Tuesday, December 01, 2009


BC Rail: what was it worth? $2.05 billion in tax pools as of December 31, 2002 and $857 million of non-capital loss carry-forwards and ... and ...

November 20, 2003
G West wrote in a comment ...

This is fascinating stuff Mary - and not too surprising that the powers that be wouldn't want the Markets
CIBC World prospectus to become public.

We've known for sometime that Campbell has been lying about the billion dollar giveaway...the scary part is that so much of the government's business is no longer being done by the dedicated professionals in the public service.

Supplanted by outside consultants and lawyers, enabled by secrecy and side deals, it becomes clearer and clearer that Gordon Campbell had an agenda for all of this before he came to power.

He should be tried for treason, if not fraud.


Here's what G West was talking about [with special thanks to NVG for research]:

From a Press Release dated November 20, 2003
Council of Trade Unions on BC Rail
Prepared by Council Chair Bob Sharpe and
West Star Communications (Bill Tieleman).

BC Rail sale to CN Rail worth over $1billion, jobs will be lost, confidential CIBC World Markets/government document shows

The document states that BC Rail had approximately $2.05 billion in tax pools as of December 31, 2002 and $857 million of non-capital loss carry-forwards, that a transaction could "substantially preserve" for "utilization by a purchaser."

... The May 2003 document prepared for privatization bidders shows that the sale of BC Rail will provide "tax pool" benefits to CN Rail worth $857 million, while it will also gain a pension fund surplus of $151 million, for a total value of $1.008 billion. That figure is in addition to the value of BC Rail's rolling stock, other assets, as well as the ongoing profitable business that are worth hundreds of millions more, says the Council of Trade Unions on BC Rail, representing 1,600 unionized workers ...

"This document is marked highly confidential for good reason -- because it shows the true value of a privatized BC Rail ..." said Council chair Bob Sharpe ...

"With BC Rail worth over $1 billion, this has got to be the most scandalous privatization we've ever seen," said Sharpe. "Communities and city councils on the BC Rail line are opposed to the sale, hundreds of workers will lose their jobs and now even three of the four bidders are complaining that the whole process was unfair and CN was favoured from the start." ...

"If BC Rail is worth over $1 billion to CN, why isn't it worth at least that much to the BC Liberals," Sharpe asked. "This desperate government is prepared to throw BC Rail away for a fraction of its true value, unless the people of this province stop it."

BC Mary note: I came upon this while looking for the offer made by the BC Rail Union for the purchase of BC Rail. What did they offer? Why was it rejected? Still haven't found that ... partly because of coming across things like this, still seeming to cry out for attention. Ironic, isn't it, that 6 years and two re-elections later, we are still struggling to break through the secrecy surrounding the details of how BC Rail slipped away from public ownership.


What's a tax pool?
Well then....

I guess we now kinda/sorta understand what that 'solictor/client/banker' privilege business was all about.

Great work NVG and GWest!

uhh ya all the bogus about basi and virk being guilty area wrong! why would they do it? i personally think that someone solve and end this case. imagine what its like for his kids!!
Anonymous Person at 9:55,

You're a stranger to this web-site,

or you would know that nobody has ever said that Basi, Virk, or Aneal Basi are guilty.

This blog is dedicated to finding out what happened to BC Rail which once belonged to all of us.

I am hoping that the trial will answer the question: how did a large publicly-owned railway slide into private pockets in a deal which is still mostly secret.

That's what we want to find out.

I hope that when you come back here, you will appreciate that.
Anon 9:56 good quesion!!

What I find amusing is how some (many/most) posters say BC Rail is profitable, worth more that it was sold for, and then point out the value it has is becuase of "tax pools" and non capital losses that are on the books that will help a purchases save taxes becuase the company they are buying cant seem to make money from its operations.

Perhaps the problem for many is that they dont understand financial statments. Let me show you the relevent numbers, that is profit(losses) from operations, not from selling assets, but stickly from doing what it does, that is operate a rail line.

