shadow tolls do exist on the sea to sky, and the road operator has even awarded a contract to Transtoll to make sure the vehicles are being counted accurately. Are they concerned over how much is being payed to the operator every month? A number and payment of which no one is privy to because not only does the goverment deny the shadow tolls exist, they have refused to make public the portions of the concession agreement that reveal the details of how much the operators are being paid per vehicle. And think carefully now, because that is a number and $$ amount that is sure to rise over the years of that 25 year agreement… I assure you, this is a profitable venture for Kiewit, Macquarie et al.

Which  now brings me back to the technology that was originally installed on that highway, and the manner of data collection which included licence plate scanners and microwave technology to determine weight, speed and occupants of the vehicle.

The ministry never responded to my queries whether or not that equipment was still in use, a possible breach of privacy if highway users are not aware they are being recorded.

The NDP never came out and publicly commented on this story either.

What else is the government lying about? Was this contract simply handed out as a favor to Transtoll, which happens to be owned by Macquarie Group, one of the concessionaires on the project?

More on this, and other projects, in the days to come.

****Update: Sea to SkyHighway Investment Limited Partnership is the entity operating the sea to sky highway,and I have confirmed that it was in fact the concessionaire that has awarded this contract- which would make it a sub-contracting type of agreement between the two, and the contract was not awarded by the MOT, or the government- per se.

However, sources indicate to me that the MOT did not want to handle this  Transtoll contract because of the need to avoid verifying the presence of the shadow toll ( awarding a contract to Transtoll would be questionable, wouldn’t it, considering the MOT has unequivocably stated there are no shadow tolls on this highway?)  and so the operator, Sea to Sky Highway Investment Limited Partnership handled the outsourcing of this contract to avoid questions for the MOT. 

My sources also indicated there is some concerns as to under/overbilling to the Ministry based on incorrect vehicle counts.

The question then becomes, how much does this new contract add to the cost of the sea to sky highway? Are the highway operators  billing the government for it in the end? I contacted the MOT yesterday, but have yet to get a reply on this issue.

The Sea to Sky Shadow Toll series:

1. Breaking news: BC liberals inked ‘hidden toll’ into Sea to Sky highway deal – and we all pay for the next 25 years

2. Shadow tolls on Sea to ‘Sly’ highway, the William R. Bennett Bridge,and the BC Rail connection

3. At last! The ministry of transportation responds to my questions…

4. “The B.C. governments secretiveness is not confined to ‘shadow tolls’. And there is genuine concern they have a lot to hide…”

44 thoughts on “Sea to Sky operator awards Transtoll technical advisory contract to ensure accurate shadow toll vehicle counts on the Sea to Sky highway – despite the government making repeated,public denials that shadow tolls even exist.

  1. My opinion of whats to come!
    My BC friends:
    On Dec 7th, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. Admiral Yamamoto said something like this, “I am afraid we have only awakened the sleeping giant.” He was right. within days after this attack over 1 million USA people joined the armed forces. It was the beginning of the end of world war two. The tyrants were beaten and gone.

    I liken the above to the people of British Columbia. We have been sleeping while the tyrants have been destroying our BC. The HST was our Pearl Harbour and the people, the giant has been awakened.

    It matters not what happens to the HST now. We will take the tyrants to task with the recalls. When this is done, never again will any member of any party try to go against the will of the people. They will now know they can and will be held accountable for their actions.
    The damage the Liberal government has done to BC is despicable and beyond belief. Like snails they crawl low, leaving a slimy residue on every thing they touch. Please type “100 reasons Gorden Campbell must go” into your browser and read. It certainly opened my eyes even wider. The people of BC are the giant and we can take back our province.

    Wayne Russell

    The Vagabond Writer, a proud member of the BC Refederation Party.


  2. Why do they even bother mentioning “five different biogeoclimatic zones” in that press release? What does it have to do with highway management? Sounds like part of a stylesheet handed out by the PAB. Highway 1 goes through six or seven such zones in as short a distaince, likewise Highway 3… me this is more overblown “celebration” of non-facts as if they were somehow mystically meaningful….and if mentioning them somehow makes this company sound better. How much did its owners contribute to the Liberals anyway (because it can be assumed that they DID)?


  3. I wonder if it ever occurred to the ‘bidders’ that the cost of constuction pales in comparison to what the shadow toll revenue might be? Why shouldn’t we be privy to the cost of the project, as we were in the Good Old Days?


