Sunday, May 10, 2009

 

CanWest bravely continues publishing ... until after they re-elect Gordo

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That's the story. CanWest will struggle onward, carrying an impossible debt-load, telling us that trimming Mondays from its weakened newspaper will carry them through.

It won't, of course. But that's the excuse. Because they're needed as Gordo's #1 advertising arm.

And then there's the other CanWest newspaper, National Post. NatPo has been the perennial money-loser ever since Conrad Black established it 10 years ago as a national newspaper purpose-built for turning Canada into a rightwing nation ... a tradition readily understood and eagerly "bought" by CanWest. Neither Black nor Izzy Asper made any secret of that fact.

The demise of NatPo has been anticipated almost from its first years. But they too have announced a similar, ludicrous economy measure.

They're not doing it for us. No way.

In my opinion, Times Colonist is hanging in there until they re-elect their premier, Gordon Campbell.

The National Post is hanging in there hoping to re-elect their prime minster -- that old double-crossing Reform guy -- Stephen Harper. And there's no way CanWest could do this without Big Money in Big Banks agreeing that it's worth their while to throw in just a few more millions to see Conrad's dreams come true.

So National Post tells us that they will eliminate the Monday edition for 9 weeks next summer (July and August). Haha, and they're doing this bravely, for us. Yeah, right.

Disillusioned citizens may safely speculate that this is code; it confirms that NatPo -- part of the indispensible advertising campaign which never gets tallied because it's part of their function as a "free press" -- will also hang on by the skin of their teeth, with the help of Big Banks, to keep publishing for the purpose of re-electing Stephen Harper.

Don't talk to me about a free press being the basis of a democratic society. This kind of press is free for anybody who can afford to buy the factory.


Pssst. Noted in passing. The Globe and Mail on Thursday had a fawning editorial written, I swear, by Gordo's Public Affairs Bureau. Next day, The Globe allowed 3 Letters to the Editor in response to that editorial.

All three feisty letters came from British Columbia.
All 3 of them lit into The Globe for being jackasses on the subject of Gordon Campbell's 8 years spent causing B.C.'s ruination.

So, does that make everything OK?
Is it OK to publish a horrendous splashy lying destructive editorial, then next day run 3 small objections as letters-to-editor? Does that fulfill the meaning of being a "free press without bias"? I think not.

I think the damage is done in The Globe's initial fawning editorial on the eve of the B.C. election. I think they know that perfectly well.

Old, old political dirty tricks ... only dirtier than ever. Who, in the past, had 223 people running a propaganda machine 24/7 in the basement of the Victoria Legislature?

Don't they teach anything in Poli-Sci these days? Oh, right. I forgot. SFU has just dropped its Canadian Studies program. Sheeesh. - BC Mary


PS. I know I promised to be non-partisan. Please note that I have never gone "Me-good, You-bad" because adversarial politics is my idea of a cruel joke. And I know how bad I sound, right now, on the topic of Gordon Campbell. But I've always been straight with everyone on that point: I do hold Gordon Campbell personally and entirely responsible for the loss of BC Rail, the screw-ups to BC Hydro and all that other terrible stuff. So, my prayer for British Columbia on Tuesday, May 12, is simply this: will the voters of Vancouver-Pt Grey please throw the bum out? It may not be the entire cure, but I am pretty sure that it would be a good beginning toward the recovery of British Columbia.

- BC Mary.

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BREAKING NEWS:

See the latest details on this link:
http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/brookfield-asset-management-gordon-campbell-and-the-canwest-lifeline/

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Comments:
The voters of Vancouver-Point Grey will not throw their current MLA out, that task will be left up to other electoral constiuents when they don't vote for the BC Liberal candidate in their ridings.

If enough BC Liberals are not elected there will have to be a Leadership convention, and then, Gordon will be pushed out of the limelight to make way for Colin Hansen.
 
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Aren't you jumping the gun, NVG?

I gotta right to ask the voters of Vancouver-Pt Grey to throw the bum out.

The good people of Vancouver-Pt Grey have the right to think this over and vote whatever way they wish.

They know that.

I know that.

Don't you know that?