BC Rail reports Operating Profit (Losses) for past years:

(in thousands)
2005 (10,968)
2006 (16,135)
2007 (17,255)
2008 401

Thats right; only last yr did the BC Rail make an operating profit of $401,000. The other years it has LOST MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS FROM OPERATIONS.

Cummulative Losses on the books at the end of 2008 are now ($286,932) down from ($324,620), thanks largely to the sell off of assets.

But dont take my word for it, read the finanicial statements yourself and if you dont understand them, find someone other than the angry posters here to explain them to you:

Thanks for your input, Anonymous 6:28,

also for the chuckle,

where you say: Let me show you the relevent numbers, that is profit(losses) from operations, not from selling assets, but stickly from doing what it does, that is operate a rail line.

"Stickly" indeed.
6:28 Anon doesn't know how to copy from a pdf file so he printed them out and hand typed them in..... its a common occurrence. Maybe if Adobe spent more time on educating those that use their system their would be a surge in sales...... or is that sails.......
That last comment from annon at 955 he must be from Campbells's office of misinformation or P.A.B
so many big ugly scandles in this province and whats the big story on the vancouver sun..Tiger woods and his affiar... I thought it was the national enquirer and funny thats what Bill good for nothing is on about on his show this morning arghhh!!!
Yea the story is everywhere but is this what should be on our m.s.m as front page headlines? dominating talk radio, thats supposed to be "holding govt's feet to the fire" what a sick sad joke that is played on us every day.
who's in charge of what story makes what page on the paper? didn't it used to be Gary Collin's wife???
Is anon 6:28's calling our attention to the (post BC Rail sale) financial docs for real, or is anon 6:28 trying to make us laugh? Like you, Mary, I am choosing to believe the latter - but my laugh is a bitter laugh.

Anon 6:28, I'll take the word of CIBC World Markets who stated in their "highly confidential" prospectus, that BC Rail ranked up with Class 1 railways when it came to their assets/value. Not bad for a Class 3 railway! I believe their figures to be highly "relevant" to BCR's actual value. "Strictly" speaking, from a position of trust, I trust their figures and their understanding of the true value/meaning of them far more than yours.

Dig a little deeper and you'll find an article showing that BC Rail made a profit in 19 of their last 22 years. Not that it matters to Campbell, or those who defend him and his ways.
RE: Tax Pools (anon 9:56):

Tax pools are taxes that a company does not have to pay in future years by virtue of having incurred expenses that are greater than their taxable income. IE: a rail company invests in new equipment and railbed improvement which have real value and will eventually be paid off through fees charged for shipping goods, but on the books it looks like a loss until those investment fees are recovered. Those investment costs can be carried forward for years on end.

Often times, for things like ranches (and railways), a ranch owner can make it appear as though he is losing money every year through investments of buildings, equipment and stock on the ranch for which he paid $250,000, 30 years ago. That smart rancher carries forward losses sustained in lean years to offset earnings in good years, never having to pay many taxes in any one year. Meanwhile, that rancher can eat and live off of the ranch at very little cost to himself if he does things smartly and pays himself a very low wage. He can always have a new pickup with all the bells and whistles; he can ride the best horses; he can always eat steak and have a big garden and orchard. Eventually, he dies, his kids sell the ranch that is now worth $10,000,000 and they retire to a Condo in the Okanagan.

Now don't get me wrong, ranching and farming is very hard work; and it is not an easy life for nearly all involved. The big payoff for a ranch or a farm usually comes when it is sold, not while one is in the business. Our government missed the big payoff with BC rail: CN was able to buy the "ranch" for half of its value due to the carry forward aspect of the tax pools that were included with the sale.

"Operating railways" has always involved real estate and attached resources.....it's how the CPR built its fortune, it's how the Union Pacific and Northern Pacific built theirs. Pretending there's a separation between railway operations and the attached real estate/resources is nonsense. Most railways would never have been built if they had not also been granted those lands/resources.....
About tax pools, what I learned is that they are just tax credits, which can be carried forward to offset future income. It is considered an asset of a company.

