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BC government corruption

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BC government corruption

Postby maple leaf » Jan 9th, 2013, 11:46 am

Snip;
Earlier this year, CBC did a brief story online, on a study conducted by the ministry of Public Safety into corruption in the construction industry in B.C. and in Quebec. The only real details given to the press on this report,which was not released, were that very few wanted to talk about the issue of construction corruption in B.C. , despite the fact that the construction industry overall, was at a medium to high risk of corruption in this province.

Imagine that.

So few of the people or organizations contacted wanted to talk about this issue of corruption in commercial construction – and by association of public sector projects, the government – that it made it difficult to get a firm vision of what exactly is going on.

In fact, the report relied on many anonymous sources in some instances to get the information needed to make an assessment.In spite of this aura of reluctance and opposition to prying questions, the report did manage to uncover some revealing ways our public projects are at risk for corruption… and the way our government makes this possible.

The report in question was released informally to me by the federal government recently following an FOI request, and confirms much of what I have reported here in many stories over the last few years. I recommend a read of the entire report, for the insight it offers into the problems facing large public projects here in B.C.

Here are some highlights:

Investigators found that the most vulnerable aspect of the commercial construction process, including public projects, was the procurement process ( bid process) and project management. Sources indicated officials responsible for procurement were often uninformed about the cost of construction project costs and the lack of accountability and transparency in the bidding process across Canada was noted.
Investigators found many factors that contributed to an environment where bribery and fraud flourished and were nearly impossible to detect,including the large scale of public projects,the uniqueness and complexity of projects,the concealment of some items of work by others, the lack of transparency in the industry and the extent of government involvement.
Situations that facilitate the formation of construction cartels and bribery, included the size of the project. Some projects like dams, power plants and highways that are extremely large in nature and costly,making it easier to hide bribes and over inflated claims. It was also noted these larger projects often have a limited number of bidders, and those bidders are often well known to public officials and other bidders, again facilitating bribes and cartels.
Lack of transparency – costs are often kept secret even when public money is being spent. Commercial confidentiality takes precedent over public interest, and publication of financial information and routine inspection of books and records which could uncover irregularities or prevent them, does not take place. ( in the case of the Sea to Sky highway project, companies participating in the project had to sign confidentiality agreements preventing them from talking about their involvement in the project in some cases, for up to 7 years, as you can read in the Sea to Sky shadow toll series on the Best Of page at the top of my site – Laila)
The extent of government involvement- There is significant government involvement in public projects. Even private sector projects require government approval at different levels. The power wielded by government officials in every stage of the construction process,when combined with the structural and financial complexity of these projects, makes it quite easy for unscrupulous government officials to extract large bribes from those undertaking the projects.
The impact of corruption in projects goes beyond bribes and fraud, to poor-quality construction and low funding for maintenance. Because much of the infrastructure is hidden behind concrete or brick, builders can cut costs, bribe inspectors to approve sub-standard construction leading to poor quality construction.
( In Quebec, years of this kind of construction on public infrastructure is creating a problem for the province, with crumbling bridges and overpasses that need extensive rehabilitation. Will we see the same thing happen here in British Columbia with some of our major transportation and infrastructure projects? Certainly many projects have already shown evidence of substandard quality, via the expansion joints on the William R Bennett bridge in Kelowna, and the ever collapsing retaining wall on Lougheed, part of the Port Mann project. – Laila)

Sources in British Columbia indicated that government officials responsible for the procurement process ( tender and bidding process) lack the required experience in relation to the commercial construction process.
Many who did have the experience retired or moved onto the private sector. Government officials often failed to follow their own procurement policies. ( I have explored this in detail on a previous post, where a source revealed to me that often, the officials in charge of a project will rely on employees of a bidding company for direction, via hiring them as a consultant in the process. Fairness reviewers deemed with examining the bid process for fairness, are often seen as being in a perceived conflict via work with the government on other projects- Laila)

It is simply not acceptable, nor is it in the publics interest, to allow often incompetent, and more often unethical business practices to continue within the B.C. government. It absolutely must stop.