I think we know how premiers get elected too ... which would, I insist, happen if the good people of Vancouver-Pt Grey kicked the bum out.

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From what I've heard and read the guy running for the dippers in Gord's riding has a legitimate shot. He is EXTREMELY well known, liked and respected - the last two qualities very lacking in the Gord.

The fellow is a well loved, older cancer survivor and has often been called the "Mayor of Kitsilano - he's been door knocking all year. I'm rooting for him.

The Gord didn't carry his riding all that well last time either.
 
Thanks for a great column, Mary.

I feel the same way about this complete distortion of news media. Even in the day of Bill Bennett (the first jerk,not the latest jerk) and Social Credit, which had the media of the day pretty much in its pocket, it was nothing like this. We DID get the "Dirty Tricks Affair" , even if it was only reported grudgingly. This group of newspapers never report on anything that could be negative to Gordon Campbell. They just completely ignore it and run some fluff piece or another tired attack on the NDP.

I think the decline of the CanWest empire is partly related to this complete disregard for more than 50% of our society. I know I don't buy their newspapers anymore because I already know there won't be anything that even resembles fair reporting, before picking it up. They deserve the bankruptcy that is heading their way. At this point they are just an impediment to new, quality, newspapers being published in BC.

Gordon Campbell. Now there's a guy that is only palatable to the public if he is kept in a bubble, with only studio shot pictures and no questions asked. The debate gave people a short glimpse of the man. Condecending to women, and unwilling to answer questions about his actions. He is all about covering up his deeds rather than explaining them, and, for good reason. The contracts for the IPP's and PPP projects that he has signed in our name will bankrupt the entire province and his environmental ACTIONS are at complete odds with his greenwashed exterior. How many golfers are in his riding by comparison to people that enjoyed Pacific Spirit park? I hope he loses big in his own riding and even bigger in the rest of the province!
 
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Koot,

Bless you, you just made my day!

All I had heard about Mel Lehan was that Dave Barrett would be making a very rare public appearance to speak in support of him ...

and then I watched for CanWest to report on that historic Barrett speech ...

and, wanna hear a big surprise? Just kidding ... CanWest reported -0- about that historic event. Nothing. According to CanWest, it never happened. Surprised?

So, with you & Dave Barrett indicating that Mel Lehan is a good guy, I googled. Found a story about him from Georgia Straight, about his vigorous fight to save the UBC farmlands ... I like the look of the man ... nice photo, too, at http://www.straight.com/article-178550/lehan-takes-premier ...

So good luck, Mel Lehan!!

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Holy smoke, I may need therapy before this Campbell character goes walkies ...

Someone just sent me this bulletin from the Reform Party of B.C.


Emerson hedge fund – Canwest election fraud

May 9, 2009

BC Reform alleges that this extension of debt repayment and the waiver of certain borrowing covenants on a $300 million credit line represent an undeclared financial benefit to Canwest and the Campbell Liberals during the election period and is therefore a violation of the BC elections act.

BC Reform believes that David Emerson's hedge fund – the CAI Private Equity Group - has arranged an extension on Canwest debt payment to senior lenders and U.S. bondholders in exchange for positive editorials in Canwest papers such as the Vancouver Sun to suggest that Gordon Campbell and the Liberals have earned the right to a third term of office in British Columbia ...


There's more at Hawks Cafe ...
 
"BC Reform believes that David Emerson's hedge fund – the CAI Private Equity Group - has arranged an extension on Canwest debt payment to senior lenders and U.S. bondholders in exchange for positive editorials in Canwest papers such as the Vancouver Sun to suggest that Gordon Campbell and the Liberals have earned the right to a third term of office in British Columbia ..."How long can these thugs manipulate the Justice System?
 
http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/campbell-may-be-in-trouble-in-own-riding/
 
Jeff Barkley,

Thanks for your comments.

Was just wondering what you're thinking of this statement from BC Reform about the banks backing CanWest for a bit longer, if they produce good campaign propaganda for Gordo?

And their claim that these are undeclared electioneering benefits?

I swear I hadn't seen this stuff before I wrote the same thing in this posting. So, do you think many other people are putting 2 + 2 together?

I'd be interested to hear what your thoughts are.

