Tuesday, July 14, 2009

 

Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above ... don't fence me in, let me ride through the wide-open country that I love, don't fence us in

.

Every time I go back through the TLR archives of this
BC Rail case, I am surprised to see certain things leap off the page with new significance. Almost as if I hadn't seen them before. Like this line:

OmniTRAX president and real estate developer, Patrick Broe ...

Pat Broe ... a real estate developer?

Others undoubtedly saw that line and took in its full meaning. But I had focused on Broe as president of a U.S. railway company, OmniTRAX, who was bidding for BCRail. And who, rumour says, was offered a substantial consolation prize for losing out. Or being pushed out. Or something.

OmniTRAX had trains in the U.S., but had only just begun its quest for a Canadian empire. OmniTRAX had obtained ownership of Hudson Bay Railway and the Port of Churchill. What a deal that was, with the Arctic Ocean opening up because of global warming. He also has CTRW in Sask., and OKAN in BC. Today is July 14, 2009 and today I think Pat Broe is a real estate developer who knows more than we do about how railways lead to real estate.

News item in BUSINESS WIRE for March 15, 2004: Broe begins land division with initial operations focused on Intermodal, Rail Related ...
Read about it HERE.

So OmniTRAX president, Pat Broe, is a major real estate developer. Early in 2002, he was meeting with, and corresponding with Gordon Campbell and promoting OmniTRAX as an attractive partner in Gordo's vision for B.C. prosperity.

Broe, as OmniTRAX, already owned a small railway in the Okanagan, plus Hudson Bay Railway and the Port of Churchill. HBRY is 810 miles of former CN track, from The Pas to Churchill, Canada's only Arctic seaport [www.portofchurchill.ca]
Broe's OmniTRAX took possession of the whole shebang, port and rail line, by paying $10. to the Canadian federal government in September 1997. Ten bucks.

Gordon Campbell, the Vancouver real estate developer, formed the BC government in 2001 and immediately began talking about selling BCRail. Pat Broe must have zeroed in very quickly.

Then Erik Bornman enters the scene by registering with Gordo's B.C. government as a consultant lobbyist representing the Broe Companies. Bornman busies himself looking for B.C. investment opportunities in economic development and trade, such as rail transportation.

Soon
Pat Broe, Dwight Johnson are having dinner with the B.C. Minister of Finance, Gary Collins. For some reason, police wanted to know what those men were discussing. There were RCMP inside the Villa del Lupa restaurant as well as outside, making videos of that meeting. Thank goodness.

Today is July 14, 2009 when various spectacular BC Rail properties can be scooped by CN for $1. Or so we hear.

I think that maybe Collins, Broe, and Johnson were talking, in a roundabout way, about land, lots and lotsa land to be had for 1/10th the cost of the Hudson Bay Railway plus Port of Churchill.

Pat Broe is a real estate developer.

- BC Mary.

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lynx has left a new comment on your post "Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above ...":

In light of what BC Mary has just written - here is an excerpt from hansard between Joy MacPhail and Gary Collins: (Read between the lines and think real estate deal and it reads a whole new way.)


J. MacPhail (Leader of the Opposition): I have two concluding questions. These are a follow-up from my questions around lobbying. The minister said he never met with Pilothouse. Did he ever meet with anyone from Omnitrax itself?

Hon. G. Collins (Minister of Finance): Yes. I have met with Pat Broe prior to the B.C. Rail transaction process starting. I met with him once after the B.C. Rail transaction had completed.


J. MacPhail: Boy, I'm sure glad I get the questions right. Is the minister aware of any of his staff that met with Omnitrax on his behalf?

Hon. G. Collins: I'm not aware of that, whether it would have happened or not — certainly not on my behalf. I wouldn't have directed anybody to do that.


J. MacPhail: And Pat Broe is whom?

Hon. G. Collins: He's the owner, president and CEO, I think, of Broe Companies, of which Omnitrax is a subsidiary.

J. MacPhail: What were the two meetings about?

Hon. G. Collins: The first meeting was, "Hi, this is who I am," on his part. "I'd like to come and invest in British Columbia. I think what you guys are doing makes sense. It looks like a great place for me to invest. I'm interested in all sorts of things." Just a general get-to-know-you type of meeting. I have those regularly with potential investors in British Columbia, if they want to come and talk. It's more of a welcome, get-to-know-you, individual meeting.