In 2010, in following final ruling of the decade long Tercon vs. British Columbia court case, I said the following:

“.. What is needed is a full and independent inquiry into the actions of the government then, and now, to reveal the truth of what is going on in that portfolio. If the government intends to stand by its claim of administering an honest and open government with integrity, let it start with the Basi-Virk trial upon our doorstep, and end with the Tercon Judgement. The integrity of the entire bidding process, the future of local industry in our province, and what little faith we may have remaining in our elected officials, depends on it.”

That was 2010. As we know, the Basi-Virk trial was shut down faster than a bear trap snaps its victim, and while Vaughn Palmer picked up the Tercon story, the government denied and ignored any lingering questions.

Two years later, we find ourselves with a premier who campaigned on bringing open government to the people and then quickly revealed herself as being more secretive than Campbell ever was. A premier who mandates transparency and accountability to ensure tax dollars are being spent wisely to give British Columbians a better quality of life… but applies that mandate selectively, targeting her foes and protecting her friends.

I say now, that this report bolsters and supports my repeated calls for a full investigation and public inquiry into the public procurement process within all ministries of the government of British Columbia, and the sooner the better.

To do anything other, is to condone corruption within government by our elected officials -a concept which should have never been tolerable in the first place.

Public Safety Construction Corruption Report PDF format ( I will be happy to email you a copy of this report upon request)
http://lailayuile.com/2012/06/19/money- ... -the-land/

Or you can log onto this link and click on Public Safety Construction Corruption Report PDF format to read this report.
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 9th, 2013, 7:27 pm

We NEED an anti-corruption Act!!

Anti-Corruption Act - Gouv.qc.ca

Get these sleaze bags exposed. These tactics are rampant here in BC over the past decade.
Professional people spend their work days actually working... not posting inane drivel on forums.
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby Merry » Jan 10th, 2013, 9:00 am

I can't help wondering where the media is in all of this? Over my lifetime I've seen many instances of what appeared to be corruption in the bidding process on government projects, both provincial and local, and not just in this province either, yet rarely have I seen this particular topic explored in any great depth in the media.

I suspect it's sometimes because the same people who own the media (both electronic and print) are also good friends with the folks who are participating in the very bidding process that is of concern. And it's very difficult, if not impossible, to conduct an in depth public investigation of your friends' business dealings and still remain friends. This applies at both the local and provincial level, although possibly less so at the federal level.

I once lived in a small city where almost every municipal and provincial government construction contract was awarded to the same company. Everyone suspected some kind of corruption, but I don't think there was ever any kind of investigation into the suspicions. Certainly no corruption was ever proven. But the bad smell lingers, and that particular company still commands the majority of the government business in that city to this day (which is a 25 year run).

Maybe if the whole bidding process was a little more transparent people wouldn't have these kind of negative suspicions. And maybe, if everything IS on the up and up, a more open process would help improve the public image of some of these construction companies. For example, what POSSIBLE justification can there be for requiring bidding companies to keep secrets regarding their bid for up to 7 years after the process?
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby maple leaf » Jan 10th, 2013, 11:07 am

Merry wrote:I can't help wondering where the media is in all of this? Over my lifetime I've seen many instances of what appeared to be corruption in the bidding process on government projects, both provincial and local, and not just in this province either, yet rarely have I seen this particular topic explored in any great depth in the media.

I suspect it's sometimes because the same people who own the media (both electronic and print) are also good friends with the folks who are participating in the very bidding process that is of concern. And it's very difficult, if not impossible, to conduct an in depth public investigation of your friends' business dealings and still remain friends. This applies at both the local and provincial level, although possibly less so at the federal level.