    1. Skookum, the highway operator gets paid not only on the size and number of vehicles, but also on how far they travel on the highway- which is what I assume they are referring to.
      Johns aghast, I am working on caculating the true cost of this highway, but everytime I get so far, the sheer size of the $$ involved makes me vomit. I’m not kidding. There is more to come, much more. Initial indications are this contract may not have been tendered at all, and as we know, Transtoll is has a relationship with the Port Mann bridge, as does Macquarie, * Macquaries was yet another untendered contract that Kevin Falcon liked to call ” Used on an as-need basis, not a contract”


  4. Ah, Yes! Tyrants have gone … and those tyrants and there is an endless supply of tyrants in the making that goosestep to this day and will continue to do so from this time on.
    It is the we of now who must be , and are not, ever vigilant to this fact of history.
    My position is that of proactiveness (sic). I distain “reporters” for the very roots of the word
    report (n.)
    late 14c., “an account brought by one person to another, rumor,” from O.Fr. report (Mod.Fr. rapport), from reporter “to tell, relate,” from L. reportare “carry back,” from re- “back” + portare “to carry” (see port (1)). Meaning “formal statement of results of an investigation” first attested 1660s; sense of “teacher’s official statement of a pupil’s work and behavior” is from 1873 (report card first attested 1929). Meaning “resounding noise” is from 1580s. The verb is attested from late 14c.
    late 14c.; see report. In the newspaper sense, from 1798.
    (This not to denigrate the work of Laila as she brings light: illumination with her work)

    Is it even possible to awaken the “hundredth monkey” in humanity or is it the case that we “monkeys” are constantly bombarded with propaganda funnelled through mainstream media and our own individual sets of prejudice borne of Machiavellian machinations?

    My heart tells me the great “we” can be awakened in spite of evidence to the contrary, fool that I am!


  5. Unfreakingbelievable. Props to you and your sources!

    I wonder if all that equipment is still on the highway.It sounds like a lot more than just a counter on the road, and it would have to be to tell what size the vehicles are.

    Someone with a press pass needs to put these questions to Campbell and Bond.Now,because this is a huge boondoggle even if you guesstimate how much could be paid over 25 years. Crap!


  6. Laila,

    Once again your determination has proven to deliver what the MSM can only dream about. Residents of BC need to be made aware of these backroom deals by the Liberal government. While the Libs go around trying to make themselves look good talking about all the great construction projects in our Province, people need to know that we’ll all be paying for this BS for a long time.

    Guy in Victoria


  7. “The province upgraded the Sea–to–Sky Highway to coincide with the Games and the project achieved
    completion on September 29, 2009. The province incurred $59 million in 2010 (2009: $184 million). The total
    project cost incurred to date is $785 million (2009: $726 million), including interest during construction and
    accelerated rehabilitation work undertaken on existing assets. The contractual obligations related to the
    Sea–to–Sky Highway are included in section (d) of this note.”

    Note (d)

    The government has entered into a number of multiple–year contracts for the delivery of services and the
    construction of assets. These contractual obligations will become liabilities in the future when the terms of the contracts are met. Disclosure relates to the unperformed portion of the contracts. Contractual obligations are future–oriented financial information about non-discounted future cash payments for operating and capital contracts, and do not indicate when the related expenses will be recognized in the financial statements.

    On one hand the Sea to Sky Highway was built for a firm price of $600 million, the rest of the money is being carried by the Concessionaire…. OVER the NEXT 25 YEARS!!!!

    The $785 million to build the Sea to Sky Highway is smoke and mirrors. What Campbell and his lot is done EXACTLY what he said he would never do…. and that is BURDEN our children with HIS debt as a politician.

    Gordon Campbell, and those that follow his leadership, have to come clean and tell the public where the money is being spent, and where they are hiding the monies that are being collected. They have to be seen in the Financial Statements so that voters will know where they stand with a government, a government on one day says we’re giving you a 15% personal income tax break and within two weeks the BC Liberals are saying they, THEY can’t afford it.


  8. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chrystal Ocean and BillTieleman, Peter Kelly. Peter Kelly said: RT @BillTieleman: watching Laila Yuile's fascinating shadow toll story deepen – how much more will this cost taxpayers? […]


  9. One has to think that an effective opposition would be all over this story.

    Perhaps effective opposition is impossible in British Columbia with current players. Sure, they’re starved for resources but maybe the energy that NDP folks use for internal ideological spats could be better employed.