The $1 billion CN paid for BCR appears to cover the available tax credits (tax pool) and the pension surplus. CN can then use this tax pool as a tax credit.

So, everything else (the trains, the business, the land) they got for free? Am I interpreting this correctly? I'm not an expert in this field.
Just a side note re my previous comment. It's a curious coincidence, of sorts, that ski hill operations are governed by the Railways Act (unless that's changed). Ski resorts, also, are based around attached real estate and development - lift operations alone are not enough to be viable for large-scale mountains.

It's the essence of how Whistler and Blackcomb were built/financed, and also the basis of smaller hills like Hemlock Valley (when it still had snow...), Sun Peaks, etc and the proposed Powder Mountain and Cayoosh and Canoe Mountain proposals. And, not least, Jumbo Mountain, which will rival the RMOW in scale, and lands (and will be chartered as a municipality before it has any actual residents).

Much smaller hills like Harper Mountain, Troll and Manning have lodgings, but no land base (though there are SFAIK condos at Harper, and at Big Timothy).

Real estate has been an engine of economic "growth" in BC, enabling railways (originally), resort-megaprojects (large and small; and not least the bloated and overpriced Vancouver market.

Dubai is a harsh reminder (which will get worse, I think) of the vacuity of overvalued real estate as capital. Yes, here, debts to support that market are being driven by and paid for with resources and/or government and crown corporation budgets; and land, at the ultra-free enterprise perspective of it, is relatively limitless; you can always sell more.

But as the people who bought homes in Kitimat, Tumbler Ridge, Lillooet and other places found out when the resource extraction sector moves on, so do the value of the properties they bought at boomtime prices. This is a common historical pattern across BC, and countless ghost towns were once worth a fair bit of money.....which evaporated when either the tree supply or the ore or the market for them did....

In company towns like Ocean Falls and Bralorne and Anyox, at least, most residents were spared having to buy homes and were (forced to) rent from the company (they never had mayors or councils or incorporations, and were just really well-serviced camps with good housing).
By incorporations I meant municipally incorporated; the towns were on company land (in Bralorne's case, right on top of the main group of claims; even today you can only own the top six feet of ground).
Anon 11:18,

Yep, if they didn't get it for free, they got it at fire sale prices. The acquisition of BC Rail was one of the major reasons (sited in CN financial statements) that CN was able to give shareholders high dividends while at the same time their share prices increased dramatically. Yep, they bought BC Rail for half price and sold much of the BC Rail rolling stock (to a company in New Zealand if I remember corectly).

There have been so many changes to BC Rail that it will be hard to put it back the way it was if returning the railway to the province as a remedy for fraud were ever to be ordered by a judge.

I do understand that.

But as long as those tracks stitch together the elements of our province,
I want BC Rail back.

[As I write this, my 12-year-old grandson is doing his piano practice, playing "Silent Night, Holy Night" ... it is comforting.]
Anon 11:18 that is what BC Mary, Leah and their ilk want you to think.

But is it really true?

Leah's comments indicate that she likes the historic BC Rail Financials that shows operating profits, but Net losses after charge downs.

Leah seems to not beleive the more current, arguably more relevent financials that report operating losses and net profit after sale of assets.

Perhaps Leah has an agenda? I sure as hell dont, nor do I work for the PAB.

I could really give 2 chits about this sell off but I do wonder OUT LOUD and dont understand, WHY the CEO has been paid in the upper half million dollar range for a raiolline with 18M in sales in 07.

Leah ...

Did you know we've got an ilk?

Or maybe we are an ilk.

And what was that again ... what we wanted people to think?

All I can remember is just hoping people would think.

Like: maybe they would think of asking the premier why the CEO of what's left of BC Rail should be hauling home that kind of money each year.

How is it the fault of you and me, Leah? And our ilk?
I want it back too, Mary.

As a matter of fact, I want BC Rail back and I want to expand it.

