Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Michael Smyth writes in The Province today: Sale of BC Rail a tale that needs to be told


History of Liberals' manouevres should come out in court

Followers of the sordid B.C. Rail saga may point to Dec. 28, 2003 — the day of the infamous police raid on the legislature — as the date of the long-running scandal's genesis.

In fact, as the recent release of 8,000 pages of previously secret documents in the case reveals, this is a tangled web that stretches back even longer in time.

The paper trail detailing the government's obsession with selling B.C. Rail to private-sector competitor CN Rail goes all the way back to 2001, the year Gordon Campbell was first elected premier, partly on a promise not to sell the Crown-owned railroad ...

While all this was going on, the documents show Campbell continued to spin his "not-for-sale" line — even to B.C. Rail employees.

"I assure you that the government is not looking at the privatization of B.C. Rail as part of our transportation strategy," the premier wrote to a B.C. Rail worker in 2002.


The case was back in court again yesterday, with the defence pressing for the release of even more government documents. This time, a lawyer for Campbell's Liberal caucus was present.

Why? Because now the defence wants all cellphone and e-mail records pertaining to the B.C. Rail deal from 17 Liberal backbenchers, mainly from rail-dependent northern ridings. The government, as usual, is fighting to keep the documents secret.


Now British Columbians deserve a trial — and the whole truth.

Read the full story here.


Good column, Michael. Many thanks! - BC Mary.


My first pass at the front half of Binder #8 is here.

It describes how the Mayors of the towns along the line were spun, beginning in 2001.


Great work, RossK. And greatly appreciated.


Finally, Smyth has said it like it is:

"Now British Columbians deserve a trial — and the whole truth" . . .

Seems his bosses can't keep the stranglehold on their journalists any longer; too busy trying to keep their big heads above water now that they have driven their media empire into oblivion. What goes around, comes around.

Canwest's unpalatable media meals have strangled this MSM with political spin/screening vs the "the whole truth" via indepth investigative reporting.

"Now" with "the whole truth should have been the order of the day from the first morsel regarding the clanking of "skeletons in the closet" on all of the buried political scandals.

NOTHING is more powerful than the truth . . . when it's out of the closet.
Hi Mary,

Question period has more insight into BC Rail and may make a good read for your blog.

The NDP have just spent 30 mins. grilling the Campbell Govt on a shocking revelation that surfaced in the 8,000 pages of documents that lawyer L. Krog obtained through court order:

Why did unregistered lobbyist (RCMP bosses refused to investigate the file yet must have known this key figure's links to the BC Rail scandal) . . . Campbell bagman, and former Campaign Chairman, cohort of Vanoc's Chair Poole . . . Patrick Kinsella get paid $300,000 in connection to the BC Rail 'deal?

Campbell, Oppal and Hanson all sat there deaf & dumb - NO answers; NO denials.
Today in Question Period:

Leonard Krog
Can the Premier confirm that his friend Patrick Kinsella - the Chair of the 2001 and 2005 Liberal election campaigns - received an untendered contract from BC Rail in 2002 to smooth the way for the sell-off of BC Rail?
I am imagining M.Smyth's inner monologue.

"This story needs to be told. If only someone who was a part of the largest single media conglomerate in Canada, with a monopoly on daily newspapers in Vancouver and the most watched TV newscast in the province had the guts to tell it. Too bad."

Surely Smyth's irony detector must have been ringing loud when he wrote that piece. Is introspection really that much of a lost art?
Didn't Brian Mulroney recieve $300,000.
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