I once lived in a small city where almost every municipal and provincial government construction contract was awarded to the same company. Everyone suspected some kind of corruption, but I don't think there was ever any kind of investigation into the suspicions. Certainly no corruption was ever proven. But the bad smell lingers, and that particular company still commands the majority of the government business in that city to this day (which is a 25 year run).

Maybe if the whole bidding process was a little more transparent people wouldn't have these kind of negative suspicions. And maybe, if everything IS on the up and up, a more open process would help improve the public image of some of these construction companies. For example, what POSSIBLE justification can there be for requiring bidding companies to keep secrets regarding their bid for up to 7 years after the process?


Good question ,why doesn't the MSM report on this topic,but as CBC found out when they tried asking and enquiring ,everyone is tight lipped and no one wants to talk about it.Don't know if that is because of fear of repercussions or what .I think you might be right about big corporations owning most main stream media and big business looks after big business.It is starting to fall apart in Quebec and the same thing needs to happen in BC,but as long as we have the currant government ,nothing is going to change.And as long as there is an attitude that oh well they are all like that ,nothing will change.As long as government stifles the voice of the public like getting rid of John Doyle ,who is starting to point out these types of things,nothing will change.
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby maple leaf » Jan 10th, 2013, 11:13 am

Norm Ferrell,is well respected ,well connected with connections that the average person does not have and this is his take on what he has heard and knows about corruption in BC

TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2013
Citizens, wake up please

I mentioned in a comment on another article that I've heard reports from people doing business with the province who say they are required to kick-back part of what they are paid by taxpayers. I've also had reports from contractors forced into doing business with BC through indirect agencies, then asked to reduce charges so that managers of the BC Liberal friendly agencies can take a bigger piece of the action.

This is not now subject to review by the BC Auditor General, although he's heard the same stories, which makes him dangerous to BC liberals if reappointed. Don't expect to read comments about this from Rich Coleman's Liberal operative Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation or from non-investigative journalists in the compliant corporate press.

BC Rail is the big issue and I'm told by insiders that the NDP is serious about conducting a full review of the transactions by which the province disposed of the railway's assets. It's not just the rail operations, it is about the involvement of someone very close to Gordon Campbell who paid particular attention to BC Rail's land bank; an asset worth hundreds of millions. I asked if the paperwork would be available to any inquiry and was told that copies are being held in numerous places and cannot be eliminated. An honest review will review almost everything.

It has been suggested to me that one of the prime operators orchestrating the sale of BC Rail is planning to flee the country so that he is beyond reach of any inquiry.

For years, we have had an economy in British Columbia based on corruption. Teck and other corporations paid for a friendly government and got it. Teck's profits rose by more than 1,000 percent during BC Liberal administration while the public share of natural resources dropped more than 30%. That might be worthwhile if employment increased but the capital intensive mining industry doesn't actually employ many people in this province.

Other winners are Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and Joy Global Inc.(JOYG), the world's largest mining equipment providers. By the way, don't bother looking for the amount of corporate income tax they pay to British Columbia. They don't pay anything.


http://northerninsights.blogspot.ca/201 ... lease.html
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby maple leaf » Jan 11th, 2013, 11:21 am

Gwyn Morgan chaired Christy Clark’s transition team.  He helped set up this mess of a government.
Morgan is also chairman of the board of SNC Lavalin.  In today’s Province a Financial Post story predicts SNC Lavalin will soon be facing criminal charges for corruption.
Knock me over with a feather.
SNC Lavalin recently won the provincial bid to build the Evergreen line.  Knock me over again.
And Bob Mackin has an interesting story in Business in Vancouver about the selection process.  According to Mackin a heavily blacked out FOI reveals that the project board considered the “corruption” problem back in June.  But Mackin writes that “the minutes do not show what, if any, action the board took to protect taxpayer interests.”
Probably the same action the BC Liberals took with the Auditor:  shoot the messenger.