As everyone seems addicted to their cars, I would like to use the rails to efficiently transport our cars over long distances. Rather than drive from Vancouver to Kelowna or Kamloops, we should just be able to drive onto a railroad car (like on the ferry) and walk over to a passenger train car to sit back, eat and enjoy the scenery. It shouldn't have to cost too much and we should have trains being loaded and leaving around the clock. When you reach the station you want, your car would be awaiting along the siding - much cheaper on fuel and the environment, and safer, too.

When going the very long distances across the country we should have bullet trains. The land from Calgary to Montreal is so flat, there is no reason that we should be flying over those distances. The bullet trains need direct links to the airports, subways and LRTs.

Automobiles should be virtually non-existent in the core of every major city. Automobiles being allowed should be linked to population density. The higer the density the fewer autos and the more public transport. This is not rocket science, it is just common sense.

Incredible profit for a few and insane encouragements for individuals to waste the finite resources of the planet in the name of personal freedom and private enterprize are incomprehensible to me as sustainable drivers of a modern economy. We are such fools to let the "leaders" steal from us and give away what is ours.
Ilk of the world unite!

Hopefully enough people will be made aware of the ongoing Travesty of Justice, and some positive results will follow.
C'mon, Leah ... you too, Anon 8:15 ... heed the call,


Then what?
I see BC Mary and her ilk agree that the CEO of BC Rail is OVER PAID. But why? Has anyone in the Opposition ever asked WHY the CEO is paid such astronomical rate of pay and bonuses?

The CEO should thank the NDP for being so utterly lame, for allowing this, for being so incompetent. Inagine, the time bombs handed over to the NDP, any one of which could have blown up at anytime in the face of the governing party have the opposition been able to clue in to what makes them tick:

The sinking of the Queen of the North. Not a peep from the NDP, and no one put in jail for killing 2 passenegers. Not one peep of what went on in that wheel house that fateful eve.

Not one peep out of the NDP when learned that the crew were smoking pot on decks on that route/

The sell off of timber rights to private, US based forest companies, whose interst was to cut and ship raw logs out.

One or two peeps only when the hospitals foods services and janitorial were privatised.

And virtually nothing in respect of Rail BC, or the reason WHY the CEO is worth just shy of 600K

NDP allowed the Liberals to do this,. SHAME ON YOU ALL, NDP AND LIBERALS.
Anon 8:34,

Your genial host (that would be me) is getting a bit fed up with being accused of everything that's gone wrong in B.C. since 2001.

For cryin' out loud, read this blog.

Then send your complaints to the Do-Nothing Opposition, to Gordo's Gang, and to the U.S. based forest companies.

What on earth makes you think that BC Mary (or her ilk) are in charge of those things?

This blog is about BC Rail, and finding out how we lost this major public asset. To do that, we must follow the trial of Basi, Virk, and Basi.

Don't just waltz in here, 4 years later, and start telling us that WE aren't doing the right things. That ain't how it works.

Get with the program. It's all written up on this web-site going back to the beginning. Read it, then see what you can do to help.
"Don't just waltz in here, 4 years later, and start telling us that WE aren't doing the right things. That ain't how it works.

Get with the program. It's all written up on this web-site going back to the beginning. Read it, then see what you can do to help."

Well said! Mary.

All the best... SIG
Many thanks, SiG.

All the best to you too.
Anon 5:34, you're right, I have an agenda! My agenda is this: getting to the truth of the sale of BC Rail. Finding out who was responsible for all of the illegalities surrounding it - all the way up to the premier's office...and putting each and everyone of them behind bars. For life if there were any real justice in BC.

I would rather rely on the relevant facts from CIBC World Markets tracts on the worth/value/placement of BC Rail than ANYTHING that comes out of the mouths of politicians, or what is left of BC Rail now. Feel free to add any and all consulting firms that Campbell hired to spin the figures and deceptions as well.

I have no doubt you'd prefer I rely on "current" figures regarding BC Rail, no thanks. I'll rely on the real ones laid out prior to the sale - unless of course you believe that CIBC was fudging the figures so as to get rid of this Crown Corporation? Now THEY could provide some real information on background couldn't they? I wonder...have they even been consulted about their facts and figures?

