Saturday, December 05, 2009
The Powell River Persuader says: "We need a street fighter, a biter, a kick in the nutter, we need a pitch fork wielding Opposition that has no fear!"
Grant G, the Powell River Persuader, is drilling into the disturbing financial history of BC Ferries to explain what caused another beloved Crown Corporation to become ... um, well ... somewhat "private".
Grant G.'s blog is HERE. He has a special style, and great determination. Sample:
......And I got thinking, if Christy Clark got something from Debra Marshall maybe I can get the same data from Debra Marshall (BC Ferries spokeswoman)...Well I didn`t expect to get anything, considering BC Ferries is a Quasi private corporation and not subject to FOI (freedom of information) requests....Well, you know my motto, persistent digging and never say never.
So I called Debra Marshall, left a message on her voice mail, I was expecting to be ignored but lo and behold a short while later Debra Marshall (BC ferries spokeswoman) called me back, she was very nice, friendly and professional and she gave me a short verbal explanation and....Drum roll please....She sent me the data.
Here is the complete letter from Debra Marshall at BC Ferries to me.
" The government used to own the controlling interest in BC Ferries, which had a book value of $503,178,000.
On April 2, 2003, the government issued BC Ferries a debenture for $427,701,000, which BC Ferries promised to pay in cash.
In addition, at that time, the government was issued 75,477 non-voting preferred shares in BC Ferries, valued at $1000 per share.
On may 27, 2004, BC Ferries paid the debenture of $427,701,000 to the government. BC Ferries had also paid the government interest on the debenture of $25,879,191.49.
For the government`s preferred shares, BC Ferries pays an 8% dividend per year of $6,038,160. We`ve paid that annually for six years for a total of $36,228,960.
In summary,BC Ferries has paid the province $489,809,000."
Well isn`t that interesting, first off, I'm not sure it`s even legal to do what Gordon Campbell did with BC Ferries.
The government sold BC Ferries to someone---Who? Ourselves? How can Gordon Campbell give our crown corporation away to ourselves and have BC Ferries BORROW money and give the money to the province in Cash?
Did Gordon Campbell put this money into general revenue?
BC Ferries said it gave the province 75,477 non-voting shares, how many shares were actually produced, and...Who owns BC Ferries? Who owns the voting shares?
I don`t think that even if we wanted to bring BC Ferries back into government as a crown corporation that we can!
How can the government give away something we own, then get paid back by ourselves,was this just a ploy to raise nearly 1/2 a billion $dollars for the government books?
How is it possible, BC Ferries has been getting subsidies from Ottawa and the province of BC. In fact this year's subsidy to BC Ferries from the government of BC is going to be $171-million dollars!
If we were to bring BC Ferries back into government control would we have to pay 1 $ billion dollars plus? Would we have to buy all the debt and bonds?
Pay special attention to the first paragraph in the letter I received from Debra Marshall........."The government (used) to own the controlling interest in BC Ferries" SNIP.
Which begs the question, if the Campbell government "Used to own controlling interest in BC Ferries" Who the hell DOES OWN CONTROLLING INTEREST of BC Ferries? ...
So my challenge to Carole James, John Horgan, Gary Coons, Leonard Krog .....Time to get impolite, I have asked Gary Coons (Opposition Ferries critic) to call a press conference on BC Ferries. Leonard Krog needs to have weekly update press conferences on BC Rail....And Bruce (wet Noodle) Raulston needs to have a press conference weekly on the latest HST victim to come forward!
I will expose BC Ferries, if Carole James, Gary Coons, Bruce Raulston, Krog...if they can`t cause a ruckus, they don`t need to ask permission to hold a weekly press conference, if Campbell and the muted zombies won`t answer questions in question period then ask the media to ask questions, ask questions through print, radio, no one can explain the scam at BC Ferries or BC Rail.
... we don`t need a "lady like" Carole James or a "lady like" Leonard Krog, we need a street fighter, a biter, a kick in the nutter, we need a pitch fork wielding opposition that has no fear!
And if Carole can`t do it, then get someone in who can, you have nothing to lose bc NDP....
Remember the name: Grant Gough. He sees something in the BC Ferries and BC Hydro transactions which are similar to how BC Rail slid from public ownership into private pockets. - BC Mary.
Remember, the Honourable Kevin Falcon stated on the subject of BC Rail and recorded in Hansard:
".....we sold operational assets and maintained public ownership of the railbed tracks and right-of-way. That's called a lease."
What he have then with BC Ferries is exactly the same or to put it in the new Minister's forthcoming speech ......"we sold operational assets and maintained public ownership of the docks and right-of-ways of Georgia Strait, Howe Sound, Inside Passage and Hecate Strait (weather permitted by Mother Nature)."
The NDP and the rest of BC will go nowhere as long as Carol James is the opposition leader. The two NDP woman that were left with no support when Gordo and his gang first started to pillage BC did more to stir the pot than the 33 or so useless morons that are there now.
Nice people don't win in this political game!
You're far more kindly toward the NDP Opposition than I am.
Remember Leonard Krog, Opposition Critic for the Attorney General's department?
What a treacherous game of passive resistance he played when he simply ignored those of us who told him about our already-established movement for July 14, 2009 -- 5th anniversary of the BCRail-CN deal? When we warned him of further benefits to CN being triggered on that date, unless some way could be found to put a pause on that process? And that first of all, we needed to SEE the contract?!
L. Krog, MLA for Nanaimo didn't respond to any of our letters until July 13 -- when it was far too late to do much -- and then he sent out form letters to us saying he couldn't do anything. Well, I don't agree, but OK ...
Then (and I am not making this up, it's too bloody awful to imagine) Leonard Krog had a lovely neat tidy helpful Press Conference in Vancouver where HE presented HIMSELF as being so-o-o concerned with getting the secret BCR-CN deal opened up. Well, there were many others concerned about that, and doing something about that, but ... OK.
Then Fate smiled a rueful smile, and prompted a valued longterm NDP supporter to send me a personal letter she had received from her old friend, Leonard Krog.
The s.o.b. bad-mouthed us! What a weasel. I confronted him requesting his OK to publish what he had said. Someday I will do so. But still, I was missing the point ...
CGHZD, if you ask me, I think a weak, ineffectual, perverse MLA like Krog isn't a maverick, stepping out of line ... no, he is i.m.o. reflecting the values of the current NDP.
They do nothing. They smile. They make nice. Gordo can legislate or legalize atrocity after atrocity and the NDP sits quietly. And Krog, for example, writes another ineffectual letter (for the historic record) and does nothing.
Maybe I'd give them one more slim chance on a very short leash if Grant G. can find a few street fighters ready to stand up and shout for British Columbians. Prepared to be thrown out of the Legislature (like Dave Barrett used to do, as one way to get the Press Gallery to pay attention) for speaking their minds on protecting BC's assets
But I dunno. With this current NDP, BC has no Opposition. Where is the Rhinoceros Party when we need them so badly?
it is a trend that you notice as a reporter;the more things actually matter - the closer events move to what governments really hold to be important, rather than what might seem important from some agenda or fancy formal title - the closer they guard information.
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