http://therealstory.ca


MONTREAL — It’s only a matter of time before SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. faces criminal charges under Canada’s corruption laws, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity says, arguing the engineering giant has sufficient cash on hand to handle any subsequent penalty and lawsuit damages, and that risk-tolerant investors should buy in because its business fundamentals remain strong.
“We see charges likely forthcoming because of the high-profile nature of this case and we believe the [federal] government may be under international pressure to act,” Montreal-based analyst Yuri Lynk said Wednesday in a 29-page research report. He said the United States could get involved should Canada fail to charge the company.
Since Parliament passed the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act in 1998, there have been only two convictions and the country has been chastised by anti-bribery groups as a result, Mr. Lynk noted.

Related
The most notable conviction to date has been that of Calgary oil and gas company Niko Resources Ltd., which paid a $9.5-million fine in 2011 after admitting it bribed a Bangladeshi government minister.
SNC will probably be the third company convicted under the law, but the resulting fine is likely to be “quite manageable,” the analyst said. Using the Bonny Island bribery case in Nigeria as a precedent, he estimates SNC will be forced to pay out about $100-million, a fine that would nevertheless “send a strong message that Canada is taking the enforcement of its anti-corruption laws seriously.”
Bonny Island is one of the largest corruption cases in U.S. history. The decade-long scheme, which resulted in plea deals with the U.S. Justice Department starting in 2009, involved US$180-million in bribes allegedly paid to Nigerian government officials to win a construction contract for a liquefied natural gas facility in that country.
Despite the fact four former SNC-Lavalin executives were charged under Canadian law in two separate cases last year, the company itself has not been formally accused of any wrongdoing.
In one case, two lower-ranking SNC managers living in Ontario were charged under the federal corruption act. Prosecutors allege the men tried to bribe officials in Bangladesh to secure contracts for the supervision and construction of the Padma Bridge and elevated expressway in Dhaka.
The World Bank said in a statement June 29, 2012 that it has credible evidence pointing to a “high-level corruption conspiracy” among Bangladeshi government officials, SNC-Lavalin executives and private individuals in connection to the project.
In another case, Pierre Duhaime, SNC’s chief executive officer until he was dismissed in March for breaching corporate policy, was arrested by Quebec’s special anti-corruption police squad Nov.28 on charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and using forged documents related to the engineering company’s contract to build and maintain the McGill University Health Centre’s new $1.3-billion super-hospital. Another SNC senior executive, former construction unit head Riadh Ben Aissa, faces the same charges.
SNC last year disclosed the results of an internal investigation that found $56-million worth of agent payments requested by Mr. Ben Aissa had been misallocated. The company said it does not know where the money went and turned over all its documentation to police. Swiss authorities have been tracing Mr. Ben Aissa’s activity in North Africa as part of an ongoing fraud and corruption investigation and are holding him in detention.
SNC-Lavalin faces two class-action lawsuits, one in Quebec and one in Ontario, seeking total damages of nearly $2-billion ($13 per share) by investors who lost money after the company announced the internal probe. Mr. Lynk estimates SNC could pay between $110-million and $260-million to settle these. The Ontario suit has already been certified and the Quebec class action suit could be certified on Thursday, the analyst said.
In all, he calculates the engineering firm faces an estimated payout of $360-million. The company has $550-million in freehold cash, enough to absorb the hit.
The events of the last year have delivered a blow to SNC’s reputation but not a permanent one that will cripple its long-term earnings power, the analyst concludes.
The company has won a number of significant contracts in recent months, including its portion of the city of Ottawa’s $2.1-billion light rail transit project in early December. Mr. Lynk noted that three of the four joint-venture contractors involved in the Bonny Island case currently enjoy record backlogs.
SNC declined to comment on the report, saying it reflects the analyst’s personal view.
© Copyright (c) National Post


Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/business/Lav ... z2HbVKrrJc
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby dogspoiler » Jan 11th, 2013, 3:12 pm

We don't have to go far to see some problems. Look at the complete foulup of the bridge hill overpass. Hard to believe that there was no flakey dealing going on there.
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby Smurf » Jan 11th, 2013, 10:00 pm

Where have all the Liberal supporters gone. Dickie, lonewolf, anyone????
Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have of changing others.