Dealing with those who foster the deception, and the outright lies spewing forth from those more interested in protecting their own asses and nest eggs, than seeing the province and it's citizens receive the real value of its resources and corporations is my agenda.

What is yours?

Anonymous 8:34 - I can tell you have NOT bothered to read Mary's blog, or the comments that follow her articles before firing accusations across her bow. Bad mistake on your part.

If you had, you'd have found that many of us wrote more than one letter to the opposition, some received answers...others of us didn't.

The questions you're asking of us, are the questions you need to be asking Carole James directly...and keep asking until you get the answers. That's what ILKS do...ask questions, send letters, share opinion...and share your findings. I can understand your frustration, and your anger - what I do not understand is why you think Mary and her readers can fix it. That's your issue to deal with.
Leah thank you for your comments. I should and would send a letter to Carole James, but that would be for her TO PACK UP AND LEAVE!!!

At the end of the day if govt officials are found guilty to accepting bribes I do not think ANYONE would be shocked. I pretty much expect that sort of behavoir from this govt. If no one is found guilty of anything, I would be even less surprised becuase the thats how justice is carried out in BC.

I have little confidence in the govt nor the court system. Look how this has crawled along. The process has to be changed and more jails built to house all the new criminals we will find among.

Open you wallets.

In any event, soon Moe Sahota will squeeze her out, and the NDP will come back into power, this time, with some savy leadership. I have no doubt. But when that happens, do not expect ANY of this to
Anon 6:29...yes, you should send that letter to Carole James if that's what you're feeling. I've also sent one expressing the same wish, just in kinder words.

I fully expect that at the end of the day, we'll find that millions of dollars are missing, totally unaccounted for...and likely never will be. The first case we must pay attention to is BC Rail, then BC Ferries (it appears we've lost our ferries to an unidentified owner, with ramifications just as serious as BC Rail), and the upcoming death of BC Hydro. It also appears the current government can manipulate the law, and the courts at will leaving little hope left for this province - or it's citizens. But that is only my opinion, let's wait and see if there are still officers out there with their integrity intact, and let's hope they're timely in their action. Whatever we do, we must NOT give up hope or action thereby allowing an even deeper political cesspool to develop.

As for Moe Sahota, I'll watch and wait. His past "errors" will likely come up to bite him when GC runs again in the next election - as he certainly will if Carole is still leader of the NDP. To my way of thinkin' ... .

I've been late, reading up on what Grant Gough is researching on BC Ferries ...

thanks for mentioning that shockingly awful business ...

good grief, how did that get swept under the rug? [See http://powellriverpersuader.blogspot.com/ for Grant's findings, so far, on how we lost BC Ferries]

And where is Dep. Com. Gary Bass when we need him?

Btw [and bearing in mind that this is NOT a web-site for partisan politics], I've always liked Moe Sihota. Yes he's smart (I like that, don't you?), he's courageous, and he's not Gordo. I know of only one "error" and it was so cooked-up it should have embarrassed anybody trying to peddle the story (about giving 2nd round of legal advice orally, not in writing).

I'll try to find out what the other "error" was ... but really, if the propaganda war against him has started already (now that he's - big deal - party president), that must mean he really frightens Gordo's Gang and hey! that can't be bad.
Mary, I'm learning to take my time with politicians these days - they have to prove their worth to me now. I'm not a "party" member, and believe that's always been one of the major things that's wrong with BC politics. We vote the "party line", not what our common sense would tell us IF we took the time to investigate the issues ourselves. So many have said "we get the government we deserve"...and I now have to disagree wholeheartedly. What have we done to deserve the walking/talking disasters that comprise the government of BC? I know I sure as hell didn't vote for them, and oddly enough I haven't been able to find a single soul in this bastion of Liberals here in the Interior to admit that they did either!

Where is Bass? Not sure - has anyone checked Palm Springs lately? It seems that's where the leets and their sycophants like to hang out these days. Much easier to make new laws, change laws, and figure out how you're going to screw the people from a fair and safe distance. Not that they have anything to worry about with all the new toys they have to play with... .