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Reform BC Maple Ridge-Mission The light at the end of the tunnel

May 9, 2009

David Hawkins

BC Reform alleges that this extension of debt repayment and the waiver of certain borrowing covenants on a $300 million credit line represent an undeclared financial benefit to Canwest and the Campbell Liberals during the election period and is therefore a violation of the BC elections act.

BC Reform believes that David Emerson’s hedge fund – the CAI Private Equity Group – has arranged an extension on Canwest debt payment to senior lenders and U.S. bondholders in exchange for positive editorials in Canwest papers such as the Vancouver Sun to suggest that Gordon Campbell and the Liberals have earned the right to a third term of office in British Columbia.
UPDATE 2-Canwest gets another extension from lendersWed May 6, 2009 9:49am EDT



Canwest gets extension on debt payment
Two-week reprieve to avoid possible bankruptcy protection
By Etan Vlessing
May 6, 2009, 08:54 AM ET

Corrected: May 6, 2009, 09:20 PM ET
TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster Canwest Global Communications Corp. has received another two-week extension to crunch talks with creditors to avoid possible bankruptcy protection.

Canwest Global on Wednesday said it has now until May 19 to renegotiate growing debt obligations with senior lenders and U.S. bondholders.

The latest extension came as Canwest Global faced a Tuesday night deadline to make an overdue $30.4 million payment to 8% U.S. bondholders.

The broadcaster said bankers for subsidiary Canwest Media late Tuesday also agreed to extend the waiver of certain borrowing covenants on a $300 million credit line for another two weeks.

And a consortium that represents 72% of U.S. bondholders also said it will not demand repayment of a $761 million principal until May 19 after the broadcaster missed an interest payment initially due on March 15.

A continuing failure to meet its current debt obligations could eventually force Canwest Global to file for bankruptcy protection as it attempts to fend off the effects of deep advertising downturn on its newspaper and TV assets.

Success in its current creditor talks, meanwhile, could enable Canwest Global to recapitalize the company and restructure its balance sheet.
 
NVG:

It's worth going to the original on this, to weigh the quid against the pro quo which is more easily understood, the way it's set up on their page.

Certainly it looks as if credit extensions were allowed (the quid?) and a favourable if largely false editorial has appeared in Vancouver Sun (the pro quo?).

It's worth looking at.

Thanks, NVG.
 
Morning Mary.

The news release this morning from Canwest shows that Brookfield Asset Management is one of the potential lenders. This is the company I blogged about recently that owns a good portion of Vancouver Island waterfront and logging lands. They have contributed big $$ to the libs.

Here's an excerpt from my post:

"First, news today on the Canwest front ( Global BC, The Sun, The Province) from The Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090511.RCANWEST11ART1943/TPStory/Business

” CanWest Global Communications Corp.CGS-T . is reviewing as many as four proposals from outside investors to restructure the company and avoid filing for protection from creditors.

Some proposals will be looked at this week, sources close to CanWest indicate, and a roster of potential firms interested in participating in a recapitalization could include Fairfax Financial FFH-T , Onex Corp.OCX-T and Brookfield Asset Management BAM.A-T . An unnamed Australian private equity investor is also interested in a stake in the company’s Australian television network. “

Brookfield Asset Management?

Not THIS Brookfield Asset Management, the one I blogged about having a handhold on plenty of B.C’s forestry assets? The same one that donated $50,000 to the BC Liberals? "


See the details on this link:
http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/brookfield-asset-management-gordon-campbell-and-the-canwest-lifeline/
 
Hi Mary,

What makes this story even worse is that the co-mingled bcIMC Government Employee pension funds, unless a lot of shares were dumped recently, own over a million shares of Canwest stock.

The back story to this is that my opponent, Mike Bocking, NDP candidate, is an employee of The Vancouver Sun, though on leave to serve as the president of the Media Union.

This gives him three irons in this fire, as candidate, as employee and as representing the interests of the Union members and THEIR pension funds.

Thanks for staying on top of this.

Ian Vaughan
 
It all rather reminds me of how the Sun and Province settled with the press unions midway through the Solidarity Crisis in 1983; just in time to mis-report on the massed rally of 100,000 around the cabinet meeting in the Hotel Vancouver....complete with a new and pointedly yellow masthead.

