Tuesday, April 06, 2010
BC Rail ... Basi, Virk, Basi ... abbacadabra, was it magic? If so, name the magician
Questions nag ... and nag ... about the corrupt sale of BC Rail. Corrupt. Gordon Campbell made an election promise not to sell BC Rail. Then the Campbell forces set about, semi-secretly, to break trust, under terms which excluded BC interests and that used a process which two participant bidders described as unfair.
CPR and BNSF withdrew, the latter citing "serious questions of ethics and fairness". BNSF (November 24, 2003) also complained of the "failure of CIBC to follow the process that CIBC and the government said would be followed".
Paul Nettleton, thrust out of Liberal caucus for fighting the dismemberment of BC Hydro, remarked about the sale of BC Rail on January 6, 2004, on CKPG that "the process wasn't fair. It wasn't open. It wasn't transparent".
When, out of a hat, the Campbell forces pulled a U.S. corporation "to complete" a "fairness report" (Charles River Associates), satisfaction was not achieved. Peter Rickershauser, for BNSF, found the report unsatisfactory on many counts - one of the most obvious: Charles River Associates didn't bother to interview the bidding companies involved! Also BNSF recorded that the Gordon Campbell forces did not reveal to bidders a major term of consideration.
That last fact was spotted by the Alberta/B.C. company Ferroequus which refused even to bid because, it appears, it believed it was being misled about government requirements (in order to get lots of bidders who could be said to have "failed" in the bidding?).
A reasonable observer might conclude that the sale of BC Rail was seriously tainted because the Gordon Campbell forces were determined to misrepresent its real state, to pretend it was a huge liability, to organize civil servants, management of BC Rail, perhaps CIBC World Markets, perhaps many others to propagandize, on the basis of "cooked" information, for a sale, and then to sell it to political friends - whatever the cost to B.C.
Over and over, at the time, critics accused the Campbell forces of using accounting tricks to claim BC Rail was losing money and of setting it up, falsely, for destruction. Paul Nettleton backs up their position. On January 6, 2004, Nettleton (on radio) told an interviewer this:
"The inner working of the Campbell administration really is all about micromanagement, control over cabinet [and] caucus, with a healthy dose of intimidation. They certainly tried to intimidate me. When they failed they resorted to enticement from the highest levels in an attempt to silence me. The person they used was David Basi."
In the hand-written pages by Yvette Wells, Director of the Crown Agencies Secretariat, light shines through, revealing a group building a propaganda case for destroying BC Rail while pretending not to do so.
From the original: http://www.sfu.ca/retirees-forum/msg01085.html