As for Moe, well...I actually like the guy - I just want someone in the next election who is going to kick the crap out of GC and his merry band of thieves. That ain't Carole James, and we can't vote the party president into the premier's chair.
Leah and Mary BC, on the topic of Moe Sihota, I agree with you; Moe is just what is needed to go up against GC.

Carole James is OUT OF HER LEAGUE, in respect of how she has managed the Rail BC fiasco. She and her party are a train wreck; pun intended.

What is really needed is a party that has business savy (Moe), can think on their feet (Moe), have political savy (Moe), and have no time bombs in their closet (Moe).

I did not vote for James' and I did not vote for GC's party. One is hopeless adrift, the other corrupt. But that was the choice and all British Columbians faced at the polls: incompetence, or cheating, lying bastards.

I dont know about you, but I would think cheating, lying bastards are the lesser of the two evils.

Here's two links for you:




"In 1998, he resigned for making a phone call to the Motor Carrier Commission, a quasi-judicial body, on behalf of a friend who was seeking a limousine license."
BC Legislative Library information on Moe Sihota
What a great thread!


Can I be an Ilk?

I want BC Rail back!

I want BC Ferries back!

I want BC Hydro back!

I want BC Gas back!

I want Handy-Dart in the lower mainland back from MVT.

I want our book keeping, billing and acounting back from the likes of Accenture, Maximus and our data management back from EDS.

(Mr. Wainwright screwed up in trying to hide his criminal record to get a job with this bunch. I figure the Campbell goverment picked Accenture precisely because of their proven sliminess as accessories in the Enron fraud under their previous identity as Anderson Accounting. Intergrity is obviously a negative recommendation with these guys!)

I want British Columbia back from the criminal organization known as the BC liaRs/Campbell government

The is one thing I would like to outsource - I would like to see Campbell, DeJong, Falcon, Collins, Coleman and their ilk on a BC owned BC Rail car - shipped to a private prison in the US or at least Alberta FOREVER! Maybe they could be put to work stamping out BC license plates to be imported back.
Yes, Koot, you too may grow up to be an ILK such as Leah and I ...

so your first test is to look up the ilky-fine work being done by the Powell River Persuader on getting BC Ferries back! Yes! You'll be amazed what he has found ... and how some of your fondest wishes may come true.


Anybody who works like this is an ILK just like us.

Welcome aboard ...

[Koot: You sure you aren't already an ilk like us?]
BC Mary what was the "Operation Roundhouse" that Kevin Falcon kept referring to in reply to Joy McPhail?

The only one I've found has been nothing but a success story for Yale Town in Vancouver.

Oral Questions


J. MacPhail: Mr. Speaker, one thing you can say for the B.C. Liberal caucus: when they're told to say that black is white, up is down, day is actually night and that a sale is a lease, they stick to the message no matter how foolish they look. But every now and then a crack appears.

Does the Minister of Transportation agree with his colleague the member for Peace River South that the Premier broke the B.C. Rail promise, plain and simple?

Hon. K. Falcon: You know, this is the same issue this member constantly brings up, Mr. Speaker. What I will remind the member is that there is a distinction between a sale and a lease. A sale was what the NDP planned under Operation Roundhouse. That's a sale. A lease is when the government maintains Crown ownership over a railbed and right-of-way and — listen carefully — sells the operational assets to an operator that knows how to run a railway.

Mr. Speaker: The Leader of the Opposition has a supplementary question.

J. MacPhail: Well, I doubt that that Minister of Transportation actually knows how foolish he looks in denying the obvious, so let me put the question just a little more simply: can the Deputy Premier tell us if the government agrees that the member for Peace River South was telling the truth? Was he telling the truth when he told his constituents that the B.C. Liberals broke their B.C. Rail promise — yes or no?

Hon. K. Falcon: I actually canvassed this issue extensively with this member during estimates, and I was very clear with this member. Perhaps I need to restate it again.