Control of the print media had spun out of control with the total editorial freedom the Globe and Mail had allowed BC reporters in their fledgling BC edition/insert. The change in tone and content was quite remarkable; and to this day you won't find PacPress reporters quoting from the G&M in that period or recounting the history of those events with any kind of accuracy or honesty.

I had a sinking feeling all the rest of that summer that that was the beginning of the end for the "uprising" and the chance to rewrite the province's constitution that was in the offing. I get a similar sinking feeling today, though there have been times when the media were totally off-the-mark with their attempts to tell people how to vote. I remember Kevin Evans on the CBC ranting on election day in 1991 how he expected a Social Credit majority, and I remember how the Sun and Province were claiming that it was going to be a Liberal majority.....

The idea that the public are CanWest's sheep, indeed that maybe they like being manipulated and being told how to vote, doesn't bode well for tomorrow. But let's hope discontent with Gordo will boil over even in his own riding, and that a few renegade candidates from the fringe parties do get elected - Cardoso in Boundary-Similkameen most likely, or one of the Greens somewhere, or that the four-way vote-split causes more Liberal casualties than NDP ones. The North is riled up, even Peace River might "bolt" from the Grit corral.....

Or else, come closing time tomorrow night, we hear the seemingly-inevitable "advance polls indicate a Liberal majority" announced within minutes of the polls closing....

At this point, given the skulduggery at so many levels, I have my doubts as to the security of the ballots and the potential for vote-rigging. BC is, for now, no longer a democracy, we shouldn't expect any different at the polls than we get in the media.....

I'd be curious what the ethnic papers have said and who they're endorsing. I know the Indo-Canadian Times isn't going to endorse the Liberals; anyone have any idea what the Chinese-language media have been saying? THAT is a big factor in Lower Mainland ridings, particularly of course Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond....
 
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Hi Ian,

I'm going to need your help on this.

So you're a candidate in this provincial election with only one opponent, which must mean that you're in the running as a BC Liberal candidate. Yes?

And your opponent (there's that adversarial word again) is running as an NDP candidate?

Your opponent is a Vancouver Sun employee who is on leave to serve as president of the Media Union ... this part doesn't sound right ... why would an employee need to take time off to serve as president of the Media Union?

As a guess, isn't it more likely that the NDP-person is on leave for the purposes of campaigning in the election?

And how is it not OK for a person to have (1) an employer, (2) a union, and ... sorry, here's where I get lost when it comes to why the Union's pension funds are a problem for you.

Would you mind coming back and making this a bit more clear?

Tell us how you feel about Gordo, too, which seems to be a #1 issue in this election. OK?

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Hi Mary,

REFORM BC! Not a liberal, never a liberal, never will be a liberal. Our Liberal Opponent is none other than Marc Dalton of 'ancient e-mail' fame.

We Reformers are trying to hold both mainline parties' feet to the fire. Our Crime Platform includes 'Made in BC Police' following the New York Community Policing Model, and of particular relevance, BRINGING BACK CITIZEN GRAND JURIES that Trudeau took away from us a few years ago.

What better means to investigate the Basi-Virk matter, BC Rail, Canwest, 3P's and IPP than Grand Juries made up of citizens charged with calling witnesses, interviewing police, and getting to decide whether and to whom charges should be laid?

As for Mike Bocking, I'm not dumping on him, I kinda like him, just don't agree with his parties platform in a lot of places. He is apparently a full time President of the union, and has been on a leave of absence for about ten years to enable him to do this. I just feel he has been put in a really tough position here with all this coming together at once.

As for the union pension funds, quite often the funds have shares in the employing company, and this could be rough if there is a bankruptcy.

Hope this clears up your concerns. The About link on MRMriding.wordpress.com has info on myself.

Ian Vaughan
 
Yep, Mary:

THROW THE BUM OUT IN PT. GREY.

