Sunday, August 10, 2008


Campbell vs the truth about BCRail

Another thank you to North Van's Grumps who discovered this item which undoubtedly explains why British Columbia has never seen a photo of Campbell holding a 4x8 ft. cheque for a Billion Dollars. - BC Mary

The Truth About BC Rail

The President's Message - Barry O'Neill

NDP leader Carol James is right to call for an election on the BC Rail sale. And she is right to agree with her predecessor about Gordon Campbell’s inability to tell the truth.

The premier says that our railway has lost $860 million.

The truth: BC Rail has paid $137.7 million in dividends to its shareholders – the citizens of British Columbia – over the past 15 years. In 1999 they paid out $40 million. The $860 million is a writedown or reassessment of the value of the company and has not affected its profitability at all. There is no cost to the taxpayers of a writedown, and it hasn’t affected BC Rail’s profitability.

Campbell says BC Rail is $500 million in debt.

The truth: Yes, BC Rail is $500 million in debt. They are in debt because they bought assets, just like you would likely be in debt if you bought a car. CN Rail, which just bought BC Rail, is financing the purchase with debt. It has about $6 billion of it.

B.C. taxpayers don’t finance BC Rail’s debt. The interest on it is paid by BC Rail as an expense each year. The dividend, or profit, comes after the interest is paid. The debt does not show up in B.C.’s public accounts. And to put it in perspective, B.C.’s total debt is $36.5 billion.

In fact, B.C. taxpayers will be paying more in taxes after the sale, because they will not be getting the annual dividend that BC Rail has been paying.

Campbell: The B.C. government is getting “$1 billion in cash”.

The truth: The first $500 million will pay off the BC Rail debt. The government will get the other half, but only if Canada Customs and Revenue Authority agrees that it can transfer BC Rail’s past losses and debt to CN. If not, taxpayers will have to indemnify CN to the tune of about $250 million.

If they do agree, CN will get the tax writeoffs, which will mean that they don’t have to pay, in their own estimates, $250 million in taxes, of which $10 million would have gone to BC. Therefore, there is a potential $10 million loss in taxes to British Columbians.

Campbell: Selling BC Rail could give rail line municipalities tax payments of $8.3 million a year compared to the $1.8 million paid now as an annual grant in lieu of taxes.

The truth: The Liberals promised to give municipalities the right to tax Crown corporations. If they had kept that promise, the municipalities would have had the right to the $8.3 million in taxes without selling BC Rail.

Campbell: The sell-off is a great deal that will increase investment.

The truth: CN, in pitching the deal to financial market analysts, says the company will begin recovering its investment by disposing of “redundant assets”. That means selling 35 per cent of the locomotives, 15 per cent of the rail cars, closure of rail yards in North Vancouver and Squamish, and the merger of the two yards in Prince George. There will be a 35 per cent reduction in the workforce.


From the Legislative Libraray BC Rail Confidential Information Memorandum.... May 2003

Well its not so confidential now, its at the local "library" in Victoria, probably courteous of it having been leaked to a Union which did its own interpretation of the BC Rail assets. One really has to wonder why CN Rail paid only One Billion Dollars, in cash.

Here's the : Union document courtesy of BC Government Publications Index
This is fascinating stuff Mary - and not too surprising that the powers that be wouldn't want the CIBC World Markets prospectus to become public.

We've known for sometime that Campbell has been lying about the billion dollar giveaway...the scary part is that so much of the government's business is no longer being done by the dedicated professionals in the public service.

Supplanted by outside consultants and lawyers, enabled by secrecy and side deals, it becomes clearer and clearer that Gordon Campbell had an agenda for all of this before he came to power.

He should be tried for treason, if not fraud.

I'd really like to see someone, Bill Tieleman perhaps, take all of this data and start to pull it together in a form sufficiently transparent so that every British Columbian would understand why the executive council is so adamant NOT to ever let the details behind the giveaway of BC Rail come to light.
"Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun
Published: Monday, August 11, 2008

The Internet should be the first stop for anyone interested in launching a lawsuit, learning about the law, keeping abreast of a particular case or following legal debates." SNIP

BC Courts' site

Osgoode Hall Law School ... Supreme Court of Canada decisions and issues at

The B.C. Courthouse Library Society also provides a great legal resource -- rules, cases, It's an unbelievable gold mine.

Want to stay abreast of the ambulance chasers?, a site created by Erik Magraken, a Victoria lawyer law firm Stikeman Elliott is producing a first-rate corporate finance blog at

Want to know about mergers, acquisitions, timely disclosure, compliance, some Securities and Exchange Commission ruling

former justice John Bouk

ex-provincial court judge Wallace Craig's

If you're looking for Canadian legal blogs

When you really want to drill down, go to -- wow!

That's the thing about the Web; it's not a library, it's a warehouse of libraries and for a text-driven profession such as law it has been a boon.

the great Google Reader service, which allows me to subscribe to RSS feeds from various sites -- the electronic notification when something new is posted.

I really like, a daily review of log blogs and journals.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law also produces a fabulous site of international legal news

You can get other worthwhile roundups at:,,, or

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog at

Last but not least: or

You might be amazed at what judges and lawyers get up to.

The retired B.C. judge who writes so effectively on B.C. court procedures:


North Van's Grumps said...

"Here's the : Union document courtesy of BC Government Publications Index"

Yeah, but the document talks about $2.05 billion in "tax pools", which I infer to be both previous years capital and non-capital losses.

And $857 million in non-capital losses, which I infer to be previous years operating losses.

Who'd wanna buy that pig-in-a-poke??
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