Sunday, March 15, 2009


Things British Columbia needs to know


North Van's Grumps has left a new comment ... [to access the hyperlinks, please go to N.V.G.'s comment on the Robin Mathews report below. - BC Mary]

[N.V.G. provides this URL as "the greatest way to access the Provincial Library" ... ]

November 25th, 2003 was when the BC Liberal government made the announcement that CN Rail had won the bid to take over BC Rail... but on November 20th, 2003 the union representing the workers of BC Rail had published their document which is still available at the BC Legislative Library, AND the links have been published here on BC Mary's blog already.

The library still holds the leaked document in its establishment dated May 2003, and here's the good part.... its not exactly like the BC Liberals can crow over the way the City of Vancouver managed to keep track, lost track, no pun intended, of their In-Camera documents just before their municipal election because the leaked document that CIBC was holding in trust for the BC Liberals had the same sort of layout on the cover stating: "COPY #______", was blank, the audit trail of possibly tracing who's document it was, is not known.

For all three documents at one spot: Just ask your local Librarian via the internet.

Posted by North Van's Grumps to The Legislature Raids at March 14, 2009

North Van's Grumps has provided a step-up for those who search for the inside story of how BC Rail, the publicly-owned railway, was selected, packaged, and offered up for sale. He sent this information as a comment. I thought it should be posted in a more prominent space and I hope that others who check into these documents, via N.V.G.'s hyperlinks, will come back to this spot with fresh comments of their own. Very special thanks to N.V.G. for this public service. - BC Mary.


Another important comment received this morning, from "EM" ...

I dont know where to place this Mary, but regarding FIPPA, curious this announcement and the timing (link below )

"BC gov't sows fear by claiming 'crown copyright' on released documents, say critics
February 24th, 2009 12:00am
Congratulations! The B.C. government -- the one that promised to be "the most open, accountable and democratic government in Canada" -- has just granted your freedom of information request.

You open the package of documents and find a notice that seems to say you can't make the information public without the government's permission.

"Permission of the copyright holder" -- that would be the B.C. government -- "must be obtained prior to any reproduction, dissemination or sale of these records (including the posting of such records on the Internet). If you wish to reproduce a record or portion of a record that is subject to Crown copyright, you must send a copyright request to the Province's Intellectual Property Program."

In the eyes of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, this notice is both intimidating and legally questionable. About a year ago, FIPA and researcher Stanley Tromp filed a complaint with B.C.'s information and privacy commissioner.
link to teh above

One of the links provided by EM is "Stonewalling Freedom", an excellent protest against this very thing, written by Stanley Tromp, of the Association of Canadian Journalists. It's available HERE.

I would very much like to hear from readers, with their responses to what EM has encountered. Thanks, EM. - BC Mary.

Further insight into what Patrick Kinsella is, and does, in those troubled times. See Jonathan Fowlie column HERE.

Fuss over BC Rail contract puts a spotlight on Kinsella
Times Colonist - Victoria,British Columbia,Canada

... matter was before the courts in the case related to the controversial sale of BC Rail's freight operations in 2003, which is in pretrial proceedings. ...


Legislative Library:

"Mandate and History

Well informed legislators and a well informed citizenry are fundamental to the democratic function, and are the very raison d’être of the British Columbia Legislative Library."

- Respectfully submitted by Jane Taylor on March 9, 2009 to
The Honourable Bill Barisoff
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

"Dear Mr. Speaker,
I am pleased to present the Library’s Annual Report for the year 2008. The report is submitted pursuant to order 116 of the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly, 1987.

In keeping with our efforts to provide more information to the Members of the Legislative Assembly via electronic services, this report will also be made electronically available on the Library’s Internet site."

I wonder if Elections BC is going to cut in here with their mandate to enforce GAG LAW infractions in a lead up to the May 12, 2009 Provincial election?

Here's a side-bar mystery to add to the Sunday morning crossword puzzle and BCRail games ...

I received the following Google alert:

Cargonews Asia (registration) - Hong Kong

This is the $238.4 million Roberts Bank Rail Corridor initiative to build nine road and rail overpasses in Delta, Surrey, the City of Langley and the ...

... and when I accessed the story, it seemed to fit with other BC Rail stories so I started the process of lifting it for transfer.

First, I got the URL ... pasted below.

Next, I went back to pick up the main story. Blocked. Suddenly I had to register. It was free ... just answer a few questions. I started to do that, then gave up, as the questions went on and on, tailored for corporate executives shopping for railway treats.

Question: But why was the whole story available, first time around? It's got news that would interest others. It talks about the protests being launched in Langley (I didn't know that, did you??) and why citizens are angry ...

Not sure what you are looking for Mary but does this help?

The full impacts from two proposed Gateway-related mega-projects directly linked to Deltaport's expansion are beginning to register at street level, the Vancouver Province reported.

As of last week, for example, a small group of protesters were on their fifth day of a round-the-clock vigil to block bulldozers at an expropriated vacant house in Surrey's Bridgeview neighbourhood that will be demolished to make way for the US$776.5 million 40-kilometre South Fraser Perimeter Road.

This four-lane container-truck freeway will connect Deltaport with Highway 1 in Surrey.

Critics say the route not only destroys large amounts of agricultural land, but by skirting Burns Bog in Delta, it presents a serious environmental impact to this unique area known as "the lungs of the Lower Mainland."

"We're here for as long as it takes," spokesman Tom Jangelis said. The protesters spent the week working in shifts while sleeping on site in tents and vehicles.

They know that halting or rerouting the SFPR at this stage is a long shot, but that may not be the case with the other Deltaport-related project.

This is the $238.4 million Roberts Bank Rail Corridor initiative to build nine road and rail overpasses in Delta, Surrey, the City of Langley and the Township of Langley.

Costs would be shared among 12 partners, including the impacted municipalities, TransLink, the provincial and federal governments, the Port of Vancouver and four railways, including CPR and CN.

Up first is the $51-million Mufford Crescent/64th Ave overpass and road realignment in Langley Township, which was supposed to receive its local-level approval last week.

But the council vote was postponed due to concerns over the project's footprint, which would destroy access to significant amounts of agricultural land, including the historic one-time Hudson's Bay Company farm.

Council wanted the other partners to look at alternate overpass designs, even though BC Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon had written earlier to council members stating that if this proposed alignment was not approved, he would "allocate the funding to other priorities in the province."

Late last week, council was informed by letter from TransLink that any such changes would "jeopardize" the overpass's funding.

Obviously, some of the partners have joined Victoria in what critics now view as bullying tactics.

But Township Mayor Rick Green, for one, isn't about to be intimidated.

"I don't care about the money. If it's the wrong project for this community, then it's the wrong project," he says.

His council meets again on this issue tomorrow, presumably to approve or cancel the overpass project, which many see as setting a precedent for continued and significantly increasing heavy rail traffic through their community to serve Deltaport growth.

Opponents also say an up-to-date study on alternative routing of Deltaport's train traffic over existing CN and CP mainlines along mostly industrialised parts of the Fraser River has not been done.

"Regardless of what my council now does with this overpass issue, I will continue fighting against heavy rail traffic through Langley," Green adds.

Clearly, we're a long way from the last word on the community impacts from Deltaport's expansion but at least wake-up calls are beginning to be heard.
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