Why is the BC government paying over $63 million dollars a year to the private partners of the Sea to Sky highway?

Could it be, that just might have something to do with the cost of the shadow tolls on the highway for the year ending March 31st, 2011?   Hmmm?

Can the Liberals answer that question for us please?

My very good friend at Blog Borg Collective, who is one of the best data miners I have met and worked with in my entire career, discovered the handsome payout to the Sea to Sky Highway Investment limited partnership in the provinces Open Information system,and wow, did that ever get my attention.

 Even more so because that P3 deal has already been flipped by one of the partners who clearly made everything invested and more, thanks to everyone driving that highway….

As he states in this fabulous blog post :

“…Colin Hansen constantly stood up in the Legislature and crowed about how the Sea to Sky Highway was only going to cost taxpayers $600 million, and then in this Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2011 the public gets nailed with a $63 MILLION dollar bill, AND we will get nailed $63 Million dollars every year, for the next Twenty-Five years, until the total cost ……


 Laila Yuile last year gave us the heads up on the Shadow Toll on the Sea to Sky Highway. Now we know its costing us over $63 million per year. The Road Counters embedded in the road are not visible to British Columbians, but every other highway is……. and now we know why

Well I think you can do the math on that. And considering the William R. Bennett Bridge and the Kicking Horse pass have the same shadow toll deals on the financing with their private partners… you decide if the taxpayers achieved value for cost.

As BC Mary would say: ” Move along folks, nothing to see here, no, nothing at all..”

Hats off to NVG for this stunning find! Brava.

(  if you want to read more about those shadow tolls, head on up to the Best Of page above and scroll down to read the entire series, or click on the link above to read Mark Humes take on the entire debacle. )

17 thoughts on “Why is the BC government paying over $63 million dollars a year to the private partners of the Sea to Sky highway?

  1. Raaalph! ( That’s the sound of me vomiting!) You told us all this a couple of years ago Laila.
    We don’t listen because 1) We’re too stupid
    and 2) We’re too busy working, taking the kids to hockey practice, driving both ways to work across the Port Mann (another fiasco) Bridge and MAYBE relaxing at the end of the day.
    Maybe I should jump off the New Bridge to get the MSM attention? That would be good for a 30 second sound bite!
    Keep up the good work! I still love you, but don’t let that become common knowledge!


    1. I did, didn’t I? Well Mark Hume of the Globe and Mail listened and that was national. So, all was not for naught! And all we can do is keep reminding people and telling them more, like the BC Hydro deferrals that no one really gets or knows about or understands… that is the trick, trying to keep it as simple as possible.

      Dont jump off any bridges dear,you are too much fun! Don’t forget where this all started ; ) Love you too~!


  2. So the government doesn’t have money for the teachers and money to make the life of students better with decent schools.

    And it can’t honour the 1999 Memorandume of Understanding with BC Charities but–it has money for its P3 buddies. I keep saying, “it’s all a matter of priorities.” I am pleased that Falcon has to make a budget that he has to defend–because he is part of the problem that we have a deficit. Falcon ran around tearing houses, bulding bridges, tearing down a perfectly good Port Mann. (Sorry folks. It’s gotta go. My buddies need a new one so we can stiff you both ways.)and building the Golden Ears bridge that is hardly used. Sold off the Albion Ferries instead of transporting them over to Ladner and easing traffic through the Massey Tunnel. Falcon can’t think out of the “box” only the peoples “cash box.”


  3. What really gets me is they keep hollering “Where are we going to get the money?” When it comes to programs and wages. And when you look at the numbers NVG has posted under his column, voila, four lines and it’s pretty much there.
    As Laila says, “when is somebody going to jail?”


    1. E.Olson, you are bang on. That database is full of interesting payments, and what I found even more interesting… are the “suppliers” names who have the amount paid to them blocked out.

      And Gary, bang on – the database is clearly showing fat that could and should be cut.

      Cheryl, doesnt seem to be criminal to fleece the people in BC.


  4. Where indeed, are the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals going to get the money? They seem to forget….Campbell thieved and sold our assets. He gave China our mill industry, and our mines. Harper and Campbell put BC into financial ruin, before Campbell got the boot. Now we see Christy selling off the Real Estate, owned by this province. Gee whiz Christy, we know where the money went, and why there isn’t any more money to be had. I am surprised you can’t figure that one out.


  5. $63 MILLION? Well there just went the extra money for schools in Surrey.

    How many court rooms could they open with $63 MILLION?

    How many E.R.s could be expanded with $63 Million? I think the Burns Lake hospital is looking for $50 Million.

    How many teaching aids could be hired with $63 Million?

    How much affordable housing could be built with $63 Million?

    How many food programs could be opened for children with $63 Million?

    Obviously the lieberals don’t care about any of these things. They just want to ensure their friends get their end of the gravy train. P3s were only going to work for those who had the contracts for them. It was the way for the lieberals to enrich their friends. It is always more cost effective for a government to build & own the assets. That way they actually are assets instead of liabilities. What the lieberals have done by selling off all of B.C. assets and ensuring tens of millions go to private corporations is impoverish all future governments. Then as a topper they want to coat our water & land in tar sands.


  6. Overall is defined as Total

    • $600 million Overall cost of the Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement Project.
    • $400 million The approximate amount of the project being undertaken by S2S
    Transportation Group, through a 25-year performance-based contract, to
    design, build, finance and operate the improvements to the highway.
    Source: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2009TRAN0003-000050.pdf

    You can see the way the BC Liberals count our money, do their bookkeeping. $600 million came directly out of our Treasury, the $400 million was put in by a P3 consortium which is being repaid by motorists in South Western BC even though the Sea to Sky highway is used by the few who can afford to have a second home in Whistler. No direct toll for their direct use. In the past two years, more than $100 million has been paid off of the $400 million. In another five years the balance will be paid. Just how is that a benefit to the taxpayers of BC when the BC Liberals have it worked out that the Shadow Tolls will remain for another seventeen years?


  7. Meanwhile the BC faux Liberals continue their ongoing generosity to corporations. despite their pitiful gesture to raise corporate tax rates by a measly 1% starting two years from now.

    Today they announced a permanent cap on the Port Metro Vancouver tax rate, first capped in 2004 just prior to the economic boom. Now post recession when this government has no revenue it has decided to permanently cap it, a completely unnecessary move. Port Metro Vancouver is the third largest port in North America and it is extremely competitive. Indeed, business is booming. There is no earthly reason to cap tax rates there.

    Also see “The Era of Tax Cut Stupidity that Starved BC” http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/02/27/BC-Tax-Cut-Era/

    Again it is the middle class and the poor and the social safety net that suffers while these neoconservative scumbags cater to the wealthiest most profitable corporations.


  8. I live in Alberta and have been tub thumping the perils of P3’s for a couple of years. Mostly I am observed as being a muttering old idiot that doesnt understand how this stuff works.

    A lot of these things are built around The Macquarie Model, one of the inventors of the process.
    Apparently Macquarie didnt understand how they worked either……….to quote a well known economist……..it has been “Blowtorched”

    This province ( Alberta) is knee deep in them yet claims to be debt free in spite of contractual obligations reaching out beyond two decades.

    I often wonder if the people on the government side that put these things together even own calculators.


  9. HI all, busy day!!

    North Van Grumps comment is very very important. A must read. The accounting practices of the Liberals, as we all know, are veiled in slight of hand accounting tricks that make things look better- or worse- than they really are, for whatever suits their purpose best.

    Mackenna, thank you for mentioning that permanant tax break, I actually posted a link to the Delta Optimist article on facebook today on that. http://www.delta-optimist.com/news/MLAs+critical+break+ports+becoming+permanent/6227900/story.html

    I was talking with someone once who had a great idea of increasing the tax revenue stream for the province, which was greatly decimated over Campbells reign as king gordo, by putting a container tax on each container of goods coming into the port. When the personal income taxes where slashed for BC residents, that effectively cut a revenue stream down by a large amount that was not replaced elsewhere, since corporate taxes where cut as well. Container tax would make that up in some aspect. Now instead, we hear the port is getting a huge tax break that was supposed to be temporary, and without consultation makes it permananent in an area that is likely destined to be a foreign trade zone anyways.

    Between a container tax, and a tax hike to the income earners that can sustain an increase and have credits to offset a hike, we could build the provincial revenue stream back up to make up for the stupid contractual obligations/shadow tolls/ shadow fares that the Liberals have committed this province to for the next 17 to 25 years… and in some cases, longer.

    Norm, I love you for that reason and you better keep thumping away at it!! If you are an old fool who doesnt understand how these P3 things work, than I must be a moron whose head is in the clouds because I have been thumping away on these things for the same amount of time. People are starting to get it slowly.

    As you know, I have researched, investigated and written quite a bit about Macquarie over the years and I know well that Macquarie model you speak of – I think Erik first sent it to me, but it is a valuable resource of showing why we must continue to expose the close and adulterated relationship this company has with British Columbian politiicians. One of the best reads on this is this link https://lailayuile.com/2011/01/07/the-macquarie-connection/

    Cant wait to see what John Doyle finds in his audit of this project. Wow, am I ever a geek hmm? Waiting for an audit report..lol…


  10. Now I’m REALLY pissed off! North Van’s Grumps just reminded me that I am funding all those Whistlerites’ rides to & from the mountain AND I NEVER ONCE HAVE GOT TO USE IT! But I get to pay for it the rest of my life! (Yes, I am that old.)
    And I get to pay for the Golden Years Bridge, South Surrey Perimeter Road, perhaps the Port Mann Bridge (never did find out the story on that), and the Bennet Bridge in Kelowna (which I’ve used twice -once each way). Why, you might ask, am I such a generous old fool? When I should be saving my money to pay Medical Premiums, Hydro increases, ICBC increases, etc.
    Beats me! I just hope I have enough to go around.


  11. And the BC Liberal back scratchers, friends of government and big business, just get richer and richer, the working class, the duped, gets nailed for more and more taxes, and those of us on on fixed incomes, the also duped, just watch as it dwindles and dwindles ….. and Harper is building for profit jails to house the poor! Great article Laila!


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