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Re: BC government corruption

Postby ScottSA » Jan 11th, 2013, 10:48 pm

Deleted by Trip/Off topic.
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby A_Britishcolumbian » Jan 11th, 2013, 10:52 pm

Wow Laila, you are one prolific poster.

i feel that likely the most heinous move of all by this so called government was the new 20 year contract with the rcmp we have been roped into against our collective will. this seems to me to be the ultimate smoking gun in evidence of absolute corruption.

within this forum i have pointed the finger at christy and the libs, but really the problem is the system itself.

another poster has called for anti corruption legislation. i feel this is no solution at all, much like having the rcmp investigate themselves.

have you considered my thinking, toss out the current system?

i'm quite sure we could draft a simple,clean, fresh constitution, put together a web based data storage and reporting system, a few cross platform apps, and take the system to Her Honour Judith Guichon and request the change. after we had compiled a voters list of those in favour of the new system totaling 50% plus one of the population of BC aged 18 and older of course.

i believe we are finally in the day and age where this is possible.
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby maple leaf » Jan 12th, 2013, 12:56 pm

Another of a long list of BC liberal bunglings and shady dealings and controversy .Another reason to keep a guy like Mr. Doyle on the job.Good on you Scott for holding Eric Foster's feet to the fire,keep it up.




SATURDAY, JANUARY 5, 2013
Roof rip 6 years ago caused costly domino reaction

B.C. Place's roof ripped and collapsed Jan. 5, 2007
Was the skyrocketing cost of B.C. Place Stadium renovations the product of simple scope change or its evil twin, scope creep?

Government has refused to release a business plan or cost/benefit analysis for the renovation of B.C. Place Stadium, begging the question: does one exist?

When it comes to B.C. Place, there are always more questions than answers.

Ultimately, there is one question about B.C. Place that needs to be answered, after the half-billion-dollar project. It is this: did taxpayers get value for their money?

The only hope may be for the Office of the Auditor General to step-in and investigate the blizzard of spending that happened at the 1983-opened stadium after its roof ripped and collapsed on Jan. 5, 2007 in a disaster that was deemed preventable. (It happened, whether by coincidence or convenience, after a drastically censored, 15-page, June 20, 2006 report to the Tourism Ministry by B.C. Pavilion Corporation that proposed major improvements at the stadium because it had "worn out assets which are critical to basic tenant operations.")

John Doyle’s predecessors investigated the NDP’s controversial Fast Ferries project (which was supposed to cost $210 million but rose to $462 million) and the Liberals' Vancouver Convention Centre expansion (which was supposed to cost $495 million but rose to $883.2 million). So why not put B.C. Place under similar official scrutiny? Why not before voters go to the polls to elect a new provincial government on May 14, 2013?

In a Sept. 28, 2012 interview with Bill Good on CKNW AM 980, outgoing B.C. Pavilion Corporation chairman Podmore maintained “there’s only one budget, that’s the $563 million.”
"What government did is they authorized an expenditure of $12 million to allow us to completely design and engineer the building. To go out and obtain firm prices from contractors and subtrades.
“And then we bundled all that together and went back to government and said OK, we completed the engineering, this is going to cost $563 million, we can get a fixed price contract to cover that work, do you want to proceed?”
Podmore also maintained the final price tag was $514 million. His math and chronology are a tad too simple for both you and me.

What is now known is that he told Vancouver city manager Judy Rogers in a Jan. 22, 2008 letter that the cost was “in the order of $100 million, which includes replacement of the roof.” Podmore did not use modifiers, qualifiers or asterisks in his confidential letter. He didn’t mention whether the roofing cost for the stadium "rehabilitation" included an updated inflatable top or a new retractable system.