After the transaction had closed, Mr. Broe wanted to tell us that despite not winning the B.C. Rail contract,, he would be interested in continuing to be part of British Columbia, if he could — similar to the prior meeting.

J. MacPhail: Was Mr. Basi present at either of those meetings?

Hon. G. Collins: No.

J. MacPhail: Who staffed the minister?

Hon. G. Collins: I rarely take staff with me. I think it's a waste of their time for the most part when I travel or when I meet with them. Sometimes I do; sometimes I don't. It depends on what the need is. I had a dinner, and I didn't feel I needed staff at a dinner.

J. MacPhail: Was the minister aware that Omnitrax was bidding on the B.C. Rail spur line to Roberts Bank during that period of time?

Hon. G. Collins: No, I wasn't. I knew they were generally looking to do investments in British Columbia. We certainly didn't talk in any great detail about any of their proposals. Rather, it was a general discussion of things they might do in British Columbia. They were still interested in British Columbia. They were disappointed, obviously, that they weren't the successful bidder on CN, but they wanted to continue to have a presence in British Columbia. They were looking for things they might do.

There are a whole range of things they might do. I hope at some point that they are part of that.

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And from "EM", we receive this (already posted in comments section):


Im not sure of the above date of the Hansard.

J. MacPhail: Was the minister aware that Omnitrax was bidding on the B.C. Rail spur line to Roberts Bank during that period of time?

Hon. G. Collins: No, I wasn't. I knew they were generally looking to do investments in British Columbia. We certainly didn't talk in any great detail about any of their proposals.

----------
1730
March 4 was the day the minister already has acknowledged that he admitted he was wrong and withdrew his comment about why Bob Virk was suspended with pay and why Dave Basi was fired. We've canvassed that.

On March 5, 2004, the Minister of Transportation states that the rail bid for Roberts Bank is still going ahead, regardless of the fact that Omnitrax is bidding for Roberts Bank's spur line. It's a 37-kilometre rail link. I didn't say exactly what it was. It's a 37-kilometre rail link out to Roberts Bank, which is a very lucrative sale.

The Minister of Transportation says that it's going ahead when he knows full well there's a possibility that it may not. He states that the government has appointed an independent "fairness auditor" to oversee the Roberts Bank deal.

It turns out that it's the same group, Charles River Associates, who failed to find any wrongdoing in the B.C. Rail deal. They were paid $300,000 and found nothing wrong, even though today we know that one of the leaks they uncovered was commercially sensitive information that should only have gone out after the final bidder had been selected.

It turns out that during the bidding process, it went to only one of the bidders, the successful bidder in the end. So that's March 5. The minister is still saying: "Well, the Roberts Bank deal is going ahead."

On March 8, 2004, Chris Trumpy visits the minister for what I think is a third time.

On March 10 the Transportation minister admits that leaks of "significant confidential information may have compromised the government's negotiating and financial position." The Minister of Transportation calls off the Roberts Bank rail deal. Taxpayers are on the hook for about $900,000. I bet you that figure is going to break $1 million. You can pretty much guarantee it. Taxpayers are on the hook for at least $900,000 for that cancelled process.

[1730]

Can the minister explain why it took from March 1 to March 10 for him to cancel the Roberts Bank deal?

.......further down(this info I did not know

J. MacPhail: Was CN a bidder on the Roberts Bank spur line sale?

Hon. K. Falcon: Yes. In partnership with CP and the Vancouver Port Authority they together had put forward a bid.

J. MacPhail: Can we assume from that, then, that it was one of the other bidders that received the leaked information?

Hon. K. Falcon: I am not going to engage in any speculation over that at all. I would suggest that the member not continue that line of questioning, because I won't even be standing to answer.

link to debate top of comment
EM

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Deja vu:
Just remember, post-July 14, 2009, to watch for Patrick Broe returning from Colorado to the re-activated BC Rail scene in Vancouver/Victoria, B.C. Remember that OmniTRAX is merely a division of The Broe Companies, Inc., specializing in real estate involving short-run railways. Remember that the spur-line to Deltaport is still ours, still valuable, still vulnerable. Again.

