Sunday, June 28, 2009


BC Rail Lands ... attention, please!

Say it quickly and it might not seem so serious ... "BC Rail lands will be transferred to CN for $1. on the 5th anniversary ..." But while searching for THE agreement, trying to find exactly what's being promised and when it's promised, I found a DESCRIPTION OF LANDS at Schedule A in the 457-page "Revitalization Agreement".

There are 2,509 properties covering 101 pages under Part 1 - Fee Simple Lands. Frankly, I don't understand the "Note" which heads the listing. Readers should look this up HERE
at Page 77, A-1, and decide for themselves. The geographical locations of the properties are as follows:

North Vancouver, Ambleside, West Bay, West Vancouver-Piccadily N., Horseshoe Bay, Watts Pt., Coffee, Lions Bay, Cheakamus, Brunswick, Koster, Porteau, Britannia, Shan Fls., Squamish Site B,
Squamish (North Yard), Squamish downtown, Squamish (Brackend), Culliton Creek, Garibaldi, Whistler (McGir), Whistler (Alpha),
Whistler (Mons), Whistler (Wedge), Green River, Tisdall, Pemberton, Evans, Creekside, Birkenhead R., Birken, Gates, Darcy, Ponderosa, Marne, Seton, Shalalth, Retaskit, Lilloet, Polley, Fountain, Gibbs,
Glen Fraser, Pavilion, Moran, Kelly Lake, Lime, Clinton, Graham, Potter, Lone Butte, Canim, Edmund, Exeter, Tatton, Lac la Hache, Wright, Enterprise, Johnson, Onward,
Williams Lake, Meldrum, Mackin, Hawks, Hawks Creek, Soda Creek, Gibralter, MacAlister, Mackenzie, Alexandria, Windt, Australian, Kersley, Dragon, Westply, Quesnel, Baker, Barlow, Cottonwood, Bellos Creek, Greening, Dunkley, Colebank, Strathnaver, Hixon, Woodpecker, Crysdale, Stoner, Red Rock, Cale Creek, Tabor, Prince George, Quaw,
Salmon Valley, Nukko, Odell, Summit Lake, Barney, Hart, Killy, Valde, McIntyre, Tacheeda, Wakely, ANZAC, Firth, Hodda, Chinka, Kennedy, Garbitt, Lemoray, Falls, Hulcross, Pinesul, Dokie, Chetwynd, Bond, Worth, Septimus, Teko, Taylor, Baldonnel, Fort St John, Murdale,
Blue Hills, Buick, Snyder, Zeke, NIG, Beatton, Silver Lake, Tamarack, Gotah, Sikanni, Niteal, Needley, Fontas, Ekwan, Elleh, Klua, Fort Nelson, Odell, Merton, Liersch, Bugle, Carp, Fort St James, Tachie, Grand Rapids, Kuzkwa River, Takla Lake, Trembleur, Middle River, Natazulko Creek, Leo Creek, Takla Landing, Bluff, Lovell, Driftwood, Tetana, Azuklus Lake, Tsaytut Bay, Bear Lake, Bear River, Sustut Ridge, Goad, Gataiga Creek, Wabi, Perry, Sundance, Foss, Groundbirch, Tremblay, Progress, Kiskatinaw, Urquhart, Dawson Creek, Wakely, Parsnip, Klua, Boulder, Whitford, Azouzetta Ln, Sukunka, Wolverine, Tumbler Ridge, Teck, Murray, Quintette.

It was a betrayal of democracy which took the British Columbia Railway out of British Columbia hands against the majority wishes.

It was simple treachery which slipped this public asset into the private pockets of CN shareholders -- Bill Gates being the largest single shareholder -- in a secret agreement.

Five years later, it is an outrage that matters can get even worse if BCR lands are given to CN for $1. as a 5th anniversary memento.

Criminals are at work here, in all levels of society. The proof is that 4 years of evidence has been made to disappear during a Supreme Court trial which is so important to the province that it will demonstrate, once and for all, whether Beautiful British Columbia is a functioning democracy or a failed state operated by gangsters in Armani suits.

