Saturday, July 12, 2008

 

Coalition aims to rebuild Vancouver Island railway corridor

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Here's a good idea, don't you think? If it's good for Vancouver Island, maybe it's good for the Vancouver-to-Whistler run. And if it's good for them, why isn't it good for the northern routes formerly serviced by BC Rail? I'd like to hear more from this Island [Rail] Corridor Foundation. Seems as if they've found the key to Citizen Success. Good luck to them! - BC Mary.
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Island rail campaign growing

Robert Barron

Canwest News Service - July 12, 2008

The group working to rebuild Vancouver Island's long-neglected railway corridor says support for its efforts to get federal and provincial help for the $103.8-million project is growing across the Island.

Mary Ashley, a spokeswoman for the Island Corridor Foundation, the non-profit society that owns and manages the 290-kilometre rail corridor, said 2,100 people have signed up so far in the goal to raise 4,000 signatures of support in the campaign that will be handed to senior government.

As well, she said more than 60 key supporters, which include businesses, municipal councils, chambers of commerce, tourism and economic development organizations from across the Island, have also joined the campaign.

A campaign is gathering steam to get more use out of the Island's rail corridor than the often-derided E&N train service. View Larger Image

A campaign is gathering steam to get more use out of the Island's rail corridor than the often-derided E&N train service.

Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist
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"All agree rail is important and want the higher levels of government to join the foundation in investing in this incredible asset," Ashley said.

Under the name Our Corridor Coalition, First Nations, business and community leaders joined with the ICF and Southern Railway of Vancouver Island in the campaign last March to urge funding for upgrades on the corridor.

The proposal calls for an integrated transportation system that connects buses to trains, park and ride facilities and the use of bicycle and walking paths along the rail corridor.

The plan also supports an enhanced transportation system for moving freight on the Island in a fully integrated system using short haul trucks connecting to rail and then by sea barge to the mainland Gateway and on to North American and world markets.

Ashley said the coalition is getting favourable responses from Victoria and Ottawa and she expects the senior government levels will get on board with financing after the coalition's business plan is completed.

She said while it's hoped government will pick up most of the tab for the rail upgrades, the coalition expects it may have to some fundraising of its own.

"At this stage, we want to let people know that coalition is getting strong support from individuals, organizations and the business community," Ashley said.

"With the price of gas these days and the growing need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the need for a viable and efficient railway system on the Island is increasingly needed." {Snip} ...

For more information or to join the campaign, visit our corridor.ca or call 250-727-7464.

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What about a TAKE BACK BC RAIL campaign? I'm supposed to be packing my suitcase for a week's holiday but it just occurred to me that we should be doing what the OUR CORRIDOR COALITION is doing. And that maybe we've already made a lot of headway getting started. So woudn't you say that all we need to do is (a) push, push, push to get Special Prosecutor Berardino to bring the BC Rail Case to trial.

I will re-post his mailing address if we all take a solemn promise to be faithful to the motto: Be polite. Be persistent. And keep asking the question, namely, will you support having a fixed, non-commercial TV camera in the Basi Virk Basi courtroom, so that all British Columbians may have an unobstructed seat in the public gallery to follow the most important trial ever to come to a B.C. Supreme Court.

OK? So here's his address:

William S. Berardino, Q.C.
Special Prosecutor - BC Rail Case
Hunter Litigation Chamber Law Corporation
2100 - 1040 West Georgia Street
Vancouver BC V6E 4H1.

Next, what do you think of sending an even more polite, carefully crafted appeal to Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett? And to the BC Attorney General, Wally Oppal? Asking them to approve the use of non-commercial, fixed TV cameras in the courtroom for the Basi Virk Basi trial.

After that, what do you think? Maybe somebody should consult with the Island Corridor Foundation to ask their advice. Tell them Thanks, too. - BC Mary.

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Comments:
Good one, BC Mary! Nothing like People Power when all of our assets are being plundered by the Campbell Gang. There is more than one way to derail their game plan . . . .

I am outraged along with obviously many other British Columbians to see the deceitful actions of the Gordon Campbell Govt. re: BC Rail. It is a HUGE betrayal to our province.

Former Premier WAC Bennett built the railway to open up the Norther economy to benefit ALL British Columbians. In his wildest dreams he never intended this 'citizen owned' rail line to be 'pocketed' for private vested interests on the backs of the taxpayers.