By late April 2008, PavCo internal documents estimated the cost of a renovation with a "spoke-wheel" Frankfurt-style retractable roof would be $253 million. Application of such a roof before the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was nixed, because the best estimate for completion was less than two weeks before the Feb. 12, 2010 opening ceremony.

Podmore and Premier Gordon Campbell announced the project in a May 16, 2008 news conference at B.C. Place, but both steered clear of telling taxpayers how much it would cost for that Frankfurt-style retractable roof.

On Jan. 9, 2009, PavCo issued a news release announcing a $365 million funding envelope for top-to-bottom renovations.

The budget was updated to $458 million on Oct. 23, 2009. Government eventually admitted the all-in price would be $563 million. On Aug. 15, 2012, the ruling BC Liberals claimed it was $514 million -- or $49 million under budget. (Still, that’s $414 million more than what Podmore said in his 2008 letter to Rogers.)

Along the way, Podmore said the sale or lease of PavCo lands around the stadium and a naming rights sponsorship would help lessen the burden on taxpayers. The sale option was tossed and the name remains the same.

Paragon Gaming’s proposed casino/hotel complex west of the stadium was put on hold indefinitely when Vancouver city council denied an expansion bid in April 2011. Edgewater Casino is staying put at the Plaza of Nations until at least 2015, but Paragon is talking to PavCo about using city council authority to move the existing licence to a scaled-down complex.

Telus had a $35 million to $40 million, 20-year deal to rename the stadium Telus Park, but government cancelled the agreement in February 2012. Evidence suggests the sponsorship was scuttled because of ongoing complaints and legal threats by competitors Bell, Rogers and Shaw over the June 2011 direct award of a $1 billion, 10-year government-wide telecommunications contract to Telus.

Instead of giving Telus a second tier, official or exclusive supplier designation in exchange for goods and services already provided, government did a straight supply-without-recognition deal with Telus in August for an undisclosed sum. Yes, the government doesn’t want to tell us how much it paid Telus for goods and services that were supposed to be provided under the sponsorship.

And, finally, the trial of the year is scheduled to begin in B.C. Supreme Court on Oct. 21, 2013 and it's all about the roof. Cable installer Freyssinet Canada sued steel contractor Canam Group for nearly $6.5 million. Canam fought back with a $26.15 million countersuit. PavCo and general contractor PCL are listed as defendants. The legal battle has been complicated by the grease that leaked from the Geobrugg-supplied cables which stained the fabric roof. The next procedural hearing is Jan. 10 and will involve applications to add more defendants and third-parties. (Meanwhile, B.C. Place workers represented by B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union local 1703 voted 96% in favour of striking. Contracting out and scheduling are the big issues.)

Recent legal filings by a lawyer for Canam suggest the cost of damage to the roof from leaking grease may be worth $15 million and it may not be covered by insurance. PavCo knew the leaks existed more than six months before roof fabric installation.

Apologists for PavCo and those desperately hoping to keep the B.C. Liberals in power and the NDP out of power after May's election will try to play-down any concerns about B.C. Place costs by claiming stadium-related economic activity rose from $58 million to more than $100 million after the renovation. But they have no real evidence to show you or me. This is par for the course around North America, according to The Stadium Gambit and Local Economic Development by sports economists Dennis Coates and Brad Humphreys. They say that stadium and arena developments never do for a local economy what the boosters say.
“A stadium is a public investment in real capital, as such, the rules for sensible public investment apply to stadium finance as much as they apply to public provision of highways, schools and airports...
“Unlike most studies commissioned by stadium advocates, the consensus in the academic literature has been that the sports environment has no measurable effect on the level of real income in metropolitan areas.”
The money that’s spent on B.C. Place is spent. It’s like toothpaste that cannot be stuffed back into the tube. But now is the time to analyze what went right and what went wrong. The public has a right to know how its money was spent and whether it was spent properly. Look what happened to Quebec’s construction industry because of opaque government tendering and spending. Revelations of Mafia involvement and resignations of mayors have been among the results so far of the Charbonneau Commission inquiry into that province's construction corruption.

