Tuesday, December 07, 2010


CN, then BC Rail. "History will not be kind to the crew of politicians who let this happen."


The Mantra of Kevin Falcon and the BC Liberals 

By Peter Ewart

December 7, 2010

One of the mantras that gets repeated a lot these days is that the "private sector" always does things better than the "public sector".
Kevin Falcon was saying just that on the Meisner Show [Prince George] on December 6. According to him, the sale of BC Rail was justified because CN Rail would do a "better job" than the publicly owned rail company, adding that "government is not particularly adept at running businesses".
However, the problem with repeating mantras like this is that oftentimes reality can become obscured and history ends up getting revised.
Has it been the case that the private sector has always "done it better" in regards to crown corporations like BC Rail and BC Hydro? Take for example BC Rail. History shows that, in fact, the private sector was incapable of building the provincial railway. Various attempts were made in the early part of the Twentieth Century. All failed.
It was only after government stepped in that the railway was actually built. Contrary to what Mr. Falcon is alleging, the governments of that time did a much better job than the private sector in building a railway - one that was key to the development of the province as we know it.
Over a span of decades, BC Rail expanded its operations and developed a wealth of expertise in operating a railway in the difficult climactic and geographic conditions of the BC interior. It was considered by many to be a jewel in the crown of the province. This was despite the fact that its operations and budgets were frequently interfered with and undermined by various politicians.
One of the allegations made by defence lawyers in the recent BC Rail corruption trial was that the Liberal government went out of its way to undermine the publicly-owned company so as to justify its sale to the giant U.S. company, CN Rail. And there are not a few things to back up that claim, including the cloud of misinformation that was generated over the railway's finances.
But there is another irony here also. CN Rail, which is now owned by a giant U.S. private monopoly, was itself once publicly owned - by the Canadian government. How did CN Rail originally come about? Back in the period between 1918 and 1923, many people believed that another national railway was needed (the other national railway, i.e. CP Rail, was a privately-owned monopoly). 
However, many of the private companies that made up a potential national rail network had gone bankrupt, i.e., they were incapable of even being a part of another national railway, let alone building one. It was only when the federal government stepped in that CN Rail, a publicly-owned, national railway network came into being.
Despite the fact that the private CP Rail monopoly had been granted the best routes along with prize real estate and other perks, CN Rail operated successfully for over 70 years, playing a big role in the opening up of the West, as well as northern and eastern parts of the country. Although it was forced to "run money-losing lines and ... provide all kinds of unprofitable services", the railway actually made a profit in 11 out of 15 of the years between 1978 to 1992.
However, in 1995, the federal Liberal government sold off CN Rail to American investors in what author Harry Bruce termed "the Mother of All Sales" and was the biggest IPO ($2.2 billion) in Canadian history (see "The Pig That Flew"). Not reported in the establishment press of that time was that U.S. financial experts saw this sell-off as "the Mother of all Deals" and a huge windfall. In a word, it was a "gift" to foreign investors, much as the sale of BC Rail was a "gift" also.
So this is how it works. Governments of previous generations, using the public treasury, do all the heavy lifting and all the massive investment to get both CN Rail and BC Rail operational. During this time, the "private sector" sits on its hands on the sidelines.
But once the railways have been operational for some decades and become coveted investment "jewels", this same "private sector" that was incapable of building the railways in the past, now steps up to the plate to buy them at bargain basement prices. They, of course, are assisted by a modern generation of politicians who never miss an opportunity to spout the mantra that the "private sector always does it better than the public sector". 
And, so it has come to pass, that two great publicly-owned railways in Canada, built with the people's money, have been scooped up by foreign financiers. History will not be kind to the crew of politicians who let this happen. 
Indeed, more and more information is coming out that certain modern-day politicians in a number of countries have used underhanded methods to foster disinformation, deliberately de-valuing and destabilizing publicly owned assets and utilities in order to sell them off to foreign financiers.
There is a word for that, and no mantra can drown it out.
Peter Ewart is a writer and columnist based in Prince George, British Columbia. He can be reached at: peter.ewart@shaw.ca

But Peter, for this loyalty to the great cause to hand over public assets of BC, our man Campbell has been named a Bilderberger Babe. Who says it won't pay off?
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anon 4:36 ...

I wouldn't want to misunderstand your final question, where you say:

Who says it won't pay off?

