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“…the contractor who built the wall — Peter Kiewit and Sons — used parts in the retaining wall that do not meet ministry standards….”

A wise man once told me that the best thing for any organization to do when facing a potentially explosive public relations issue was to “tell the truth, tell it all, and tell it damn quick.”

First the issues were cosmetic in nature only.

Then, a ministry employee said ” no significant structural issues were identified.”

And when it was discovered major structural repairs were about to start on a 4th wall, repairs that include building a new reinforced wall and inserting soil anchors, the minister said they were routine maintenance and attacked the NDP for not building anything when they were in government…

Today we get a little closer to the truth with a story from Jane Seyd of the North Shore News:

Ashok Bhatti, district manager for the Ministry of Transportation and Highways south coast region, said repairs are needed because a review of the project showed the contractor who built the wall — Peter Kiewit and Sons — used parts in the retaining wall that do not meet ministry standards. Bhatti said the wall has been tested by engineers, and there are no safety concerns. But over the lifespan of the highway, problems could develop….”

– See more at:

This just brings another level of questions for the young minister of transportation, Todd Stone, because this manager just opened a huge can of worms.

What parts are faulty?

Does the MOT manager mean parts below engineered level or parts of faulty material?

What about faulty installation?

Over compacted, drainage under engineered or wrongly changed?  And on, and on…. you get the picture.Is it is a matter of Kiewit cutting costs by using materials that were less than what was called for? Were they aware of the faulty parts?

 Where is the due diligence of the government?  What about the INDEPENDENT Quality Control guy who was on Kiewit’s payroll? Who signed off on all these materials?

 And since it’s often the case that many of the same materials and components used on a major infrastructure project are sourced from the same supplier, the ministry now needs to come clean on every single detail. It doesn’t matter if Kiewit is paying for this. It matters that this even happened in the first place.

Somebody has some explaining to do, and this time the people deserve to hear an actual answer, not more denial,deflection and discrediting.

 ** If you have any information or tips relating to this story, please contact me confidentially via the contact page above.


  1. This is just another screw up in a litany of many miss handled files the liberals are responsible for. It is just amassing just how incompetent these so-called best caretakers of our economy. Thank goodness for you and Norman Farrell for keeping us informed/ The MSM will not do it.


  2. You are one tenacious tiger and it looks as if your tenacity has paid off!

    I believe the Contractor was responsible for Quality Control (or was that irresponsible?) but the Quality ASSURANCE was supposed to be by an INDEPENDENT source.
    I could be wrong, but I believe the assurance guy was responsible for checking the quality control, thus absolving the MOT of any responsibility. It used to be that way but since the common people are no longer privy to what goes on behind triple P contracts its anyone’s guess what transpires!

    Keep on keeping on!


  3. Who believes anything the government or useless civil servants have to say anymore.
    They all have their own agenda and could care less about the taxpayers or the public
    It is time we do as in Quebec and have inquiries into corruption in government and government
    contracts. SNC Lavalin world famous for corruption is alive and well in B.C.
    Who knows what Christie The Fracking Queen and Gwyn Morgan are up to????
    I feel sorry for the next generation


  4. Between the shoddy retaining wall and the substandard steel BC Hydro got for their transmission towers, it’s beginning to feel like Quebec around here.


  5. If contractors are expected (by the BC Libs) to self-inspect and self-monitor… the logical consequence for shoddy work would be for the contractors to eat the entire cost of repairs. I fear that won’t be the case — but we shall see, if FOI allows.

    Keep digging, Laila!


  6. G. Barry Stewart. The LEGAL consequence for shoddy work is for the Contractor to OPERATE and MAINTAIN that shoddy work for 25 years. (So says MMM Group’s Keith Holmes as per Laila’s column Denial, deflect, discredit.) Unless of course the Contractor’s legal team absolves them of all responsibility on a technicality.
    Although the Project has a design life of 75 years it is not abundantly clear who is responsible after year 25. The Contractor? Not likely,


  7. Without taking responsibility for quality of work and maintenance, P3s and IPPs— the latter compelling the public hydro producer to buy expensive IPP electricity that could never compete on the open market (because BC Hydro is a public monopoly that makes inexpensive electricity), the former compelling drivers to pay a hidden toll to the private partner of the P3—would become completely parasitic in nature. It used to be that neo-rightists in government would rationalize these types of net losses to the public weal by pretending they’d be recovered by taxing the economic activity of a) building and, b) maintaining the service. Yet three decades of Thatcherism and Reaganomics—intensely applied by BC Liberals for the most recent half of that time—have put to bed the notion that this ideal could ever be achieved whilst profiteers assiduously direct the government they bought and paid for to reduce their taxes, and ordinary Canadians tacitly accept both reduced services from the governments they elect and shrinking purchasing power that attends the de-unionization of the private-sector.