Lessons can be learned which can be applied to future government mega-projects in B.C. New ideas can and should be floated to make the stadium a daily revenue generator, so that it can deliver dividends to government instead of rely on annual subsidies. It is a building with great potential.
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby ScottSA » Jan 13th, 2013, 10:46 am

Mr. Foster claims the BC Conservatives are practising "character assassination" on him. That is absolutely incorrect. How can asking legitimate questions assassinate his character?

http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/news/186550951.html
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby Logitack » Jan 13th, 2013, 10:50 am

that is the liberal way, it is fine when THEY do the character assassination on their opposition but god forbid they get attacked for all the wrong doings they have inflicted upon this province for 12 years!
Over the Internet, you can pretend to be anyone or anything. I'm amazed that so many people choose to be complete douchebags.
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby Alvis » Jan 13th, 2013, 12:07 pm

ScottSA wrote:Perhaps they've joined the BC Conservatives who are, to put it mildly, resurgent in 2013
.....

So you admit the BC Conservatives are nothing more than rebranded BC Liberals!
What makes you think remaking BC Liberal promises under the label of BC Conservative will gurantee the public any kind of change?
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Re: BC government corruption

Postby maple leaf » Jan 13th, 2013, 2:01 pm

More examples of this Liberal government corrupt ways in looking after their friends and backers above the best interests of BC.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Brookfield Asset Management, Gordon Campbell and British Columbia’s best assets
Posted on April 21, 2009 9:11 am by Laila
Damn, I love Google. I just love it! Couldn’t live without it , I think.

For example, on my blog stats today I noticed a sudden and rapid increase in Google search terms of a company called Brookfield Asset Management.

Specifically, ” Brookfield Asset Management” + “Gordon Campbell”…

Nothing sets off my radar faster than something like this,because if someone else is curious about it to that extent, I probably should be too.

So, being the curious person that I am, I decided to find out what all the fuss what about – especially since I recently blogged about Patrick Kinsella’s lobbying activities and in that blog post, Brookfield Asset Management happened to be listed as as contributor to the BC Liberal Party between 2001 and 2008 to the tune of $51,400.

Not an insignificant sum, I would think. At least not to me. But then again, I’m not a politician or an executive.

The blog post that this information can be found in, IS one of the items returned on the Google Search Results when you put “gordon campbell” and Brookfield Asset Management together. Here is the link to that post, which can be found on my site. http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2009/04 ... t-friends/

Let’s begin the tip-toe trip through the vast confines of the world wide web….accurate word( web) to use in this case.

Here is the page that comes up when you google ” Gordon Campbell” + ” Brookfield Asset Management” :

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=gor ... =&aq=f&oq=

This may be interesting for those of you who have not heard the names together, because this company has quite a few interesting and contentious relationships to Campbell and the BC Liberals….. and the company has also had a firm grip on some of BC’s best and most precious forest assets – which appear to have become the West Coast’s best real estate.

Let’s have a look down the page …

” Gordon Campbell” and ” Brookfield Asset Management”. Yes indeed, quite the relationship between the BC Liberals and this company- read for yourself on these links:

1) http://forestpolicyresearch.org/2009/02 ... ocal-jobs/

Excerpt:

” The previous owners of this forestland, Weyerhaeuser, had obtained
special certification for their logging practices in order to get past
tight restrictions set by buyers of lumber such as Home Depot, and
European markets. The standards needed to meet these regulations
forced the logging multinational to leave small clumps of trees
throughout their clear-cuts, including small buffers along watershed
tributaries. Certification was approved, trees were cashed in for
dollars, and investors were paid.