Hon. K. Falcon: Well, actually, my comments will echo those of the member for Peace River South. We sold the operational rolling stock of B.C. Rail WITHOUT A RIDER THAT CNR HAD TO KEEP THE DYNAMIC BRAKING SYSTEM AND THEREFORE KILLED ENGINEERS IN BC; we maintained public ownership of the railbed tracks and rights-of-way BUT WE INSERTED A RIDER THAT CNR GETS TO TAKE OVER THE OWNERSHIP FOR ONE DOLLAR.

What the member needs to understand is that a sale like she is talking about would be a sale similar to what the NDP had planned under Operation Roundhouse. Ours was a lease arrangement, where we sold operational assets and maintained public ownership of the railbed tracks and right-of-way. That's called a lease.

Mr. Speaker: The Leader of the Opposition has a further supplementary.

J. MacPhail: The Minister of Transportation says he echoes the comments from the member for Peace River South. Well, here's what the Liberal member for Peace River South said on B.C. Rail: "Did we break that promise? Yes, we did, plain and simple."

Anon 12:57,

Maybe you've already found the correct Roundhouse ...

because I haven't found anything else, either.

It's a bit like the Offer to Purchase made by the BC Rail Union which I haven't found yet.

And yes, I do believe that Google gets weeded.
I think that Operation Roundhouse was a red herring to put the NDP back on their heels and the MSM away from questioning the BC Liberals about their idea of breaking an election promise.
Ahhhhh.... now I remember....

"Hon. K. Falcon: Well, the member is going to have to listen, again.

I think what I can tell the member is that, in fact, we held exactly true to our principles. What we did do is make sure we retained public ownership of the railbeds and rights-of-way — total public ownership through the B.C. Railway Company. That is the good news. What we were able to do was realize the dreams of those northerners at that northern symposium — the mayors, the leaders, the shippers that came together and asked the government to bring in another operator, an operator that would make the investments they recognized government didn't have the dollars to invest.

We achieved that through the B.C. Rail–CN investment partnership. It's not a sale. This member can call it a sale for as long as she wants, but it's not. We maintain public ownership of the railbed and rights-of-way. That, to me, is the most important asset of the railway. What we have done is create an arrangement where we've got a long-term lease and a long-term operator to operate the railway on those tracks for a defined period with some very specific renewal options at the government's purview.

The only other thing I would point out to the member…. No. I'll just leave that.

J. MacPhail: Well, Mr. Chair, when I asked the minister to tell us the truth, it was about if he was out of touch. Was his government out of touch when they made a specific election announcement in April of 2001 that they weren't going to sell B.C. Rail? Did they say at that time: "Oh, and we've received information from the north that they want a different operator, and we're going to sell the rolling stock, and we're going to sell B.C. Rail Ltd."? Were they so out of touch with the northerners prior to their election promise in April 2001 that they had to break that promise? He wouldn't answer that question.

Tell us what happened when the Premier in April of 2001 made his promise to not sell B.C. Rail.

Hon. K. Falcon: Well, I wasn't there in April 2001, but I can assure you that the Premier's commitment would have been to maintain public ownership. That's exactly what's been achieved in the B.C. Rail–CN investment partnership. We've actually got the best of both worlds. We've got public ownership of the railbed and the rights-of-way, which is critical to securing the long-term interests of British Columbia, and we've got a private sector rail operator that is going to invest billions of dollars to provide top-notch rail service right across the province.


That does differ a little bit — I grant the member — from the direction that her government was going in, because under Project Roundhouse, as that member knows well, their government had a plan to sell B.C. Rail lock, stock and barrel. The difference with our government is that we decided we would listen to northerners, try and achieve the dreams and recommendations they were making, maintain public ownership of the railbed and rights-of-way — we've done that — and bring in an operating partner."


I wonder what MLA Falcon was going to say after this....."The only other thing I would point out to the member…. No. I'll just leave that."
My apologies for not including the source:


Oh by the way, I didn't find this item via Google.... AltaVista.com
North Van's Grumps,

So you've done it again, NVG ... many thanks indeed for finding this.