    Near-penerous household debt and yawning gulfs of social inequality have resulted from the neo-rights’ self-ingratiating control of government, and from a self-deluded middle class still chasing the mirage of independent personal wealth—and still whistling through the graveyard of chest-deep debt. The idea of “sustainability” has been purged from public discourse in MSM because their neo-right owners prefer the middle-class not recognize that the sustainability of their situation is impossible in fact, not merely the dry, pedantic opinion of tenured, “leftist” professors. Eventually, however, the only thing the fat cats can offer in self-defence is absurdism where, in order to maintain their seats on the publicly-funded gravy train, science, for example, must be equated with the Biblical Baal, society’s care-giving and teaching professions must be demonized for demanding funding adequate to their mandates, and the disabled must be blamed for their own afflictions. Minister Stone and his colleagues have reached this point, as his response to MLA Trevena’s question in the Assembly showed.

    The neo-right’s contingency for when their ideological claptrap doesn’t wash anymore, for when the public weal’s death-of-a-thousand-cuts becomes inconcealable, and for when erstwhile supporters finally realize they’ve been had is to sabotage any attempted reversal of their self-enriching policies—like IPP purchase obligations, hidden-toll agreements, et cetera—and mine their retreat by deleting emails (where they haven’r already been cleverly avoided), paying out hush-money and, of course, relentlessly blaming the rival left for their own perfidy. Notably no defeat is conceded; rather, the neo-right intends to turn on thousands of policy cancers salted throughout the bureaucracy in order to beggar and blame any rival government that replaces them, and hypocritically avail themselves of the very rights they’d deny everyone else to advantage an eventual return to power—a sort of ideological continuum where the sovereign, democratic state is merely a passing cold privateers catch from time to time. Central to this contingency is, pyramidally, never having to take responsibility, either by never relinquishing the levers of power, or by hiding in redoubts inaccessible to sovereign jurisprudence. That’s the plan, anyway—and it looks like the culprits are as deluded as they’d like their victims to be.

    Unfortunately for these saboteurs, the contingency sabotages which contain just enough legal force to affect the illusion of public benefit, also contain just enough to backfire. Any of these P3s (IPPs included) commit to respecting regulation which, despite the BC Liberals’ assiduous watering down, are potential cases to abrogate the contract. The neo-right’s biggest mistake is to think the very citizenry that has recognized it’s been duped will believe more self-serving argument that such a remedial approach is childishly foolish, laughably impossible, Biblically demonic, immanently diabolical and about to destroy the universe. As long as the illusion satisfies, it works.


    • “Near-penerous household debt and yawning gulfs of social inequality have resulted from the neo-rights’ self-ingratiating control of government, and from a self-deluded middle class still chasing the mirage of independent personal wealth—and still whistling through the graveyard of chest-deep debt.” 100% agreement, SOD. 100%. “We can all get ahead.” That is a self-defined myth! Who ya gonna be ahead of if everyone is getting ahead? Can’t happen. Ergo: myth. Any doubts? How far ahead of where you were are you now? Bigger house but MORE debt? Fancier car but even MORE debt?
      Debt, folks, is voluntary enslavement. And for what? A big screen TV? Live simply. Live more freely.


  8. The Minister who started the Sea to Sky Highway Improvement was Kevin Falcon. Premier Gordon Campbell then appointed Shirley Bond in 2009 until after the Olympics ….. 2011. Todd Stone is now the man in charge of Transportation.

    Hadrian’s wall: 1,893 years


    • Not bad! I rarely watch Global, because I wasn’t seeing this kind of exposé.

      I hope Kiewit’s “former” blasting guy has a job with a reputable firm and isn’t collecting EI.


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