Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Question for BC Auditor General + a reply



John Doyle, Auditor General of British Columbia,
Cheryl Wenezenki Yolland, Comptroller General,


In the matter of B.C. Rail, I ask your assistance with the following question:

One of my readers is asking how the Auditor General of B.C. could have classified the BCR lease as operating.

He informs me that there are criteria that must be met in order to classify a lease this way. One of the criteria, a "bargain purchase" option, is where -- at the end of the lease -- there is no amount that is paid to purchase the asset (or in this case renew the lease).

When a lease is classified as operating, there is no need to disclose the total value of the lease.

But if the lease is capital, a liability must be set up in the financial statements in the amount of the total lease payments.

Your clarification (by email, please) of this question would be very much appreciated.

BC Mary, on behalf of:
The Legislature Raids

From: "Sullivan, Doreen"
Date: Fri May 16, 2008 6:20:46 PM Canada/Eastern
To: bcmary
Subject: [Bulk] FW: BC Rail lease classification

Email sent on behalf of Mr. Errol Price, Deputy Auditor General

Dear [BC Mary],

Thank-you for your note enquiring about British Columbia Rail Company
accounting policies.

Unfortunately I am not in a position to answer your question.

First of all, KPMG is the auditor of BC Rail. Further, the choice of
accounting treatment for any individual item within a set of financial
statements is the responsibility of an organization's management, not
its auditors. Management and auditors thoroughly discuss all
significant accounting decisions, and in the case of government
organizations, with the Auditor General. However, because
responsibility for making these decisions rests with management, I
believe your question concerning the details of BC Rail lease accounting
are better put to the company.


Errol Price, CA, CMC
Deputy Auditor General

I never imagined that it was BC Rail -- not the government of B.C. -- which entered into this lease agreement with CN. I thought that BCRail would be like "the car" when I leased a car from Toyota and Toyota wrote up the covering lease. Maybe I didn't understand the original question. Would the esteemed Anon-y-mouse who sent me this question, please respond? - BC Mary.


Well done. This might be called the s**t hits the fan.

How are you coming with the arguments why TV cameras ought to be present in the Basi/Virk/Basi charade? Keep on truckin'
Thanks, Anon 5:53 ... I really hope for an answer from the Auditor General.

But, these things can't be hurried, I guess.

As for having TV coverage for the BCRail Trial ... we're waiting for OTHER important people to get their wits together and say if they would -- or wouldn't -- approve of this idea.

It's been kinda busy at TLR the past week or two, but the TV coverage is important ... must get moving on that again.

Gues what? CN Rail has locomotives, rail cars, intermodal equipment,track materials for sale...see Yeah, it's the silly season and I know we're all supposed to SHUT UP.
Maybe we call all pool our money & build a safer railway, perhaps from Grand Forks to Nelson. Seriously, do read some of their press releases. It's time for everyone to re-read the story about Gordon rewarding his good friend David McLean, the tyee May 9/2005. Have fun. Cheers.
Anonymous 7:45,

This is significant.

In the BC Auditor General's Report on the BC Rail Investment Partnership Agreement (March 29, 2007), there's a section on CN's commitments. One of them is:

* to increase CN's centre-beam car fleet by more than the required 600 cars and upgrading more than the required 1,500 cars.

It also says that, after 2-1/2 years of monitoring, BCRC "is satisfied that CN has met or is actively pursuing all of its one-time commitments."

Would you say that's true, given what you've read about CN selling off surplus assets?

I've heard another report about CN discarding railcars for wrecking.

This is a deal-breaker, if CN fails to maintain the railcar fleet. So it's important, if CN is selling or culling ... the Canadian Transportation Agency needs to know this.

This is Anon 7:45 is there any particular research you would like me to do for you today? I can study that CN site 'til I'm blue in the face or I can do as we will all be ordered to do shortly and just SHUT UP. All the best. Cheers.

Got a lovely comment on the AG from that retired judge I mentioned. Don't know how to send it to you.
Anon 7:45, 6:48,

Your comments are very much appreciated, so please don't even think about shutting up.

Yes, I'd like to see that "lovely comment" you mention.

And if you really mean it, I'd like it very much if you could research this question:

*** When does Jasmohan Singh Bains come to trial?

I can't see any way for citizens to find that out, except by checking every B.C. court list every day until we literally stumble across that information.

As with the Duncan & Young trial this week, also involving Dave Basi, not even Bill Tieleman knew about that. And goodness knows, there's nothing in CanWest newspapers about it. Was Bornmann seen there because he was testifying? God knows.

To send information to me even if you don't want to see it posted publicly:

Just write NOT FOR PUBLICATION at the top of your message. That's all you need to do, and I'll hold it back.

And thanks again for helping. It really DOES help, you know.

refer to David Berner blog May 14/08 and you'll find a worthy piece written by the retired Justice. I sent him an e-mail suggesting he send the column to the AG. Will send you his remarks in a minute. You might ask David about reproducing the letter on your site if you think that's worthwhile.

Meanwhil, I want to know Who is going to produce T-hisrts with SHUT UP on the front? A moneymaker!
" The AG knows exactly what should be done with respect to the criminal justice system, however, you must remember that he is in the Premier's aquarium (cabinet) and is just another trained seal
(member of cabinet) with no wiggle(waddle) room."
Anon 2:33,

I could not find the blog of David Berner who is a retired justice.

All I found was tons of stuff about David Berner who is an actor.

Any chance you could send either the column or the URL you mentioned ... ??

Anon 3:01,

That might be a good idea to send The Question to the Attorney General.

As you will see, a reply arrived on behalf of the Auditor General which did nothing for me, but perhaps that's because I'm not understanding the question myself. Have a look, see what you can make of it.

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