Monday, November 01, 2010
A great day in BC bloggerworld. Hang on, BC Rail ... she's a'coming round the mountain when she comes, she'll be ridin' 6 white horses when she comes ...
The Sea to Sky highway, the 2010 Olympics and the BC Rail link up
The Galloping Beaver - Oct. 31, 2010
Ever wonder why there are no tolls put on the Olympic legacy known as the Sea to Sky highway?
There are tolls. Campbell promised them to his big business buddies. And we're paying them. But what you may not know is that at least one journalist reported back in the early days of the Sea to Sky project that the BC Ministry of Transportation was spending money, ($166 million), gained from the sale of BC Rail to fund phase 1 of the highway project.
Think about that for a minute.
Campbell promises that he won't sell BC Rail, then, suddenly, while falsely claiming that BC Rail was a money-losing proposition, puts it on the chopping block. Ideology of a fanatic bottom-liner or was there something more sinister at work here?
Here's some meat to chew on. The Vancouver/Whistler Olympic bid was not a sure thing. In the first round Pyeongchang, South Korea led the short list with 51 votes to Vancouver's 40. Salzberg, Austria received only 16 votes which effectively eliminated that city. What that meant was that virtually all of those who had voted for Salzberg would have to shift their votes to Vancouver if the Vancouver bid was to succeed in the second round of voting.
Problem. Money. Campbell, who had a bevy of pals wrapped up in the Olympic bid process, was made fully aware that the greatest stumbling block to a successful bid was a highway between Vancouver and Whistler that was too long, too dangerous and subject to road-blocking slides. The only way to overcome that massive obstacle would be to commit to IOC officials that the thoroughfare would be totally rebuilt in time to host an Olympic party. But where would the money come from?
Sell an asset... and sell it fast. BC Rail.
On 28 August, 2002, Vancouver makes the short list of four cities bidding on the 2010 Winter Olympics. The IOC cites the Sea to Sky Highway as a problem. The Vancouver Olympic bid committee has until 10 January, 2003 to submit a bid book, complete with the proposed plan to solve the one problem cited by the IOC. *[Paragraph added as an update.]
On 13 May, 2003, Gordon Campbell broke an election promise and announced that BC Rail would be sold.
On 2 July, 2003, the IOC announced that Vancouver would host the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
On 25 November 2003, Campbell announced that the government had accepted the bid from CN to purchase BC Rail. (OK... a 990 year lease.) More than one of the other bidders complained that the deal had been rigged in favour of CN.
On 10 January, 2004, flush with money from the sale of BC Rail, the Campbell government releases a Capital Project Plan known as the Sea to Sky highway improvement project.
If you don't smell something there your nose isn't working.
Over to Laila Yule.
Click HERE for The Galloping Beaver.
Posted on October 31, 2010 by Laila
**** Story updated at the bottom: 5 am, November 1st- UK author citing BC rail connection to Sea to Sky project, phase 1, responds.
Like a snowball rolling down a hill, gathering snow, the story broken here on my site last week, gathered momentum quite quickly as more facts and even more questions began accumulating.
Continued research into the information provided by my sources have since revealed a multitude of shocking details that are prompting me to call for an immediate review of all P3 projects in the province by the auditor general.
In my initial story, I supplied a copy of a confidential document from Macquarie North America Ltd (one of the members of the S2S consortium that operates the highway, and the financial advisor to the deal ), that specifically highlights the use of shadow tolls as part of the arrangement, in an overview of the financial transaction.
In addition, I posted another document that had been originally presented at an industry conference , as an overview of the entire project. This document also identified the use of shadow tolls on the Sea to Sky highway as one of the P3 highlight, noting both the traffic revenue as 10-15% as well as noting that as protection against lost revenue, ”shadow toll means no driver disincentive to use the road.”
Seeing the report of the financial advisor Macquarie, was alone, enough confirmation for me, since they are an international firm, the same one who could not meet the financing requirements of the Port Mann bridge project. Not likely the financial advisor is going to make a false, or incorrect statement, especially when lecturing business students at Sauder School of Business at UBC.
However, when contacted by myself for a comment on the shadow tolls in the Sea to Sky agreement, the Minister for Transportation and highways,Shirley Bond, did not respond. The Public affairs bureau representative for the MOT, Dave Crebo, forwarded me this statement:
[BC Mary comment: This is a lengthy report and you'll be glad of that when you go to the source and continue to follow the story the way Laila has set it out ... with more info. promised. This is a great day in bloggerworld. That strange noise in the background is nothing to worry about: it's merely the sound of "accredited" Presstitutes choking on their beer ... ]
Click HERE for Laila's complete report.
Note the link in the comments to Sean Holman who has the when.
Then add the latest numbers on the Fight HST site for recall campaigners and it looks like the Campbell empire is beginning to crumble.
Journalism isn't dead, it's just found a new place to hang its hat.
Comicsync, that is so nice of you.
Yeah, sure, we all try to be brave and strong and to go where journalists would normally be supposed to go ... and to keep at it every hour of the day
(because we believe in what we're doing),
but we're human after all, and a pat on the back really means something.
Thanks, and thanks again.
And ya gotta laugh, too, when you think how hard Big Media and the Public Affairs Bureau tried (after Oct 18, 2010) to tell us that with the BC Rail Political Corruption trial over, BC is all clean again, and there's nuthin' else to worry about. Ha!
Now who's worrying, eh?
Newly minted Ministry covers rivers, aquaculture, forestry, mining, wildlife etc, etc. It's not good for environmentalists, or citizens of BC. Scary proposition......one-stop sell out center of our natural resources, rivers, forests, etc.
Recall can't come soon enough for me!!!!!
I hope general public learns more about BC Rail and S2S connection! Campbell deceptions just keep piling on.
I remember reading that Macquarrie Group is still somehow connected in a partner-like position in the Port Mann Bridge deal; even though they couldn't come up with the financing. Fancy that!
Mary, you probably have the most time on the front and deserve our applause.
Just letting you know that Ben Meisner is having me on his radio show on Monday November 8th,at 9:30 am, to talk about this,and more, including the BC rail connection.
Should be fun! As well, MOT moved the rep I was dealing with to another ministry, after many years of service to the Transportation minister. Weird... or what?
Links to this post: