Banned By Tskaumis

 Oh me,oh my, what will I do?

"to refute the incredible lies which pass for “truth” or “news” in the blogosphere, that often never receive a well-earned rebuttal (and in some cases a well-deserved beating).”AGT

Translation: to make up his own truths and make sure the NDP are alluded to in any wrogdoing. Gary E

The self righteous wannabe blogger AGT has banned me from his sight.
This pompous ass seems to want to use the threat of lawsuits against people who have a different opinion than he does.
He reminds me a the typical little boy who owns the football and syas "it's my ball and we'll play by my rules or I'll take away the ball. Wah, wah.

But before I was banned, and I knew it would happen, I asked him a simple question about his name being on any deeds for Britannia Minesite Properties. Following is his reply:

 3) My former ownership of Britannia Beach is a matter of public record. I was President of Copper Beach Estates and owned every share until I partnered up with the now late Ian Hagemoen–then he became President and I was soon thereafter bought out (happily!). As for the ‘Millenium Plug’, we did it with the equal partnership of Dr. John Meech (a wonderful guy!) and Dr. Brennan Lang (another wonderful guy!) from CERM 3 at my old alma mater UBC )+(who were fabulously co-operative). It was HIGHLY effective, but the enviro-fascists in the Ministry of Water, Land and Air thought we were in the parks business and made unreasonable demands, eventually saddling the taxpayer with a bill for over $100M for remediation. We, on the other hand, offered to pay the govt $20M of a reasonably estimated $28.5M dollar bill (we actually hired AMEC and they did the study just after cleaning up the World Trade Center Towers site, post-bin Laden). But the bureaucrats, as they are want to do, went OVERBOARD on clean-up proposals and screwed the taxpayer, all through our objections as owners.

 So I decided to actually look up some records in the public domain. Some of which I already had the answers
 On Dec.7 2001 Agt lost control of his company

Letter to the Editor The Chief Sep 8, 2004

....[snip]"At the same time these projects began, Copper Beach Estates had emerged from
receivership, but still carried considerable debt. The company could not be considered
viable and sustainable by any reasonable measure. It continued to operate the town, but
on a caretaker basis only, with little regard for the long-term needs of its tenants. CBEL
had been in default on its mortgage since 1992 and the stability of any remediation
agreement between CBEL and the government was uncertain. Past experience with the
company regarding site remediation did not provide much trust or hope. There was need
for this situation to change should the remediation be implemented with confidence"....[snip]

From UBC Urban Studio Fall 2003
Running From Responsibility - An estimated 1.2 billion dollars has been extracted from the land
and mine. Following closure of the mines, ownership flipped from Anaconda to ARCO to Copper
Beach Estates. Previous owners of the mine were sent remediation orders from the provincial
government, yet they continued to evade responsibility. In 1990, Copper Beach Estates sold an
uncontaminated portion of the land for $14.8 million, none of which went towards remediation.
However, several years later Copper Beach proposed to cover remediation costs by charging fees
to dump contaminated soil into the open pits. It was hoped that filling the open mines would
reduce exposure to air and water, and mitigate the toxic discharge leaching through the mines. In
1999, the developer proposed to Britannia residents that he would give them clear title to the land
their homes rested on in exchange for their consent to the proposal. This was attractive to the
residents, since the land has always been company-owned and many were otherwise unable to
afford property. However, the community strongly voiced their distrust of the developer’s
intentions and wanted to be involved in a democratic process. Copper Beach Estates then went
bankrupt and the land became the subject of court battles. In the meantime, UBC Engineering
installed the ‘Millennium Plug’ to block toxic effluent from entering Howe Sound. In 2001 the
provincial government released all former owners of liability in exchange for $30 million, in an out
of court settlement. Remediation costs have been estimated at $75 million or more. Ownership
reverted to Rob Macdonald when Copper Beach Estates defaulted on their mortgage, owing him
over $17 million. Macdonald then decided to donate all but 202 ha of the land to the province, 162
ha of which he intends to develop. A portion of profits from the development will be spent on
remediation. The provincial government is also seeking remediation funds from Ottawa, since the
mines operated as federal crown corporation during WWI and WWII.
Community Strength – The estimated 400 residents of Britannia share a love of the landscape,
and know all of their neighbours, and their neighbours’ pets. Doors are left unlocked. Due to the
circumstances of ownership, they do not have any political representation, but they want to be
involved in a democratic process of determining the future of Britannia.
On Aug. 18, Macdonald's numbered company, 400091 British Columbia Ltd., was granted an order by B.C. Supreme Court Justice John Sigurdson, awarding the firm ownership of the Britannia lands.
The court had pronounced an order of foreclosure on the private property after the former owners, Copper Beach Estates Ltd., defaulted on a first mortgage held by Macdonald, who was owed more than $17 million.
Excluding mineral rights, the 4,047 hectares of land had an appraised value of $10.2 million.
While signing over title to most of the property to the B.C. government -- the deal closed Tuesday -- Macdonald indicated he intends to redevelop about 162 hectares, probably for residential uses.

So we see Mr Meech has a different take on this. Hegemoen sued. And MacDonald forclosed on a defaulted mortgage being owed 17 Million And the people of Britannia Beach couldn't trust Mr. Wonderful.

I wonder if Alex knows the law about dumping toxic waster on or near a waterway?

All this from the public record that Tsakumis is so proud of. 

Too bad I can't debate Alex on this. Because as long as he is banning me from his sight I am banning him from mine. Fair is fair Alex.

ps: there is a heck of a lot more information out in the public domain pertaining to Britannia's remediation, the townsight, and the trials and tribulations of the residents.


Grant G said...

Great work Sherlock Holmes.

"It`s a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive"

Gee whiz, toxic soil to plug a mine,that doesn`t sound very pleasent.

I owe you one!


Gary E said...

Hi grant
We need to be clear here. The pug was concrete. The toxic soil was to be used in the Jane Basin beside Britannia Creek which runs right down the mountain beside the townsite.
What I found VERY interesting about that proposal is that anyone in their right mind would know about leaching and Acid Rock Drainage (ARD)
The same thing is going to happen at Teztan Biny (Fish Lake)

Anonymous said...

Add me to the list. It seems the Big A doesn't like to many questions about anything he
disagrees with, or doesn't want to answer, or doesn't understand. Been banned is no big

Kam Lee

kootcoot said...

Being banned from "Rubbish without a Pause" is an HONOUR!

John Meech said...

Most of the details that you provided about Copper Beach Estates relate to a period in time before Mr Tsakamis became involved at the site. CBEL was owned from the point of mine closure in 1975 until around 1999 by a gentleman named Tim Drummond, who was convicted in 2000 of embezzling about $40,000 from the West Vancouver Boy Scouts Christmas Fund. CBEL did go into receivership about 1992 or 1993 and the site was then operated by Price Waterhouse (as I recall) until it was sold twice (believe it or not) to Ian Hagemoen and Alex Tsakumis - neither of whom knew that the other was involved. Eventually they resolved their ownership issues and became partners. Ian moved into the town and began doing the so-badly needed maintenance work at the time. Alex Tsakumis helped fund UBC to initiate the Millennium Plug Project in which a concrete plug was installed in the 2200 level adit and the effluent was turned off on Dec 31st, 2001. Subsequently, with Mr Tsakumis, UBC prepared a detailed proposal in the spring of 2002 to build a water treatment plant designed by AMEC Engineering - the plant is virtually identical to that which the government eventually installed in the fall of 2005 as a P3 joint venture with EPCOR.

Alex Tsakumis helped fund the first significant reduction in toxic ARD (acid rock drainage) that flowed into Howe Sound surface waters since the mine closed in 1974. Both he and Ian Hagemoen should be remembered for making positive contributions at the site. The idea to truck toxic waste to be disposed at the top of the mountain was Drummond's idea, not that of Tsakumis, and was never a componenent of the UBC-CBEL plan.

If you really want to dig into this issue you should look into how a $45 million dollar government "contingency fund" was turned into a remediation fund without any notice or discussion - it created a significant "cash cow" for all the engineering firms as they "studied" and "studied" the site over and over again and again refusing to install any new systems without 100% knowledge. The water treatment plant could have been put into place at least 4 years before it started up (same basic design) and a lot less money would have been spent to solve what is really a relatively straight-forward problem. They call this "due-diligence"!

The real innovation at the site could have been (and still can be) the recovery of heat from the ARD flowing out of the 4100 level to the water treatment plant. Using a district heating heat pump concept there is enough heat content in the ARD effluent to supply all the space heating needs of Britannia Beach and the associated commercial businesses. But governments spend money and tax the population - they do not run businesses - so none of these types of innovations are possible until a wholistic approach is taken to create truly sustainable communities.