    NDP people?


  10. The NDP have been silent on most all isues that have been bothering the people of BC. They seem to be sitting back waiting for the libs to destroy themselves. This they think giving them an easy shoe in. Why are they not crying foul to this above issue, also to Graig James, what he is diong to Elections BC. They have taken no stand towards anything. They are not doing their job as the opposition.
    Wayne Russell
    The Vagabond Writer, a proud member of the BC Refederation Party.


  11. For those that are curious about whether any of the parties in this story have donated money to provincial parties, here is your answer.


    No donations to any party.


    BC Liberal Party…..$24,540.00 from 2005 to 2009
    All other parties…..$0.00


    BC Liberal Party…..$81,575.00 from 2005 to 2009
    All other parties…..$0.00

    It sure makes one wonder if contracts and other favours such as favourable environmental assessments are determined by whether various business entities donate to the cause of the BC Liberal Party.


    1. Crankypants, I’ve written extensively about Kiewits donations, as well as other companies ( google Laila Yuile + campaign donations). It is a well known ” coincidental” fact that companies who donate large amounts to the BC liberals routinely get “awarded” large contracts. This Sea to Sky is the tip of the iceberg, literally. Most of the unknown still havent seen the light of day.

      Norman, leftwinger, I emailed all of these stories to contacts within the NDP, I heard through a third party they were going to do some FOI’s, on what I have no idea, but the impression I got was that even Harry Bains, transportation critic, is not that knowledgable about P3’s, or how these shadow tolls and availability payments work. Let me be clear, I am well versed on these projects and how the payment mechanisms work, and how the liberals use terminology to bluff and deny the existence of these tolls. I am also aware of how disastrous the long term repercussions of all these projects we can’t afford will have on our economy, of which the periodic creation of jobs during construction can never justify. The NDP can’t be so starved for resources if they are paying Sihota so damn much to bring in new blood and money.
      Of course, I am always willing to assist anyone who asks…yes, the NDP as well, but no one is asking. I read Carole was in Surrey today speaking to the board of trade, she was available to press. I personally think every moment they wait to address this, is a moment that is lost to their supporters and the electorate at large who are looking for answers.

      I have contacted the auditor general with the research and have asked that he commit to a full audit of the Sea to Sky highway, rather than a mere review of the projects Value for Cost report.

      Bill T. – thanks! A good play on words there as well…lol. There is more to come in the days ahead.

      North Van Grumps- you have summed it up well by saying the $$ amount the liberals attached to this highway is smoke and mirrors. This is only the beginning of the debt. We haven’t seen anything yet. Not to mention, none of this debt is kept on the books…. so it skews the provinces financial outlook completely… more on that in my next post. It is safe to say, we are all living a lie with what the Libs have committed the province to.


  12. Galloping Beaver has done the job getting this along, with an exceptional comment from Dana:

    Update this morning, I have confirmed that this contract was in fact awarded by the concessionaire, not the MOT, per se.Sources have indicated to me that there is a good reason for that, so head back up to the main article to read why. Personally,I think it is a brilliant manner of circumventing the obvious.


  13. I fully hope the auditor general audits the hell out of this project and the other P3’s. Laila,thank you for staying on this because my eyes have been opened like never before!There needs to be a webster award for independents like yourself.


  14. Yes,agreed,but be careful,ok? You are treading on some well-monied toes here,and they are not going to like you outing the whole sham of financing.We are getting fleeced based on what I see.How can Campbell have been allowed to push all of this for so long?


  15. I am a reader from PG. Apparently Campbell is ‘Builder of the Year’ as seen here:

    I wrote the author cited at the bottom (His email was there) asking if this was ironic given the Shadow Tolls on the Sea to Sky Highway, as more and more information kept coming out even after repeated denials. I also sent this link, I hope you don’t mind. I will let you know if I receive any sort of reply.


  16. Kirk,yes, this project will be ONE of the biggest boondoggles to remember Campbell and Falcon, in particular . It is vitally important when looking at most of these deals, that Falcon was in charge of the ministry of transportation.

    As for what equipment remains on the road, how the collect the data and where it is stored, the ministry has remained close-lipped on it.

    Guy, many thanks for your continued interest and support – much appreciated!