- BC Mary.


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Comments:
It certainly puts a different spin on things when you look at his experience within real estate etc.

This link to his bio page tells it all....the company has interests in many different industries

http://www.broe.com/pat-broe
 
Nice link Laila! It boggles the mind to think how many goodies could trade hands here. Real estate, energy and transportation. Real estate...medical office buildings managed by a physician focused management firm...retirement holdings, senior housing communities, residential and assisted living services, personalized health services. Imagine that.

Who needs 40km's of rail road track when you can get your foot in the door at ground level, for some of the government goodies to be handed out to private investors/contractors in the healthcare fields.

It's coming - count on it.
 
In light of what BC Mary has just written - here is an excerpt from hansard between Joy MacPhail and Gary Collins: (Read between the lines and think real estate deal and it reads a whole new way.)


J. MacPhail: I have two concluding questions. These are a follow-up from my questions around lobbying. The minister said he never met with Pilothouse. Did he ever meet with anyone from Omnitrax itself?

Hon. G. Collins: Yes. I have met with Pat Broe prior to the B.C. Rail transaction process starting. I met with him once after the B.C. Rail transaction had completed.


J. MacPhail: Boy, I'm sure glad I get the questions right. Is the minister aware of any of his staff that met with Omnitrax on his behalf?

Hon. G. Collins: I'm not aware of that, whether it would have happened or not — certainly not on my behalf. I wouldn't have directed anybody to do that.


J. MacPhail: And Pat Broe is whom?

Hon. G. Collins: He's the owner, president and CEO, I think, of Broe Companies, of which Omnitrax is a subsidiary.

J. MacPhail: What were the two meetings about?

Hon. G. Collins: The first meeting was, "Hi, this is who I am," on his part. "I'd like to come and invest in British Columbia. I think what you guys are doing makes sense. It looks like a great place for me to invest. I'm interested in all sorts of things." Just a general get-to-know-you type of meeting. I have those regularly with potential investors in British Columbia, if they want to come and talk. It's more of a welcome, get-to-know-you, individual meeting.

After the transaction had closed, Mr. Broe wanted to tell us that despite not winning the B.C. Rail contract,, he would be interested in continuing to be part of British Columbia, if he could — similar to the prior meeting.

J. MacPhail: Was Mr. Basi present at either of those meetings?

Hon. G. Collins: No.

J. MacPhail: Who staffed the minister?

Hon. G. Collins: I rarely take staff with me. I think it's a waste of their time for the most part when I travel or when I meet with them. Sometimes I do; sometimes I don't. It depends on what the need is. I had a dinner, and I didn't feel I needed staff at a dinner.

J. MacPhail: Was the minister aware that Omnitrax was bidding on the B.C. Rail spur line to Roberts Bank during that period of time?

Hon. G. Collins: No, I wasn't. I knew they were generally looking to do investments in British Columbia. We certainly didn't talk in any great detail about any of their proposals. Rather, it was a general discussion of things they might do in British Columbia. They were still interested in British Columbia. They were disappointed, obviously, that they weren't the successful bidder on CN, but they wanted to continue to have a presence in British Columbia. They were looking for things they might do.


There are a whole range of things they might do. I hope at some point that they are part of that.
 
40km's of rail line has to be sold before the Gateway highway is built, otherwise it will be worth peanuts.
 
Anon 7:34,

Could you explain a bit, please?
.
 
Eyes trained on OmniTrax lobbyists in bribery case - Denver Post

"According to documents filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver, two lobbyists hired by OmniTrax allegedly paid bribes to ministerial aides for information about the bidding. The bribes were worth nearly $30,000, according to published reports based on additional court filings."

SNIP

"The lobbyists - Erik Bornmann and Brian Kieran - were not charged and are expected to testify for the government at trial, according to court records and an attorney involved in the case."


LOL.... at least the Denver Post is calling a spade a spade. ..... and are expected to testify for the government at trial....

George Copely will be calling on Erik Bornmann and Brian Kieran to testify on behalf of the Gordon Campbell Government?

What ever happened to the Special Prosecutor appointed by the Deputy Attorney General?
 