Now I'll look up "Project Roundhouse"

and the offer to buy BC Rail made (so I heard) by the BC Rail Trainmen's Union.

AltaVista.com, eh? Thanks again, N.V.G.

"Hon. R. Neufeld: It was the last administration that wanted to sell B.C. Hydro. It was the last administration that did a poll on how people would feel about selling B.C. Hydro or B.C. Rail or all the Crown corporations. It was your administration that did that.

We've never done that. This is a public entity and will continue to be a public entity, and we will continue to have the lowest costs going forward in British Colum-

[ Page 10536 ]

bia under the leadership of the Premier of this province. These sections will help us continue to do that.

J. Kwan: You know, I have to say that the government is a bit on the edge today. I wonder why that is, Mr. Chair. Yeah, okay, there is one opposition member in the House asking questions of the minister, and there are three ministers who feel they must heckle the one opposition member.

So be it, Mr. Chair. You know what? The minister says that the NDP was going to sell B.C. Hydro. No, that is absolutely not true. The options were put before the minister for full consideration, and the former minister rejected it, the former administration rejected it, and no B.C. Hydro of anything was sold off under the previous administration.

What is clear, however, is that this government said they weren't going to sell off B.C. Rail, and what did they do? They turned around and sold B.C. Rail. This government said they did not privatize B.C. Hydro, and what did they do? They brought in Accenture, pretty well to run the entire operation of B.C. Hydro.

They say: "Oh, we didn't do that; we didn't privatize. We did all these great, wonderful things." But you know what? They change the terms to mean whatever they want them to mean, but the public knows the difference. You, the government, Mr. Chair, can call the B.C. Rail lease, a 990-year lease, a lease for all intents and purposes. The public knows that is a sale."

Source: http://www.leg.bc.ca/HANSARD/37th5th/h40427p.htm
And yes, I do believe that Google gets weeded.

Google doesn't get weeded, but listings get "bumped" and shoved far down the queue by pages which are written in such a way as to get near the top of the listings; it's called SEO, search engine optimization. Older files don't have anyone doing that for them, so they gradually disappear farther and farther down the googlechain....

it's nothing insidious, not on Google's part anyway though certainly people contracted to manage SEO for various parties know how to "rig" their pages so as to displace older or other content, effectively "hiding" it, as if on the back of the bottom shelf on the last filing cabinet in the old storage room. Finding older material means knowing how to search for it....or where.
Thanks, Skookum1 ... I do agree with the first part of your comment ... maybe even the 2nd part,

but one of my Old Adages is about the difficulties of proving what ISN'T there in any set of records. Like WWII, for example. Try "Dieppe Raid 1942" and note how many shaky sources date from AFTER that tragic event but not prior to it (i.e., the planning), and from Mountbatten or Hughes-Hallet trying to exonerate themselves.

Just sayin' ... I'll remember forever the day (I had access to the Mountbatten Archives in Southampton) when I held file after file of actual paper documents in my hands, consisting largely of things about Dieppe that didn't matter (like "Cocktails at 3:00 tomorrow, dahling?" from Mrs. M. to Casa Maurie who headed "Intelligence" for the Dieppe Raid).

Which leads me to accept your final paragraph too ... propaganda wars are nothing new. In the new millenium, we're probably in one of the biggest and richest of propaganda wars. Heaven knows where it will lead. But one thing I feel has been amply proven: bad guys (even misguided, mistaken guys) don't leave a paper trail.

My experience is far less than yours, Skookum1. But I think we'd be lax if we thought the whole truth and nothing but the truth is available to us on request, even knowing "how to search for it ... or where". Today's search engines are a modern miracle but they do not place critical issues or events entirely at our fingertips. For one thing, they are so dependent upon a free press ... which is where?

I smiled when I saw your mention of "SOE" (search engine optimization). How often I ran up against something called "SOE" in my Dieppe studies. Know what it means? and what it stands for? Interesting, eh?
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