    NVG has the most important comment : The province of BC does not count these long term payments as debt on the books, because they have not financed it!!
    So, even though the province has to pay all this money back, and the extra toll payments, it is not going to show on the books as current debt, which is the most effed up accounting I have ever heard of! Now, multiply this not-accounted for debt X all the projects the province is making payments on for the next 30 + years, and you have a hell of a pile of stinking mess.

    The auditor general has to conduct a full audit on this project, and reveal the truth behind it. The province must release and make public all the documents on the deal, because enough time has elapsed that even the partners confidentiality agreements have lapsed.

    Wayne, I have no idea why the NDP remains silent on this issue. Either they don’t understand what is going on, or they have no problem with it. Those are my conclusions. Shadow tolls are no secret in the road building industry, nor are they to government finance. If I can figure this out, so should they.

    Greg, thank you for saying that. Kind words. And yes, again, I do think we should all be pushing the auditor for an audit. CherylB, awesome job. I have yet to hear anything else on this.

    BCTeagirl, nice to hear from a reader from my hometown! Of course, I never mind someone sending my links around – that’s crucial to getting public awareness on these issues.
    I would love to hear what and if he replies !

    The Globe and Mail is on this story, I believe it should be in Monday’s paper. Some national attention should light some fires under some of these behinds. I will be certain to bring you the entire story with a link, when it appears!


  17. You rock Blonde Bomber……..Can you imagine if and when this story goes National…..

    I have a feeling that something big is about happen.

    Stay safe Laila….Watch out for the story killers, you have been targetted!



  18. Let me tell you a bit about your Laila.

    I knew when she first appeared in my lecture hall,the moment I saw the flash in those eyes now gracing the top of the page,that this young lass would change the world.

    I have not been disappointed.

    I had a reputation for being a tough prof,but she regularly challenged me when I intentionally gave incorrect information to the student body.She would not back down, once even taking the chalk from my hands to show the correct calculations on the board before heading back to her seat with a rather saucy tilt to her head,as if to dare me to say she was wrong.

    Yes, I say now that I knew Laila was different from the rest of the students in my courses the years I taught her, two I was lucky to have my authority challenged, and correctly so I might add. We knew you held a rare passion that I see echoed in your readers,your writing, your comrades in arms.People like you and your colleagues are what made this country Canada.

    I am proud to say I was there when she was nothing but a curly head full of fire and brimstone! I am proud to have known you, Laila, (pronounced Lila, not Layla)She always corrected me even when she knew I was teasing.

    Good work.You have done your alma mater proud.

    ” Veritas lux mea.”


    1. HA ! I do know who you are! Sneak! How about one of the most infuriating and effective educaters around? Thank you for making me challenge you sir, and thank you for believing in me. I’m a bit speechless now, you’ve brought a tear to my eye with your kind words. Thank you. For everything. I hope you become a regular reader and I continue to earn your respect.
      I’ll send you an email seperately,ok?


  19. It is unfortunate that this story has been overshadowed by the shennaigans surrounding Campbell’s resignation, and Carol James’ recent woes. This is a very important story that needs to find its legs — keep on keepin’ on Ms. Yuile.


    1. It’s not been overshadowed for long, and it’s found some sturdy legs- watch the Globe early next week! Thank you for your support, RS. It is appreciated.


  20. I held a senior position on another P3 infrastructure project, I also left in disgust because of the lack of standards in both Quality and Safety and more on the job.
    The public is not served by P3’s not only the money on the project is funnelled out of the province but also out of the country. At all levels foreign workers are brought in and many express not only in words but also in their work ethics absolute contempt for local hires as well as a refusal to comply with employment and safety standards of the country.
    With the concerns about microwave technology and the harm it appears to be cause to peoples health the use of microwave technology to record travellers data is an additional concern over and above they others in the article


    1. Thank you for sharing this experience with all of us Glenn. And you are not alone in your assesments – I have heard the same thing parroted time and time again from others in the industry, and it’s common knowledge among many workers not willing to speak out on the problems because they can’t afford to lose any work as a punishment. We have a hell of a workforce here in BC, men starving for jobs in their own hometowns so they dont have to go up north or to Alberta/NWT. No need to use foreign workers in my view, and Kiewit is known for that.

