Tuesday, March 24, 2009
"We were aligning ourselves with CN ... " approx. June 2001
Michael Smyth's The Province column for March 15 contains two comments from a former Liberal BC Rail critic which should cause the Basi Virk defence lawyers' eyes to light up.
Quote: ... Nettleton said he was called into Campbell's office shortly after the Liberals' winning campaign, along with other MLAs from rail-dependent Prince George, and told to get "on-side and on-message" with the sale.
So that's May 2001 + a month? two months? My guess is that "shortly after" means within a month. That puts Gordon Campbell in the bully-pulpit in June 2001. A new premier with 77 MLAs facing an Opposition of 2 MLAs. Nettleton, who had been Campbell's critic for BC Rail in Opposition, remembers that meeting:
Quote: ... "To my surprise and dismay, it became clear we were going to break our promise and we were aligning ourselves with CN," said Nettleton.
So Gordon Campbell had allegedly already decided -- and had presumably/allegedly vetted the arrangement with CN -- to shift BC Rail from public BC ownership into CN's private ownership.
By June 2001.
To divest the province of BC Rail.
And to align his government with CN to do that.
How else can we interpret the words of an MLA who fought hard against selling BC Rail, and who advised his Liberal leader against selling BC Rail, when he says "To my surprise and dismay ... we were aligning ourselves with CN"?
I looked up the word "collusion". Wikipedia is quite clear about it:
Collusion is an agreement, usually secretive, which occurs between two or more persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically involving fraud or gaining an unfair advantage. It is an agreement among firms to divide the market, set prices, or limit production. ... It can involve "wage fixing, kickbacks, or misrepresenting the independence of the relationship between the colluding parties." ... All acts affected by collusion are considered void. [Examples, such as bid-rigging, are provided.]
I have asked Michael for Paul Nettleton's phone number or e.mail address but I doubt that a working journalist would reveal those. If anyone knows how to contact Nettleton (and some of us have tried, over the years), could you please let me know?
Meantime, many thanks to Michael Smyth for contacting Paul Nettleton and writing this column. Talk about the Law of Unintended Consequences. It was probably because of those fake e.mails that Michael must've asked Paul: did you write one of them? Paul said no, but figured that it might've been a dirty trick devised to draw attention away from something else ... ah yes, we've heard about those, too.
Read more about After 'fake' e-mails, rail trial can't come soon enough by Michael Smyth HERE.
- BC Mary.
To the kind person who sent me the general information, first of all: Thank You.
Second: the information is so fancy, so all-inclusive, so multi-faceted and multi-ethnic, that I got lost in the jungle of options and can only hope I haven't done serious damage to my carefully-honed working procedures. Sighhh.
So if you could please send a clear address, especially an e.mail address, I'll be very grateful indeed. Just write across the top: NOT FOR PUBLICATION.
I believe that your hard work should be recognized. Please attend court on Thursday so that I can pass along my detailed information. You will be very interested in the details that I have been provided.
The fact is that many of these projects ARE NOT green, but more importantly it forces BC Hydro to sign riduculous long term contracts to pay outrageous rates double or more what they SELL power for.
It is all part of the same scam, or doing in pieces to BC Hydro what they did to BC Rail in one fell swoop behind closed doors. These guys hardly even have to put up any of their own money once they have the signed contract (and even I could afford to buy the original license - if I had been aware of the almost secret availability of my own local creeks). Then once the original 20-30 contract expires the successful favored water rights holders still own OUR creeks and rivers and can sell them to anyone. We could very well be freezing in the dark to power hair dryers in Tucson, Arizona down the road......meanwhile Gordo will be enjoying Mai-Tais in Maui (and hopefully staying away from driving his car).
What a dilemma! I can't attend court tomorrow but I asked Robin Mathews.
Robin says he will be in court tomorrow and will be happy to accept your information. He could pass it on to me. OK?
Thanks. Many, many thanks.