Saturday, March 07, 2009


Broe to Campbell, Aug 15, 2002 :“I want to meet with you again ... the province will be best served if BC Rail freight service was privatized."


New documents reveal complaints about fairness before BC Rail sale announced


Newly disclosed government documents from the Basi-Virk corruption trial reveal that the B.C. Liberal cabinet decided Oct. 1, 2003 that CN Rail was the winning bidder of the $1-billion privatization sale of BC Rail.

The controversial decision wasn’t made public until 55 days later, on Nov. 25, 2003.

But before then, other bidders were already upset about the fairness of the process, the documents reveal.

One of the new documents is a letter sent Jan. 14, 2002, from OmniTrax chief executive Gary Rennick to then-transport minister Judith Reid, indicating OmniTrax, one of the U.S. bidders, had been discussing the privatization of BC Rail with the government since 2001.

{Snip} ...

Among the new documents is an email to the premier’s office from Brian Kieran, a lobbyist representing OmniTrax.

Kieran was trying to set up a dinner meeting in May 2002 with Premier Gordon Campbell and Patrick Broe, the owner of OmniTrax, who wanted to continue discussions about BC Rail with the premier.

“The Charles River report was a whitewash,” Krog charged Friday, pointing out that new documents reveal emails from Charles River staff to government, seeking “feedback” on a draft of the fairness report.

Many of the newly released documents detail the government”s communications strategy, including tips to define the opposition NDP as “not a credible option for government” and its leader “not up to the job as premier.”

Read the full story here.


Gotta give it to that Broe Mary...he doesn't quit does he? From first to the last; from conversations with Judith Reid to fancy dinners at Villa Del Lupo just before the 'raids' themselves he's been involved in this crooked mess from the beginning.

I wonder if anyone at the late and lamented Rocky Mountain News could tell us some more about the band of 'characters' called OmniTrax?

I can't help but think that guys who do business with government in such sleazy lobbyist-mediated ways wouldn't have left a trail in the U.S. as well.
Anecdote warning:

Some years ago,while riding home with a senior editor at Prince George Citizen after a good dinner downtown, police sirens sounded. She pulled over to the curb. As we watched the flashing lights of police cars go storming by, she crouched over the steering wheel and muttered darkly: "Now if I were a real reporter I'd follow them." We didn't. But I've always remembered her comment as summing up a newshound's emotions: we (even BC Mary) could do so much more, if only ...

Anecdote #2 (sorry): yesterday, my tired heart caught up with me again, reminding me of that same truism: there's only so much I can do. My problem is Atrial Fibrillation, not the worst cardiac problem but sort of a bridge breakdown between former good health and eventual bigger problems. I can stay ahead of the inevitable by being careful, but these episodes where the heart itself can't remember what to do, leave me weak and exhausted for about 48 hours.

I'm saying this not entirely out of self-pity (although that, too), but to explain why I am so thankful for the generous contributions from readers. Working together, we can get things done even better.

Many thanks to all ... and for the moment, I'll have a go at Rocky Mountain News to see what's in their archives and who's still around. Special thanks to a special reporter: G West. And to Robin Mathews who is on his way downtown as we speak, to attend Vancouver Supreme Court. Always remembering the never-to-be-forgotten tipster who caught the Bains comment there one day, and sent to us.

But I can't help thinking ... if only I was a real reporter.

I don't understand something in Neal Hall's article. He says that the documents reveal the Liberal cabinet decided to sell to CN in October, 2003. And then they put out the proposal for offers in November, 2003. This has got to be illegal if it is true. I am thinking Hall got his dates wrong?????
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