Here is a challenge and another thought for your legal minds at your Blog:

How about a Class Action Civil lawsuit by the Taxpayers of British Columbia since we seem to be witnessing a circle of trickery in the BC Supreme Court re: the Raid on the Leg?

Perhaps we, the people should hit the issue head on.

Come forth legal beagles . . . what do you think, Mary?
 
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NVGrumps, OK, I won't post/distribute your comment. Probably a good idea not to. But it sure raises questions.

I had thought of that event in terms of distraction, to take our minds off something else. Give that a whirl, see what you think. There's pre-trial action in Supreme Court again on Monday July 14.


Btw, did you watch Flashpoint? I hadn't expected to like it, but I did. Background reading says it's the first big Canadian cop show since "Due South" (which I loved) to have caught fire in the U.S. market.

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An excellent idea and an excellent question, Secondlook.

Maybe a Class Action civil lawsuit on behalf of the taxpayers of B.C. would be a good idea ... if Mr Berardino decides to shirk his duties -- by which I mean, he says he might not be able to prosecute the BCRail Case without that special, ultra-secret witness. I don't see why not, do you? I'm sure a good lawyer could find ways to present the testimony without risking anybody's safety. Hence: "shirk".

But if the Special Prosecutor fails to push the Basi-Virk trial forward ... or if the TV camera in the courtroom fails ... and the public inquiry fails ... and if there's nowhere left to turn and we still don't know how we lost BCRail ... then, by God, yes: Citizens will not rest easy until they uncover the truth. And what other remedy is left to us, but a Class Action lawsuit?

So maybe we citizens should start thinking about WHO are the best lawyers to act for us? And WHAT is the best massive nation-wide, ground-breaking campaign to explain why British Columbia citizens are left to figure out the workings and decisions of their own elected government by these means.

I bet people from far and wide would contribute funds for the war chest. We're not the only citizens in this great country to feel that something has gone horribly wrong in the pilot-house of our ship of state.

Good, forward-thinking Secondlook.

Wow. BIG thoughts ...

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and 57 minutes ago on FreshNews.ca

B.C. attorney-general says Crown opposed release of Air India bomb-maker Reyat
 
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Wha-a-attt???

Aw, man ... what the heck does that mean now???

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Mary,

All citizen journalists need to be on deck for Monday July 14th to find out if good ol' Bill Berardino will appeal this case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

I want straight answers! Why is he pushing for more delay? Get on with it for crying out loud!

I for one am attempting to try to make myself available and look forward to asking my questions directly to Bill. I cannot stand idly by while he fiddles with the most important case of the Province. Our railway was sold and questions must be answered about what and why things happened.

I urge you and your readers to attend court and ask questions directly to the powers that be as to why Bill Berardino is delaying this case past the next election.

PG
 
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PG, that's very welcome news!

I really hope you can be in court on Monday the 14th. I hope others will be there too.

I'm going away for a week, starting on Sunday July 13, but if you send your comments to this web-site as usual, Koot will post them for me.

That would be wonderful ... and here's hoping for better news from the courtroom.

Many thanks indeed.

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Thanks for your reflective reply, BCMary. Yes that 'war chest' would be bulging in no time.

Gee, if SP Bill decides that he couldn't possibly decide to carry on with the Basi/Birk trial - I see he's available as a specialist in "Class Action Litigation" as listed in the new Financial Post Business Mag , , , maybe with a big war chest at his disposal, he might decide to apply himself to the evidence at hand LOL.

Have a well deserved holiday, Mary!
 
AT some point, we all want to see justice done. Will the taxpayer of BC ever get its railroad back? What of the costs? The way this is playing out now, I only see us as losers. How can we get the railway back without millions in compensation? Anyone have any idea of how to get some of the millions from Gordon Campbells bank account into BC's general revenue? It just isn't enough to get him unelected--he needs to get hit where it hurts most, his pocketbook.
 
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Anonymous 8:50,

I applaud your thought. Yes, we must rally around the idea of "Citizens as Sovereign".

We must do it TOGETHER, forgetting the paralyzing gimmicks of partisan politics.

We'll succeed when we see ourselves as WINNERS in a lousy game which has gone on far too long.

Make no mistake, speaking out even on a small blog like this one, is a step forward.

I only wish that Dave Basi or Bobby Virk would take this route, tell everything. And no, I don't mean the white-washed version dictated by the paymasters. Just the truth of what happened, as they saw it happening. Sure would help, eh.

But then ... if Judge Bennett would boot this trial into action, that sure would help too.

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