Every citizen can do something to stop the give-away of further BCRail lands, and to get the BC Rail trial under way in BC Supreme Court. All it takes is to shine a very bright light into all corners of the Gordon Campbell regime. And to keep asking the questions. - BC Mary.

Copied, with permission, from Laila Yuile's blog:

Norman Farrell, on June 29th, 2009 at 2:36 pm Said:

Near the Britannia lands, starting south of the mining museum, was a 450 acre parcel known as the Makin lands. This included a good amount of developable land and waterfront including the best beach in the area. A family dispute had the property tied up in litigation for years and the lawyers and the receiver kept it that way until the family’s equity on both sides of the dispute was sucked away. Wow, were they effective running up millions in fees to “protect” the land and its value.

Howe Sound and Britannia is an obvious site for major residential and townsite development. Fortunes will be made in the area two and three decades from now. When we have squeezed out the last of the Fraser Valley ALR, those picturesque mountain slopes and ocean views will be very attractive in Howe Sound. Building lot values of ocean view properties will be $50 – $100 a square foot, in today’s dollars.

Back in the nineties, when I was loosely attached, BC Rail was the key landowner of the region between West Van and Squamish. Everyone who looked at future land use in the corridor had two questions. About zoning and road planning and they key one, “What will BC Rail do?”

Campbell and his pal Jim Moody knew the railway was the key to fortunes, if not for themselves and their friends, but for their children and grandchildren.

A move you will see before Campbell leaves office will be the establishment of new municipal or regional district structures so local impediments won’t stop the big boys from doing what they want.


Great work Mary.

I believe some of the lands in the first two or three lines are part of the Squamish Nation. I'll check with the band right away.
Mary, that appears to be a list of "surplus lands"...and it appears that what can happen with/to them in part is found on Page 23, Section 2.3 (a). Note who bears the cost to make these lands available for sale,transfer or otherwise dispose of them.

Not only has Sea to Sky been given away, he's skewered us for the costs associated with it by the look of it. Mind, I could be reading it wrong?

I have a nasty, nasty feeling about this whole thing.
Thank you for your continued and heightened vigilance, Mary. My hat is off to you. After that May 12 farce of an election we had, I have been feeling rather listless.

You are one of the three people I have submitted for the Order of Canada and the Order of BC. You are a beacon in a dark and stormy sea; you are as near to a saint as I imagine I shall ever encounter - though it only be electronically.

All the best
Sharing Is Good,

Sometimes when I don't reply to a comment, it's because I simply don't know how to respond. The English language needs more ways of saying "Thank You." But I do want to say Thank You for your vote of confidence.

I certainly do thank all who add so much to our discussions with their fresh comments.

Leah, I'll copy the first line of "Description of Lands" means ... it says:

"The column below entitled Surplus Lands identifies which properties are included in the Lands but which contain Surplus Lands not required for railway use ... "

and then goes on to say "The Lands marked "X" are Surplus Lands not required for railway use and the Landlord (that would be us, I do believe) will, after the Closing Date, have the right, but not the obligation, under the Lease to subdivide off a portion of those Lands as more particularly described in Article 29 of the Lease (the "Lease"/sale we're not allowed to see, I think). If for some reason the subdivision of the Lands marked "XX" is not done by the Closing Date, those Lands will be dealt with in the same manner as the Lands marked "X" ..."

Don't you kinda wonder, too, exactly what "surplus" means, in this specific instance?

"Surplus" probably means lands that are not the right-of-way/roadbed itself. At Shalalth, for instance, there are various recreational leases adjacent to the tracks, mostly on the water side.

but here's an unpleasant thought. Say CN "decides" to decommission the line all the way to Prince George or beyond and are "forced" to buy all the land. I know the bands along the line would be furious both at losing their lifeline (the Seton Band in particular) but their power of shutting down the line with blockade would also be removed from play. BUT it could be that CN turns around and offers them a settlement where they get all the lands in their areas, as really only CN wants the North Van-Pemberton real estate, maybe as far as D'arcy. Not that waterfront lands along Anderson and Seton Lakes wouldn't be worth a mint, or that the passle of lands in downtown Lillooet, Clinton, 100 Mile etc couldn't be valuable....