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/fears-grow-cn-could-close-ex-bc-rail-lines/article1218434/
 
Its now July 15th, fifteen dollars have passed from CN Rail to Finance Minister Colin Hansen to spend as he pleases, perhaps he can take his fellow Cabinet out to lunch at MacDonalds.

And CN Rail can start up a company similar to Marathon realty with Gordon Campbell at the helm.
 
Real estate and railways have always been inextricably linked, particularly in Canada. This is how Marathon (CP's realty arm) was instantly transformed into a giant. It's also the nature of all the hundreds of start-up railways in the 1890s and 1900-decade, most of which were snapped up by CP, some never got built, others dwindled away; the PGE/BCR/Howe Sound & Northern (as its Squamish-to-Cheakamus initial component was called) also got started. It's not big surprise that railway owners are into real estate; the same is true of Joe Hill....(Great Northern). Inextricably tied to railways as is also the hospitality industry (CP gave birth to that, quickly followed by its American competitors south of the line), and in the joint promotions of P&O and CP joining the Orient to Europe (via Vancouver and, of course, Suez).

Still no condos or hotel at Churchill, though.....
 
Skookum1,

I wish we could get a magical print-out of all the BC and Canadian history that's stored in your head.

I've often looked at maps and thought how much I'd like to ride that Hudson Bay Railway up into Churchill ... the way I rode that fabulous "Ghan" across a different desert and into Alice Springs, one time, like a disembodied spirit in a dream come true. It's so damn thrilling ... !

I don't suppose Broe's freight hauling trains take passengers these days, though. But ... I digress.

Thanks for this, Skook, and a safe happy journey to you, for the next while.
.
 
Im not sure of the above date of the Hansard.

J. MacPhail: Was the minister aware that Omnitrax was bidding on the B.C. Rail spur line to Roberts Bank during that period of time?

Hon. G. Collins: No, I wasn't. I knew they were generally looking to do investments in British Columbia. We certainly didn't talk in any great detail about any of their proposals.

----------
1730
March 4 was the day the minister already has acknowledged that he admitted he was wrong and withdrew his comment about why Bob Virk was suspended with pay and why Dave Basi was fired. We've canvassed that.

On March 5, 2004, the Minister of Transportation states that the rail bid for Roberts Bank is still going ahead, regardless of the fact that Omnitrax is bidding for Roberts Bank's spur line. It's a 37-kilometre rail link. I didn't say exactly what it was. It's a 37-kilometre rail link out to Roberts Bank, which is a very lucrative sale.

The Minister of Transportation says that it's going ahead when he knows full well there's a possibility that it may not. He states that the government has appointed an independent "fairness auditor" to oversee the Roberts Bank deal. It turns out that it's the same group, Charles River Associates, who failed to find any wrongdoing in the B.C. Rail deal. They were paid $300,000 and found nothing wrong, even though today we know that one of the leaks they uncovered was commercially sensitive information that should only have gone out after the final bidder had been selected. It turns out that during the bidding process, it went to only one of the bidders, the successful bidder in the end. So that's March 5. The minister is still saying: "Well, the Roberts Bank deal is going ahead."

On March 8, 2004, Chris Trumpy visits the minister for what I think is a third time.

On March 10 the Transportation minister admits that leaks of "significant confidential information may have compromised the government's negotiating and financial position." The Minister of Transportation calls off the Roberts Bank rail deal. Taxpayers are on the hook for about $900,000. I bet you that figure is going to break $1 million. You can pretty much guarantee it. Taxpayers are on the hook for at least $900,000 for that cancelled process.

[1730]

Can the minister explain why it took from March 1 to March 10 for him to cancel the Roberts Bank deal?
.......further down(this info I did not know

J. MacPhail: Was CN a bidder on the Roberts Bank spur line sale?

Hon. K. Falcon: Yes. In partnership with CP and the Vancouver Port Authority they together had put forward a bid.

J. MacPhail: Can we assume from that, then, that it was one of the other bidders that received the leaked information?

Hon. K. Falcon: I am not going to engage in any speculation over that at all. I would suggest that the member not continue that line of questioning, because I won't even be standing to answer.

link to debate top of comment
EM
 
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