Tuesday, July 14, 2009

 

BC Rail Day: Krog holds B.C. Liberals accountable on BC Rail Deal 5-year anniversary

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NDP Media Advisory
July 14, 2009


NDP Attorney General Critic to demand answers on details of privatization contract

VANCOUVER – New Democrat Attorney General Critic Leonard Krog will hold a press conference today, July 14, demanding the Campbell government release the full details of the secret contract between B.C. Rail and Canadian National.

“Today, certain clauses in the B.C. Rail Transaction agreement that are in place to protect British Columbians, will expire. The public has the right to know what the Campbell government plans to do with valuable track land from North Vancouver to Squamish to Dease Lake.”

Where: Suite 900-1055 West Hastings St.
When: Tuesday July 14, 11:00 a.m.

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Another Press Release for July 14, 2009:

http://bcndpcaucus.ca
MEDIA RELEASE
July 14, 2009


FIVE YEARS LATER, CAMPBELL STILL REFUSING TO COME CLEAN ON TAINTED B.C. RAIL DEAL
Communities Could Lose Vital Rail Service As Key Clauses Take Effect

VANCOUVER – As new clauses take effect on today’s five-year anniversary of the closing of the tainted B.C. Rail deal, Gordon Campbell's continued refusal to come clean with British Columbians is undermining the public interest, New Democrats said today.

"The premier is more concerned with ducking accountability for the corrupt B.C. Rail sale than with what's best for British Columbia. British Columbians deserve to know whether the five-year anniversary of the sale of B.C. Rail means that we will now start seeing sections of the railway abandoned, but Gordon Campbell has refused to come clean about the true nature of the tainted deal,” said New Democrat Attorney General critic Leonard Krog.

"What little we do know about this tainted deal leads to some serious questions. Did the Campbell government sign away the rights of local communities by allowing sections of the rail line to be abandoned after five years, potentially putting thousands of jobs at risk in communities that rely on rail to transport products to market?”

A highly-severed version of the B.C. Rail deal, released in August 2004 in response to a FOI request from the New Democrats, includes clauses that allow Canadian National to stop service to portions of the rail line. The premier has also said the contract allows the government to sell off rail lands for one dollar. Despite public pressure, the Campbell government has never released a complete version of the contract.

“If Gordon Campbell really cared about transparency, he would release the full B.C. Rail contract. Instead, his government continues to stonewall and refuses to answer even the most basic questions about the impact of this scandal for British Columbians,” said Krog.

Krog noted that since large sections of the B.C. Rail deal have never been released, there may be significant clauses in the deal that British Columbians have not been made aware of. “What other clauses exist that the public isn’t even aware of yet? Will we be in for even more surprises?” said Krog.

Carole James and the New Democrats have called for a public inquiry into the sale of B.C. Rail since the Campbell government pushed through the highly controversial deal, after breaking their promise to keep B.C. Rail in public hands.

- 30 -

A backgrounder is attached.

The severed contract is available at http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/bcrail/

Contact: Leah Herman 604-775-2405 or 604-802-8376
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Neal Hall attended the Press Conference. His report is HERE.

New Democrat calls on premier to release full details of controversial BC Rail sale


BY NEAL HALL
VANCOUVER SUN - JULY 14, 2009


BC Rail

VANCOUVER — On the fifth anniversary of the controversial sale of B.C. Rail, New Democrat Leonard Krog called on B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell on Tuesday to release the full details of the sale contract.

Krog said during a news conference that the provincial Liberal government has refused to release the full contract.

The government announced in November 2003 that CN Rail was the winning bidder, buying the BC Rail freight division for $1 billion, but the deal wasn't finalized until July 14, 2004.

Krog showed reporters a "vetted" version of the contract — portions are blacked out — obtained by the NDP through a Freedom of Information request.

The highly-vetted version raises more questions than it answers, he added.

(The vetted version of the 457-page contract, BC Rail Revitalization Agreement, is available online at: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/bcrail/)

The contract states CN could not abandon sections of the rail line for five years, Krog said, adding that five-year clause expired Tuesday, allowing the government to sell off sections of the railway lands to CN for $1.

"The public has the right to know what the Campbell government plans to do with valuable track land from North Vancouver to Squamish to Dease Lake," said Krog, a Nanaimo MLA and NDP attorney general critic. "If rail lines are abandoned, the economic impact in those communities will be devastating," he added.

The government said in 2004 that the five-year clause was put in the contract to give the government the power to force CN to buy lands for $1 to make the company responsible for any expensive environmental cleanup costs.

The clause was put in place to protect taxpayers and prevent CN from offloading cleanup costs by compelling the company to buy such land, the government said.

Krog said the government, which in the past has refused to comment on BC Rail matters because of a political corruption trial of three former government aides currently before the courts, cannot say disclosure of the contract would affect the outcome of the trial.

{Snip} ...

The police investigation led to the unprecedented raid on the legislature on Dec. 28, 2003. The case continue Thursday at the Vancouver Law Courts with another pre-trial disclosure application by the defence to obtain the premier's executive branch records.

nhall@vancouversun.com

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Neal Hall's column is repeated in The Province today, July 14, 2009.

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Same for CanWest BC newspaper#3, Victoria Times Colonist.

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5 years after BCRail sale, NDP wants details released
Bill Tieleman
The Tyee - July 14, 2009

Read Bill's column HERE, and BC Mary's reply to the Justice Critic.