Now, these bands generally aren't as whitey-friendly as those that have accepted municipal status and signed away aboriginal claims. In fact, they're likely to refute any such proposal by CN as meaningless, because in their view they already own the lands in question.

About the thing with the government having to accept costs of any such transfer (including I'd bet damages/settlements with the FNs), it reminds me of the Expo Lands giveaway. Not only were the lands transferred to Li Kashing for a pittance of their value, the cleanup costs had to be borne by the province even though the buyer and seller both knew in advance of those liabilities. The Expo Lands were virtually a gift to one of the richest mean in the world, and on top of that we paid a lot of money to tidy up the house before we handed over the keys. Then Concord Pacific squatted on those empty lots, a vacant hole in the middle of the city, for over ten years before doing anything with it; manufacturing a real estate speculation market so the lands would be worth even more than they already were when we gave them away. More great leadership from the business faction in BC politics, huh?

No wonder the government loses money....running government into the ground is a neo-con agenda, as it helps rationalize dismantling government and letting corporate money run the province/company. Same idea with running BC Rail and BC Hydro etc into the hole.

ICBC's probably next....
Oh Yes I wonder! It would be ever so nice if a lawyer or paralegal with a lot of time on their hands would read/scan through this document and pull out what's "so-so important", "really important," and "set-your-hair-on-fire important."

Do we have anyone on Mary's Blog that can do that? Anyone?

Anyone with reasonable intelligence would know there is "something" in the contract with CN that Gordo doesn't want known...something he'd go to the wall to hide. Which means that it's imperative we SEE the agreement BEFORE July 14th!

Grrrrrrrr....I am SO frustrated with that human being!! I won't call him a man because men don't act that way.
Morning Mary,

I posted a new column detailing all the real estate connections from the past and present with BC Rail, including the previous transfer of land from BC Rail to the Squamish nation which occurred prior to the sale - the purpose of which was to be a new reserve and band housing.
Then along came the Olympics and Sea to Sky. The land was far too valuable then for mere band housing...

The band exercised an option to buy those lands in 2004 and subsequently signed a deal with Concord Pacific to develop 1400 homes....

If this $1.00 transfer happens, it will be the biggest rip-off in the history of BC.

Details here:
Leah, you're right about the public paying the property transfer taxes for the "sale" of BC Rail - I think they amounted to 25 million dollars. We paid that for CN when CN should have paid it itself.

We are apparently on the same outrageous hook for the property transfer taxes of those looney one dollar "transfers" of BC Rail land.

"Transfer" sounds so intentionally benign, doesn't it? This is the shocking ongoing sale of BC, of our public land for private profit.

We also paid over $600,000 for real estate advisors on this deal - all for the benefit of CN.

Joy MacPhail brought up the fine print hidden in these bills, including this stunning revelation regarding the sale of BC Rail and asked:


"why "5-6 million bucks had to be charged to register leases, register the title of leases that BC Rail already owned, unless it was to prepare for the transfer of that title to CN?

Another 5-6 million bucks paid for CN benefit. And I would say the registering of title of these leases already owned by BC Rail, definitely shows premeditation on the part of the government - that this was always the plan: to transfer this prime land for an unbelievable one dollar giveaway. There are criminal words to describe this kind of behavior.

And an inept MSM press hardly reported a word of this - too busy covering car chases and corner store robberies - while what may be the biggest robbery of all went unreported on right before their noses.

Does all this "invisible fine print" subterfuge, make the BC Rail sale to CN, in Paul Nettleton's words, one of "defective title"?
"Criminals are at work here, in all levels of society. The proof is that 4 years of evidence has been made to disappear during a Supreme Court trial which is so important to the province that it will demonstrate, once and for all, whether Beautiful British Columbia is a functioning democracy or a failed state operated by gangsters in Armani suits."

Did I write that? As I pointed out years ago, now, the Campbelloids have even soiled the once proud initials 'CCF' because I can't help thinking they stand for the Campbell Crime Family.

and Laila, regarding:

"If this $1.00 transfer happens, it will be the biggest rip-off in the history of BC.