John Meech, P.Eng., Ph.D.
Director of Research - UBC-CERM3
The Centre for Environmental Research in Minerals, Metals, and Materials

Gary E said...

Well Mr. Meech we will continue with "my education" later today as it is going to be a busy one. I must thank you for putting dates to things or as I see it rearranging (spinning) the subject. And you have done something that Alex didn't. You see he left the impression that he was always the owner until he was rescued. Oh, and your post smells very much like it was dictated by his lordship. Later.

Anonymous said...


Its funny how this man can spew venom but finds the truth hurts.

He's after my ass now too. I'm really, really worried. ;)

I caught him at a few things and now because he is afraid the whole truth will come out, he's going to try and sue me.

Funny how he threatens that so often.
Whats he hiding?

L.S.D. said...

Interesting to stumble upon this blog. John Laxton spoke of the complex "machinations" surrounding the control and ownership of Anaconda's properties at Britannia Beach. That is an understatement.
From the very first considerations of closing the mine reflected in a Lehman Brothers report, through to the questionable foreclosure and Order of Absolute Possession which gave Rob Macdonald and associated control of development at Britannia, a tangled web of deceit and intrigue was woven. As a resident, who continued negotiations initiated by Laurier LaPierre with Andres Thomas, then president of C.B.E. Ltd., to purchase the townsite as a co-op, I came to know all of the players and was intimately familiar with the "complex machinations" surrounding the saga of the Britannia properties.
What I can definitively state is that there were improprieties which led to the transfer of title to 400091 British Columbia during the foreclosure proceedings which negated and cancelled all registered interests in the properties behind the first mortgage. What needs to be explored is the sweetheart deal between the developer and the premier! Britannia was a sinkhole of tax dollars which can be traced back to Anaconda's sale of the properties to C.B.E. Ltd. (a consortium of suppliers to the mining company) through Dome Petroleum which was then fortuitously bought out by Makin Pulp and Paper Ltd. who received huge federal R&D grants to create hundreds of long term quality jobs in the burgeoning coated paper production field.
When fully exposed and understood, the record of Britannia, post closure of the mining activities in the early '70's , is a tribute to lost opportunity and predatory personal enrichment. Some names shine through. Despite personal differences, John Meech was one of the more honourable contributors to the positive developments at Britannia. A real tragedy is the unfair treatment N.T.B.C. received and the lost opportunity to see innovative Canadian technology become an international force in bio-remediation of ARD.
Interested to hear more from other perspectives on the corporate scripting of my home, Britannia Beach.

L.S.D. said...

A few corrections. Since its incorporation, Copper Beach Estates Ltd. went through a series of principle owners. Tim Drummind did not arrive on the scene until he negotiated a corporate raid which brought two prospective real estate buyers to the table which financed the take over of C.B.E. Ltd. The proceeds of selling the Furry Creek properties and a considerable down payment by 400091 British Columbia Ltd. for a prospective golf club/real estate development at the townsite of Britannia Beach put Tim Drummond at the helm of C.B. E. Ltd. in the early nineties. Terms of the agreement for sale with 400091 B.C. Ltd. capped remedial participation and environmental costs associated with the purchase of the townsite lands.
Not only did the expected remedial obligations turn out to exceed the agreed cap, a geo-physical report by Frank Baumann identified a major hazard in what is known as the Jane Basin fault. This moved 300091 British Columbia Ltd. to ask for their ca. $6 millions down payment returned but all the proceeds from both pre sales had been used to buy out the previous share positions in C.B. E. Ltd.
400091 became a reluctant registered mortgage holder and did not proceed to initiate foreclosure until Mr. Drummond clear cut a substantial inventory of trees without the contractual obligation of seeking agreement with the mortgage holder, nor sharing revenue from the proceeds.
400091 British Columbia Ltd. moved to foreclose but was hesitant to take possession as this would make them liable for remedial costs which they did not hold as a purely financial interest on title as determined by the new environmental legislation.
Mr. Meech.s assertion that Tim Drummind was involved since the closure in 1975 is wrong. The mine closed in 1974 and title was transferred to Copper Beach Estates Ltd. in 1978.
A curious historical note ever more relevant is that Anaconda abandoned Britannia after depleting the high grade extraction under the scepter of a stronger NDP labour force for greener pastures assured by Henry Kissinger and the gang in restoring old concessions in Chile with the overthrow of the Allende government and the installation of the fascist dictator Pinochet. We all see where that Chicago model of free enterprise has taken the world since. Greenspan apologized for "getting it wrong"!