At the same time international and domestic consumers were duped into believing that logging in BC is regulated by the highest environmental standards in the world. Then Weyerhaeuser sold all of its forestland on Vancouver Island to Brookfield Assets Management IncThrough the BC Investment Corporation 25% of Island Timberlands is owned by BC Government employees via their pension funds.Since 2005, profits from this logging company have been stored offshore in Bermuda by Brookfield Asset Management in order to minimize taxes paid in Canada. Island Timberlands is now cutting down the buffer trees which completely defeats the purpose of Variable Retention logging practices. “

-snip-

” Since 2001 Premier Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government has stripped away these regulations, cut back the Forest Service staff, and given hundreds of thousand of hectares to multinational forest companies, which they are selling as real estate.”

-snip-

“Brookfield Asset Management Inc. has been strategically placing forestland on the real estate market along the east coast of Vancouver Island.”

Hmmmm…. there is another link on this site to full details – WHICH IS A MUST READ for all British Columbians who value this province :

http://islandlens.blogspot.com/2009/02/ ... -real.html

2) Another mention in this Georgia Straight story from December 2008:

http://www.straight.com/article-177689/ ... e-decision

3) Yet another mention that tells the tale of a native court case that was won against BRASCAN, the previous name of Brookdfield Asset Management :

http://www.pej.org/html/modules.php?op= ... =0&thold=0

However, one that I found most interesting, was this link to a Tyee Viewpoint by Will McMartin in January 2007 :

4) http://thetyee.ca/Views/2007/01/31/HealthAuthorities/

Excerpt: ( head 3/4′s of the way down under the header” Cross Pollination’ to locate in the link)

“Brian Kenning, previously managing director with Brookfield Asset Management (formerly known as Brascan Corporation), was appointed by the Campbell government to the board of directors for B.C. Rail in 2001.

He was named to Catalyst’s board last year.

Another Campbell-government appointee to B.C. Rail’s board is Robert Phillips, a former MacMillan Bloedel executive. (He earlier had been the Crown corporation’s president and CEO.) Phillips sits on a number of corporate boards, including that of a Richmond-based income trust, Tree Island Wire Income Fund.”

Wow…… I guess it’s true when they say it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know….

5) I also noted this story in the Globe and Mail of who is just now joining Teck Cominco’s board :

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ ... streetwise

None other than Jack Cockwell, the chairman at Brookfield Asset Management……. this all leads me to this list of rather large and important donations made to the BC liberal Party from 2007 , information available at http://www.elections.bc.ca/ I must remind you that there is nothing illegal about rather large forestry, mining, and media corporations giving substantial donations to the BC Liberals, but it is interesting to me in particular, when in politics, the companies who do contribute always seem to get lucrative contracts down the road. Just saying.

Teck Cominco & Subsidiaries: $216,000

Canfor: $71,000

Goldcorp: $79,000

Encana: $56,490

Elk Valley Coal: $56,490

Telus: $52,400

Aquilini Group: $50,000

CanWest Global: $50,000

Brookfield Asset Management: $50,000

TimberWest: $44,600

West Fraser: $40,200

Catalyst Paper :$40,000

Interfor: $38,000

Jim Pattison Group & Great Pacific Investments: $34,000

Now, isn’t that something? I wonder what the donors list will look like for this election when it becomes available!!!

If you are an average person like me, let me ask you this question.

When you read the links , hear and understand the story of how all these companies and politicians work together, doesn’t it make you wonder what else the BC Liberals will sell, or give away? Does it make you wonder where the premiers priorities for the enviroment really are?

I’m curious….. and I wonder what Gordon Campbell has to say about all this, since he has been on the campaign trail telling all the forestry workers how hes saving their jobs, making BC lumber important, valuing our provinces resources…..?

How does he justify all of this?

And more importantly, where will it end ? http://lailayuile.com/2009/04/21/brookf ... st-assets/
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