      Thank you for pointing to that microwave technology, which is one of the issues I have yet to get an answer from the government on. Honestly, I’m not sure I would believe them if they did answer, they’ve lied so much about these damn tolls! The privacy issues are big too, but people need to start asking why are committing to hand over our provincial coffers to offshore companies…


  21. Thank you again, Laila, for all your hard work on this. It is truly horrifying to realize that the damage caused by the contracts Crooked Campbell has awarded to his pals will continue long into the future.

    Laila refers to the 3 billion dollar contract (given to Kiewit) for the new Port Mann bridge:
    “Initial indications are this contract may not have been tendered at all, and as we know, Transtoll is has a relationship with the Port Mann bridge, as does Macquarie,”

    The bridge is expected to be completed on Dec. 12, 2012.
    And from the Port Mann Project website:
    The CA (Concession Agreement) authorizes TI Corp to collect tolls for a period not to exceed 40 years and establishes the maximum toll rates that TI Corp can charge as well as provisions for application of these tolls.

    You read it right: 40 years of tolls!!


  22. Correction!
    Upon rereading my earlier post I note that I may have given the impression Laila was referring to the Port Mann bridge when in fact she was referring to the Sea to Sky hwy. project.
    Laila was only pointing out that Transtoll has a connection to Kiewit and Macquarie who are also associated with the construction of the new Port Mann.

    Beg pardon. I’ll take my lumps for misleading you, dear readers.


  23. As much as the lack of ethics of the company disturbed me, the lack of response and assistance from the recent Minister of Labour Murray Coell was shocking
    Not only were some of my concerns confirmed by WCB but the minister was also my MLA. To deal with the matter I ended up bankrupt taking the issue to court (bit of a challenge for an individual to take on a 2 billion dollar multinational company on their own. The biggest victory was I played a p[art in the company deciding they no longer wanted to work in Canada and preventing them from getting the Port Mann Bridge. As bad as Kiewit and Macquaries are they actually are an improvement over the group I worked with.
    On the Port Mann the other company Flatiron may be4 interesting to look at – among other thingsd they are a division of the largest construction company in Germany which in turn is one of the largest in the world.


  24. Ole Nielson
    The Port Mann and Sea to Sky are not as separate as the distance between them suggests.
    the secrecy and private agreements tried out on the Sea to Sky could almost considered a primer to the gift of the Port Mann – note Kiewit and Macquaries are part of the Joint Venture on each job (not sure if Macquaries pulled out as part of their financial troubles)


    1. Ole, thank you for your comments, and no worries, I have several indepth looks at a number of projects on the agenda, the Port Mann being one of them, with information not known to the public yet. All of these large, offshore and multinational companies have somewhat tarnished reputations, and each one of them is making a phenomenal amount of money off the backs of BC taxpayers.
      Glenn, I am extremely interested in hearing about your story indepth. Would you mind emailing me privately at ? In confidence, of course. It’s time to ensure the people of BC are informed of what their elected officials, and public servants are doing.


  25. Concessionaires’ websites
    25.1 (1) The concessionaire under a concession agreement referred to in section 2 (1.1) (a) to (c) must establish and maintain a website that is accessible by the public without charge.
    (2) A website established under this section must include the information specified in section 27 (2) (a) to (c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and must also contain information relating to the following:
    (a) tolls payable, including the structure and calculation of tolls payable;
    (b) the amounts that constitute toll debts and excessive toll debts as those terms are defined in section 1, including the structure and calculation of those debts and their due dates;
    (c) interest rates and other charges and fees, including when interest and other charges and fees will be applied and how they will be calculated and varied;
    (d) the dispute resolution procedure referred to in section 20;
    (e) the appeal procedure referred to in section 21;
    (f) the available payment mechanisms, including registration and account maintenance;
    (f.1) the name, contact information and address of the billing organization;
    (g) any other matters that are prescribed or required in accordance with the concession agreement.

    Good luck on this.

    In the final deal for the Golden Ears, TransLink — which now means the provincial government — has agreed to pay the private consortium $316,198 for operation, maintenance and rehab each month once the bridge is open.
    TransLink will collect the tolls from bridge users. Should the toll revenue fall short of projections, TransLink remains on the hook for the full monthly payments. That part of the risk remains with the taxpayers.
    In the agreement, the government will start paying $500,000 per month in 2009, with payments rising to about $4 million per month in 2011, and then topping out at $4.8 million in 2015.
    The payments stay steady at $4.8 million until the contract ends in 2041.
    If not enough cars cross the bridge, the government will have to make up the difference, meaning it is shouldering the risk.
    Translink spokesman Ken Hardie said Thursday he had confidence in the model.