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Fears grow CN could close ex-BCRail lines

Mark Hume
The Globe and Mail - July 14, 2009

Read Mark Hume's complete report HERE. And BC Mary's comment.
Please add your comments wherever you can.

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Krog laments lack of B.C. Rail details
By IRWIN LOY
24 HOURS - July 15, 2009


Significant question marks remain even five years after the province closed the deal on the controversial sale of B.C. Rail, the opposition NDP charged yesterday.

As part of the province's deal with CN, the railway giant was barred from abandoning rail service on routes during the contract's first five years. But that time frame expired yesterday.

{Snip} ...

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Comments:
It's getting a little late for the press conference. More talk with nothing getting done. Where's the the filing of a legal action?
 
Mary, and the people that read and post to this site, I truly believe WE THE PEOPLE have forced L.K to act today, a Anniversary that is not a day to celebrate. Words from Me will never be able to express how valuable your diligence to this MESS is. but, as English philosopher Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’

Note the NDP website announcement of today"“Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the sale’s final agreement, and CN will then have the right to abandon parts of the rail line or to neglect the line to the point of it being no longer usable,” said Krog. “It also gives them the right to buy railway lands – which may include prime properties – for a dollar.”Leonard Krog

Krog noted that railway service has for decades been a vital link between resource-dependent communities and their markets, with forestry-dependent communities in particular relying on rail to transport their products."

Havent seen anything on TV, hopefully the Noon news.

EM
 
What the hell is wrong with this media they just refuse to report on anything newsworthy,or that will shed any light on the cloak of darkness campbell the courts and the rcmp have thrown on the people of this province! It's about time the feds do something anything !This just isn't right or left it's criminal!
 
I watched the noon news on Global, while periodically scanning CTV (mostly during commercials) for a mention of the press conference. Nothing. What if they gave a press conference and nobody came?

Perhaps the NDP needs to hold press conferences at the TV stations, and newpaper offices, themselves. After all, "If the mountain won't move to Muhammod, then Muhammod goes to the mountain." It's pretty simple.

Where are the NDP handbills? Perhaps the NDP can employ some unemployed people to go door to door with handbills stating they have been blacked-out by media and thus have to employ people to put out the news that the citizens deserve. Perhaps some MLAs need to put as much effort into communicating what is and is not happening as they did getting elected... The NDP must find a way to communicate to the electorate or they are useless.
 
SharingIsGood,


Well ... you read it HERE, OK?

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SIG, and all:

Here's Google's helpful service, which has already picked up on Krog's press conference and is distributing it to all who have signed up to receive their "alerts", like this one:


New Democrat calls on premier to release full details of ...
Vancouver Sun - Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada
VANCOUVER — On the fifth anniversary of the controversial sale of BC Rail, New Democrat Leonard Krog called on BC Premier Gordon Campbell on Tuesday to ...


and with a click, there you are.

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Yes, of course, Mary, I always read your stuff. Without a doubt, you are the best of BC! Then again, like the rest of your readers, like you, I am one of the not-to-numerous who actually work to find and read the news. Sadly, the majority of people get their news from the PABlum dished up through the major media sources or nowhere at all. Yes, some people are changing little by little; but in the eight years since Campbell took power, the MSM seems to have gotten continually worse and the "alternative" sites have not yet made up the difference. Otherwise, we would not have had such a poor turnout in the last elections. Political news and blog links are not at the top most people's browsers like they are for me, and I suspect for you.

Just a gander at a site ("loaded web") that purports to offer popular blogs in Vancouver shows a front page that does not list a single site that I have ever visited.
http://ca.loadedweb.com/cities/british-columbia/vancouver/blogs/

When I did a search for most popular blogs in BC, wonderfully, The Tyee did show up in the top ten, but MSN/sympatico, CTV, BC Business magazine, Tourism BC, etc. made up the rest. Most people do not go on the Internet to read about politics and governance. Of those who do, they most often accept the commercial stuff. Young people go to youtube, facebook, twitter and the like to be entertained; they want fun, not facts.
 
You may have a link to the news feeds, Mary. I have purposely kept my direct links to the major newpapers (like most people do). When browsing about the Sun , the TC or the Province, there are no headlines about Krog.

Yes, when I google news: "Krog NDP" then I get a hit to the Neal Hall article that was posted at 3:25 in the Sun. We'll see if it makes it in tomorrow's hard copy paper.
 
It is posted online now.
 
When I went to find a hard copy, no Vancouver Sun was to be had. I did find a Province, and neither yesterday's nor today's had any mention of Krog's press conference.
I never saw it on any of the TV newscasts that i watched intermitantly the last 2 days either. CanWest and CTV still seem to be great media for the BC Liberals. They still seem not to be doing their best to keep the public informed.
 
SIG,

This morning, I searched our hard copy of The Globe and Mail and the July 14, 2009 BCRail story wasn't in it, either.

But it's on-line, the full Mark Hume report.

I don't understand it.
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Mary, regarding the absence of the article in the hard copy - perhaps the agreed upon agenda by the media in general, not just the lackeys at Canned Waste, is the following.

Info compromising the Corporate agenda can be published online, where the information junkies can find unfavorable info anyway. Meanwhile the vast majority of the dis-interested - "low information" - voters won't come across the data challenging the cheerleaders (for the coporate/goverment/fascist agenda)in the dead tree copy or on the TeeBee Tube!
 
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