That is a very challenging contest - to qualify as the biggest rip-off in the history of BC, especially since we've "enjoyed" eight years of Campbell's steroid enhanced level of ripping off the citizenry to benefit his crowd. I would have a difficult time judging this competition - but maybe I could act like those I would be judging and be amenable to bribes.
I think I found a DILLY, The nerve of CN after been given a railway to have the nerve to fight BC assessment, or is it BC Rail partnership,BC Rail Co.? Why then do they state that CN is the appelant?

January 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 & 25, 2007, at Richmond and Written Submissions last received, March 21, 2007

Simmi K. Sandhu, Panel Chair

Bruce Maitland, Panel Member
James Fraser, Counsel, for CN

P.D. MacDonald, Counsel for BC Railway Company & BCR Properties Ltd.

Guy McDannold, Counsel, for the Respondent

[1] In July, 2004, the Appellant (“CN”), a privately held corporation, assumed British Columbia’s historic and publicly held railway business.

[2] The Provincial government, by way of British Columbia Railway Company (“BCRC”) and subsidiaries, entered into the complicated transaction, in which CN acquired all assets, tangible and intangible, of British Columbia Railway (“BCR”) including the right to operate the provincial railway system. However, ownership of the railbed remained with the Province. The purchase price of all of the assets was in excess of one billion dollars Canadian. The transaction also included the parties entering into a long term lease agreement in which CN was granted a long term tenure to real property located throughout the province owned by the railway, buildings, equipment and the railway track, for the purpose of the operation and maintenance of the railway.

[3] The real property included properties that are the subject of these appeals (the “Properties”), specifically:

Read more at link aove.

Unfortunately CN is only doing what it is ethically(?) required to do. In our world of upside down values and morality CN as a corporation only owes a responsibility to its shareholders to MAXIMIZE profits. If they can improve the bottom line by evading or reducing taxes, then the shareholders deserve NO LESS. Evironmental or social costs don't even enter the equation.

Corporations have all the rights (or more) of a normal human citizen but almost no resposibility to society at large - only to their shareholders.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for Campbell's huge push to get land claims settlement over and done with isn't so much his respect for First Nations much as his wish to get them out of the way of future land "disposals".

Re-reading the list of surplus lands above, there are more than a few of them in mining areas, and others with incredible tourism potential. But to get an idea of what those "surplus" lands are, and just how valuable they already are, and have further potential to be...check out this page:

Be sure to check each location in the Pacific Great Eastern Railway Route Diagram. Yeah, no wonder El Gordo wants this done pronto and with NO questions!

If I wasn't so damn mad, I'd cry.
"Norman Farrell, on June 29th, 2009 at 2:36 pm Said:

Near the Britannia lands, starting south of the mining museum, was a 450 acre parcel known as the Makin lands. This included a good amount of developable land and waterfront including the best beach in the area."

From The Courts of British Columbia..... items 4 through 6:
The only significant asset owned by the companies was a 486 acre property located near Britannia Beach - Mr. "Mahood as chief executive officer and a director of them all. Family members held shares in High Country Holdings Inc. which in turn held all the voting shares in Makin Pulp and Paper Ltd., Britannia Beach Holdings Ltd. and Makin Air Limited. Makin Pulp and Paper Ltd. held all the voting shares in Makin Project Initiators"

AND just who is this Makin Project Initiators..... from BC Hansard, (Page 6790, bottom) Mr. Reynolds .... "and Squamish will be one of the greatest industrial areas in British Columbia. Let me quote from the press release, Mr. Speaker:

Major Secondary Industry Planned for British Columbia." "Plans for the development of the first coated-paper manufacturing facility in western Canada were announced today by Makin Pulp and Paper Ltd., a privately held Canadian corporation. Its fully integrated facilities are to be located on an industrial site at Britannia Beach, approximately 50 kilometres north of Vancouver, adjacent to Squamish."

"The initial phase of this project will be a facility to undertake research and development of quality printing and specialty papers from the aspen tree fibre. The company, through its affiliate Makin Project Initiators Ltd.,"

Wikipedia "In summer 2003, the town was purchased by The Macdonald Development Corporation who is working in conjunction with the Provincial Government to develop the town and surrounding area.

The current residents were able to purchase the property where their homes were and many did so in November 2005, the first individual land owners in the town's history."
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