Pls explain.
It will pay off if we let it. I think the more people know about the scam the less likely it will be that it pays off for these thieves.
Watching ...

maybe I just can't believe that you seriously mean this ...

that we watch, wait, do nothing, and "it" will "pay off"?

Isn't that Campbell-talk? He just needs to add: and keep that brown paper bag pulled down over your head, too.
If we watch and do nothing it will pay off....for Campbell, Harper and poor little Enza (or is that Ezra). Don't let the thieves dirty deeds be a secret. Keep talking about BC Rail, Hydro, Ferries etc whether anyone wants to hear or not. This is not just a BC thing y'know.
You're misreading nextdoor Mary. He is saying that it will pay off IF WE DON"T WATCH or in other words IF WE LET them get away with it - to wit:

" I think the more people know about the scam the less likely it will be that it pays off for these thieves."

That seems clearly to mean
nope ... I still don't get it ...

we let the scam play out and (keeping bags on heads) we watch ... ?? not speaking ... knowing that The Force will look after us?

you're kidding ...

but maybe the Evil Dragon just chomped you ... and left your amputated sentence ... which doesn't help me understand atall?
the scam has played out. There will be no action taken. The court case, BVB's multi million dollar legal fees is and pathetic house arrest is all that remains.

I believe the NDP said that they will not pursue a public inquiry. I have never heard Moe Sihota say he wanted to raise the matter, no one from any political stripe has. The only things that have been said is that it is over and wont be revisited.

You can stand back and watch, as you do, blogging and chatting yourselves into a frenzy, but make no mistake about it, BC Rail is gone forever and there will be no one to hold to account except for those who elected the scoundrels into office.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

SHAME ON YOU BC! now move along, nothing here for you to see ...
if we watch do nothing it will pay off for "THEM" the bad guys, the Bilderburgers, the Campbelloids etc.
Are you aware of the CBC vote for 'Top BC Story of 2010'? Here is the site. Please vote everyone, because the BC Rail Corruption Trial is one of the top 10 to vote for and I think tomorrow is the last day to vote. I just learned about it. I would have preferred that the name of the involved topic was something other than Basi/Virk's guilty plea as top story rather than Liberal corruption hidden from the public by the guilty plea, but this is one way to keep the story in the limelight where it belongs.

By the way Mary, Watchingfromnextdoor's comments say to me that he agrees completely with keeping light on the Liberal "scam" so it does not pay off for THEM. I couldn't agree more, and I'm sure you feel the same way, or you would never have started this blog.
Pay off is the more likely phrase to pay attention to. Many have already recieved theirs in the legal realm and the railroad profit counting bonus related pay realm.
But anyway, did anybody else notice that "its before the courts" has changed to "the courts have dealt with it" as the aspiring new "clean hands" premier in waiting Christy Clark so eloquently put it at her press conference. The cat that ate the canary look said it all though. She knows. Nobody let go of the questions. Ask her every day. And ask all of the rest of the wanna-be's too. Does anyone think they'll turn on one another, after all there are some rather large egos lurking aroung.
Hi Koot,

The Evil Dragon just chomped me, too, and prevented me from commenting further.

Back soon, I hope.
Christie Clark ... the smiling ex minster of education.

Bruce Clark, Christy's bro, did fund raising on Martin's leadership campaign

Bornmann was key organiser

Bornmann told Basi and Virk he could get them jobs, even though outright LIES existed on their resumes.

Virk and Basi are such princes.

These resumes were sent to Marissen, Clarks husband at the time.

Here is a snipette:

Mark Marissen, 40, is a prominent B.C. Liberal who ran Paul Martin's leadership campaign in B.C., was leadership campaign manager for current Liberal leader Stephane Dion and recently named co-chair of the Liberal party's national election campaign team. He is married to former deputy premier Christy Clark. He allegedly sent the resumes of Dave Basi and Virk to a senior staff member of then prime minister Paul Martin.

There is only one thing which will stop or at least slow down corrupt individuals from the kind of pillaging which has been going on under the liberal party of BC for the last ten years. Criminal penalties with mandatory jail time.
Can you imagine if Campbell pulled these stunts in China? He would be shot.
Well, I'm not advocating shooting him - I think he should be hung up on a lamp post in Victoria for two weeks. If he survives it is a sign that we should have hung him upside down.
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