For the record, Bill Bennett was a sliver of his great Dad, WAC Bennett. He should be ashamed of himself standing beside Campbell condoning the stealing of his Father's BC Rail, while dismantling BC Hydro and BC Ferries . . . all assets designed by WAC to give back to British Columbians in perpetuity - his famous mix of free enterprise with the best of socialism. Carole, please take note and you will be the next great Premier of BC.

I'm sorry to say the Bill looks like the picture of Dorian Grey who slowly morphed into the appearandce of someone who lost his ethics and integrity. What a disappointment this guy proved to be . . . but oh how fitting that Campbell & he look like two peas in a rotting pod.

That bridge in Kelowna should have been named after the HONOURABLE WAC BENNETT.
 
For Igetit and thoughts of fallen apples and their distance from the tree!

Personally I have always found it interesting that parents of great probity like the Senior Mr. and Mrs. Bennett seem, so often to have offspring that almost epitomize evil, greed and/or just sheer laziness.

For W.A.C., whom I have come with time to admire because of his "his famous mix of free enterprise with the best of socialism" and what his vision did for this province, young Bill and his brother must have been a bitter disappointment.

It was obvious when Bill Bennett was premier that he drank much more than would be advisable, even for a normal citizen, much less one with his hand on the tiller (and dad was a tee-totaller, wasn't he?) and the other day he looked little better than a rubby dubby on East Hastings. Considering that Mini-Wac has the advantages of a fine roof over his head and the protection of his questionably obtained wealth (insider trading, advance knowledge of where highways may go and other advantages that accrue in the "free enterprise" system to the scions of the "chosen") it was startling just how rough of shape he appears to be in.

Why do I keep thinking of that word - Karma?

I guess Our Great Gordo will never look rough in his dotage, because he only drank and drove that ONE TIME IN MAUI, and of course he's a tee-totaller now - isn't he? Or is he a reformed drinker like Dubya?
 
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Hi Koot, you old Sweetie:

Sometime like, well, today sometime, I'd sure like you to do a riff off the proven old adage (Lord Acton's adage, I believe):


Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.and then think about that Wild West period 2001 - 2005 when Gordo found himself with the virtually absolute power of 77 to 2 in the B.C. Legislature. When BC Rail slid out of our hands.

I think this would be the day for you to recall those things.

OK?

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SharingIsGood, here.

Bittersweet thought:
Campbell has privatized so much that there is so very little left that a government in the future will be unable to name anything after him.

Oxymoronic thoughts:
The "Best Place on Earth" is run by the worst government in Canada.
"Keep BC Strong" means selling our assets to and buying our services from wealthy Americans. Means killing our rivers and exporting our value-added forestry products. Campbell's doublespeak and newspeak is too much for me.

Time for Campbell to go. I am hopeful.

SIG
 
Good morning, Koot!

You are right. . . WAC was a complete "tea totaller" . . . he loved to eat Triffle . . . the look on his face when he found out that there was a little, 'you know what was in the dessert - was momentous . . . he was assured: not to worry - that the alcohol was muted because of the cooking!

I agree, WAC Bennett truly did have a great "VISION" for BC, which he then put into gear for the PEOPLE. Bill did NOT. This son would NEVER have made it into the Premier's Office if he had not been WAC's son. From Bill's actions, perhaps he was even jealous of his Dad's abilities and political genius. Yet, he owed everything to his Dad.

Of the two sons, it's fair to say that RJ would have been the better PREMIER in the dynasty - by a long shot; he was quite decent/kind; albeit, a few mistakes.

Bill is another kettle of fish, for sure . . . your description fit - to see him look as he does was shocking.

Let's all keep our fingers and toes crossed for a big showing of "KARMA" tonight, right?

Mary, thank you again from your huge fan club, as G West noted, for all you have done for British Columbians. WAC will be applauding you, no doubt!
 
So flip/floppin'/side slippin' Emerson may have had a finger or two in the CannedWest extension financing. . . . . otherwise known as the PR arm of his pal Gordon Campbell? Give me a break. Anything for the Campbell Club of Insiders.

Have we heard a peep from Emerson since he was appointed as the Chair of the Premier's Economic Advisory Council?

Guess we can all whose economic interests were his assignment.

Perhaps tonight the circle will be broken and BC will be unshackled and HOPE will be on the horizon.
 
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