    So, what are the real costs of the S2S “shadow tolls”?


    1. A hell of a lot more than $75 million. Perhaps we can direct that question to the good folks at Macquarie and Kiewit, who have been parked actively reading the site this morning…. ; ) Morning Nicholas. There’s more to come.


  26. I guess none of the political reporters read the globe and mail, how pathetic is this that none have made this available today to the public!
    I am ashamed for all of them, what a disservice to the people of B.C.
    Not only does this Government need to go immediately if not sooner but so do these pathetic journalists and the people they answer to.
    The great thing about blogs like Laila’s is she is making them look pretty silly and blogs like hers are what will force change that is direly needed and people are becoming aware.
    Great work!


  27. Laila, your are really something! Thank’s for bringing this festering affair to light. Let me flood you with another email.

    When I worked for Kiewit on their Cloudworks IPP projects at the top end of Harrison Lake and up the Stave River, one of my jobs was to meet the crew boat at the top end of Stave Lake and give any scheduled visitors or new to site workers WSBC mandated avalanche awareness training while I was driving the 25 kms up the Upper Stave FRS and they scrolled through a lap top. As we passed under 27 active avalanche chutes, three in the first km, on the way up to the project and its construction camp, it was easy to make impressive points.

    One of my passengers was an engineer sent by the private bank that was financing the project and he was checking out the progress for them. He never named the bank but that could be none other than Macquarie.

    The course only took 5 or 6 kms and the rest of the ride we made small talk and enjoyed the truely magnificent scenery, elk herd and all. Rock climbers take note – the Upper Stave makes the Squamish Chief look utterly tame. There are scores of unclimbed faces up there.

    The engineer was quite candid with me and told me that Kiewit’s management staff and 5yr+ employees would continue to get benefits once the project was done.

    It annoyed me at the time that the rest of us, including the only people who were actually from BC would not especially as they were flying in equipment operators from Quebec and the Maritimes to jobs that a dozen guys languishing without work in the nearby town of Mission, some of whom had built the roads in the first place could have easily done.

    The only equipment operators working on the job from BC were two guys that came in with the logging crew that logged the construction camp pad and the main project site. Once the pads were constructed, a drill and blast crew of loggers from the Rockies also came in.

    Anyone who thinks these projects are “green” have no idea what it takes to construct a 5 km long penstock down a mountain side.

    The crew boat operator also chosen over crowd of qualified locals was also hired from Quebec, one of the engineers’ father who was half deaf, spoke very poor English and had a background in pleasure boating.

    Aside from local First Nations who were hired to do housekeeping and dishwashing, in a hiring agreement with them, the only department that had any real representation from BC was Safety because of the BC Level 3 1st aid requirement.

    The benefits come via Cloudworks once the BC public is milked to pay higher rates for what essentially involves the theft of our rivers and the public roads that service them that is control over access – they get to say who comes in and out of the area. Part of the projects “security” agreement no doubt.

    The Site Supervisor, from PEI , told me straight out that Kiewit was “taking over” the Upper Stave FSR as the company also had the contract to staff the project once it was done, a handful of jobs at the most.

    When one of the two operators from BC came to me with a story that involved his refusal to shoot beavers at the project manager’s behest, the site supervisor told me, when I suggested that perhaps Kiewit should treat members of the BC public with more respect because “we own the resource that is being developed” he sneered at me. “You don’t own it,” he said, “If anyone owns it, the local Indians do.”

    How I see it is that Macquarie, Kiewit and the BC government are cutting deals directly with local Indian Bands who are also cut in for a piece of the pie as if they owned the resource. Despite court rulings, it is still firmly in the hands of the British Columbian public but our crown land and resources are in the process of being permanently stolen from us by these four partners in crime.



      Thank you, with all my heart, for coming forward and speaking about your views and experience, Janie. It is because of people like you that the rest of British Columbia can take another look at projects like the run of the river project you are speaking about- which is the same one, I believe, that I blogged about last year in the link above. Kiewit and Macquarie are old friends, investing in each others projects, building each other up, and both have international reputations that, depending on whom you ask, are steller… or quite dubious. It is very interesting that you mention the first nations agreement in this project, because I have found similar agreements on every single project in this province, yet the majority of details are “confidential” and not released to the public in their entirety.

      For example, in the Sea to Sky highway project, the concession agreement released to the public holds no details of the negotions with first nations. Press releases danced around the subject with the Squamish first nations, referring the the legacy agreement and project, but the entire deal inked with them was never released or made public in any manner.

      However, I have come into a document that details everything the Lil’wat nation received in the deal for the Sea to Sky highway. The details of this portion of the First Nations obligations has never been seen by the general public, and is still considered confidential by the government and operators to this day.

      Click to access Accommodation_Example-Lilwat_Nation_Presentation.pdf

      The package received by the band, from the government and private partners included:

      – $500,00 negotions funds- the government paid for the Lil’wat nations negotions
      -business package with Peter Kiewit and Sons that included a business venture that grossed $10 million in 4 years
      -$ 500,000 paid to the Lil’wat nation for employment training.
      – $ 275,000 paid to the nation over 5 years for an employment coordinator
      -$250,00 paid to the nation by Kiewit for employment training
      -the BC government created one full time position in the MOT for a Lil’wat nation member (??) This is interesting, in my opinion.
      – kiewit had to provide 2,080 hours per year, of work during the upgrade, to Lil’wat nation members only.
      -Kiewit had to provide a first nations trainer and coordinator to ensure unskilled first nations workers had the necessary skills to do the jobs.
      – BC government had to give $500,00 for Mt.Currie road improvements.
      – Bc govt paid $150,000 for a business advisor for the Lil’wat nation
      -kiewit had to give $2 million for Lil’wat business development
      -there was a timber revenue agreement from trees removed during the upgrade
      -600 acres of land transferred to Lil’wat nation- at no cost to them
      -includes the option to purchase another 600 acres of land at 2004 values, total land package worth $ 15 million.

      Now, this is only the Lil’wat nations agreement. No one but the Squamish nation and the BC government knows the total and complete package they received.

      Was this included in the final price? Why, when there are already treaties and negotions in place in different areas of the province, is the government expected to pay out to First nations in these areas above and beyond what has already been given, or is in negotiation process?

      Did the land and home owners along the route of the SFPR get the same treatment? No. Did Eagleridge Bluffs defenders get such preferential treatment? No.
      Something to think about.


  28. Thank you for your prompt and very comprehensive response Laila. As I live in Lil’wat traditional territory, this is all very interesting to me.

    Considering that the Sea to Sky project took place on Lil’wat territory only because the stretch south of Whistler as far a Rubble Creek is disputed territory between them and the Squamish, I can only imagine what the deal with the Squamish included.

    I do know that Kiewit had its head office for the project on the Stawamus Reserve at the entrance to Squamish. If you followed the signs off the highway you drove into a fairly normal looking reserve neighbourhood with a huge industrial compound surrounded by a 6′ high chain link fence topped with razor wire. That is where I was sent to drop off a job application.

    I also know that fuels delivered onto a reserve are tax (including carbon tax) exempt so this is likely one of the benefits of partnering with the local Indian band and another reason why local contractors can’t compete with huge multinationals like Kiewit who are in the top ten of US military industrial complex contractors.

    They certainly have an army of equipment in this province now to keep employed, it’s almost like a military invasion.

    I would also like to add some information to the Cloudworks project account. The deal they cut down there was not with the whole Nation but only with the two bands at the top end of Harrison Lake. Lil’wat could not even live there until the goldrush because the Sto’lo would come up in their big war canoes and raid them. If you look at a map of the Sto’lo territory you will see that they put their boundary about 10 kms up the Lillooet River, creating another overlap that is still disputed in certain spots.

    Once the goldrush was over, because
    of its remoteness, the town was abandoned by the 1970s and is featured in a book on BC ghost towns that was published at the time.

    The other band, Tipella is what remains of the old Spring Creek logging camp which operated for close to a 100 years and then when the loggers finally pulled out was turned over to it native employees. The current chief admits as much in the local St’atl’imx tribal council newspaper which is written and published for them by a non-native woman who has a status child.

    But from such humble beginnings do mighty nations rise. Last winter, these two bands pulled out of the treaty process which had been ongoing for the past ten years at a cost of millions of dollars to the BC public because they didn’t to share their Cloudworks profits with the other two Samaquam and Skatin who have now been left high and dry. Skatin is now unable to take over the tribal hot spring at Skookumchuck because it was part of the treaty deal although I’m sure the negotiators don’t mind in the least. They simply have another ten years of well paid civil service jobs to look forward to.


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